Sorry I overlooked this question, let me see if I can touch on everything you mentioned.
When I first start working with anyone, I have a pretty in-depth questionnaire I have them fill out. People all come to me with different backgrounds, goals, and ideas about training and nutrition that can be pretty accurate, or pretty off base depending on each situation and what they’ve been exposed to. A real concern if we’re dealing with someone who wants to compete, is how realistic they are with their own starting point. Some, have already built an excellent foundation on their own, while with others, it might be better at least in my opinion to postpone getting on stage until they actually build something to display. There have been times with certain clients where we actually took six months to focus on adding more quality size before even considering dieting down. Both Brad and Rob Were clients of mine where we did something like this.
As far as progression goes, there is a weekly check-in routine that involves constantly providing me with feedback. This involves scale weight, body composition, strength and energy levels, sleep and of course tracking reactions to training routines, dietary changes, and cardio protocols in a large scale manner. This allows us to the detect patterns in the individual responses, as well as not get caught up in overreacting if a single week doesn’t provide the movement we had hoped for.
Timeframe is always an issue, especially if it’s the first time a coach and client are working together. When Rob and I worked together for his first contest season, he did amazing, taking second at a very difficult show. However, we were still figuring out a lot of issues as to how his body responded. As such, when we began our prep for the next year’s contest season, we knew exactly what buttons to hit right out of the starting gate, and the results truly speak for themselves.
“Lifestyle coaching” To Me sounds like a complete scam from people who read way too many self help books. In fact, plenty of the people I see billing them selves as lifestyle coaches are leading lifestyles that would make most successful people shake their head and wonder when these individuals are going to get their stuff to gather.