Even Coaches Need Coaching

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It may surprise some of you to know this, but I have a trainer. And let me be totally clear about that: I pay someone to train me, at least twice per week.

Now, this might sound unusual to some of you; the obvious question would be, “why would someone who is an expert on training and has written countless training programs hire someone else to train him?”

Let me rephrase, then. Instead of I have a trainer, perhaps it’s best to put it as, I pay someone I trust to tell me what to do and make sure I actually do it (and properly).

You see, I’m of the mind that everyone can use a coach; this is something I’ve always thought, but I’ve been talking a lot about recently.

Of course, I haven’t always used a trainer. While I’ve always gotten insight from other coaches, and done programs written by experts, the execution was generally a solo experience. In fact, it wasn’t until about two years ago that I hired someone to train me regularly.

Here’s how it happened: at the end of a particularly grueling session, a client of mine (Shane), collapsed on second 59 of what was supposed to be a 60 second plank. I nudged him with my foot and offered him my hand, helping him up while gently ribbing him for giving up.

Shane’s a hard worker and always kills it in the gym, and a ball-buster who can (and does) make fun of me daily. This day, however, he said,  “ha! 59 seconds?  I bet it was 65, liar.  You’re doing that thing where you pretend not to count reps to make me do more.”

I actually wasn’t (though I do this frequently) and gave a noncommittal “maybe” as I recorded the set on my clipboard.

Not satisfied, Shane said simply, “Yeah, yeah. I wonder how you’d like it. It’s not so easy on this side of the clipboard.”

That stuck with me—and after thinking about it, I realized Shane was right.

I began to think that it really had been a long time since I’d been coached; like, a LONG time. Oh, sure, I’ve caught the occasional workout with one of my friends who wanted to test out a program on me, but that’s different than having consistent coaching.

In fact, the last time I getting coached was probably when I was 21 or so, where my first mentor, Alvin, was training me for my first bodybuilding show.

That day, I called Matt McGorry, and asked if I could hire him as a trainer.

The text message conversation went like this.

Matt: “Hire me?  You wanna work out? We can just buddy up and be training partners?”

Roman: “No–I want you to train me. Pretend I don’t know anything about exercise, and just make me do it your way.”

Matt: “Alrighty. You can buy me lunch after =)”

Roman: “Well, just to be clear, I want to HIRE you. I have to pay. No discounts. If I don’t pay, I won’t take is as seriously; I need the accountability. You need to collect the money so you treat me like a client and not a friend. No last minute cancellations on either of our parts.”

Matt: “Makes sense. You can still buy me lunch, though.”

That’s it. Out of such conversations, great alliances are forged.  Matt and I started training that Monday, and, whenever travel doesn’t get in the way, we’ve been meeting 2-3 times per week.

And it’s AWESOME.

Shane was completely right…it is different on the other side of the clipboard. It’s more intense, and in some ways harder–but it’s infinitely more focused and absolutely more effective.

Without question, hiring a coach was one of the most intelligent things I’ve ever done. Ever.

Certainly, my results are better, but there are other benefits as well. I thought I was training intensely before; and I was…or at least as intensely as you can train alone. But training with Matt brings my intensity to a whole new level. And the reason for that isn’t just that McGorry is a great trainer. It’s because he’s doing the hard part: the thinking.

When I was training alone, I still had to think. And because I was splitting my attention between thinking and training, there was just no way I could focus 100% on training.  Having someone else do the thinking, that’s what’s making the difference.

During the session, the only thing I’m focusing on is training as hard as possible. Each minute, I’m just focusing on this exercise, this set, this rep.  In other words, I get turn my brain off for an hour.

Which is to say, paradoxically, although I’m being told exactly what to do, being coached is liberating in more ways than I can describe. I can’t tell you how freeing it is NOT to have to worry about designing my own program. That alone makes it worthwhile.  I just show up, do as I’m told, and work as hard as I can.

This makes all of my sessions more productive than they’ve been in a very, very long time.

Now, of course, for me (or any fitness pro) this ONLY works because I trust Matt implicitly—he’s one of the best trainers in NYC and I’ve seen his programs and his results, so my confidence is unwavering.

If I had just hired a trainer out of the blue and didn’t know anything about them, it might be harder to turn off the critical eye, and question and second-guess him at every turn; obviously things wouldn’t work out as well.

