Personal Training is a Privilege



As trainers, we are given a great privilege and responsibility in the lives of those people who come to us for training. The best trainers know this and are always the ones with full schedules.

New trainees come to us with implicit trust in the information and techniques we propose to them. It is our job to give them the best of what we have if we expect to receive their best efforts and following.

The floors of current mega-gyms are littered with overweight, out-of-shape, irresponsible and ill-informed wanna-bes who not only don’t walk the talk, but don’t know the walk. They are often inattentive, rude, vulgar and a disgrace to those of us truly vested in helping people become safer, smarter, healthier athletes. And a negative influence toward our efforts.


We are not only teaching/coaching/training the one client that stands in front of us; we are training their spouses, friends, children, parents and anyone else whose lives they may touch as a result of the insights or accomplishments you’ve given them.

As trainers, we are also nutritionists, cheerleaders, counselors, doctors, confidantes, and more. They come to us to train and see physical results; but they also come for friendship, companionship, a sounding board, a place of refuge and a place of stability in their challenging world. They don’t want to hear your problems or excuses. They idolize you as an ideal, with the body and disciplines they aspire to. You are paid for your knowledge and support. Do not let them down.


The days are long, the frustrations sometimes more frequent than the rewards; and at times, trainers are as resistant to see their clients as the client’s are to see them. When the trainer is unmotivated, where exactly does that leave the client? When both look forward to the appointments with equal enthusiasm, we all know the magic that happens. We must be creative, knowledgeable, informed, and convincing salespeople who can impart a vision built on the sparse framework of the “idea” of what someone actually wants.

Many people say they’d like like to be trainers, think they can be trainers, sometimes despise us for being trainers, and just as in all walks of life, when those who can’t, become critics. The few who recognize our contributions and merit for teaching those who can’t or won’t, succeed by motivating with a ripple effect; until the lives we touch, touch two more in return, and the goodness we can impart, spreads.


Keep these things in mind as people come to you for training. It is an honor to serve in this way, as we do what we love. We give to humanity on a daily basis. Complain quietly, but give loudly; because if you don’t do the job of taking care of your people, they will find someone who will. Train them compassionately, with an open mind and open heart. Gain trust by giving trust that both of you will achieve the stated goals. See in them what they can’t see in themselves. Hold to their vision, not with your own ego, but with your understanding for their cause. Give, in order to receive.



Overall Bikini 2013 Ron Love Classic

Bikini Winners


The required poses in the posing rounds for each division of NPC competitions are each different, but similar. As confusing as that sounds, that’s how clear the judging criteria is for any and every NPC event. “You can, you can’t…you should, you shouldn’t”… all rules are malleable, all guidelines are blurred.

The Official required poses can be found here but are subject to change, even mid pose. With the addition of “True Novice” and all the iterations of categories to ensure crossover costs per division keep rising, keep checking the official entry blank of your area promoters; as if Novice, Local, Open and National Qualifier weren’t enough. But I’m trying to clarify rather than confound the issue more.


Men Physique Winners

Sure size, shape, symmetry, muscularity, leanness, roundness, height, non-muscularity,  smile, tan, teeth, suit, association to the judging panel, and sometimes even the actual physique, matter. But ultimately a competitor, through the perfect concoction of the above ingredients, and the grace of God Himself, must please the judges, must win the appeal, must ignite a connection between those on the table, to those on the stage. Sometimes, even the hands-down, most-obvious, walk-away winner in the competition, does not win. Yet sometimes, sometimes, when the applause-o-meter is working that day and all the judges go to lunch at the same diner, the real winners are chosen, undisputedly, across all divisions. It happens, really. I’ve seen it myself.


Bodybuilding Winners

This inconsistency is the only consistent tract from the lowest, local levels of the competition, through the highest-almighty IFBB Pro ranks. Someone appealed to the right someone, all down the line, all the way to the top. The rest of the discrepancies determining that rise would take a book to document. Still, the poses required pale compared to the hoops ensued.


Bikini Winners

After 30 years of work in this field, and over 600 shows documented from behind the scenes, it’s time someone tells the truth about competitive physique events. This is not to bash any specific people, just to inform the competitors of what they are dealing with and in what’s become of this sport that means so much to so many, yet so little to a few. You can speculate all you want over that sentence; but to those involved over the years to build it to what it is, who supported, promoted, documented and spent countless hours coaching, training, nurturing and developing it into the monster it’s become, we all know where our personal responsibility falls.


