Que pasa amigos?
Today’s post is something I feel very strongly about.
Seeing as I’m a personal trainer, this will primarily be about fitness, but you can apply it to most areas of life.
Healthy living and sports performance is truly my passion and I myself have paid good money to go to courses and learn from people more experienced than me. Every time I have done so, I’ve gained a wealth of knowledge I can take away and pass on to other people.
I will happily pay for expertise if I feel it will positively benefit my life. There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Today I want to talk about how having a coach may help you in your fitness journey.
Call it what you want – trainer, coach, mentor, but the concept is the same. You have someone more experienced and more knowledgeable to help you reach your goals.
5 reasons you need a coach.
1) Coaches see things for what they are
There is a lot less bias when you work with a coach. They see things for what they are – not what they want it to be.
When we look at ourselves, we do so with an opinion. We might be too easy on ourselves or simply too critical.
For example, we might think that there’s nothing wrong with drinking everyday – after all, everybody at work does it. We might think our training routine sucks, when in reality it’s actually very good and just needs a few minor tweaks.
A coach can cut through all the crap and show you what needs to be done.
2) Coaches have seen it all
Although you may believe you are a one-of-a-kind snowflake (which you are of course :)), the likelihood is that most trainers have seen it all.
You are not the only person on Earth who suffers from luxurious love handles. You’re not the only ‘skinny-fat’ guy on the planet. There is someone else out there with the same issue, and chances are, a coach has already seen and dealt with it.
A coach who knows his stuff can take the lessons from these other cases and help you solve your problem.
3) Coaches have a plan
I’ve mentioned my client Ben before.
When Ben first came to the gym, he was determined to do whatever it took to get back on track so he could box again. Having fought as a youth, he definitely had the natural talent, but physically he was out of sorts.
His conditioning was not up to par and he would gas out quickly any time we did padwork. Our priority was improving his stamina so that he was comfortable over three 2-minute rounds, whilst still being able to throw explosive combinations.
His second problem was that he was carrying a little extra timber which would obviously slow him down in the ring. We needed to chop that timber off.
Third, even though Ben was still capable of throwing bombs, we needed to maintain his strength, which would inevitably decline as he lost bodyweight. A lean, strong, powerful fighter is a very dangerous one.
Although I’m sure Ben knew the above perfectly well, knowing where to begin or how to do it was a different story. That’s one of the roles of the coach – to organise and plan training accordingly.
In the beginning stages he was eager to get going and wanted to do too much, which is to his credit.
I had to dissuade him from doing too much too soon. The first few weeks of any exercise programme is about building up your ability to handle intense work.
The heart, muscles, tendons, ligaments and nervous system need time to adapt to the stress of training. If you go hard too soon, injuries can pile up and the likelihood of you quitting increases.
4) Coaches keep you accountable.
Nobody is successful on their own. All the greats in sporting history have had good mentors around them.
probably the most fearsome heavyweight in boxing history, had Cus D’Amato. Cus took Mike under his wing from a young age and taught him everything he knew – not just about boxing, but about life.
Tyson was a troubled child, but Cus kept him in check. He kept his focus on the goal – becoming the heavyweight champion of the world.
Mike did eventually become the heavyweight champion, the youngest heavyweight champion ever in fact. Sadly, Cus passed away before he could see the dream become a reality. Without Cus, there probably would never have been boxing superstar Mike Tyson.
Having someone there to keep you accountable is one of the most important things in the world. It could be a family member, your spouse, a training partner, or your own personal coach.
Someone who truly cares will keep you focused. You should associate with people who help you move towards your goals.
I’ve generally always trained by myself as I train mostly for athleticism and my goals generally don’t align with my friends’.
(One of the benefits of training alone is that I can listen to music on my dope Bose headphones – I’m currently listening to a 10 hour version of the Inception theme tune. Hans Zimmer is the man.)
However, I now occasionally train with and exchange ideas with a good friend of mine, Srj, who shares a similar approach to training and is very well-read himself.
This gives me an extra boost in my training, because the journey is alot more fun when you have other people on a similar path.
We have both set ourselves specific goals we’d like to achieve in the near future i.e. doing more pull-ups, improving 40 yard sprint time, jumping higher, and improving certain lifts. Having someone to regularly check in with helps to keep your motivation topped up.
The quote ‘you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with’ definitely rings true. If you spend time with people interested in living healthy and training hard, you’ll naturally begin to absorb some of those habits.
If you spend most of your time eating salted peanuts down the pub with your mates, you’ll eventually morph into Frank Butcher.
The same is true for the media you consume. Listen, watch, and read stuff that will help you on your journey.
5) Coaches give you something extra.
This one is is undisputable (even science supports it).
Having someone you respect encouraging you during a tough set can drive you through even the worst discomfort. I definitely train harder if I have someone I respect pushing me.
It’s human nature. Nobody wants to let someone else down or look like a punk.
However, a good mentor or coach knows when to push you and when to ease off. People have a misconception about coaches simply being there to ‘smash you up’ and shout at you. That’s not a good coach to me. Coaches are there to make you better. There’s a time and a place for shouting.
Going back to Ben, he already had a winner’s mindset. Not a single time did he say ‘I can’t’ when I told him to do something. The words were never in his vocabulary.
But even he acknowledges that having someone alongside him helped give him that 10% extra. That 10% could be the difference between the the glory of victory and the misery of defeat.
And there you have it guys.. I was so fired up about this post I actually wrote about 2000 words to begin with, but I ended up chopping it significantly. Hope you enjoyed reading it as I did it writing it!
If it hit home, it’s time for you to take action.