Jacques Pitcher- National Level NPC Bodybuilder
What is a team? At Team Pitcher it means multiple things. We don’t coach a flock of competitors. You aren't joining a giant "team". Each athlete has different needs. I give individual attention to each competitor. The team, is you and I. We are the ultimate team taking care of your particular needs from your unique metabolism and physical potential to whatever level of psychological guidance you need for success. I am interested in developing you into a strong athlete capable of self sustainable independance. You will however, find yourself within a group of very supportive team mates. Whether you are local, or across the globe, Team Pitcher athletes are connected.
My approach is a culture progressing your development, while not holding you back to a group standard. That means I educate you about the prep process. Expect to learn why your cardio is different than that of your team mate, why your food plan is unique to you, what that does for you, the reasons behind the technique of your weight lifting, along with all the little details of prep you don’t know to ask about, including your mental focus and support for your state of mind. By the time you hit the stage you will be as mentally prepared, and physically prepared, as possible. Whether it is your first time on stage, or you compete at the national level, Team Pitcher provides the comprehensive approach to get you there. Are you ready to join my team?
I’ve worked in the fitness industry for over sixteen years, providing a wide variety of programming for many different kinds of people. For me, this is the place where my professional and my personal pursuits come together. It’s this passion, commitment and knowledge that my clients benefit from.
As a teenager, I was a nationally competitive power lifter. Training in a competitive atmosphere, I had the benefit of role models, mentors & coaches who believed in my ability to accomplish anything I set my sights on, including being ranked in the top ten of the nation. Through all that, I experienced what was possible with the power of support early on. I bring this powerful perspective to my work with you.
I began competitive bodybuilding 18 years ago. Since that time, I have achieved many personal goals. With each accomplishment, I reach for more. My dedication and commitment to the sport and to myself, has taken me to the national stage and will take me beyond. It has been a slow and steady journey and one that continues to challenge and excite me. My work & my personal goals are connected creating a passion for what I do. I'll bring this same level of enthusiasm to helping you achieve your life's goals, whatever they may be.
Those of you who are local clients, and clients across the country as well, have the benefit of my wife's, involvement in Team Pitcher. Kris is a national level competitor, an NPC Judge, and she loves this sport as much as I do.
Kris engages with clients to help with everything from suit selection, shoe selection, accessories, make-up, posing, tanning and skin prep. She pays attention to every detail for presentation to help you navigate your way to the stage. Kris helps take the guess work out of the process, is able to make recommendations to help you look your best, and she's even able to save you some money.
You'll see her at local posing practices, and she is always at the ready back stage to take care of all of our competitors. One first time competitor recently called her, "A back stage boss!" Kris really wants everyone to have a great experience.
Kris is taking both long distance and a few local clients. She is excited to bring her 20 years of industry experience to the table for you.
"There are so many unknowns as a new competitor, and so many small details that can take you to the next level even as an experienced athlete. I've done the research and had the experience - I love helping everyone feel confident up there." -Kris
What journey are you ready to begin?
(25 Oct 2010, interview from the blog- Lives of the Fit and Perfectly Imperfect- by Karly Gomez)
Meet the Pitcher’s
I would like to introduce you to a couple that I have the pleasure of knowing and who inspire me very much so. They are truly amazing together as well as individually.
To give you a quick background of how I came to meet this amazing couple, It was January 2010 and Manuel and I were trying to prepare and sort out this figure competition stuff. We knew it was important to get in touch with someone who knew what they were doing. With the help of my best friend Andrea, she got me in touch with Kris Pitcher, who happens to be a competitive bodybuilder. Her husband is a personal trainer, a competitive bodybuilder and contest prep. coach. We hit it off great via: email and I knew this was the right fit for me. We met in February for posing and preparation 101 and since then they have been great guidance and support for Manuel and I.
I am honored to be apart of Team Pitcher and hope you enjoy reading about them below.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Jacques Pitcher (JP), I’m a Personal Trainer and owner of Team Pitcher. I train locally in Spokane where my wife Kris Pitcher (KP), and I have lived for 4 years. Kris is the Director of Development for the WSU College of Nursing. I’ll turn 39 in November and Kris is 40, we’ll celebrate our 12th anniversary this spring. As a teen I was a nationally competitive power lifter. I was fortunate to have mentors who believed in me and taught me to believe in myself during very formative years. This is where I began to focus my passion for fitness. I was a machinist by trade, and in Seattle in the ‘90s that was good work. But since then I’ve been able to match my work with my personal passion, creating a really strong path for myself.
Describe your work for us.
