The 2017 Coach | Ch. 8

Joe decided years ago that he wanted to be a trainer, for good reason and he cannot wait to work with people, but continually delivers programs to his clients that he doesn’t do or believe in himself. He looks forward to his workouts while coaching them, he struggles to relate to what they are going through, he lacks the ability to find quirky things during an exercise to convey to his clients, he loves being in the gym and motivates his clients, but overall is missing “whatever it is” that keeps his people engaged and takes them to the next level. Joe gets frustrated because he isn’t able to turn this into the career that he though it would be for “whatever reason” over the years and looks for other career paths. 

Jen is a physique competitor and a damn good one at that. She has a HUGE following, she inspires her clients, and does an overall good job. However, she trains every single client as if they also want to be up on stage. Whether they are just wanting to lose a little weight, lose a lotta weight, just feel better, be more healthy, or recover from some injuries. After a few months (when the honeymoon/excitement of having a cool trainer wears off) her clients start to realize that what they want and what the program Jen is giving them is are two different things. They aren’t learning things in the gym that will hep them in their fitness journey for the rest of their life, they are getting results but Jen seems to want them to be perfect (ready for the stage), and they are having new aches and pains without getting rid of the old ones. They soon disengage, find a new trainer (maybe even a Coach ;)), and Jen is left questioning her ability.


Oh, yes, my point…it’s on the way. Promise.

I am sure that we can all relate to Joe or Jen to some degree. Maybe we know a few Joes and Jens, maybe we were a Joe or Jen (I know that Joe and I had some striking similarities at one point), or maybe we currently are a Joe or Jen <– if that’s you and you’re reading this, then good for you. You’ve stumbled across a message that might help you, G.

The Gist of the message below: Not only do you have to do it too, but you have to believe in it.

Ever seen a doctor smoking a cigarette? Ever seen a trainer recommending a workout that they don’t believe in? Oh, $h*! 

If you’re prescribing fitness that you don’t believe in AND do yourself, then you’re a hypocrite in my humble opinion.

Unless you are a niche trainer who actually trains people coming to you for that niche – i.e. a powerlifter who coaches powerlifting, an Olympic lifter who coaches Olympic lifting, etc. – then you need an adaptable program that fits the market.

“Fit the program to the person, not the person to the program” – Brendon Rearick

There has to be a sweet spot, right? Indeed there is.

Here is what the 2017 Coach does to find that sweet spot:

  • Understands that as coaches we are very weird. We have an opposite perspective than that of our clients. We look for ways to make something burn more, they look for ways to avoid the burn.
  • We have the ability to have a program that we believe in and do just as often as our clients. Sure, we may be adding volume or progressed versions to certain aspects of that program, but it is within the same philosophy as what we are asking of others.
    • Example: We do HEAVY Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats with a focus on progressive overload for 8-weeks and our client does Body Weight Split Squat Progressions.
  • Though we do the progressed versions of things, we aren’t afraid to do the baseline/easy stuff on a regular basis to stay fresh and relate to what our clients are going through
  • We listen to what they say when we ask them “why are you here?”
    • If they say “to feel better and lose 15 lbs”, then we don’t automatically think about how soon we can get them maxing their Barbell Snatch
    • That said, we should always create a larger vision for them but keep it within reason as to why they signed up with you in the first place
  • If you are, in fact, a bodybuilder, for example, then you will have a very specific program that you need to do. But, that does not mean that it is anywhere near the same program that your general population clients should be doing. The 2017 Coach realizes this and does the common exercises and format that they give to their people at least once a week.


The major benefit of the above is that your people will see your authenticity which goes a VERY, VERY long way in today’s society – especially in the fitness industry.

A side benefit is that you have a lot of relatability with what they are going through. This allows you to communicate at a much different level. It gives you the ability to learn quirks or interesting things about exercises to teach to your clients to give them a higher level of understanding…or just ways to have fun.

The below is something that I developed through doing the Thrive program (a lot). There are 3 stretches that we do often and I found a way to sequence them together in a way that not only saves time but also gets people into the proper positions a lot faster than other methods.

Seems minor? Maybe. Or does it offer a new layer for clients to master or understand things more? Does that make them feel more like experts? Wouldn’t that help them see value in staying in your program longer?

It’s a small example of what is possible if we believe in, and do ourselves, what we are asking of our people.

What layers are you capable of adding to your program? What can you learn within the program that you’re already coaching to make it even more interesting with adding nonsense to it?



Thanks for reading and Kaizen on, Beast

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