For non-fitness professionals, having a high level of belief in your coach is still imperative. Although the exactitudes of what builds that belief and trust will differ from what I have with Matt, the point is that if you don’t trust your coach, you can’t benefit maximally. Which is why you should hire someone elite, who has gotten results for people in your situation; it allows you to trust them.

But before we get into the specifics of that sentiment, I want to touch on the point of this post.

I believe everyone can benefit from coaching.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say that everyone should have a coach—at least at some point, even if it’s only for a short time.

Now, I don’t think everyone NEEDS a coach but I think anyone—no matter who they are or what they do—WILL improve if they have one.

This goes in any arena, be it fitness or business.

No matter the industry or category, coaches—great coaches—have a way of bringing the best out of you and taking you to the next level.

That said, even a “decent” coach will help you improve, because of the structure inherent in coaching.

You see, simply entering into a coaching/student relationship brings immediate benefits, and allows you—the person being coached—to progress simply by the nature of these advantages.

Briefly, some of the main advantages of coaching are:

  1.  Knowledge/Expertise – This is (hopefully) the main reason people hire a coach or trainer.  The person you’re hiring has a high level of expertise with the given subject, and can leverage that knowledge to your benefit.  In the case of training, you’ll get in better shape, and hopefully learning something.
  2. Extrinsic Motivation –In almost all cases, people work harder and perform better when someone else is watching and helping them.  Coaches in particular have this effect because they are actively pushing you to reach within yourself for more.  The combination of motivation and intensity always leads to greater progress and better results.
  3. Accountability – By FAR, this is the greatest benefit of coaching.  If you know someone is counting on you, you show up.  Both physically, and metaphorically.  Hiring a coach gives you multiple types of accountability.Let’s look at fitness coaching—if you hire a trainer, you’re paying for it and therefore a LOT more likely to work hard, a lot LESS likely to skip workouts, and in general more prone to taking your program seriously.As for non-financial accountability, the simple fact that someone is investing time in your success obligates you (emotionally) to strive to perform and achieve.  We’re people pleasers, and when we place people in a position of authority (trainer) we are hard-wired to want to please them even more.  Anyone who’s ever played a sport knows how much it hurts to think you’ve let your coach down.This translates into training, business coaching, therapy, or nearly anything else.  Knowing we have to report our actions, and those actions are being examined, and to some extent, evaluated makes us want to be on our best behavior at all times.It’s no surprise that the mere act of hiring a coach often spurs people to new heights of success.
  4. Love and Friendship – This happens later in a coaching relationship. I can tell you as both a coach and a client, if you invest in someone emotionally, and they invest in you, and you’re both working towards mutual success, it’s impossible not to grow closer. Your goals are their goals, and so their successes become your successes. Your ups are their ups, their downs are your downs.Despite the oft-lauded notion needing to maintain a baseline level of professionalism, the coaching/student relationship is, in my experience the coach/student relationship is ALWAYS enhanced when care about each other.  This is why I have always said that, on some level, the “personal” aspect of personal training is more important than the “training part.”
    Caring for each other enhances both motivation and accountability.

Those are just some of the benefits of coaching; there are far too many to list.

As I said, I don’t think everyone NEEDS a coach—but I think just about anyone can benefit from coaching.

Coaches themselves understand this fact the most intimately, which perhaps explains why trainers and coaches are “over-presented” in my programs; any given point, fully 50% of the clients enrolled in my online coaching program are other fitness professionals.

It also explains why I’ve continued to train with Matt, long after I hit my goal, and have no plans to stop.

If you want to read a personal account of someone who has experienced ALL of the benefits listed above, check out the piece below, by one of my coaching graduates, Tony.

Before I started training with Roman I had a vague (at best) sense of where I was going, training-wise. I grew up overweight and have never really been able to describe myself as “lean,” and have definitely never been considered “ripped.” That’s what I wanted. For some reason, however, I was habitually fooling myself into thinking that I was bringing enough to the table to get that done despite the lack of results from month-to-month.

Enter John Romaniello – trainer and coach, fitness expert and all-around badass. You knew that already (if you didn’t then shame on you!). What you don’t know is how great of a friend he is.

Training with John was an ever-evolving experience. At the beginning, I looked at it from a more traditional point-of- view. By that I mean that I viewed John as merely my coach and myself as just another client. Almost immediately I realized that he didn’t look at me as “just another client.” To John I was Tony and he was going to do all he could to help me get what I wanted. That alone helped me substantially.

