Calibrated Training and Nutrition would like to introduce Wendy LaFayette from Busy Fit World as our guest blogger. We are thrilled to have her unique insight on the fitness world and what it takes to prepare for a Fitness Photo Shoot.
Choose The Right Coach
Even if you are an experienced fitness coach, like myself, I highly recommend you consider hiring another coach or trainer with experience in fitness modeling or fitness photo shoots to help you train and prepare, especially if this is your first shoot. I consider myself to be a pretty well versed coach, but I haven’t done many photo shoots. I recognized that this was not my area of expertise, so I hired someone that I knew had extensive knowledge to assist me. I read as much as I could about how to prepare, and I asked other coaches and trainers that I knew had done photo shoots to share tips or advice they had. Even if you’re a coach or trainer, set your ego aside and get help, it’s worth it. If not, that’s even more reason to hire a coach. Don’t hire off a friend’s recommendations and blind trust. Instead, do your research and consult with former clients. Look them up online-Facebook or personal websites can be a great start. View photos of current and past clients and find out what success they have had on the local and national circuits. Loo at their before and after photos to see how long it took them to achieve the desired look. Decide if your need in-person consultations of if you can follow someone’s guidance remotely. Before choosing a coach, ask questions about food substitutions, proper technique, and accountability.
Set Up A Phone Interview Where You Can Ask Questions and Look For Red Flags
“What is your method of meal planning?”
If they give you some formulaic xyz method, they’re not right for you. A good coach should not use a cookie-cutter diet for all their clients. It should be customized to meet your specific goals and daily lifestyle.
If you have a hard time following a plan, tell them that. Make sure they can make a plan that fits your lifestyle.
For example, I travel a lot so I cannot always make my own meals. I need someone who can help me make smart substitutions on the road.
“What are some key aspects of your program?”
If you hear the words endless hours of cardio, no carbs, and water depletion, run! This is a recipe for disaster and metabolic damage.
“When working remotely, always ask: How often should I check in?”
A coach should have you send progress pictures and weigh in at least once each week.
“What do you think realistic goals are for me?”
Make sure you tell him/her your goals (lose weight, gain muscle, step on stage, etc.) and timing, and see if they can work with you on that.
If you’re not meeting in person, send current pictures—front, back, and side—at the beginning of the program.
“What are your rates?”
Rates can be as low as $100/month to as high as $500/month, so be sure to get a few quotes on this, but don’t go off rate alone! Make sure the coach you choose is a good fit for you.
“What is your policy on phone calls and check-ins?”
It helps when a coach is always available via text. While they might not be able to respond immediately, they should be able to answer when they have a moment.
“How hands-on are you?”
I prefer a coach who is invested—someone who will answer questions throughout the week and motivate me when I’m not motivated. If our personalities don’t match, it won’t work. Coaches often become as close as family, choose wisely. If they’re remote, start with a phone call. If they’re local, meet in person.
Coach I Highly Recommend
One of the best prep coaches in the country I’ve found is Marques Caudle, creator of Calibrated Training and Nutrition. He’s been in the fitness industry for 12+ years, competes himself and has holds numerous certifications. As a pro himself, Marques understands the importance of balance and helps his clients reach their goals with his individualized approach. Nobody wears the same shoe size, therefore cookie cutter diet plans don’t work. I love his coaching style on every level, I’ve never been healthier.
No More Alcohol
Be serious about getting into the best shape possible, cut out alcohol. There is no benefit of any kind from consuming empty calories and carbs in the weeks leading up to the shoot. Hangovers almost always equal bad food choices and crappy workouts or none at all.
Train Like You Mean It
This may seem obvious, however imperative to your results. It’s natural for us to become complacent with our workout routines, even us coaches and trainers. Your body is smart and it will learn how to adapt and adjust to whatever stresses you put on it frequently. If you do the same exercises, same weights, and the same amount of reps all the time, then you can expect the same mediocre results. It’s cliché but most of you know that doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. You need to get out of your comfort zone, change it up, and challenge yourself. Stop taking 5-minute breaks between sets to flip through your phone. This is one of the reason’s why I hired a great fitness coach. I knew that no matter how tired I was that day, I was going to get my butt kicked, he was going to make me uncomfortable, not let me rest, and push me beyond what I am capable of doing alone. The intensity with which you train will make all of the difference. I recommend in addition to your strength training days, you incorporate HIIT (high intensity interval training) such as treadmill sprints and Strongman workouts (sled push, box jumps, battle rope, medicine ball slams, jump rope, kettlebells, jug carries, etc.) into your routine for fat burning. Do this only as your coach suggests.
If you’re not assessing, you’re guessing. You need a starting point in order to know whether or not you are moving in the right direction. Record your starting weight, and measurements. Come back to these as frequently as instructed by your coach. Your fitness coach will provide the tools and equipment to track these things for you. Consider keeping a food log or record your meals with an app or a device like My Fitness Pal.
Hydration, Hydration, Hydration
You’ve heard it a million times. Here is a million and one. Drink water! Drink a lot of it throughout the day. Keep your body hydrated. Your muscles alone are made up of approximately 75% water.
YES, Proper Rest & Recovery IS important
You do not get stronger during your workout; you get stronger as your muscles recover. If you are constantly in overdrive, breaking down the same muscle groups day after day, you are wasting your time. This is counterproductive. Get enough sleep and take the necessary days off to allow your muscles recuperate.
If you are fair-skinned, I don’t recommend tanning beds for health reasons but I do recommend spray tanning or using some sort of bronzer to give your skin a darker appearance. It is no secret that tanned skin photographs better than pale skin under brighter lighting conditions and will provide more definition. Also, depending on what kind of look you are going for, consider rubbing on a little baby oil prior to the shoot for a shinier appearance.
During The Photo Shoot
If the shoot is a long one, keeping a few light weight dumbbells or resistance bands is a good idea so that you can pump up between breaks if you are feeling flat. HAVE FUN!! You have worked your butt off for this moment, smile and enjoy it!
The views expressed here are my own, and these are the methods that work for me. Everyone’s body is different and your body may respond differently than mine to different methods. There is no one right way, experiment with different methods and techniques. Find what works best for you.
Post was written by Wendy LaFayette of Busy Fit World.
Wendy LaFayette is a busy fit business woman whose unorthodox personality has taken the fitness industry by storm! Her high energy, high growth business strategies have helped build the most popular global brands in fitness nutrition, including Power Crunch, Premier Protein, and Quest Nutrition (that fastest growing protein bar brand in history) where she designed and currently manages the Inc. 500 company’s first ever National Merchandising Division.
Once a sickly 100 pounds, Wendy is now the epitome of strong female fitness & leadership and works in her ever-shrinking spare time as a nutrition consultant and fitness trainer for high level competitors. Her blog BusyFitWorld.com has interviewed some of the top personalities and brands in fitness, and provides comprehensive wellness and exercise programs for her readers. Wendy resides in San Diego, CA where she enjoys some quality time with her co-jack Kirby & the gorgeous SoCal ocean vistas.