The fitness industry has mutated into some sort of monster that no one could have predicted and I doubt it will be controlled anytime soon. Social Media has offered a platform for anyone and everyone to voice their opinion and if the stars align, become an authority.
This can be both a good and a bad thing.
Good: There are so many top coaches out there who can now gain exposure to millions and improve lives through their methods of training.
Bad: For every great coach, there are five hundred idiots who try and teach crazy and sometimes dangerous exercises in an effort to gain notoriety.
The problem is, how do you tell the difference? What are the traits that make a good coach?
More importantly, how can an average person learn to separate wheat from the chaff in the fitness world?
Here are some tips to help clear the fog of Instagram and allow you to spot a great coach.
- Great coaches focus on the basics. You will notice a similar pattern emerging in their coaching methods and designs. ALL the greats get rid of the crap and stick with what has been proven to work through the tests of time. Barbell, Dumbbell, Kettlebells and bodyweight. The big compound lifts, Olympic Lifting and gymnastic influenced training.
- Great coaches train the person. They understand everyone is different and they know ways of getting the best out of each person. They have a system that they use for the bulk of their clients but always have a plan B, C, D and E for when their go to plan isn’t an option. They can figure out a persons pain and pleasure points and use that to produce the best results.
- Great coaches concentrate on improving the client, not killing them. They know that there is no need to push their client to the point of collapse to illicit change in the body. They have been around long enough to have not only witnessed the damage but also fixed it, caused by those who still believe in the old school training rhetoric of pushing to failure. They recognise the level each client is at and have the experience to know how to leave their client feeling they have worked out but still able to walk out.
- Great coaches surround themselves with other great coaches. They know they can only continue to improve if they remain in the company of coaches of equal of higher quality. They understand you are the sum of the five people they spend the most time with.
- Great coaches are passionate about their craft. They live and breath it. It goes beyond money. It comes from a deep down desire of wanting to improve the lives of every person they coach.
- Great coaches know their limits. They don’t claim to be something they are not. They have specialised in an area and made it their own. They do not worry about recommending another coach to a potential client if they know they are not the best suited for their goals.
- Great coaches believe in what they say and do. They have confidence in their methods, years of experience has taught them that. They also accept they don’t know everything, they realise there are hundreds of ways to skin a cat and are always willing to listen to other methods and learn from them.
- Great coaches want to help other coaches improve. They remember beginning their careers, not knowing what to do, or what to expect. They know they did not invent what they know, it was passed on to them by other great coaches.
Becoming a great coach takes time, money, sacrifice and a want to help improve others.
I will leave you with a quote from one of the greatest coaches on the planet, that for me sums up what every PT should be aiming toward:
“A coach gives a client what they want. A good coach gives a client what they need. A great coach does both”
If you would like to experience what coaching is like under a coach who has spent decades learning and honing his crafts, why not take Primal's 4 week trial for only £77