As I begin the journey to the stage April 14, 2018, I thought about the route I would take for my coach. My previous coach did a great job with my training. Not only did I get to the stage but I received hardware (trophies). I learned a lot on that journey. However, I was interested in seeing how a different coach approached competition training and their perspective.
I reached out to Ray Binkowski, promoter of the OCB show in which I competed last April, to see if he knew of coaches. Ray provided that his gym, Fitworkz in DeKalb, offers competition coaching and that he’d be willing to work with me. Knowing Ray from my last OCB show, he seemed no nonsense, passionate about fitness and nutrition, and committed to the sport.
John drove with me out to Fitworkz to meet with Ray and it exceeded my expectations. Meeting with Ray enabled me to learn more about him, his weight loss journey losing over 60 pounds and keeping it off for over 15 years, nutrition philosophy “Eat by Color” and his competition expertise personally and professionally. I am confident that Ray knows what it takes to get an athlete to the stage.
There were a few things that Ray said at our meeting that resonates with me. First, he asked about my goals. John and I have always said that it’s getting to the stage/show. Ray found this refreshing.
The other thing that Ray and I discussed is my history with him as coach, my baseline nutrition in terms of calorie consumption and macronutrients. Since I didn’t have true history to share with him, we were starting on the first floor. Ray used the analogy that a show is floor 1o. The goal after the show would be to go down to the fifth or sixth floor. After my last show, I went all the back to the first floor since I had no maintenance plan. Part of training with Ray includes maintenance plan.
In working with Ray, he tracks/monitors my progress through Trainerize, an app that syncs with My Fitness Pal, and tracks workouts. Logging into Trainerize, Ray can monitor my workouts, track my nutrition and see my macronutrients in comparison to the grams/percentage of the plan. Between our in person meetings, I will track my food and log my workouts.
Measurements: To measure my body fat, Ray uses a 9-site caliper test. The 9-sites are as follows: abdominals -one inch to right of navel, bicep- vertical fold halfway between the shoulder and elbow joint, calf- vertical fold in middle of the calf, kidney- horizontal fold about 2 inches to the right of the spine directly over the kidney, pectoral-diagonal fold halfway between the nipple and front of the under arm crease, quadricep- horizontal fold midway up the thigh (done while standing), subscapula- slightly angled vertical fold between the right shoulder blade and the spine, suprailiac- diagonal fold following the natural angle of the hip bone, and tricep-vertical fold halfway between the shoulder and elbow joint directly over the tricep. Since the test uses a 9-site to compute results, it tends to be more accurate than other manual methods.
Starting out on this journey, my body fat is 17%. Every three weeks, I will be meeting with Ray for measurements, posing, and answers with training questions.