Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Best Prep Clients, Are You Coach-able?

by Kris Pitcher

I've experienced plenty of clients looking for a new coach. Sometimes people come to you from another coach, and sometimes people leave you for someone else.

Now, there is nothing wrong with experiencing different approaches, learning from a variety of people, and looking for the right fit with a coach. If however, you chronically find yourself on the hunt for the next best thing...ask yourself, are you coach-able?

What does it mean to be coach-able? Here are some key indicators you can be coached to a high level (aka. you are a GREAT client):


  1. You can take constructive criticism: Let's face it, we all have inadequacies, imbalances, and weak points. Being able to hear honest feedback about those, in a constructive way, is important to your success. It's also important to setting expectations.
  2. You can follow your plan: Your plan is not a guideline or suggestion. It is your plan. Following it ensures the input-output assessment by your coach. It is how we create "control" within the process. When you only kind of follow it, we only kind of have any clue what is going on with your changes...or lack of. 
  3. You can take direction: Your coach has a background in nutrition and exercise science. There is a reason for each directive you are given. Some clients want to know the reasons behind each, and it's my opinion that knowledge creates compliance. 
  4. You have trust in your adviser: You need to be able to trust your coach has the insight to guide you. If you don't hold that trust, it's not the right fit. Often, it's a matter of communication and knowledge sharing. 
  5. You can communicate: Being coach-able means you can engage in two-way communication with your coach. If they ask you for a check-in...provide it. The more "input" you are able to provide the greater your success in your relationship with your coach.
  6. You are accountable: This is critical to your success. You will be the only one on stage with your decisions. Your coach will guide and direct you providing the best plan possible, and it's up to you to do it. No coach can do the work for you. No coach can promise you a certain placing. You are accountable ultimately.  
Being open to creativity, to different ways of doing things, and to drilling down on a method all play into your success as a coach-able client. There are lots of coaches each with their own set of skills, ideas and methods.

A great coach listens to you, builds your plan around your needs, is able to apply a multitude of methods, and communicates why you are doing certain things. They are able to be positive, constructive, and honest with you. Your coach should be professional, objective, and detail oriented.

I've had the benefit of amazing mentors and coaches both personally and professionally. It makes all the difference in just how coach-able I am. They have shown me not only how coach-able I am, but also how to be a great coach and mentor to others.

Monday, February 6, 2017

When Panic Sets In, Will I Be Ready In Time?

by Kris Pitcher

Things in life aren't necessarily linear. At just ten weeks from our first regional spring show...now is the time competitors begin to panic, "Will I be ready!"

Competitors begin to wonder if their coach has the skill set to get them to the stage. In some cases they do, and in other cases not so much. Competitors managing their own nutrition begin to question what they are doing, what they know, and how to filter the plethora of information coming at them from all angles.

Rightfully so. On all accounts. But here's the thing...none of this is linear. Change is cumulative and happens in small increments. Sometimes those changes are so small, we aren't able to see them in ourselves, or measure them.

Changes are still happening. Now is the time to trust the process. A phrase everyone cringes over. Trust your coach. Unless they are a complete and total fraud, your coach should be able to get you there.

I'm transparent in there are many ways to get someone ready for competition. There is no "one" way, or "right" way. So now is the time to trust how your coach is guiding you...or, if your gut tells you differently, seek out someone who is a better fit. I'm not a fan of jumping mid stream.

Usually, communication will clear up anything you feel you're not getting. That's up to you. Your role is to relax, do the work, eat the plan, communicate, and settle in. Ten weeks is 10 weeks. You won't look ready today. That's not how this works.

Will you be ready? Probably. If you aren't ready guess what, there is always another show on the calendar. If you thought you needed 16 weeks, and in reality you need 20...your timeline just got a little longer and you and your coach look for another show. Easy.

Don't panic. Settle in for the long haul and trust this process. You'll be ready when you're ready.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Why Your Environment Creates Your Success

by Kris Pitcher

If I have a TV I'm going to watch it. If I have a book, but no TV, I'm going to read. When I have a book and a TV...I'm forced to choose. And I'm lazy, and I grew up in the 70' & 80's. I'm going to watch TV. Hands down.

Turns out I love both. I enjoy reading just as much as I enjoy TV. It's the choice that's agonizing. I am agonized by the decision. What if I make the wrong choice? What if people think I'm smarter for reading the book? Or if they think I'm missing out for not seeing that series on TV? What if they think I'm weak? Can I be trusted to make the right decision?

You're wondering why this is such a big deal. The deal is, food choices are a lot the same. When we have to choose it's difficult. Lots have strayed from those resolutions made upon ringing in the New Year (earlier this month). And many are waiting for just the right time to actually face the choices.

What I've found is, it's much easier when you are in a controlled environment. For example, I am enjoying my Alaskan visit in my cozy apartment above the shop...WITH NO TV!

