Ahhh the fitness industry!!!
Full of motivation, inspiration, positivity, big goals, dreams and great attitudes, This is why I love the people in it!
…. and despise them!!!
Like anything decent, many people want in on it. Thats great. They then want to take it to the next level as they want to share their positive experience with others, also great. They then do a shitty certificate thats not worth the paper its written on and then think they can start public classes and charging the earth for personal training and spouting incorrect or misleading information online… This is bad, dangerous, and disastrous to clients and the REAL professionals in the industry.
In my humble opinion, ANYONE that has a low training age (the amount of years they have been seriously training or being coached) should NOT be looking to qualify as a personal trainer or coach, Im not saying don’t aspire to that, Im just saying there is a lot more than meets the eye. Of course, there may be one or two exceptions to the rule as always, maybe someone that has a doctorate in sport science and has spent years analysing athletes etc, but take it from me, the people that have not been out on the field, under the bar or with their back against the ropes first hand can never truly empathise with those that have.
Anyone is capable of learning course material and reading research papers and books, but it takes years to get to a level close to those that are of high performance. This is not to say that I think all great athletes would make great coaches, in fact, in my personal experience I would probably be inclined to say the opposite. As many athletes just want to be the best they can be, they’re not usually too concerned about helping others, and rightly so.
I actually hope normal people reading this are nodding their heads and questioning why I would even bother my ass to write an article on something so obvious. I mean you wouldn’t fight off an infection and decide by next year you’ll be a doctor, right!!
Well, actually, that is exactly what is happening in the fitness industry as we speak. If there was some micky mouse “health practitioner” or “doctor” on the lose it would be a crime, literally. Yet in this industry it is just accepted.
POOR, CLUELESS COACHING DAMAGES PEOPLE!!!
Anyone that knows me knows I am a risk taker, and thats probably putting it mildly due to the nature of the activities I pursue and my attitude doing them, thats just me. But that risk is with my own health and safety, not that of others. I take my coaching responsibility very seriously, people are putting not just their hard earned money in my hand but also their health and aspirations, this is not something that I would ever take lightly.
Ignorance in coaching is dangerous. Period!!! Trainers with a low training age will not have had the exposure to enough forms of training for the length of time it takes to truly build skill in that field. Granted someone might only be looking to coach in one area but to be good at that they must have an understanding of the foundations of the components that make up “fitness” as a whole, to which their are many ; Strength, endurance, agility, co-ordination to name a few, therefore they will struggle to spot what they have not felt or experienced first hand. They might recognise signs or cues that alert them to something they have read about but its not the same. I see this all the time, “personal trainers” sharing an online daily workout written for everyone to join in, yet the trainer has never completed the workout or is not skilled enough themselves to complete it with good technical form, meaning they are not capable of the workout and can not responsibly predict the demand on the clients. True, this can be an issues every coach hits otherwise coaches would have to all be Crossfit games winners, but if that is the case it should definitely not be posted on social media for everyone to “take part in.”
**Ok, I’ll cut the shit now. Here’s some RED lights that indicate a bullshit coach.**
Any coach that constantly bangs on about “toning” especially toning body parts is likely filling you full of shit or exploiting people.
“Ladies, you can tone the backs of your arms with this exercise,”….. (followed by a cheesy demo)
Get f@*ked!!! NO YOU CAN NOT!!!
Im not even going to insult peoples intelligence here.
Please think about it. Your storing body fat, the backs of the arms is a problem area for you. Now, making no dietary change, completing no proper training plan or following any additional health protocols, you will not only build muscle abut actually also lose excess stored fuel from one chosen area on the body by performing a tricep kick backs with a tin of beans every morning…….
Seriously!!! I don’t think so!!!
If it were that easy we would all look like gods.
Unfortunately, that is not how the human body works (as much as we all wish it did) So when you see a personal trainer on morning television showing everyone attending a coffee morning that this magic exercise will help “tone” the backs of your arms, really what the personal trainer should be saying is;
“To lose excess stored body fat you must eat less calories than your body needs, you must take a high percentage of these calories from a quality protein source. You must also take part in controlled resistance training, on top of that, you must challenge the body through intense short bursts using conditioning based equipment and ensure you get some quality sleep. You can not choose areas of the body to tone, although fat storage in particular areas does indicate certain internal issues that can be combatted via supplementation on top of this. But if your looking for a good arm exercise to add to this program…. I personally find the tricep kick back, heres how its performed.”
