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Confessions of a Bikini Pro

Jan 29, 2021

Today we hear from Angeline Jeanson. She is a mechanical engineer and posing coach for Team Atlas, and former dancer who came back from a terrible car accident to become an IFBB pro. 


Celeste begins by asking Angeline about her pre-show rituals when she was still completing. Angeline explains she would listen to the same song during prep and it would calm her on show day. She would also do this before she stepped on stage as a dancer. 


Because most people know Angeline as a top posing coach, Celeste asks about her backstory and what led her to bodybuilding. Angeline describes a car accident she had as an 18-year-old that required her to re-learn to walk. Her physical therapist told her she needed to begin weight training to aid her recovery. She had always been in shape because of dancing, and after two years of training, a friend suggested she compete. She had a terrible experience at her first show. 


She knew nothing of posing or proper make up, but she loved being on stage. In her second show, she placed first and soon went to her first national show, placed first. In Canada, one needs to win the overall to win a pro card, and she finally did that in 2017. After 6 years of competing on the world stage, she is retired. Because she coaches some of the top IFBB pros, she does not feel it is right to compete against them.


Celeste asks Angeline what she thinks of how the bikini division has changed over time and where it will go in the future. When Angeline first started competing, the standards were not very strict. She likes that there are clear expectations now because it gives her competitors a standard to work towards. 


With 15 years as a dancer, she carries that experience into the way she coaches posing, using steps and counts to build routines. Each detail is calculated to the second, just like dance choreography. This is what sets her apart from other posing coaches. She is consistently trying to push posing to another level. Angeline spends hours creating routines for each athlete and does not look at what others are doing. She is not influenced by what others are doing. Angeline does not post her athletes’ routines before they hit the stage because they have been copied in the past. She records everything to study and change as needed. 


Celeste asks Angeline if she has any pet peeves that come up when she is watching other competitors pose. Angeline says she has a list! She points out that amateurs waste a lot of their 15 seconds on stage with hair flips and arm movements when they should be focusing on showcasing their physiques. Angeline doesn’t have a preference in working with newbies or pros, but she wants to work with athletes that bring good attitudes and leave their ego out of the process. Angeline finds the criteria for posing is always the same but what helps an amateur go pro is when they show up to a show already presenting as a pro. 


Angeline shares her trick to choosing the right suit, makeup , and general look for the stage. She says to look at the previous season’s Olympia top 5 to set the criteria for the upcoming season. It’s that simple. If the top 5 Olympians are wearing blues and purples, why would you show up with a red suit? The type of posing they do is what you should bring to your next show. 


Angeline explains that she only works with members of Team Atlas because of the shared mentality with the other coaches, James and Jennifer. She chooses every detail, from suit to hair, so each competitor presents their best. When she worked with other coaches, they did not always see eye to eye. Angeline speaks generally to stretching and how it is specific to each girl. She recommends working with a physical therapist or a massage therapist to see where your deficiencies in movement may be. 


Celeste shares a listener question about how to be as comfortable on stage as one is at home practicing. Angeline says the competitor needs to ask herself why she doesn’t feel comfortable on stage. Is it because they are super shy, they did not practice enough? You can’t solve the problem until you know what is causing it. Angeline stresses the importance of practicing like you are on stage to build comfort and confidence. Angeline explains that she has always strived to be the best at what she does and that naturally carried over to posing. She even calls herself “annoying” to the point where she purchased all the posing shoes she could to tell her clients what to buy and not to buy. 


Angeline begins to talk about her background as a mechanical engineer. When she was visiting universities, she had three professional choices; doctor, lawyer, or engineer. She decided on engineering because she loves problem solving and wants to know “everything about everything”. She has been working on business aircrafts for the past seven years and she really loves her profession. Angeline speaks to how she has considered transitioning full time to being a posing coach. During the COVID quarantine, her business shut down and she realized how much she missed it. Because she worked so hard to earn her degree, she feels leaving the profession would almost feel like a failure. 


Because she has two demanding professions, Angeline finds success through structure. She wakes up early and keeps a strict schedule to stay organized. She does not waste a minute. She also uses alarms to help her stay on track. When she was competing, her boss was also supportive and understanding of her unique needs. Now that she isn’t competing, she rarely trains and doesn’t diet. Now she just enjoys food. When she wasn’t competing, she never rebounded and maintained her physique. Now she just trains for fun and to relax. But because she coaches so many posing clients, that also counts as training. 


Celeste shares a listener question regarding being a female in a predominantly male field. Angeline says her personality lends itself to working in the field of engineering and has rarely had issues. 


Angeline shares her advice for competitors in various stages of their journeys. For new competitors, she recommends to choose their first team wisely as to not waste time and money on their journey. Having a good coach and team will set you up for a favorable experience and help maintain your health. For competitors on their way to pro, she recommends not competing until you look ready. Analyze your posing and your physique and take your time. Aim for what the successful pros look like. Define what you want and work towards it. 



Time Stamps:


[1:20] Celeste introduces Angeline. 


[1:36] Angeline talks about her pre-show ritual.


[3:50] Celeste asks Angeline to speak about her path to becoming a competitor.


[9:00] Angeline explains why she is not competing now.


[9:53] Celeste asks Angeline what she thinks of how the bikini division has changed over time.


[12:10] Angeline talks about how her dance background has influenced her posing.


[14:40] Celeste ask how she creates unique routines for her athletes without pushing the   

            envelope too far. 


[17:50] Angeline talks about how she keeps track of all the routines.


[19:34] Celeste asks about Angeline’s posing pet peeves.


[22:08] Angeline describes the type of athletes she prefers to work with.


[24:25] Celeste asks Angeline if she notices differences in judges’ preferences in posing.


[26:38] Angeline gives advice for how to pick your “look”.


[28:42] Angeline explains why she only works with competitors on Team Atlas.


[31:59] Celeste shares a listener question regarding stretching.


[33:17] Celeste shares a listener question about being comfortable on stage.


[36:56] Angeline talks about her dedication to posing.


[38:50] The conversation transitions into Angeline’s experience as a mechanical engineer. 


[44:14] Angeline talks about balancing her two careers.


[48:15] Celeste asks how her life has shifted since she stopped competing.


[52:28] Angeline talks about working in a predominately male field.


[55:04] Celeste asks Angeline for advice for different competitors.


[61:04] Celeste wraps up the conversation.