How Much Does a Bodybuilding Coach Cost?

Are you wondering how much does a bodybuilding coach cost?

Spoiler alert: Less than you think!

The sport of bodybuilding may look simple but is, in fact, very complex.

Athletes who understand this, know that a second pair of eyes is always better than one. As such, they opt to hire coaches that help them reach their goals in the safest and most efficient manner.

A coach may seem like something expensive and unnecessary. Most bodybuilders may consider it as an option – heck, how much does a bodybuilding coach cost? – but find supplements to be more worthy of the investment.

But dear lifters, just because dudes like Jeff Nippard put out scientific lifting videos, doesn’t mean that you can win a competition or look amazing. You gotta understand how everything works together.

And that, only an experienced, knowledgeable coach can do.

My experience with coaches

I have been going to the gym since I was 14 years old. For the first 8 years, I was simply going to the gym for fun, drinking my protein shake and not giving it a second thought.

But at 22 I first worked with a coach to make a serious change in my physique. And this is what happened.

how much does a bodybuilding coach cost

A couple of years later, I switched my coach and finally got the physique of my dreams.

best physique

How much would you pay to get these kinds of results? How much does a bodybuilding coach cost? In my opinion, no amount of money can describe how great I felt with both these experiences.

Remember this:

You will forget about the money you paid, but you will never forget about the value you received. Additionally, you will rest assured knowing that you’re on the best possible track.

I could write books about what I learned from these two experiences, but that’s not what this article is about. Let’s talk about how much does a bodybuilding coach cost!

So, how much does a bodybuilding coach cost?

As with most questions in bodybuilding, it depends. 

In general, there are three types of coaches:

  • New coaches – (Experienced) athletes that are trying to increase their coaching exposure
  • Popular online coaches – They have coached many competitors, probably taken a few to pro levels as well.
  • The elite coaches – These that mostly train Olympia-qualified athletes, IFBB pros and celebrities.

Let’s talk about each one of them separately.

New coaches: $0-$100 pm

They may be ex-bodybuilders or simply your local personal trainers. They are excited to help you with your next competition but are not that experienced in the subject. 

These coaches probably have a lot of theoretical knowledge but not a lot of practical experience.

For better or worse, practical experience is very important when it comes to bodybuilding. Therefore, unless a new coach has multiple testimonials of his work, I would not trust him for my prep. 

  • Cost: Most likely free of charge in order to increase their exposure
  • Pros: Low-priced, great for inexperienced bodybuilders
  • Cons: Most likely inexperienced, stick to the rules, don’t think outside the box

Popular online coaches – $100-$500 pm

Online coaching is a relatively new concept when it comes to bodybuilding. It involves weekly check-ins with a coach you never really see. He will be changing your diet and workout plan depending on your individual needs.

And of course, these people will train non-competitors as well. It’s just that fitness competition coach prices will be a little higher than your average pricetag.

This is a great option for advanced athletes that step up their game. Reputable online coaches are not cheap, but you can learn a lot from them. 

As for competitions, only trust online coaches will a lot of testimonials. They will usually have some publicity in bodybuilding circles. 

Finally, a good online coach will always ask you to sign a disclaimer before your collaboration begins and will always be very organized in his approach.

This is because you may be involved with steroid use, and they don’t want to hold onto this responsibility.

You can find the best ones by asking other athletes, browsing through forums or asking on Facebook groups like this one.

  • Cost: $100-$500 per month
  • Pros: Even at the low pricing point, some coaches can do an incredibly good job. They take care of all aspects of your prep, including workouts, nutrition, cardio planning, drug protocols, etc.
  • Cons: They never really see you in real life. And in the last weeks of prep, this can be really hard for some athletes. They will usually work with macronutrient targets instead of custom diet plans.

The Elite coaches – $500+ pm

Ever heard of those coaches that have multiple Olympia wins under their belt. Those that work with celebrities while their athletes participate in the Olympia multiple years in a row? These are the so-called elite coaches.

