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Nowadays, there are many bodybuilding coaches who are trying to lead their athletes to the top. The sport of bodybuilding didn’t have many “gurus” before the modern era. Chris Aceto is one of those original coaches that is just as successful today as he has been throughout his two-decade plus career. He explained to Dennis James on a recent episode of “The Menace Podcast” that he is still gaining knowledge. He does this by listening to the clients he has worked with.
“I’m always learning from people I coach,” Aceto said. “As a coach, you can never know it all, period.”
Some of the clients that the man from Maine has worked with reads like a who’s who of bodybuilding. Mr. Olympia winners Jay Cutler and Shawn Rhoden, and 212 division legends Jose Raymond and Guy Cisternino are among a few of the big names that he has guided to the top positions of the sport.
James asked Chris Aceto what he looks for when he ponders taking on a new athlete.
“What I hope when I’m working with someone is that they can keep the focus on themselves,” he admitted. He preferred that the athlete goes all in on the plan that is laid out leading up to the show. “In other words, there’s not a lot of confidence a lot of times in coaches, even if they have a good track record.”
When asked about the clients that was the easiest to work with, Aceto mentioned a few names such as Eduardo Correa, Mike Francois, and Cutler, who Aceto still keeps up with today, almost 10 years after Cutler’s last contest.
“Jay’s the best,” he said proudly. “What I’m proud of with Jay is, you know, he still a mentor to people. Someone could do the Nationals and come in second. They’re nobody, they come in second, and sure enough, they run into Jay. Jay spends a little bit of time with them and gives the Jay talk of encouragement.”
With the kind of track record Chris Aceto has, his services are obviously still in high demand, and he works with clients and athletes around the world. At one time, he had up to 30 clients a year. That means answering texts and messages from people in several different time zones. While he’s very much involved in the sport of bodybuilding, he’s self-aware that nothing lasts forever.
“You know, I’m winding it down, I’m sure of it,” he told James. “People ask me all the time ‘how much longer?”, and I just say ‘I’m winding it down.’”
Aceto and James cover a lot of ground in this hour-long interview, including making up time with family during the pandemic, coaching today versus early on in his career, and the disparity in conditioning over the years. Catch all episodes of TMP by subscribing to the Muscle & Fitness YouTube channel.