Here is what you should know…
1. Finding a coach shows you are willing to learn, but don’t just work with anyone.
2. Don’t be afraid to burn the midnight oil. Qualify and “test drive” each trainer before you pick one.
3. There’s so much to say here, that I just touched on the main points to hopefully keep your attention.
Dear anyone who has a trainer or is thinking of working with one,
If you want the best for yourself you should be researching your “coach” like you would a car, analyzing them inside and out.
Test drive different professionals before you make a final decision.
By this I mean meet with each and every coach individually so you can have a better understanding of who you should be working with and who is right for you. The extra time you spend doing this will not only help your short but distant future.
What Should You Watch Out For When Selecting Or Firing A Coach?
The common hogwash…
- If your “trainer” works out with you, instead of training you.
- If they don’t coach you, meaning give you exercise technique, regression, and progression instructions.
- If they don’t ask, understand, or focus on your primary goals.
- If they give the same exact training program, nutrition plan/diet, and/or advice to everyone.
- If they agree with everything you say and want to do.
- If they talk to you (instead of coaching you) during exercises. Of course having a conversation about something completely unrelated (like who you saw doing the ice bucket challenge on Facebook last night), is fine to converse about in between sets or while resting.
Digging a little deeper…
- If they don’t have their eyes on you, provide hands on assistance, and aren’t delivering cues as needed throughout the session.
- If they don’t deliver consistent results, follow up, or adjust your programs as needed.
- If they can’t provide professional and client testimonials, preferably pictures included.
- If you haven’t seen results, advanced, or developed in any aspect of fitness for a while.
The final straw…
- If they don’t keep up with current quality research.
- If “they have seen it work and don’t care what science says, it works for them and it helps their clients, or they see it work all the time.” We’re all lousy at judging the evidence of our own experience. These people use justifications for their own beliefs. I’m calling fitness misconduct. More info on this at Nick Tumminello’s article here.
- If they aren’t passionate and caring, eager to help, or practice what they preach.
- If they do not constantly make sure you are receiving what you agreed on an expected and that your primary goal is getting achieved.
- If they tell you everything like an authority instead of asking about and working WITH you, aren’t open to other methods and strategies, and don’t admit when they are wrong.
But wait, here is one more thing that’s harder to pick up on…
- If they use inflated language, beware. If you don’t understand what your trainer is talking about, you may feel foolish to speak up, and give in to the appearance of their superior knowledge. This is of course, malarkey. To withstand there BS you have to have an inner core of self-reliance, and hold on to your doubts longer than the BS’ing coach holds onto their charade.
- For example, if someone states common poppycock like, “I’m a functional trainer. I train people dynamically through movements not muscles.“, and you don’t know what the heck this means, stick to your guns. They’re either hiding something, communicating poorly, or don’t themselves understand what they’re talking about. Don’t assume you’re missing something, assume they are.
- I understand this is difficult, because if you knew what you were talking about, you could respond to the above BS by saying something like,“Functional means purpose, and that’s something different for everyone depending on their goal. What do you mean you are a functional trainer? Dynamic means movement, therefore isn’t almost every exercise dynamic by nature because we’re moving during exercise? Are you telling me if my goal is to get a stronger or larger back, I can’t train my back muscles with isolation exercises like rows because I am training my muscles not movements? But I can train things like horizontal pulling, because that’s a movement? They are the same exact thing just different wording. Again, this is just one of many examples of trainers using inflated language to sound superior and smart and/or not understanding what they are conveying.
Choose wisely because you will learn more in 1-3 sessions from a phenomenal coach, than you will in a lifetime from an average one.
These people are helping you get the results YOU want. They are leading YOU. They are mentoring YOU. Your dreams and goals are important to YOU. Your trainer is an essential part of the process in helping you achieve them.
Just because someone is enthusiastic about what they do, and/or has a lot of charisma and credentials, it doesn’t mean…
They are awesome, correct, or right for you. Even if they are super confident, and have a large following. It also doesn’t mean they will get you to where you want. So yes, you must trust, believe in, and get along with your trainer, but also inspect the points above for sneaky flim-flam before you make a final decision.