Being a certified trainer for the last 18 years… I’d like to make an observation about something that is all too common, yet most “coaches” or trainers won’t bring this up. This is a personal pet peeve of mine, and yes I have been guilty of it many times in the past. Now that I’m an older competitor-trainer I do my best to not interfere with other people’s training programs… but on to my point –
***By the way, just for a little background… I can’t stand the term “Diet Coach” or “Coach” for one simple reason: Most so called “Coaches” call themselves that because they are in no way, shape or form CERTIFIED as a trainer, nutritionist or anything else. Legally, you do not have to be certified to be a personal trainer, coach, diet guru etc… but you cannot advertise yourself as a CPT without certifications (Hence CPT = Certified Personal Trainer). I have heard the argument back and forth for years that getting certified doesn’t mean anything (which is a point I will get into in another article)… But bottom line, be very leery of anyone that calls themselves a “coach”, “nutrition consultant” or “world renown diet and training expert”. If someone doesn’t have the time and energy to put in a few hours to get a certificate from a reputable organization, their bank of knowledge most likely comes from Flex Magazine, Muscle and Fitness and Bro Science. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, ask for certifications and references. Just like when dealing with mechanics, just because you pay someone a premium doesn’t mean you’re automatically getting a professional or paying what it’s worth. The biggest commodity in the fitness industry is bu****it information. ***
Onto my point, which I read someone on Instagram today making the same observations:
One of the worst things an athlete/client can do when they are working with anyone is to go ask other “coaches”, competitors or so called experts questions. With the final stretch starting up and the 2017 season kicking off, I am getting quite a few questions from people wanting to know my thoughts on their coaches plans and peak methods, and my standard answer – I refuse to answer. (except in cases of blatant stupidity, but let’s face it… some things work for some people some of the time. Every diet plan in the history of competition worked for SOMEONE no matter how ridiculous it might sound)
If you don’t trust your coach, you both are in trouble. If you ask me questions and listen to my thoughts, then do half of what your coach wants you to do, and half of what I talk about, you are completely screwed. Mixing information is about the worst thing you can do as an athlete. And here is MY personal thing, I can poke holes in any “peak week” diet plan or training plan that any coach writes (I don’t care who it is)….and same goes for other people critiquing my plans.
Someone could pick apart my methods just as easily, and trust me they have. That’s why I don’t like to answer questions when someone is working with another trainer, everyone has a different path to get to the same place, the bottom line is what will work best for you, your body and your training method. You have two choices at this point:
– Follow your instructor’s plan to a T, take notes and learn from it. All the good, all the bad, all the ugly. That in itself is valuable information… you may have the best season possible happen to you, or you may have a horrid experience. But until you try a plan out and give it 100% you won’t know what is working and what isn’t. Only after years of experimenting will you find what works for YOU and you can piece together the ideal plan for your body and training style.
– The other option is if you don’t trust your trainer, quit asking other trainers questions, fire that trainer and hire someone else. This is exactly why most coaches won’t tell you to try and stick with your current coach, most of them will jump at the chance to sound like an expert to pull you away and make some money. This drives me crazy, mainly because I have never once charged someone for a diet or training plan. (Some people find this weird, but I enjoy this sport for myself and my own knowledge, I have a real job on the side in which i make a living, and i enjoy helping people out). Bottom line: If you don’t respect the person giving you information enough to listen to them… you are going behind his/her back… drop them and don’t waste their time. Do the right thing, be loyal but be smart. If your trainer has some off the wall technique that you feel is too harsh, discuss it with them first and maybe they can make sense of it… if they can’t, drop them and move on. Other trainers are automatically going to address all the negatives right off the bat.
Remember, we are ALL students in this sport, and none of us know every single method to the madness. Until you experiment around with different WHOLE techniques you will never be able to isolate what works and what doesn’t. Only with experience and knowledge can you piece together a plan that is tailor made for yourself, your body and your training technique.