OVER COMPLEX PERSONAL TRAINING PROGRAMS AND EXERCISES
Another one to look out for is the personal trainer using stupidly complex training methods with joe public.
“Ok, so next exercise is a one legged, banded pistol squats whilst holding a kettle bell with a chain wrapped around it as you balance on a bosu board whilst dodging paint balls.”
Obviously, Im exaggerating (I’d hope) but the point is, it is unnecessary to be giving complicated movement and loading patterns that are to develop high end skill to 99% of the public.
Clients should show a solid understanding of a moving/loading pattern and should already have showed great development through that exercise before an advancement is put in place.
I have seen many coaches using methods reserved for athletes i.e bands, chains, weight releasers, with old George that has come to train with them as he is struggling with his body fat and some health related issues. Its completely unnecessary and the client is losing out. I find this usually happens because the trainer is inexperienced and has seen something “cool,” and “specialised” but has taken it from the context it was shown in (usually a pro athletes program) and decided they will play with this method using a client that is completely inappropriate.
The basics are the basics for a reason, THEY WORK. It takes a LONG time before the basics are no longer enough for you to see progression. Most personal trainers aren’t even in that position, so the likelihood of a client being in that position outside of a high end performance facility is low.
So, just because it looks super complicated and fancy doesn’t mean it is any better, a good coach can make training fun and interesting without having to add christmas lights to exercises for the sake of it.
FAD SUPPLEMENT PUSHING SCAM ARTISTS
These guys and girls are poison to the industry!
They are not coaches they are first and foremost salesmen and women, even if they don’t believe it themselves.
Let me explain this breed.
These are people that have or have been given an incentive to push a product that a company is trying to sell. The trainers job is to get some half decent results with a client or group whilst using particular products of that company.
9/10 times the product is shit!!! The company has tried to replicate a decent supplement as well as its budget will allow then packed it full of shit, put a pretty label on it and sold it for the same price. OR have included the best ingredients on the market so they flaunt the research to “back it up” but at a more or less trace value, meaning your bang for your buck is terrible and the amount taken is no where near adequate to get anymore than basic health results you could have got for a quarter of the cost in over the counter supplements.
9/10 the client didn’t require the supplement in the first place the same results would have been the same without it. In fact the health benefits getting the nutrients from a quality food source would have probably given better results.
9/10 Its a way for trainers to do the absolute minimum in regard to progressing a clients nutrition they give them a daily guideline and their list of supplements to take and thats that.
9999/10 The people engaging with these systems would likely get results on ANY form of eating plan as they are of novice training experience and very vulnerable due to their lack of knowledge in healthy heating.
** Most of the personal trainers involved with these companies know the above points, they are just much more concerned about their pockets than your results. If they don’t know, then their ignorance and lack of knowledge is as alarming as the immoral scam artists.
SO, WHAT MAKES A GOOD COACH???
In my opinion a good coach is someone that can feel a client out quickly. They take the time to understand what is important to the client, not themselves. They can be different with various clients but motivate them to achieve their goals.
- A good coach should be efficient, they get the absolute most from the least! Any idiot could make someone hot, sweaty and exhausted, that is a sign of jack shit. The goal is improvement, its about energy invested, not energy wasted.
- A good coach has a wide knowledge base, they should be familiar with many training methods and be able to understand and recognise the need for exercises/movement/loading patterns to compliment fundamental skill elements for the basis of a clients or athletes sport/s.
- Understands the importance of recovery periods and implements this into his/her programming and having the ability to see the need for increased rest/recovery from their client or athletes body image, mental state and performance.
- Have at least, a sound understanding of nutrition in relation to performance and how to obtain body composition goals, and in my opinion, experience all of these personally and have first hand experience.
- Be of an advanced training age (amount of time they have been coached themselves and/or been training seriously). I do not believe you can have true empathy with your clients or athletes if you have not been through similar training programming yourself. You can not expected clients to perform the way a textbook might indicate they will. You must have been through the grind yourself, only then can you understand the capacity of what you are asking someone to perform.
- Practice what they preach!!!
Now go and find a good coach, or go and be a good coach, depending what angle your coming from.
Stay away from the bull shit, the industry is polluted!!! I am trying to warn people, not criticise.
Invest well and as always,
Keep up the Grind guys,
Coach Chris McClarence