Due to their extensive knowledge on the subject of bodybuilding, these coaches can practically guarantee your win, if you simply listen to them and do as they say. Heck, they can even turn you into a public figure if you play your cards right.

Elite coaches will generally not work with everyone who wants to hire them. They will focus on world-class athletes, celebrities and influences. Most cases they take on will increase their reputation one way or another.

Additionally, when these coaches train Olympians, they will keep a fat percentage of their winning checks.

So, what is the pricetag of elite levels? I have reached out to some of the best in the industry, and most very very selective with their clientele. Others asked for amounts that are simply out of reach for most.

  • Cost: $500+ per month (if you get accepted)
  • Pros: Best possible results, great source of knowledge, best for social media exposure
  • Cons: Very expensive, very selective, not very communicative

Disclaimer: As you can imagine, I have not reached out to all coaches that are considered to be “world-class”. The pricepoints I depict derive from my personal experience and the several coaches I had the pleasure of communicating with. Additionally, the amounts depicted can fluctuate a lot, case by case. I have had an elite coach to drop his price to $200 per month for me, due to some of my unforeseen circumstances.

Is a coach worth the price tag?

Looking back at my personal experiences I can confidently say that an online bodybuilding coach is ABSOLUTELY worth it. Their pricetag is simply an additional motivation to make you work harder. 

If the sport of bodybuilding truly interests you, investing in a coach will teach you much more than university or fitness degrees ever could. 

Most are not certified in endocrinologists or registered dieticians, but their experience will teach you much more than any doctor could.

But finding the right coach is very tricky. If price is your baseline, then search for the best recommendations in your budget range. If you want the best of the best, you will need to do good research.

Bonus tip: A great way to get your favorite coach at a lower rate is to wait for discount season. Most online coaches will run some type of promotion, where they will offer their services at 10%-25% discount for long-term packages. Days like these include Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and New Year.

How to choose a coach for your next competition

So how can you do this “research”? How can you find a coach that truly suits your needs and ambitions? Here are a few tips:

  • Trust friendly recommendations, especially when these come from experienced athletes
  • Check what they post online (especially when it comes to nutrition and AAS)
  • Do a full review of their previous success with his clients
  • Do they follow evidence-based practices or are they simply surfing a hype-wave to make to you excited about them?

How much does a posing coach cost?

Posing is also an important part of every fitness competition. For both male and female competitors, posing is something you will need to think about.

Here’s how posing coaches operate:

  • Individual posing session of 30 minutes to an hour
  • Group posing session (usually reserved for female athletes)

Individual posing sessions can cost anywhere from $30 to $80 for a thirty-minute session, depending on the coach and the location. Also, keep in mind that posing sessions are done both online (via Skype) or by visiting the location of the coach.

Group posing sessions usually involve a small group of athletes who are all preparing for the same competition category. They will all need to practice the same poses, without doing any individual routines. This is especially true for bikini, figure and men’s physique athletes.

The cost for group sessions usually costs around $30-$40 dollars per person and you will usually need a lot of individual practice afterward.

I personally believe that it’s best to do several individual posing sessions with an experienced coach as your competition is coming up.

Summing up

Wondering how much does it cost to be a bodybuilder? As you can see, coaching is certainly not the most expensive part of your show.

Heck, if you’re a female competitor, your suit will probably be more expensive.

Whether you need a natural bodybuilding coach or a coach that specializes in open competitions, you are looking at a minimum of $100 per month. 

And that is a very conservative amount.

Most coaches will charge more than that, especially when you only hire them for a short 12-16 week prep. As we saw, an above-average coach may charge up to $500(!) USD per month.

As such, you will need to calculate your budget and decide whether a contest prep coach is something you want to invest in.

Need some advice on great coaches? Send me an email and I can give you some of my best recommendations.

Dimitris Tsapis

Dimitris writes articles related to his experiences as a coach and bodybuilding athlete.

View all posts by Dimitris Tsapis →

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