Hiring A Qualified Coach: Things To Know
Guest Blog by Larry Vinette IFBB Pro
I’ve been training athletes for physique competitions for the past 25 years now. I can say I’ve pretty much seen it all and had to deal with all sorts of different people, some compliant, some not-so compliant.
Here is a little list of things to know when looking for someone to trust your body with and get you in the best shape of your life.
A coach will have your best interest in mind
He will give you want you need to do instead of giving you what you want to do. Why would you pay someone to just validate what you are already doing? You should be paying someone to break away from what you were doing and to finally keep making progress again. Remember the definition of insanity (doing the same thing over and over again hoping for a different outcome).
A qualified coach will have the big picture in mind
He’s got a plan. You have to trust the process. You might not “like” some of the stuff he’s having you do, but know that there’s a reason for everything. Trying his training program for just one week and classifying it as “not working for me” is not really trusting him, or giving him a chance to do his job properly. It’s not because you’re not “feeling “ your gluteus maximus during a squat that the squat is not working that muscle. It takes time to establish a good mind/muscle connection, so keep calm and trust the process.
Success leaves clues
A good coach will have a good track record. Would you rather hire someone who produces champions, or someone who’s just starting out and using you as his guinea pig? A good coach keeps learning, reads books, goes to seminars, goes to conferences, stays in the loop. Even better when he “walks the talk” and actually has gone through what you’re going through.
There is a time for everything, and a good coach will know that
He’ll know that the offseason is when you fix weaknesses and improve a particular body part . You’ll need the extra calories to make a muscle grow. Don’t expect to grow bigger glutes when in a caloric deficit. Not gonna happen if you’re an already seasoned athlete. Only people who have never trained before (newbies), or haven’t trained in a long time (muscle memory) or just don’t know how to train and eat properly will actually be able to loose fat and grow muscles at the same time. Once you know how to train correctly, you’ll either grow muscles with a higher caloric intake (and try to minimize fat gain) or loose fat in a caloric deficit (and try to maintain lean muscle mass as much as possible). Training a muscle group like mad will not make that muscle improve in a caloric deficit. Period!
A good coach will need some time to get to know you and know what works best for you
He might hit it on the nail the first time, but you sometimes have to give him a chance to prove himself. If you switch coaches at every competition you do, the “new coach” will have to start the process all over again and gather, again, all the information needed to coach you properly. It’s easy to blame the coach, but have you at least given him a chance?
A good coach is there to tell you when you’re going off-track
He’s not necessarily there to give you tons of praises because you’re good and getting results. Winning a competition is worthy of praises. Just simply following a training program or diet is not worthy of praises because it’s what you’re supposed to be doing in the first place. He’s expecting you to be good and getting results, so why would he be surprised if you’re getting better? That’s what’s supposed to happen, right? That’s why you hired him, right? You have enough people (and social media) to comment on how good you look and how in shape you are.
Are you paying him to get you in the best shape of your life, or paying him to give you praises and tell you how amazing you look? Think about it.
A coaches’ job is to get you in the best shape of your life
It’s OK for him to give you a basic understanding of how he’ll go about it, but don’t expect him to go into too much details. That’s what we call “brain picking” and most good coaches have a “brain picking fee”. Don’t think he’ll make a resume of his 20 plus years of knowledge (that cost him tons of time and money to learn) just so you know the “why” he’s making you do what you do. You hire a coach to get you in shape. You go to seminars to learn.
If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it
If you’re getting results with your coach and winning competitions or getting the shape you want, why would you risk changing coaches? The sport of fitness is, sorry to say, full of very insecure people. If you think the grass is always greener on the other side, you’re never going to develop a good relationship with your coach. If you’re always doubting your coach, the coach/athlete relationship will not be strong enough to last. Have faith and stress less.
If you are lying to your coach, you are lying to yourself
How can he train you properly if you’re not telling him the truth? If you cheat and you are not telling him, he’ll bust his ass for nothing trying to figure out why you’re not getting the results you should be having. That is a major sign of disrespect. You owe it to him to tell the truth. If you can’t cut it, get out and be honest about it. Don’t blame the coach because you don’t have enough discipline to follow his directives. Please don’t waste your coache’s time. He could be putting his energy towards someone who actually is willing to listen and follow his advice (aka, someone who actually gives a fuck).
Your coach will help you get to your best genetic potential
He can’t go back in time and make you choose better genetically gifted parents. There is a huge genetic factor to this sport. Be aware of it.
Point number 11 is to give a chance for all the coaches out there to ad to this article
I’m sure some of you might have something to add to this list, so go ahead and fire away…
Physique Transformation Specialist for the past 25 years.