Not only was Roman a new friend who just happened to be helping me get into shape I found out quickly just how much he really knows. I was astonished at how humbling his programming was for me. Here I thought I had really been doing work in the gym – ha! The joke was on me there. John showed me what it really meant to work, but the help didn’t stop in the gym. His nutritional advice was spot-on and produced great results when I followed it. He didn’t try to cram a bunch of gimmicky supplements down my throat—he only sound, proactive advice and strategies designed to help me reach my goals.

As I assume happens with a lot of his clientsI also brought some of life’s problems into the coaching experience with me. John didn’t shy from those issues – he had plenty of encouraging and helpful words for me when I needed them most. As we progressed with the coaching, he’d answer my questions, but also follow up and ask about my life. Partially it was because the information helped him refine my program, but part was because he actually cared.  All of that just trickled back down into the awesomeness of the training experience.

To make a long story short, if you want to take a step towards bettering your health and looking good, give enroll in his online coaching and you won’t be disappointed.

In the past six months I have done more than I ever thought I could (both inside and outside of the gym), made strides toward my goal physique, coped with and confronted things and made a new friend to boot. I can now claim that I’m in the best shape of my life and only improving from here on. For that I can’t thank Roman enough, but this testimonial is my first step. Thanks for reading.

-Tony Roe

Tony is one of 8 clients who have graduated in the past three months. Tony, and others in his “graduating class” have achieved results beyond what they thought possible. They’re now living in bodies they thought they could never have. They’re now happy and secure in the knowledge that they invested in themselves.

I could not be prouder to have helped them, or to call them friends.

And now, I could not be prouder to announce that I want to help the next group–and I have just 8 spots available.

Are you the type of person who can benefit from coaching? Perhaps. If any of these apply to you, then yes.

  • You’re trying to get to the next level…
  • You find yourself lacking motivation…
  • You find yourself spinning your wheels…
  • You just can’t figure out why you’re not progressing…

If any of those apply to you, it’s time to consider letting someone else take the reins. Let me be your guide.

I can’t wait to help you get to the next level, as I’ve helped Tony, and as Matt has helped me.

If you allow me to leverage my knowledge; if you allow me to motivate you; if you allow yourself to be accountable to me; if you allow us to develop the kind of relationship that bonds us in a common cause—consider what you can accomplish.

Consider my track record.  Consider my success.  Consider my methods.

Consider investing in yourself.

Then…consider the alternative.

Isn’t it time you got what you’ve been working for?

Let’s do this.  Together.  

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=====> Apply for online coaching. <===== 

Oh, and…if you were curious about Tony’s progress…he went from 215 pounds at 23% body fat to 194 and 11%.  This means he dropped about 23 pounds of fat while gaining 7 pounds of muscle–in just 16 weeks.

In terms of other improvements…Tony says, “I’d say my best improvements were in the way of conditioning – like being able to jump rope for 20 minutes straight at varying intensity, move through circuits at a brisk pace, etc. However, my bulgarian split squat (goblet style) went up drastically – to the tune of being able to do the 5/5/5 with a 70 pound dumbbell and no rest (from a typical load of 40 and needing to rest a few times). The balance and coordination aspect of this was greatly improved, too.  Overall, in addition to looking better, I’m just more fitter and more capable.  I just feel that I’m a better version of myself, in every way.”

Now how’s THAT for progress?

Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 4.39.43 PM

=====> Apply for online coaching. <===== 

What are YOUR thoughts on this?  Do you think coaches need coaching? Have you ever hired a trainer or coach (in any field)?  What were your results?

About the Author

John Romaniello is a level 70 orc wizard who spends his days lifting heavy shit and his nights fighting crime. When not doing that, he serves as the Chief Bro King of the Roman Empire and Executive Editor here on RFS. You can read his articles here, and rants on Facebook.

Comments for This Entry

  • blackhuff

    I myself is a qualified personal trainer as well which also uses a coach twice a week. It's also freeing to just do what you are told and not to worry about thinking while training. Being coached is just something I enjoy. I totally get where you are coming from.

    February 25, 2014 at 1:06 pm

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  • Berzinator Fitness Designs » Blog Archive » Get Today Right

    [...] you have something going on in your life that might derail you. Then write it all down. Or hire a coach to do it for you and add a source of external [...]

