I Hired a Coach. It Changed Everything.

178 Flares Filament.io Made with Flare More Info'> 178 Flares ×

I am a coach. It’s my job daily to write programs for clients, facilitate those programs, teach my clients good strength training and running technique and strategies, support them in their fitness endeavors, and listen to many stories about their children. (It’s true, and it’s okay, I promise.) And I love every second. I spend a lot of time tailoring each client’s program to their specific goals so that they can achieve the best possible results. And I’m good at it.

But when it comes to me? That’s a different story. I am not a good coach for myself. I’m too analytical. I question everything. I’m scared to progress. I get wishy-washy. I give myself passes. It’s a freaking nightmare.

And so, I hired a coach.

About eight weeks ago, I decided enough was enough. I was being silly and I needed to find someone to shake me out of my little training nightmare. I finished up one training plan, but I wasn’t finished. I set some aggressive goals for lifting, physique, and running, and I knew I didn’t want to muddle through guessing at a training plan for the next six months.

I was excited, but very nervous. I did a ton of research on coaches. I looked into some of my favorites in the industry – people I know are totally awesome and know their shit. I contacted several of them and waited. Would I even get a response? Would they be as great one-on-one as they are on Instagram? Some were, some weren’t. I narrowed my search to two. And then I made my decision.

Almost instantly, I was sure I had made a terrible decision. That I should have chosen the other coach and I would’ve gotten along so much better with her. Despite my coaching staff (I was assigned a primary and a secondary coach. Fancy!) and their training philosophy looking totally badass on paper, I thought they were not only nuts, but just plain crappy when I got my training plan. Seriously.

In the first two weeks, there were so many, “Are you kidding me?! I am not doing this. It will never work. It’s stupid.” moments, I can’t even count them. Even though I was ready to work with a coach, I struggled to turn off my own coach brain and just trust the method and the process, and the person too. (I was such a complete ass to my coaches, I actually wrote an apology email after a few weeks. Sorry, guys.)

The fact is, we’re all a little resistant to change, no matter how open we are to it. Especially when it involves someone telling us what to do.

But after those first few weeks, things started to change. I was crushing workouts every single day. Running faster than ever. Doing things in the gym I never thought I would be able to do. Every single thing that I questioned about my training plan turned out to work after all. That can only happen so many times before you have to just admit that these people know what they’re doing and trust them. So I finally put my complete trust in my coaches.

happy coach.

And it is paying off in spades. Let’s look here at my progress over eight weeks…

Barbell back squats: From 100 x 3 to 130 x 3.

Barbell front squats: From 105 x 5 to 120 x 5.

Barbell bench press: From 100 x 1 to 110 x 1.

Barbell row: From 95 x 1 to 95 x 6.

Stiff leg deadlift: From 110 x 5 to 155 x 5.

And I won’t even go into detail about the 3 second negative pull ups with only 10 pounds of assistance. Brutal. Not to mention the arm days. Oh, the arm days!

pump.

And running? I ran my fastest mile. Ever. After two already very fast miles before that particular mile. And I’m only running three days a week. That about sums it up.

track.

Keep in mind, friends, that this is after only eight weeks. Two months. That’s nothing. It’s noticeable progress in a very short period of time. All I can think about is what kind of progress I’ll be seeing a year from now.

And really, I can’t stress that enough. Sure, I was seeing progress training myself. Again, I’m good at this stuff too. But not this kind of progress. Not this kind of success. The wheels were spinning a little bit. I lacked a support system and the kind of guidance that only another coach can provide. As they say, even coaches need coaching.

I mean really, it comes down to this:

  1. Taking the thinking out of it for me. I show up and kick ass, that’s it.
  2. Listening to me whine and being understanding. Giving me feedback and talking me off the ledge. Sometimes laughing at my bad jokes in my training log. Worth its weight in gold, let alone a couple hundred bucks a month.
  3. Giving me a program that addresses my specific goals and needs. Not something general, not what the coach thinks is important. My goals were basically to look hot and get my legs big and strong to push my Harley around a little easier. Mission accomplished already. Awesome.

harley.

The biggest thing I’m getting out of all this is confidence. Confidence in my abilities as an athlete, and confidence as a coach. The things my coaches are providing that are making me really successful as an athlete are the same things that I provide to my clients. That’s exciting all the way around.

A big part of the equation, of course, is hiring the right coach. Do your homework and see how your preferred coaches operate. All online? Phone or Skype updates? In-person? How much access do you get to them for questions? What is their specialty? Just because your friend used so-and-so doesn’t mean that their style will help you. Reach out. Do you get a timely response? Does their personality match up with yours? Because if you’re going to be spending a lot of time working and communicating with this person, you should probably get along.

And I can say it till I’m blue in the face, but your ROI will be huge, and it will be almost immediate. My husband (more on this soon!) and I both hired coaches this year, and the improvement each of us has seen has far surpassed our expectations. The money out of our bank account is so beyond worth it, it’s not even a factor. If you want it, you’ll make it work.

The takeaway from this is that getting a coach changes everything. And anyone can benefit from that – from complete beginners to advanced exercisers, lifters, and runners. There is always going to be something new to learn, some form to be improved, some mental or physical barrier to be broken, and why go it alone? All of the best fitness professionals and athletes you look up to or see in media or whatever have coaches. Why wouldn’t you?