Should You Hire a Fitness Coach? A TRUE PERSPECTIVE From a Client
Have you ever felt confused by the amount of information teaching you how to get in shape?
We don't blame you. In this day and age, there are thousands of fitness experts that put out quality, free information to help individuals get in shape and live a fitter, and healthier lifestyle.
Depending on who you watch or whose blog you read, you may find some of this information useful, confusing, and/or even sometimes contradicting.
After all, the information we find contains general guidelines that worked for certain people, and that should work for you, right?
Well, this is not always the case. This approach may work for some people, but granted, some others require additional hep or guidance that is applicable to our bodies. After all, we all have different caloric needs, genes, and reactions to certain training routines.
In other words, you have to find what works for you.
And finding what works for you is a journey. A long journey that involves educating yourself, trial and error, patience, consistency, discipline, resilience, and most importantly, time.
This is when a personal fitness coach comes very handy. As a person who trained without a coach, I personally spent years spinning my wheels, and making very little progress in the gym. I always thought I had the nutrition portion figured out, but little did I know, that I was wrong.
When I was approximately 24 years old, I started attempting the very common bodybuilding approach of bulking and cutting. I did this three times. Every single time I would just gain fat, and didn't like the way I looked. Then I would cut and lose any muscle I gained during the bulk.
This took about six years of my life, and little progress to show. It was frustrating.
Thus, after many years and lots of money invested, with little progress to show, I finally decided to hire a coach to guide me through my journey. Needless to say, I'm finally making some progress.
I now wish I would have done that earlier.
So I want to share with you the reasons why I think you should get a coach right from the start (of course, if you can afford it), and will also provide a few things to consider when hiring one.
Why Hire a Fitness Coach
It saves time: As mentioned before, it can take months, and even years to get to know yourself and what training and nutrition techniques work best for your body. A coach will give you the necessary tools learned throughout their own journey and the knowledge acquired by helping others. It will help reduce the trial and error phase, which helps you reach your fitness goals faster. And everyone loves faster results.
It saves money...in the long run: Time is money. Have you ever heard this before? It's true. Trial and error takes time, and therefore money from you. You can invest anywhere between 100-2000 USD on a 12 week program with a coach, or you can go on a journey on your own for months or years that can end up costing you just as much, or even more if you make mistakes (like myself).
A knowledgeable coach separates the wheat from the chaff: A knowledgeable fitness coach will make everything much clearer, as he/she will separate the wheat from the chaff. They will give you the information that is relevant to you, and give you techniques and tools based on your current physical state and specific goals. Good bye having to read ten articles on intermittent fasting (as an example).
A coach helps you get to know yourself faster and better: Do you know how many grams of carbohydrates, fats, or protein and fiber you need? How does your body react to carbs in the morning, or at night? Do you have a fast or slow metabolism? Your coach will help you answer these questions within the first month. An experienced coach will help you get through the nutrition and training obstacles by laying out a plan, and recommend workouts based on your goals, previous injuries, and current fitness level.
They provide accountability and encouragement, which will make it harder to quit and more likely to hit your goals: Accountability is powerful, and it’s harder to quit when someone counts on you to do your part. This is specially true when you have video check-ins. It's difficult to look at someone in the eye and tell them how terribly you did on a certain week. Thus, you will work harder to do what you are told to do, stick with your nutrition, and training. In turn, this will help boost your confidence, motivation, and your desire to continue working. It will give you momentum.
The plan will be tailored to your specific needs: A knowledgeable coach will help you change things up based on your capabilities/needs and work around previous injuries (f you got any). For example, if you have a mild lower back pain and can’t back squat, you may be recommended to try front, or goblet squats. Got core problems? Try the McGill Big Three to strengthen your core muscles. These are the tools a coach will provide.
They will help with your form: This may be a bit controversial for some people, and we understand. But online coaches can certainly help with your form by analyzing and breaking down your videos at the gym. You may have to record many videos of yourself performing the moves, but it can get done. Ultimately, this will be a matter of preference, and you can certainly always hire an in-person fitness coach.
Of course, there are things that are outside the expertise of a coach. Everyone has limits to their abilities, and a decent coach will be humble enough to acknowledge those limits and point you in the right direction (sometimes you need to see a Medical Doctor, a Nutritionist, or a Physical Therapist to come through some obstacles).
Well, we hope these reasons help you improve your perspective in case you have been thinking about whether or not you should hire a coach. Again, we attempt to make this article completely unbiased from a client's perspective.
So if you think you would like to invest in yourself and hire someone, here are some things to look for, that in our opinion, will increase the chances of you getting someone that fits you best.
How to Pick a Fitness Coach: Things to Consider
This section will provide some tips on what to think about, and what to look for when hiring a fitness coach. This will help increase the chance of you getting someone that you can trust, and that is compatible with you and your goals.
Learn about them: This is easy to find on their website or social media. See what they’ve gone through, the challenges and obstacles they overcame, the clients they've helped. Is he/she someone you want to look like? Are they where you want to be in the future? Have they helped people like you in the past?
Do they practice what they preach? This is self-explanatory, but when we are on a fitness journey, we want to be inspired and be motivated by our surrounding. You want that type of vibe from your coach because it’s hard to look up to someone who doesn’t do what they preach.
Check previous stories/reviews: This perhaps is one of the most important ones. Do they have previous experience with other people like you? Any success stories, challenges they helped overcome. This may be a bit hard to do if they are just starting, in which case you may be able to work out a deal with them.
Interview them as much as they interview you: This is the case especially if you will be paying big money. See if their personality is compatible with yours, if they are approachable, and genuinely want to help. This comes very handy when you have questions and need to reach out to them, and if you have weekly check-ins with them. Your coach should be amiable and inviting to you opening up and sharing your fitness concerns and questions.
Follow them on social media: What kind of information do they put out? Is it uplifting, encouraging, or negative? Do they provide useful information for their audience or are they always just selling and trying to make a dollar? Any success stories from clients? How do they interact with their audience? Use your own judgement
What kind of products/programs do they offer? Many online fitness coaches offer different training and nutrition packages. What you choose is going to depend on your preference, but if you are looking to hire a person who will work with you one-on-one, we recommend you consider hiring a person who does weekly video check-ins and that you can communicate with throughout the week. This is the case specially if you struggle with accountability, discipline, or falling off the wagon. The weekly video check-ins will increase the chances of you sticking to the program.
There you have it. Hiring a fitness coach may be daunting, and a bit expensive in the beginning, but think of the value it will bring to your life, the time it will save and the progress you will make.
But regardless of which choice you make, or what path you decide to take, we encourage you to get started, and stick to your goals. Don't lose sight of your vision, and if you fall off, keep going. Don't give up.
As always, Be UNBreakable
If you would like some suggestions for coaches we trust, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org