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  • David Behr

    How effective is online coaching without the hands on approach?

    June 12, 2013 at 5:11 pm

  • Rebecca Klinger

    100% agree! I was just thinking the other day that I needed to hire one of my personal trainers to take an objective look at what I am doing. I love being allows me to turn my brain off from program design, etc. and focus on myself and each of my repetitions. It also helps me become a better coach by understanding the perspective that my clients have.

    June 12, 2013 at 2:41 pm

  • Brian Paz

    I liked this article and most of it gets to the point that an expert could yield beneficial aspects in incorporating to reach ones goals. I'm not going to lie I further wish to reach my next level of physique in both boundaries of mentally and physically. Recently I've been splitting my workouts as main lifts morning(4am), sprints noon, calisthenics progression during the evening along with Indian Club Swinging. I haven't seen some progression but while losing fat I also wish to build pure strength like Mike Gilette. Can't just be about talk the talk and not being able to walk the walk.

    June 12, 2013 at 2:31 pm

  • John

    Couldn't agree more with the thoughts and action, Roman. For ten years I had a personal trainer for two-three sessions a week fitted into my own training schedule. I largely retired, relocated and had to stop using the trainer. After a gap of eight years, with some mentoring of younger PTs and a six-monthly "check up" with one of them, your article has made me think [don't you always!!] that it may be time to take up some PT sessions for a time. Many thanks.

    June 12, 2013 at 9:53 am

  • Eric

    I have a golf coach because there is no way that I will achieve my dreams of playing professionally alone. I'll check it out, for sure.

    June 12, 2013 at 5:08 am

  • ChuckS123

    1 or 2 years ago, I remember that Vince DelMonte hired a coach to prepare him for a bodybuilding competition. Pretty much same reasons.

    June 12, 2013 at 4:32 am

  • David Fine

    100% agree! I've done FPFL, Insanity and read copious copies of Flex, Men's Health, whatever. I started 4 weeks ago with a really cool PT that I trust. Knowing there is a measurements day coming and keeping a food diary has got me committed like never before. As for intensity, I can say wholeheartedly, I'm unable to do one more thing by the end of the session.

    June 11, 2013 at 6:38 pm

  • Sean Hyson

    Great post, bru. McGorry is a gem of a trainer (and a peach of a guy!). Can't do better than that. It also speaks to your sense of humility and sincere desire to learn and get better that you'd hire a coach. You don't NEED one nearly as bad as 99% of the rest of us, but the fact that you do get trained keeps you "real". And it probably ends up benefiting your clients as well.

    July 26, 2012 at 3:21 pm

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    I signed up before this blog entry but this reinforces the decision I've made to put my goals first and in the hands of someone I trust.

    September 19, 2011 at 2:35 pm

  • Jennifer Fidder

    I think we really sometimes forget how hard a workout is when you do it with a trainer instead of by yourself. I always realize it when I workout with my partner. It's a whole different feeling to get a kick in the butt from somebody else - well, kicking my own but is a hard thing to do Jen

    September 9, 2011 at 10:47 am

  • Rocky

    Couldn't agree more.. But for the record, i don't think there is a better coach than Mr.Roman, so ifff you do decide to hire a coach pick him. He's the man. I'm one of his current clients (just about to get done with month 2) and I'll warn you.. It sucks! lol. the leg workouts are brutal especially is you try to set PRs every time. For me the whole thing was motivation. I was trying to change the way i looked for 2 years and realized i couldnt do it alone, but if i wouldnt of hired Roman i probably would have quit all together. I'm 16 so as you could imagine.. NONE of my friends support what i do and neither does the family. They always tell me it's stupid, your young, go do what your friends do. But not Roman =) Seriously if have the cash. DO IT! you won't regret it.