This would send most running. Compounded with the fact that Sprint doesn't serve Alaska...I'm a little off the digital grid up here. Controlled environment. It means I'm enjoying my book, very much.

The key is a controlled environment ensuring the choices you intend to make are easy to make. By surrounding yourself with the things that are on your plan, you will automatically make the right choice.

We take that further through organization. When we plan and organize our day, our meals, we will be that much more successful. We organize our space in our kitchen to make the priority items readily available. And guess what? Our choices are right there for us.

We aren't faced with the constant agony over the decision process. This is where the success comes from. There's no guilt from a choice that doesn't align with your goals when you surround yourself with all the things that will make you successful.

I'm not any better at this than anyone else. I don't have "will power" of some super hero. I don't want it any more than the next guy. I've created an environment where I will be successful. Success is my only choice.

My suggestion is to simplify. Create the environment where your only choice is success. Change is change. We need to remove things, and replace them with something else.

I'm not just sitting here in the dark with no TV. I'm sitting here enjoying my book. Think about the choices you are agonizing over. Think about the changes you would like to make. Then begin to create the environment where your only option will be in support of your goals. This is where success happens.




Friday, January 27, 2017

My First At Home Workout, Finding My Right Now

by Kris Pitcher

I'm no dummy. I go to the gym for my workouts because I KNOW I won't do it at home. Now, cardio is off the table in this discussion. That happens right in my living room. Where else would you keep your stair master?

But I have the luxury of a bad situation prompting me to do something I should have done a long time ago. Visit my sister in Alaska. Waking in my own little apartment above the shop, I discover my very own at home workout.

Turns out the stair master mimics...actual stairs! My fasted cardio was glute focused stair work. Up. Down. Up. Down. And so on, and so on. It felt different than my machine. And it also winded me. I didn't have the machine setting my pace. I had to do that on my own. Success!

As I got into my rhythm it dawned on me, it takes a different level of commitment and motivation to make this happen at home. With countless diversions I can be the Queen of procrastination. Later never does come, does it?

After my cardio I got out my band and my TRX. It was time to get creative. Since my glutes were already "awake" I decided to keep working them.

In a ceremonial fashion, I put a towel down on the area rug (in what is my mother's quilting studio). I resurrected my memories of leading group exercise. I recalled the days when my participants would moan, groan and curse my instruction.

I continued to "activate" my glutes in a variety of ways, and positions until I could only curse myself. Then I was off to the TRX. This is an amazing tool. I did some additional "bridge" work along with some bridge abduction work.

Frankly, I was pretty pleased with myself. Not for my creativity, or for recalling the floor exercises, or not actually cursing myself...but for simply doing it. At home.

I could have waited. I could have put it off until maybe we visited my sister's gym. But later doesn't come. We only have our right now. That's why I'm here visiting. Right now.

We can't put things off. Procrastination doesn't serve us. Doing the things we don't want to do because they are hard, or scary, or require change isn't an option. Waiting until something is comfortable means never. Because things are never comfortable.

For all you doing your workouts at home, I have a new understanding and respect for the level of motivation that requires. I'm energized by what creativity I'll find in my at home workouts over the next few days.

Think about the things in your life you might be putting off. What is keeping you from moving forward? Take one step toward action toward them. We really only have our right now. Find yours!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Invasive Lobular Carcinoma, My Sister Has What?

by Kris Pitcher

While instant messages were circulating facebook with instructions to post a heart, then IM friends who would also post a heart...in a silent movement of support for breast cancer, my family was navigating the news my sister has breast cancer. My big sister, has cancer.

We have history of cancer in our family. So you expect to hear news about relatives...distant relatives. You don't expect to hear "cancer" and "sister" in the same breath. Yet, so it is. She has a slow growing, treatable, yet messy in terms of shape, situation.

My big sis, Megan
She has a resilient and positive spirit. She also gets sh*t done. She has navigated her medical care, received second opinions, done countless tests, and next is her first round of treatment. Today she'll undergo surgery.

Her husband is an amazing rock of a man, and together they've done lots of hard things. You know me, I tell you, "Hard things are hard." It's true. Hard things are hard, and this is no exception.

What's remarkable to me is the way she has chosen to see and tackle this. I hear a lot of whining from people in a variety of different settings. Why is this happening to me? Life is unfair? I can't do this? Why can't I eat cupcakes? I want to quit? Nobody likes me? Waaaa!

Guess what? There's no time for any of that when you are faced with this kind of reality. You gather information, and you get it done. And you get it done with hope, light, confidence, happiness, a sense of control, determination, and you surround yourself with knowledge and support.

You can cover your head and be a victim surrendering to your "fate". OR, you can face things head on with a positive attitude of hope and success. You can choose to be happy, informed, and in control.

She is committed to doing everything in her power to control her environment, her nutrition, her activity up to and in her future. And her sense of determination is like no other.

