Due to the popularization of the fitness industry, thousands of fitness coaches are available right now and their demand is on the peak. Right from the ‘not to be taken seriously’ ones who teach you hacks to lose face fat and belly fat in 7 days to those who speak actual facts and back their practice with the latest evidence, you will find every type of trainer out there.
The problem is that a lot of people fall easily for the quick hacks and sorcery-promising ones and do not really pay attention to the latter. That is unless they screw their happiness and waste their money on the quick fix ones and then go to the evidence-based practitioners.
If you are looking to work with a professional for your fitness goals, here are a few qualities they should have:
Like I mentioned, if you are looking to work with a professional, that is what they have to be. A professional.
That means they should clearly communicate with the client what can be expected in the coaching, their timelines, what do they expect from the client, their coaching style, their communication channels and turnaround times.
Along with that, what results the client can expect from the program and what are the things they would be required to do.
A coach who is trying to sell you a particular supplement or a fishy product under their sponsorship agenda or asks you to take certain drugs saying that you absolutely need it to get good results, are NOT the best lot to help you out.
A coach should only ‘suggest’ supplements as it is not their role to make recommendations or ask you to buy things. They should suggest stating the benefits only and keep the decision-making power totally in your hands.
Drugs, should not even come up in a conversation with your trainer.
3. Should Walk The Talk
If your coach is obese, does not train regularly, does not eat well, seems like they themselves need a coach and are not the best person to be a coach to someone.
By walk the talk, it does not mean they should be ripped and flash abs year round but should be what is considered fit and have a supporting lifestyle. If they don’t, you will never be inspired to go an extra mile forward for them to get better or take them seriously in the first place.
4. Creates Plans Individualized For You
If someone takes your money under the premise of coaching and ends up sending you some template files or cookie cutter programs, they are selling you templates and not coaching.
Coaching, on the other hand, means that the coach in question takes information from you regarding your goals, your lifestyle, your current nutrition, training, sleep habits and then creates a plan suited for your lifestyle and goals.
It is YOUR plan. Not the one that is a one-size-fits-all plan.
5. Transparency & Education
A coach should not just tell you what to do and ask you to follow him blindly. A coach should be able to give you a satisfactory explanation as to ‘why’ a particular thing or a plan has been set for you and how it would benefit you.
Along with that, the coach should equip you with the necessary information and education so that you can be independent after a few months to take charge of your own fitness.
Yes, there still might be situations where you would still be with them. Be it a contest prep or a powerlifting meet or a sports event. But those are special instances or situations where someone keeping an eye on your progress and planning does help.
But, if just staying in shape means you being with a coach and taking his coaching for a lifetime, that coach is making you a handicap and not helping you out in reality.
Pratik Thakkar is the co-founder and director of GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company and the founder of Mars Nutrition, a nutrition supplement company. Both his companies are geared towards providing you with the right information and products without any false or fake claims. You can reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Instagram.
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