    September 8, 2011 at 6:47 am

  • Camille

    I loved having football and baseball coaches create workout programs for me in high school, when I ran track and did weights in the off-season. In college, coaches only wanted to deal with their star athletes, but I had enough programs to get through without Freshman or Senior 15. A few less-than-stellar personal trainers once I got a job kind of killed me on coaches, though (memo to trainers: Assuming your client wants you in their pants is just not cool, ever.) I debated getting a coach for years, but after a prolonged illness and acute health issues it occurred to me that not having a coach would pretty much ensure I would never get where I wanted to be. Enter: Delaine Ross of Atlanta Georgia. Man, Delaine is my new bestie. We talk about running businesses in between my (frequent) mewls and complaints that I am *actually* dying on the mats and she laughs at me! But the results are worth triple what I pay. Once she asked why I pay since we have such a good time, and it's because it makes me accountable and she's sharing her time and expertise with me and I value all of that. People pay me for my expertise and time, I can afford and I want to pay someone who is helping do what I didn't think I could accomplish alone. A great coach is an invaluable asset in any arena: business, life, health, fitness, singing (yeah, I got a singing coach too cause who doesn't want to blast out an aria on a whim?) Another excellent post Roman, thanks for the thought-provoking-ness.

    September 6, 2011 at 12:48 pm

  • Johannes

    I've been one of Roman's online clients from June until now. I've actually started writing a bit about my progress for myself, so I don't forget how that journey has been, but I'd love to share some stuff right now. Let's just get some numbers out there right away. I joined at 23% body fat and 231 pounds. In 2009, I had lost a significant amount of weight, but gained some of it back during a rough time in my life in December of 2010. I tried to become lean again over the next six months, but failed, even though I knew quite a lot about nutrition and bodybuilding. So I became Roman's client and immediately got excited when I got the program for the first month. Excited and scared... During the first workouts I felt like crying, puking or passing out and wondered how any human being could ever bring their body to do things Roman had me do. Was it worth it? Absolutely! I lost nine pounds during the first two weeks and already got the first "Hey, you lost weight!" comments from friends. After the first two weeks, things shifted a bit. I suddenly felt great during the workouts and started pushing myself to actually make them harder. I lost more than sixteen pounds of fat in the first month alone. Month number two came around and I started to cry, puke, and pass out again. Roman also took my beloved cheat days away from me that month (to "reset" my "insulin-sensitivity", as he claimed, but I'm sure he just enjoyed the feeling of being in power). The same thing happened during the second month: first two weeks incredibly hard, the last two weeks finally being adapted to the new workout. During the first two month, I lost 9% of body fat and went down to about 14%. I'm now in month three and fat loss has slowed down a bit, but is still going steadily. I needed some more calories, as I was getting a bit fatigued at the end of month two. Right now I'm at 13% body fat. When I started telling people about being coached by Roman, people were really skeptical. Now I get people asking me "How much was that coach again...?" I couldn't agree with Roman's blog post more. I thing people SHOULD have a coach. You just need that outside perspective, you need someone to tell you what to do. It is so liberating to just follow a plan that works and watch the results. I'm sure you can get the results simply by yourself, but it would take you much, much longer. The last time I lost a significant amount of weight it took me about a year to accomplish less than I did now within three months. Why would you want to do that? I know this sounds like one giant advertisement, but I actually URGE you to join Roman's program. I am soooo glad I did. It had such a great halo effect on the rest of my life. I feel comfortable with people looking at me now. Do you know how much that alone is worth? Also, I'm not supposed to tell you this, but Roman will send you your very own live unicorn when you join!

    September 6, 2011 at 12:29 am

  • Alex

    Great motivational post,Roman! Looking forward to your coaching further!

    September 5, 2011 at 11:38 pm

  • Michelle

    Great post! I think you are spot-on for the reasons of why having a coach can even make the "professionals" in the field improve their skills even more. I have a trainer and he has helped me reached a whole new fitness level. Since achieving my goal, I feel as though I need something new to strive for. How do you help your clients figure out new goals to reach, once they have accomplished old ones? Thanks for being awesome!

    September 5, 2011 at 11:35 pm

  • Jeff

    I signed up and can't wait to be in Roman's blog in a few months. In terms of Risto's inner critic, I felt that as well. But then I realized that I am not an expert, no matter how much I read. And its very important to have someone not in the weeds view your progress, or else we will just make decisions on info we cherrypick to make the decision the one you want in the first place

    September 5, 2011 at 5:46 pm

  • Marie

    I'd love to have a coach, but living paycheck to nearly next right now due to a financial setback. You're my coach right now and your blogs and SHW are my focus right now and I want you to know I appreciate all your info very much. I've put my trust in you because I've actually seen and felt awesome results in so little time! Thanks for all that you are.

    September 5, 2011 at 5:43 pm

  • Franco G

    Love it... I believe accountability is the most important part, then comes the bond you create with your clients. I for one, know that I am also accountable for clients success that´s why I also keep up on my reading and seminar participations to keep improving to provide a better service to those who trust in me to help them achieve their fitness goals.

