When to Get a Coach?

So I’m trying to decide at what point it makes sense to hire a coach. I know for a fact I am nowhere near ready for a show, as I need more mass. I also know for a fact that I will 100% need a coach for prep, to dial in my diet and possibly my training. For those who have been coached, did you find it helpful in the initial mass-gaining parts to have one? I’m thinking about trying to add enough mass on my own, and get with a coach when I’ve decided to try for a show. Since I am completely new to the sport, I fully expect to be wrong about multiple things here, so hit me with your knowledge! :smiley:


Saying that if you have some coin, a reeealy good coach like John Meadows can speed up the mass gain dramatically.

Also can make use of experienced coaches here like Thib for Q& A

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It’s not like coaches are magic, but finding someone who has accomplished or helped other accomplish whatever your goal is can save you plenty of time and error.

I always say that all the info anyone needs is out there, they just need to be willing to Spend the time and effort to find it and figure out how to best Apply it.



I think I get what you are saying here. I don’t necessarily NEED a coach, I can do a bunch of reading and trial/error. I appreciate the advice.

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Exactly. When I was first convinced to step onstage, it was by a 2x universe winner, who was in tons of magazines, ads, you name it. He offered his thoughts when I had questions, but always verified what I had already decided to do on my own. It was very encouraging and very helpful. At no point did he even slightly try to get me to hire him as a coach, which is very respectful.

In the last several years, it’s gotten crazy with so many coaches all over the place (and everyone toting their own contest prep book -lol). I figure Anyone trying to make a full time living from contest coaching is going to border on some… fuzzy stuff. I’ve been coaching for about 10 years now, and while it’s definitely fun for a retired pro, and a nice side gig Financially, I know that if I wanted to make what I make from a “real” job I’d be spending almost no time on each client and I’d be trying to convince anyone I came in contact with that they absolutely needed to hire me.



Psst…@46and2, I don’t know if you’re aware, but there’s an extremely experienced coach–one with a proven ability to produce contest-winning physiques–right here on your thread.

Edit to say…Whoops, never mind, I see he mentioned it above!


@EyeDentist LOL yup, I have been all over Stu’s site. He will be on my short list when/if it comes time to really start evaluating coaches!


Are you new to the sport of bodybuilding? Or new to lifting weights and gaining muscles all together?

There are So many things you can train and improve on in the gym. Just going to the gym and training and progressing on some of those things will get you “more ready” to be a bodybuilder.

But making progress on other stuff (muscle ups, single rep max deadlifts, 400 meter sprint times) may not get you anywhere when it comes to bodybuilding.

Trial and error is definitely OK, but if you’re kind of clueless someone directing your efforts and getting you on the right track can be useful.

Even if you don’t want to hire someone now it can be useful to find 1 (good) author or you-tuber, focus on just their input and try their style for a couple months. So they’re not exactly “coaching” you, but you’re not doing a million things at once.


New to bodybuilding. I have been lifting and training for a different sport (BJJ) for the last 7-8 years.

I think it is worth hiring a coach at any stage. A professional allows you to reduce the number of mistakes in the training process. My knowledge is limited by my personal experience, and the coach’s knowledge is his sports experience plus the experience of everyone with whom he worked. The coach helps to build more realistic and realizable plans, always looks after the client’s condition, and can say “STOP!” If the load exceeds the required one. And the coach’s task is to motivate the client if he starts to be lazy for no good reason. You can read more about choosing a trainer and training program here.

There is loads of info out there these days but so much of it is contradictory.

If you are natural then you must do full body splits, don’t do bro splits, do upper lower.

Do high intensity training, so high volume etc.

You don’t need massive amounts of protein as a natural.

It takes so long to try some of these things to then see the old truths seem to work.

It’s a great marketing gimmick to contradict the majority of commonly known scientific evidence, or even to publicly disagree with someone who already has an established following.

Bottom line imo is that there are plenty of approaches that MIGHT work, but anyone worth their salt will quickly and efficiently figure out the best way for each individual client.

That, and that no matter what “coach” you may look at, they all have the same science available to work with. Whether they can apply it effectively or not, that’s the acid test.