About Coach Chris
Chris Cruz of Centerstage Fitness has been building champions since 2012.
🏆2017, 2018 GBO Coach of the year
🏆11 GBO Atlas wins
Meet the Coach of Champions
How did you get started in this industry?
Been fascinated with Bodybuilding since the age of ten. Typical guy played football and baseball; after that I continued lifting. I had decent size and some guys who competed in my gym turned me to their coach. Went to see Prince Harrison of Optimum Fitness and he told me I could do very well and that was all I needed.
When did you realize this was your calling in life?
A couple ladies asked me to help them get ready for the Phil Heath Classic in Houston in 2012. They both placed very well in that very large show. My bikini girl, Jessica, placed sixth out of 30+ girls in her class. A lot of local people who were on the fence about competing saw what we accomplished and contacted me for coaching. Centerstage blew up fast.
What’s your approach to coaching clients?
I'm old school. I don't buy into all the new trends in coaching. We lift, eat, do cardio. It's that simple and a very simple approach to what's out there today. I'm very "stick to the plan", no getting away from the written out plan and a do what it takes to win.
How do you keep your clients on-track and focused?
Through check-ins. Some need more than others to stay on track. But in the end I believe that the client needs to hold themselves accountable. I can't be there to cook, feed you, and train you every day. If you can't do those things with drive and determination to win, then THIS SPORT IS NOT FOR YOU!
What do you think are the 3 most important traits to become a Champion?
The hunger to win
What’s your approach to off-season coaching?
If your goal is to be the best, or the best you can be, then you need to be coached year-round. So many people up after a show go and do their own thing after a show and come back up either worse or the same as the first time we met.
The off-season is still requires dedication toward winning; this is the time we make improvements to our physique. So we need to slowly but surely increase calories, but stay within a range of body fat or look. Training shouldn't slow down as it is very important to break plateaus and PRs in order to grow areas that need improving.
Everyone has physical set backs, injuries. How did you overcome yours and keep training?
In 2010 I fell 23 feet. I was in ICU for 20+ days, had 2 surgeries, faced many issues, and had to relearn how to walk. Went from a 260lb Bodybuilder to 205lb guy that couldn't stand or walk without assistance.
I made the decision that I was going to get on stage once the doctors released me; never looked back once they did. I was determined to beat the odds and nothing was going to stop me…..EVER.
If you want it bad enough, nothing can stop you; you find a way to at least show up and give it all you got.
What mistake do you most often see competitors make?
Not being prepared ie: posing
Not being in condition
Listening to others' advice during a prep.
Being at a show that they are not ready for at that level of competition.
What advice would you give to someone who has an itch to explore the sport of bodybuilding?
Get an experienced coach that has coached at a top level. They will know or have more experience of the nuances of competing.
What’s your favorite cheat meal?
Candy, Lemonheads and burgers
Talk to the Coach
Let's talk about your transformation to a champion.