If you’re taking your health and fitness seriously, you might well opt to invest in a Personal Trainer or Health Coach. Done right, this is a worthwhile expense. They will coach you to achieve much more than a solo trip to the local gym can provide.
Whether it’s learning to do a Muscle Up, shedding belly fat or improving your 400m time, a coach will provide you with the tools needed to get you there. That said, there are many things people get wrong when working with a coach that can sabotage their progress and return on investment.
Not having a strong reason for your goal
It’s all well and good wanting to get rid of your gut. The next step is to articulate to your coach and yourself why you want to get rid. It may be because you want to get back into a certain shirt. Perhaps you’ve noticed that the steady protrusion has coincided with your degeneration in fitness levels when playing 5-a-side football. You might feel that, as a single gentleman, you’ll boost your confidence levels by cutting back.
Whatever it is, make sure you have a strong reason and an image and feeling to anchor your goal to. It will ensure that you never make an excuse to miss a session or engage in any other self-sabotaging behaviours.
Not communicating with your coach
Your coach will have set clear goals for you, and a programme to reach that goal. Much of the work will come outside of the sessions. If you’re looking to lose body fat, for example, you’ll need to keep your activity levels high and stick to your nutrition plan.
If you come across an obstacle in that time, don’t just cave and turn up to your next session with your tail between your legs. Suffering silently into a mistake is easily avoidable and any coach worth his salt will be there to advise you outside of your hour session.
Get in touch with your coach when issues arise and he will suggest exactly what needs to be done to overcome any obstacles between you and getting into great shape.
Thinking exercise is a remedy to poor nutrition
It’s surprising how much people simply think they can “burn off” excess calories. Even when you work out it only accounts for around 10 to 30% of your total energy expenditure that day. It’s important to work with your trainer to eliminate bad nutritional habits while implementing ones that will serve to boost your health, performance and body composition.
Giving your all in the hour session is admirable, but working with a trainer is a 24hr commitment on both ends. Checking out as soon as you hit the showers won’t pay dividend.
(WATCH: Kemo in action with his core carver)
Not asking the right questions
Before you hire a coach, make sure you give them a good grilling. Find out what systems they have in place to ensure you achieve your goal. Find out what metrics they will be setting for you and how they will inform your programme. Determine the extent of external support you will receive, whether it’s the ability to contact them on a weekly basis or a weekly call to troubleshoot any current shortcomings on your programme. Do they provide videos of exercises for your workouts? How well informed are they by peer reviewed research? What is their approach to customising a programme for you? These are all valid questions. So ask them.
All in all, hiring a coach is one hell of an investment – there’s no denying it. You don’t want to be hiring someone who you will only be in contact with two or three times per week. You should be looking to invest in a bespoke programme. With that, success very much depends on your coach’s ability to keep you on track when you are not in contact. But ironing out these issues will make taking the first steps to lifelong fitness with your trainer far easier.