JP- I’ve worked in the fitness industry for 10 years in roles from personal training to health & fitness director. When we came to Spokane I had the opportunity to focus on what I get the most from personally, training people. And that’s what I do. It was at that same time that I began to seriously pursue my bodybuilding “hobby”. I am a regionally competitive bodybuilder, and this year I’m putting a bit more energy and mental focus in this area with the intent of stepping on the national stage. I’m not getting any younger.
I recently started my company, Team Pitcher. I do nutritional consultation, contest preparation, and training based on-line for people across the mountains or across the country. And locally of course for clients here. My clients range from older adults looking for increased quality of life, to competitive athletes and everyone in between. I work with all kinds of people, including clients with injuries, MS, diabetes, arthritis, eating disorders, you name it. Prepping clients for competitions is a particularly rewarding experience and Karly’s a great example of that.
KP – My background is in health & fitness as well. I spent 11 years in a non-profit organization starting as an Exercise Specialist and climbing the career ladder developing to Executive Director. Our move to Spokane gave me the chance to focus on one component of that final role, development work. I started competing in 2008 and I’m a lightweight bodybuilder. I’m also a writer.
You can find my current work on my blog, “Fitness Bliss With Kris” http://krispitcher.blogspot.com. I am the Health Contributor for Sistahpedia.com, which will launch this holiday season. I write mind/body inspiration and motivation, which I love. It’s very rewarding work.
What is your favorite type of exercise and why?
JP-Weight lifting. Period. We’re drawn to what we’re good at, and genetically Kris and I are both good at it. I feel like I achieve something every workout, there’s a success with each accomplishment. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t love the physical labor of it. But each workout gets me closer to my goals. And that feels good. My favorite exercise is the leg press – it’s a love hate relationship because of the amount of weight. But for that same reason, it’s the one that brings the greatest feeling of success.
KP – Mine is the same but for a different reason. The leg press is my favorite because I can press more weight than all the guys in the gym except for Jacques! I take pleasure in that with or without an audience, but my preference is to make a few jaws drop.
Do you think as a married couple, it is important to both be active and if so, why or why not?
JP- It is important. I’m not saying it doesn’t or can’t work if both aren’t but it sure helps. For us, it’s one of the core values that brought us together. If you think about the things that make couples successful there are really only a few things; values about health & money top the list. If you share those values, you’re going to make it. This is such an important value to me that my first date with Kris was a workout. Working out together was going to be a good indication of how we would be able to communicate, problem solve, support one another, improvise, take constructive criticism, and be good partners. It was nice being real close too.
KP- The difficulty when you’re not both active is that when one person is succeeding it’s an unfortunate natural response to sabotage. I hear people complain about frustrations related to this a lot. So, yes it’s important. I didn’t realize how important that first date was! Sharing values is what makes us successful.
What motivates you?
JP -I’ve always wanted to be different from the norm in a special way. Being 5’ 5”, I knew I wasn’t going to be tall; the only way I was going to change myself was to be bigger. This was an early motivator. Now, I’m motivated by that same desire to be different and my goals keep me moving forward. My life and my work are focused around those goals. I draw energy from having people around me who support that in a positive way.
KP- I’ve struggled with my weight for a long time. As a teen I was fat, and it wasn’t until after college that I started to get interested in exercise. I’m motivated by getting better every year as I age. Oddly, my job was so stressful when I worked in the industry that I couldn’t focus on my own health and fitness. I’m loving the direction that I’m going in right now, and that’s motivating. Forty never looked so good, and I can’t wait to see what 45 has in store for me. In this sport, muscle maturity is a good thing!
Who inspires you the most in the industry and why?
JP-Right now I’m inspired by Dave Palumbo – he sticks to his ideals and isn’t afraid to take a risk in the industry forging his own path. He’s innovative and different which is good for the industry. As a competitor, I’m also motivated by the emerging 202 class. The success these guys are having breeds new hope for so many of us who are never going to be a Jay Cutler.
KP – I’m inspired by Tosca Reno, she pretty much sums up being a successful industry leader.
What advice would you give someone who wants to make the change and start eating clean and exercising?
KP -It’s easier and more cost-effective than you think. A few things can go a long way. Start to prepare more things at home. This means less packaged foods from the grocery store, and less eating out. Eat more vegetables. Drink more water. Start moving more. And read my blog!
JP – Accountability goes a long way, couple that with an effective plan and you’ll be able to make changes that you can live with.
What’s it like to have 2 bodybuilders preparing for a competition in the same household?
JP- Last year we competed together for the first time. It’s actually easier. When Kris was dieting and I wasn’t, it could be hard for her to see me eating the things that weren’t in her plan. Same thing the other way when I was dieting and she wasn’t. Our basic nutrition would be the same, it’s just the extras, the family gatherings, the birthdays, holidays…that kind of thing. So, it’s easier to have 2 dieters. We’re both even-tempered and fairly organized, especially about our food. You just have a schedule. We do a lot of food prep at once, weigh out meals, & stack them up in the fridge. We each had our own shelf in the refrigerator. You just make things easy by planning ahead.