Pro Bikini

The athletes themselves are often spectacular. Their hard work and dedication rival the greatest of any athlete in any other sport on their level. Amateur bodybuilders work harder than amateur baseball players. Olympia contenders work as hard as Olympic contenders. They are each measured subjectively right down to the direction their toes are pointing. They win by paying  attention to every nuance of detail to ensure their appeal is as convincing as their performance. But often, even when everything is 110% correct, it doesn’t turn out right.


Women Physique

The distinctions for the new divisions of physique men, physique women, bikini and whatever else the ruling gods may conspire to produce, are no more definitive than those of an advertising campaign. Sales. That’s all. And the sad part is, the competitor never knows where the line will be drawn in any given event. So the competitor who wins in week one, must realize 6th place is possible in two weeks, or 60th in a National show even though you’re the best in the state. And this is the way it must be; unless the rules require a timer, a knockout, a pin, or a duel to the death.


Figure Winners

This is the best advice on how to win a Physique competition. It’s a crapshoot, keep trying. Let your body be your trophy, walk your talk, lead with distinction, move on.

If you’re lucky, a judge was watching and can give you the necessary feedback to improve. By that time you know your own weaknesses and are simply looking for a confirmation from a knowledgeable eye. These are the only definitive guidelines:

  • You must only bring your best.
  • You must fully prepare every given detail.
  • You must perform the mandatory and compulsory poses.
  • You must expect the best, but prepare for the worst.
  • You must take criticism constructively.
  • You must smile and accept defeat as equally as victory.
  • You must continue to be your best, do your best, share your best.
  • You must realize that the path makes you a winner, not the trophy.

The sport of Physique competition has been growing steadily, giving many more athletes room to compete, despite their weaknesses, handicaps, age or affiliation. The sport has helped to raise public awareness to the beauty of an aesthetically pleasing physique, and the care, preparation and attention it takes to acquire one. By giving more competitors a chance to compete, it has left less winners in every category; but not necessarily defining what makes one the best and runners up, down the line. In short, it has become quantity over quality.

It is a cattle call. Your nine months of training are whittled down to four turns and a return trip to the warm up room; which used to be “pump up room” but that too has been disallowed. Bodybuilders used to be judged from their forearms to their calves, left to right, top to bottom. Now, an athlete is often chosen without yet making it to the comparison line-up.

It’s true when they say the victory is in the journey. It’s a gratifying sport, an enriching path that leads you to your best shape and opens new doors of opportunity and service. But the sport of Physique Competition has been dwindling as the number of athletes has risen, the number of promotions have dropped, and the integrity of the sport, diminished.



8xMs. Olympia LENDA MURRAY Interview Part Three


The Lenda Murray Interview Part Three covers her work as a Ms. Olympia ambassador and brings her to her current projects as an actress on Adam Sandler’s Ridiculous Six movie, her promotions of bodybuilding events in Norfolk, Virginia and now her hometown of Detroit, Michigan, where, on August 29, 2015, she will be hosting the Lenda Murray Classic in the historic Redford Theatre where she began her career as a Michigan bodybuilder.

She talks about the highs and lows of being in the spotlight with Muscle and Fitness and Flex magazines, her commentary on ESPN, covering bodybuilding events and fitness shows; and talks about many of the highlights and blessings she has had along the way, while staying centered and true to both her family and hometown roots.

8xMs. Olympia LENDA MURRAY Interview Part Two


The Lenda Murray Interview Part Two details her transition from amateur Michigan competitor to National leval competition and her ultimate rise to her first and second Ms. Olympia wins.

She covers how it affected her outlook as a competitor and the importance of the business perspective in regard to the  responsibility as a brand to sponsors, promoters, colleagues and fans. She tells how friends and family kept her grounded and humble and what people expected of her as an ambassador to the sport.

Listen closely to her methodical approach to going one step at a time rather than focusing too far out on the big picture. She offers great advice to newcomers and seasoned pro’s alike on the realities of the sport, the blessings it’s offered her and how she gives back.

Figure Competitor Amanda Betron Interview Part Two

This is the second part of an interview done with National level Figure competitor Amanda Betron. She is also a trainer at The Rochester Gym, specializing in contest prep, figure training, posing and motivation. Her frankness and sincerity are evident in this second part of the interview, where she talks at length in the differences between competing on the state level, and what she’d learned on the National level.

She will be hosting a boot camp for group training and nutrition coaching on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, February 2,  through March 28. Sign up at by Saturday January 31. Email for more info.

Amanda can be reached at and by email at for training, advice and inspiration.

