Aug. 3, 2021

What level of coaching do you need for your goals? What kind of coaching is best for you?

What level of coaching do you need for your goals? What kind of coaching is best for you?

Brand New To Fitness
- You just need a coach. 
- Go off of recommendations, qualifications, and your gut feeling. If your friend recommends a coach but is constantly injured it's probably not a great sign
- Work the basics. Most people new to fitness need to build a basic strength base, learn how to move correctly, and just get into the habit.
- A great start for this is group class. Social, basic overviews, and people to keep you accountable. 
- Even if you want to be a professional athlete, getting the basics down first isn't just a dumb cliche. I can't imagine how much better off I would've been if I had learned to move an empty barbell correctly instead of still fixing bad habits years later.

Local-competitor
- This is the person that still has a life and priorities far above their fitness goals. If your kids school called and you would go pick them up instead of hitting your workout, this is you. I know, of course, I would, anybody would. Sure, but would somebody who's income depended on fitness? I'm not saying they'd leave their kid hanging, I am saying they probably would call somebody else to get these things done. 
- You likely want to get some 1 on 1 direction at this point. Most people at this level just need to work on what they're bad at. You may not even know that you've never once squatted with your legs. Whether it is an individually designed program or private training, to compete in a way that is a little more serious than "just for fun" You probably need somebody else's eyes on you. 
- Also important for planning seasons. This level of client covers a broad range of people. If you want to compete for fun and look forward to the beer after the competition more than the events, you may not even need this. If you want to go to local competitions and podium, you definitely need this. If you're somewhere in the middle, you can mix both and be totally fine.

Qualifying level
- If you are somebody that wants to qualify in local events for the state or next level an individual program and coach to guide you becomes more of a necessity. There are always outliers, but in general, you're probably not the exception to the rule. 
- You'll need more guidance on planning a season, how to structure your qualifying meets so you have time to prepare for what you qualified for, and it's always helpful to have a coach on your side when competitions aren't going the way you planned. If you ar in your head about something at a competition, your coach can correct and strategize without the emotion that may be clouding your judgment in the middle of a competition. 
- A nutrition and lifestyle coach can be really helpful at this level. This is where the small things start to really matter. If you have a generally solid diet, maybe you just consult with somebody once in a while to troubleshoot and stay on track 

National Level or Beyond
- You likely need a coach with experience coaching at this level. For me, I'm not the best elite-level coach unless they just need accountability and direction. My coaching style is a little softer and I am not naturally crazy hard on clients like somebody at this level may need. I know this about my coaching now, but when I was working with people trying to be the best in the world, I really had to work on my tough love. Back then I knew how to coach these people, but it was very outside my natural coaching persona. Your coach needs to have both the knowledge and persona to coach at this level and you likely want to look for somebody that has a lot of experience with this level. If your salary or athletic career is riding on it, you need the right person to manage that sort of pressure.
- These are people that training is their first or second priority...always. You want to qualify for the next level at the meet you already had to qualify for. Sports are structured in different ways, but this would be a semi-finalist or beyond in crossfit, national competitor in strength sports, or a Pro level in bodybuilding. 
- If you want to compete and stay at this level, my suggestion is to have somebody focusing on your training, somebody focusing on your nutrition, and cutting out things that are distractions. 
- When I was training for this type of meet I pissed a lot of people off and lost a lot of friends. I was fine with it and still am. However, I was fully understanding that I wasn't going to be out drinking and skipping workouts pretty much ever, especially in season. I haven't been back to this level since really diving into my career because I knew I couldn't truly prioritize both. Now, I'm really lucky and have plenty of clients and am at a more comfortable place so I hope to get back soon, but the timing wouldn't have worked. Recognizing this is half the battle.
So, a little more specifically, each sport also requires certain things at this level and it can be monetarily quite a chunk of change. 
- For bodybuilding, you'll also need a posing coach. You'll need somebody to do your hair, makeup, tan, and likely need your coach to go to the show with you. 
- For strength sports, especially weightlifting, there's a lot of strategy backstage. I think I would've passed out if I had to pull my own cards, mess with numbers, and also get out and lift. Rob was backstage playing chess so I could focus on what I was there to do. 
- For CrossFit, the time requirement of training can be extreme. At the highest level, a lot of the athletes are training 6-8 hours per day. That's a lot of food, time, and energy put into something if it isn't your top priority. 
- A lot of times the biggest barrier, aside from the actual level you're at, is monetary or the time commitment. If you are in a position where you can be supported to dive all in, it may be easier. At the time I competed I was broke and going to Philly for a few days was a huge investment. I had to really strategize to get there. However, I also didn't pay a gym membership, worked inside the gym, and had a flexible schedule. For you, maybe you have plenty of money but you have a demanding job or a family at home. Figuring out your obstacles and if it's worth tackling them is huge. 

Special Circumstances:
- If you are a person that has special circumstances, you may need more coaching. Maybe you don't care to ever compete, but you're coming back from a big surgery or injury. You may need more one on one time than group classes or working out on your own can offer to ensure you come back without causing more problems
- If you have the money and time, I recommend as much coaching as you can get. Obviously, I think health is super important. If I had the resources to get a one-on-one coach even when I never thought I'd compete, I would've spent a lot less time doing shit that wasn't serving me. If you're listening to this podcast you probably have some sort of goal - having a coach that knows what they are doing guide you is going to be better 100% of the time than figuring it out on your own