With the fitness industry becoming saturated with 'coaches', it's important for you to understand what you should be taking into consideration when you are looking for a trainer or coach. Here is the underlying fact, coaches who care are far and few between. Coming from the perspective of a trainer, i want to share some things that might be blunt or so called "bad for business" but I believe in honesty and integrity especially when it comes to your body and health.
i understand that training is expensive, which is why I always do my best to give you as much knowledge and resources as possible when you work with me. I give you endless amount of communication, written workouts, cardio prescriptions and nutritional guidance. As your trainer, I don't want you for the rest of my life. I want you to learn, develop and grow through training into your own confident gym going self. Yes, I will always be available to you for questions, programming and help, but I want you to learn how to do it on your own as well.
Here is a little secret, we don't know everything there is to know about training, however a good coach/trainer will find out all the information and learn how to help you. If you ever have a trainer that seems to be keeping you in the dark, leave them now. If you ask a question and it cannot be answered OR they never do research to find that answer out for you, it's better to walk away. A trainer that admits they don't know the answer but will find it out for you, has value. Why? If they take time to research they are looking out for you and care.
Yes, every coach has bills to pay, but they also have the underlying responsibility to educate and pass on their wealth of knowledge At some point in your training career, you will need a coach. All coaches should have coaches. I have a coach. She helps me with my nutrition and contest prep. Why do I need a coach? Well the honest truth is that I sometimes need a break from programming and having an extra eye on me is just the thing that I need to keep me accountable. And guess what, I pay for my coach just like everyone else. I see value in having someone there for me, just like people hire me to help them.
If you are looking for a coach, I hope they try to identify the following for you:
-What is your goal? Don't be vague either. Without a clearly defined goal,how can you expect your trainer to program your training? Do you want to get stronger? Leaner? Aesthetic? All of these things have different program designs that need to be identified.
-Once you identify your goal, have a timeline of when you want to accomplish it. What do you need to do to accomplish this? Do you need to add cardio, fix your nutrition or maybe just get in the gym more often. This is your guide to success.
-Rely on your trainer for some things but not all things. My biggest pet peeve is when trainers do EVERYTHING for their client. I mean put the weights on and off, adjust the seat, move all the handles needed to get set into the machine. That might seem nice, a personal gym "gopher", however now when your trainer isn't with you, what are you going to do? Do you know how to adjust the machine? Do you know what weight to use or the number of sets? Your trainer should teach you all that and help within reason of course!
-Learn by doing. I am a firm believer that you learn by doing the movement. It's ok if it doesn't work. You have time to learn and develop your skill. Guess what, we all started somewhere and we all were bad at some things and we still might be just as insecure at some movements than others. For me, I had to relearn how to use my glutes. Sure it sounds funny but in reality, my body stopped firing my glutes and I would pull through my back. i went back to the basics and started over.
-Last but not least, when you finally graduate from your trainer, schedule tune ups. Every once in a while its nice to get a good refresher on some movements from your trainer or learn a few new things. Take advantage of that !! I love training with my clients once they graduate from me. I am able to relish in all the hard work they put in and the confidence they now have in the gym.
Once you enter the world of lifelong learning, you will constantly shift, evolve, and morph your training philosophy to assimilate the knowledge you have gained. Use the knowledge and learn to evolve through it !