KP – Things get ugly when you’re not prepared, you’re not prepared because you didn’t plan, you didn’t plan because you’re not paying attention. You have to pay attention. You look out for one another and do everything you can to help each other too. And if one of you is having a hard day, you just give some slack, because you know how it feels.
What do you like to do when you aren’t prepping for a competition?
JP -When we’re not prepping, well we’re always prepping…we lift together 4 days a week. When it’s nice out we walk the centennial trail. We love to watch movies, and we have a big cat, she has a “physique of leisure”. We’re both good cooks. We love to travel & scuba in warm water. In the winter I snowboard and Kris skis.
KP –We’re best friends, and we like each other. I like to bake & experiment with altering recipes. I write personal essays & short stories, and I’d call it a hit’s a hobby that I love. We love sushi. I love our workouts and feel like its sacred time together. We’re goofy
An important perspective from a respected show promoter and NPC Judge for all you physique competitors.
(reprinted from the July 17, 2011 Blog "Competition" @ ivanribic.blogspot.com)
Ivan is a show promoter and NPC Judge)
Trainers vs Trainees
Throughout the year I get a lot of questions from competitors (and potential competitors) about whether or not they should use a trainer and which one would be best for them. As we approach the Night of Champions I’d like to mention a few things in regards to using a trainer for competition.
Trainers . . . would I recommend them? Absolutely! Even the best trainer would be well served by an expert pair of eyes and an outside perspective if they themselves were competing. Having all the knowledge of diet and training in the world still will not be enough if you cannot look at yourself objectively and make appropriate changes. This is hard to do when you see yourself every day. This is not to say that you can’t compete without a trainer and still do well but in my experience, the vast majority of competitors who step on stage and look phenomenal used an expert to guide them through the process.
While there are literally thousands of trainers at our disposal, it’s important to remember that different trainers specialize in different disciplines. While your local gym personal trainer might have some experience in competition, the vast majority don’t specialize in it. Taking an average overweight, out-of-shape person and getting them moving is a whole different game than taking an in-shape, active person and whittling them down to contest condition. Before you settle on a trainer, ask them to provide a portfolio of other clients who they’ve trained for competition. If their previous clients looked great on stage then you’re on the right track. If not, you may want to reconsider. Stage competition goes beyond just conditioning as well. A good competition trainer will not only be able to assist with diet and training but also with posing, stage presence, suits, tanning and all of the other little details that make a winning physique stand out on stage.
Timing is everything. If you plan to compete, I recommend contacting your potential trainer as far out as possible. A lot of times trainers are called 10 or 12 weeks out from a show. That doesn’t leave them much time to figure out how your body responds and what they need to do to get you where you want to go. There’s nothing wrong with getting in touch with a trainer a year out from competition. Get a consultation, have them evaluate your weak points and give you some direction on what to work on. While the last 12 weeks are going to be the most critical to your conditioning, the proceeding year is important for building a solid foundation. If you're thinking of competing next spring or even next fall, now would be a great time to start talking to trainers about starting a program.
The most important thing!!!
. . . if you skipped past everything else I wrote, I hope you’ll listen to this: If you’re paying a trainer to train you then do EXACTLY what they tell you to. A good trainer has an entire plan that comes together to produce a final result. Changing any part of that equation, no matter how insignificant you might think it is, will change the final result. This means eating exactly what they tell you to, when they tell you to in the amounts they tell you to. This means doing the same type of cardio for the same amount of time on the same days that they tell you to, etc. If you’re not following part of the program, then you’re not following any of it.
If you let self discipline slip and do something that is not part of the plan then you owe it to your trainer and yourself to tell them what you did so they know what’s happening with your body. I’ve seen trainers pulling their hair out because a client’s body isn’t responding the way that it should only to find out months after the competition that their client was off doing their own thing and not following the program exactly. If you don’t understand why your trainer has you doing something, ask them. If they know their stuff they’ll be able to tell you exactly why.
Keep in mind that people’s bodies respond differently to diet, water, etc. If you are following the plan 100% and step on stage and are retaining a little more water than you’d like to, chances are your trainer will know just what changes to make for the next show and can dial you in even better next time. But what if you’re retaining a little water and your trainer didn’t know about the half bag of Doritos you used to sodium load on Friday? Do you think they’ll be able to improve your condition on the next go-around? Probably not.
Once you’ve found a trainer you want to work with and established a plan, be consistent with it and be honest with your trainer. You’re paying them to help you but they can only do that if you follow the program and are up front with them about the details. Over time, your trainer will understand your body and habits even better than you do and be able to help you achieve a top notch physique.