    September 5, 2011 at 4:00 pm

  • Mark MNMAC

    Great product John. I have been a holistic Life & Health Coach for the past year since selling my business and entering a twilight career (Old enough to do what is important, young enough not to retire ... HA). People really need a safe space to talk, express, learn and be held accountable. This is the same whether it be nutrition counseling, life counseling or fitness counseling. I can see adding the physical coaching certification to my practice as an added value feature. AWESOME.

    September 2, 2011 at 10:44 am

  • Derek

    I 100% agree that we, as trainers and coaches, should still look outside our knowledge base and scope, and have someone else do our programs, etc.. This past weekend I took my wife and kids to Indianapolis to visit family. While there I made a visit to Mike Robertson's (ifast) for an assessment and program design. I love the program because it addresses whats needed and is full of movements i wouldnt normally select for myself...eventhough i should. I really believe that if you're creating your own programs you're most likely overlooking something, avoiding something, and in the end shortchanging yourself. Great article!

    September 1, 2011 at 7:01 pm

  • J Coffman

    I would be forced to agree with you Roman. I've never had a coach, mainly because I'm a college student, but definitely have tried to read everything I can find. Obviously time is limited as this material doesn't necessarily relate to my major (biochemical engineering), but to some extent does (my research is in metabolic engineering). Anyway, a coach is an amazing tool. I thnk there is a lot of value in their expertise and in the other aspects you listed that a client could benefit from. However, I thnk their ability to be outside your situation and critique your craving for chocolate or laziness in skipping a session from the outside is great. Basically because they aren't subject to your urges they can push you to take every step possible to reach your goal, and hopefully their higher goal for you.

    September 1, 2011 at 1:09 pm

  • xena

    Love it! And If I could hire you as a coach right now I would do it in a HEARTBEAT!! Because yes you are just that freakin' AWSOME(and yeah ok probarly you know a thing or two about training and stuff But who knows what the future will bring..with a little help of me...;) Rock on! :)

    September 1, 2011 at 3:52 am

  • Pumie

    Hey Roman, Great post and thank you for it. Non-financial accountability: I've always been on a sports team, from as far back as I can remember all the way through to the end of uni (I just graduated) and before i could join a sports team, my mom signed me up for swimming with a trainer from 5 till about 8 years old. So I definetely understand the relationship you get with a coach and how horrible it feels to think that you've let you're coach down. If for nothing else, that's definitely why I've always appreciated being coached. I started training at the gym with a trainer again in February, I stayed with him till the end of my final exams in May. I started training with him for different reasons than yours off course (I just knew at the beginning of my last semester at uni that I wasn't going to spend the time I needed to at the gym, especially if I didn't have someone working with me to hold me accountable). Training with him was okay for a short time period because all I needed at that time was someone to keep my life balanced. I couldn't put in the time at my gym, cause it takes a while to travel there but my gym facility at my apartment block is perfect, it has everything I need so I trained with one of the trainers that are hired by our development to work with me at "home". He was great for the goal I had then, which was just to keep me working out 3-4 times a week and not gain weight during finals. I've stopped training with him, mainly because my goals have changed and now I have the time to go to my gym after work. I haven't signed up for a trainer at the gym yet, mainly because with your superhero workout that I'm currently on, I know exactly what to do and when to do it. I'm going on to phase three at the end of the week (female version:-)) but reading this post reminded me of why I'll get a trainer after this. Maybe even train with you online.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:23 pm

  • JOE

    John, Your timing is impeccable. I've had someone volunteer to be my training coach a few months ago and I thought I already knew everything....BEEP...WRONG ANSWER. When his coaching period stopped friends of mine starting walking up to me and said WOW...You look great! And I'm thinking.."I always looked like this. I've been working out since I was 14!!" Then I realized how right they were...I've been working out but my workouts lacked DEPTH for the last 10 years...and it started to show. Now I looked a helluva lot better. This is because of coaching. If you want to get to the next level, there comes a time when you need someone(you trust) to tell you the truth about your life and have them assist you in the areas you need to improve on. It's a humbling experience...but SO WORTH IT! Thanks for writing this article, John!