“Sassy Spraytanning” Kristin Nouhan Interview

Kristin and her mother Sandy, co-own and operate Sassy Spraytanning as well as Suits by Sassy. They serve competitors for the finishing touches that are so crucial before an event. Kristin explains the importance of having the right color for the stage, as well as the differences each division demands for both depth of color and skin tone.

Kristin can be reached at 586-481-5994 for appointments. Be sure to schedule well enough in advance of your event so you can get the correct treatment. She will help you through the process and explains it more fully in this video. Enjoy!

Michele Roscoe NPC Judge, Competitor, Trainer Interview Part 2

In this Michele Roscoe Interview Part 2, Michele explains what the judges are looking for in the, as yet, undefined category of Male Physique. She tells how important it is to be poised, show confidence, and to sustain that presentation the whole  time on stage, whether from the center in comparisons, or off to the wings as you walt to be called center stage. Michele reinforces how important it is to be conditioned in Posing Practice to be able to stand for long periods of time without fidgeting and changing stances due to the discomfort of not being able to hold your poses.

The interview continues to point out that charisma and confidence cannot be taught, they have to come out naturally to make a contagious attraction so you will be the center of the judges attention with a magnetic pull that keeps drawing them back to you.

Michele also points out Men’s Bodybuilding and where the sport started, to where it has progressed. She gives great insights from the perspective of a competitor, judge and trainer. Michele Roscoe can be reached at The Flint Barbell Club 810-875-5288 for training and coaching.

Michele Roscoe NPC Judge, Competitor, Trainer Interview Part I

Michele Roscoe is an NPC sanctioned judge, a certified trainer and a National level competitor. She first studied at the prestigious Dr. Kenneth Cooper Institute in Dallas, Texas while stationed as an enlisted Air Force member. She continues to speak, write, teach, train and offer her varied expertise at the Flint Barbell Club (810-875-5288), where she coaches athletes and non-athletes in all aspects of nutrition, wellness, strength training and contest preparation.

Here, she gives her background as a competitor and conveys her lifelong passion for the sport of bodybuildng; as well as promoting an approach to sustaining a healthy lifestyle through proper diet and exercise.

She further explains the differences between the classes of competitive physique, bikini, figure and the newly formed women’s physique division.
She tells what she looks for as a judge of NPC competitive events, from Men’s Bodybuilding and Physique, to all aspects of the women’s divisions as both a judge and competitor. This interview had to be split into two parts to contain all her information. Enjoy.

Michele can be reached for training and wellness consultations at the Flint Barbell Club, 810-875-5288.

“Suits by Sassy” Kristin Nouhan Interview

Physique Posing will feature vendors and supporters to the sport of Physique Competitions and feature interviews with the people involved in all aspects. If you know of anyone who would like to be interviewed for this series, contact me in the comment box below.

Kristin Nouhan makes competitive suits for bikini, figure, fitness and women physique athletes, along with her mother, Sandy Barber. They started “Suits by Sassy” to serve the market of competitive physique shows. Their full line of suits cover some of the top bodies in the sport. As well as custom designed suits, they also carry off the rack styles.

They began designing and making suits after competing together for years as NPC Figure athletes. When the Bikini division came along, Kristin felt her body type was better suited for that division, while her mother continued to compete in figure. They still both compete in their respective divisions.

They formed “Suits by Sassy” to design high quality custom suits, made with eye-catching fabrics in styles that stand out on stage, while meeting the guidelines of competition. They began creating durable, beautiful bikinis to custom specifications and never looked back.

Here, Kristin tells a little bit of how they started, their background, and her personal involvement with the sport as a competitive physique athlete. They can be reached at: 586-481-5994 or

Bikini Physique Posing Practice with Stacey Kay


Stacey Kay Morgan shows and tells how important posing practice is for the Bikini Physique competitor in NPC contests. Stacey is the 2012 Michigan Championships Bikini winner and has since competed in National events. Listen to her explain how posing should be as much a part of the competitor’s training as the training itself. Enjoy!




This is IFBB Professional Figure Competitor Rebecca Book stating how she learned first by watching DREAM VIDEO DVD’s to see how competitions were done, and won. She is a winner and has come a long way to make it to the top competitive level in the toughest division of Physique sports, the Pro Figure Division. See what she has to say and then go to DREAM VIDEO to purchase past events and learn from your peers and mutual competitors. The show she debuted with some of the top Figure Pros in the sport was the 2013 Powerhouse Pro Am Ifbb PRO WOMEN.