I wish her love, light, and success today as she tackles this step in her treatment. Moving forward, you take one piece of information at a time, and make decisions based on what you know. You learn, you immerse yourself...you face your right now.

Face your reality, control your environment, commit to whatever it might take to tackle things, choose support, knowledge and happiness. And love and light will surround you too.




Thursday, January 19, 2017

What Does It Cost to Compete?

by Kris Pitcher

The physique competition industry is thriving. With the addition of new divisions there is an access point to almost anyone who's even a little bit fit. Lots of people are interested in hitting the stage and here are some considerations to make before you decide this sport is for you.

There is a cost associated with this hobby. My husband and I share some pretty expensive hobbies...travel, scuba diving, motorcycling, skiing (although this one has fallen by the wayside). Other people like to golf, or quilt, or scrapbook. All of those things cost money. So does competing.

What can you plan on? You can plan on spending 16, or more, weeks getting ready. Your expenses might include:

  • Gym membership
  • Food - although I hope you were planning to eat anyway
  • Supplements - some you need, some you don't
  • Membership in your organization - NPC $125/annually
  • Contest registration - $75-$100
  • Shoes - ladies, $40
  • Suit - guys are looking at $60+, and ladies...$150+ (up to as much as you want to spend)
  • Accessories - $40+
  • Tanning - competition tanning $100
  • Hair/Makeup - $100-$150
  • Travel/hotel/gas - if your show is more than 45 minutes from home, you may want to get a room
Now, we're looking at about $600 plus food, and your gym membership. Here's the piece people miss. Professional guidance - a prep coach. This costs money as well. I have a coach. My coach has a coach. And his coach...has a coach.

Hiring a coach all depends on the experience you want to have. That's up to you. You can piece information together on your own, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I don't clean my own teeth, cut/color my own hair, or conduct my own medical exams. I hire professionals for those things.

Here's what we don't spend money on: I don't get my nails done, we don't buy coffee out, we rarely go out to the movies, we eat at home and pack all our meals, I color my hair right before my show (not every 6 weeks), we don't have $600 phones, we don't have cable TV, we don't buy alcohol, I don't buy new clothes every month/week, and we don't live above our means. Why? We do those things so we can concentrate on competing at a high level.

Competing is not for everyone. It's especially not when you can't afford to. Sometimes we need to save for our dreams, sacrifice for them, or give other things up. It's all dependent on our priorities.

There is no right or wrong. Just, "what do you want?" My sense is people rush into thinking they want to compete without really looking at the cost. No hobby should make you go broke, jeopardize your rent, or make your kids go without.

Timing in life is important. If now is not the time, work toward it. Knowing the costs associated with your dreams helps you map out your plan. And that's the cost to compete!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Plant Based Protein

by Kris Pitcher

What's trending this year in the nutrition world? Plant based protein. Whether you are vegetarian, want to decrease the amount of meat you eat, or are just looking to increase your fiber intake, there are benefits to looking at plant based protein.

The key with protein, especially for the competitor, is getting complete protein. Recall proteins are made of amino acids. There are 22 amino acids, 8 of which are "essential" - meaning we need to get them from our diet. Our body can make the rest. Amazing!

Who cares? Well, amino acids are our building blocks. We need them for effective building and repair. But let's get back to the point here.

What is plant based protein? It's protein derived from plant, vs. animal sources. I'm not here to tell you your values around your food choices. That's up to you. One big advantage to plant based protein is fiber.

Fiber is like magic. Fiber makes us feel full. It moves everything through our system. It's even thought to prevent certain cancers, and aid in fat loss. Fiber is good.

Good sources of plant based protein include the legume family. Those are your lentils, beans, peas, all kinds of beans...yellow, black, red, fava...

Other great sources are broccoli, and green leafy vegetables. Then there are the seeds - chia, hemp, almonds, walnuts. And don't forget your unsweetened raw cacao powder - there's protein in there too.

The great challenge for anyone on a competitor's eating plan is, these plant based sources also contain carbohydrates and some contain fats. Knowing the full spectrum of the nutrient profile is critical to working them in your plan.

For general population, creating a plan including plant based proteins is a little bit easier. Either way, it simply requires knowing your numbers and being able to do some math. Life is like that.

Here are a few examples:

  • Broccoli - 1 C = 8.1 gm protein
  • Quinoa - 1/2 C = 14 gm protein (20 gm carbs)
  • Leafy greens - 2 C = 2.1 gm protein
  • Raw cacao - 1 T = 1 gm protein
  • Lentils - 1 C = 18 gm protein (39 gm carbs)
  • Black beans - 1 C = 15 gm protein (41 gm carbs)
The key is knowing the nutrients and working them into your total plan. Nutrition is about values. Sure, the numerical values, but also about your personal values around what you eat. Building a successful plan for someone means listening to those values and creating a plan for success.

If you'd like help with your plan, let me know. Find me at www.teampitcher.com and we can build plant based proteins into your successful plan! And that's what's trending.