    August 31, 2011 at 5:44 pm

  • Alex Guillien

    "As I said, I don’t think everyone NEEDS a coach—but I think just about anyone can benefit from coaching." Recently I joined ROTC at my college and it drives this blog home for me. Being an overweight kid growing up I was determined to change. This has translated into finding the best sources of information, techniques, nutritional aspects, etc. Training has always been a solo venture for me because people look at me like I'm crazy when I mention daily yoga, bodyweight training, density training, intense interval training, etc. I am very motivated but since joining ROTC I have noticed the point you illustrated about not having to think during a workout. Of course, I enjoy doing that and manipulating things to get the best workout for that particular day but having someone simply tell me what to do allows me to just GO. Running has never been something I think about and say, "Who wants to go run?". With ROTC, we are up in the morning at 6:15 doing anything from Indian runs to 3.25 mile runs. I could not motivate myself to just do something like that (obviously Indian runs need people). Point being, you are SPOT ON with everyone can benefit from having a trainer. I really enjoyed your blog.

    August 31, 2011 at 12:51 pm

  • victoria Boer

    very correct roman , i hired a coach to work with me few months ago . the result has been amazing i personally think its the best thing any one looking for improvement and reality check should do any way well done for your honesty.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:23 am

  • Justin

    I have never hired a coach but the benefits are obvious. After reading the post I'm curious though why you don't have more pictures of your clients on the website. It seems like visual proof would carry even more weight than the rational points you bring up in the post.

    August 31, 2011 at 10:36 am

  • Dianne

    I totally agree with this! I'm a personal trainer and have OFTEN thought about doing this. And need to just do it. I think it's good to see it on the other side, as well as, although highly motivated, having someone else to be accountable to and to have someone push that extra inch, can really have the potential to boost your fitness levels. In addition, it can possibly show you some different ways of approaching things, something you never heard of etc. So .....great for you that you took the plunge! Thanks for making me think about it again!

    August 31, 2011 at 8:52 am

  • Risto

    I've been thinking a lot about this topic myself for a long time, because I'm a an upcoming personal trainer. I always ask myself: "Why should anyone hire a coach? Why should anyone hire me? What can I do for them?" Of course, my inner critic starts bringing up ideas for why no one really needs my help. 1. Knowledge -- if the person really wants it, s/he can always find the information by himself/herself. Counterargument: But it takes a lot of time since there is a lot of debate and misinforming information. 2. Accountability -- the person can use a friend for that 3. Movement instruction -- the person can record a video and ask for advice online or train with a knowledgeable training partner 4. Program design -- there a lot of free programs online, which are not individualized, but most people probably need individualization only for fixing movement imbalances anyway How would you argue against my inner critic?

    August 31, 2011 at 8:39 am

  • Tony Roe

    So does this mean I'm almost famous? :) Seriously though, nice post Roman! I'm glad you're enjoying being coached - I'd like to see video footagez of you being owned by Matt. :D

    August 31, 2011 at 8:39 am

  • Erik Lavesson

    Cool article and I agree that everybody could benefit from having a coach. I´ve been working as a trainer the last seven years and have with success hired three trainers, with different specialities, in the past.The first trainer to teach me the basics when I was a rookie. A couple of years laters I hired another one, who was specialised in working with athletes, and finally a weightlifter who taught me the olympic lifts. Maybe I´ll hire another one in the future as it´s a good way of learning new things and boost your own training. Also fun as hell. /Erik

    August 31, 2011 at 6:40 am


    Great read Roman, always laying out the good stuff and a big help as I progress in this industry

    August 30, 2011 at 10:29 am

  • Jonathan Goodman

    I agree 100% Roman. I have a trainer work me out 4x/wk. In fact, this is a trainer whom I have coached from day 1. He was working in a physiotherapy clinic for 2 years and decided that he wanted to become a personal trainer. Now he is a fantastic trainer who also bodybuilds. Since I have always trained for power i recruited him and have seen fantastic gains working out with him 4x/wk (if the schedule allows, I also travel a fair amount).

    August 30, 2011 at 8:35 am

  • Matt R

    I signed up before this blog entry but this reinforces the decision I've made to put my goals first and in the hands of someone I trust.

    August 29, 2011 at 1:11 pm

  • Stacy

    I'm impressed and this is the information we all need to hear from someone like yourself. We are good at what we do but we can always be better. This training not only enhances your life but affects your clients as well so everyone wins! Thanks for the article.

    August 29, 2011 at 12:34 pm

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