Find above the handy, super-awesome and very professionally done infographic I’ve designed to determine whether or not you should get yourself an online coach.
You need a coach, period.
You think you don’t need a coach?
You need a coach.
Why do you need a coach? Because everyone needs one, whether they want to admit it or not.
For those who may not be very up on the fitness, industry, there’s a new trend going around in which personal trainers do online personal training, also called online coaching. In online coaching, a coach sends a written program to a client, who then follows that program on their own and reports back any comments to the coach. Usually, demonstration videos and other forms of support are used to help the client understand what they’re going to be doing, and the client can reach out to their coach by email to clarify any questions they may have.
This has some advantages and disadvantages over traditional in-person training. The online coach can send programs to people all over the world, so their business isn’t limited by location, and since the coach will be competing with all the best coaches in the world rather than just the ones in their geographical area, we can expect only the best coaches to rise to the top. Additionally, the process is cheaper for the client (often only $100-$200/month) and a much better compensation/time ration for the coach (since they don’t have to supervise your workout). On the negative side, this won’t work out for some traditional training clients, who absolutely need a trainer at their side to motivate them to workout. However, for anyone relatively well-dedicated to their fitness, it’s a no-brainer.
Are you serious about your fitness? Then you need a coach. As an athlete in any sport, the benefits of a coach are numerous.
Everyone has coaches or trainers, even all the way up to the highest level of competition. Arnold had coaching. Modern Mr. Olympia contestants have coaches. MMA athletes and other athletes with diverse needs will often hire multiple coaches, using each coach to cover a specific part of their training or nutrition.
You may think that you can do your own program, and you absolutely can. However, there’s a paradox here: when we’re young enough to be competing in a sport, we’re often also not experienced enough to know how to train properly. The mentorship of a more knowledgeable person, in the form of a coach, has been a tried-and-true staple of most sports. You may be confident and think you know everything you need to about your own training, but I’m gonna tell you a secret: you don’t.
Being able to admit our own weaknesses and continue growing is a huge part of what it means to become great at something. Be honest about what you know and don't know, and admit that there are people out there that know much better than you about how to train for your goals.
I’ve used coaching services, when I could afford them. Another fact is that it’s often hard to think objectively about your own training. You may be recording all your workouts, but chances are that you’re not sticking to a program because you can’t keep your mind on one goal at a time. This is a huge problem for me: while I train for strength, and all my work is structured around that, I have a lot of leeway in how I go about my assistance work, and as a result it’s often a mess. One week I want to work on my cardio a bit more, another I want to focus on my squat, a third I want to build bigger biceps, a fourth I want to focus on my diet a little more and cut some weight, and a fifth I decide I want to bulk back up. Having a structured plan passed on to you from a coach eliminates that guesswork, and allows you to really stick to your goals. It’s why exercise plans are so popular: because getting some routine off the internet is the simplest version of coaching. It’s also why you never stick to them: because there’s no money on the line, it’s not an actual coach, and there’s no one there to keep you on track.
If you’re serious about a sport, you need to find a coach. Search the internet for someone who specializes in what you want to compete in, follow them on social media, and pick someone that you like. It’s as simple as that. You owe it to yourself.
I frequently tell people that the reason they pay trainers isn’t because the trainers need to make money (though we do), but rather because you need to have something on the line. When you have a financial incentive to get in shape or improve your performance (that is, you’ve wasted money if you don’t follow the program) then you can damn well bet you’re going to do it.
Even people who aren't serious athletes will benefit from a coach. Hell, that's the whole model of traditional personal training. If your goals aren't competitive, you should still hire someone to help you get the job done. Never struggle alone if you can cheaply hire someone more experienced to do much of the work for you.
Don’t overthink it. Just do it. Hire a coach. You need it, and it’s the first step towards being great.