Exercise should be simple, right? We all took PE class so we know how to workout, it’s just making sure we do it. Eating right? Oh yeah, that’s easy, more vegetables, Lean Cuisines, fat-free stuff, right? Unfortunately, there’s so much conflicting and confusing stuff out there that getting in shape is no longer clear cut. Sometimes your workouts can actually get you the opposite of what you were working towards! A fitness coach can help you identify your body type, help you workout for your genes and hormones, and help you reach the results you want! And usually faster and more effectively than you could do on your own! Not convinced? Continue reading to see if a fitness coach is right for you.
What is a Fitness Coach?
This term is used widely for several different types of people, but I’m referring to someone with a personal training background who also knows how to coach you. Coaching isn’t like our childhood days where any parent with a free Saturday morning can coach the 4-year-old soccer team. We’re talking about helping busy professionals and parents with various personality traits make lifestyle changes that work for them and stick to them, despite the obstacles that come.
Sounds nice, right? It’s much more specialized than someone who leads you through a workout, or just likes to workout, takes gym selfies, and knows a thing or two ;)
8 Ways a Fitness Coach Can Help You Reach Your Goals
They Keep You Accountable
Unless motivation runs through your veins, you probably have had a time or two (or 100) where you skipped your workout or slacked on your healthy habits. Perhaps your “cheat” meals are no longer once a week or biweekly, but are about every 4th meal. This is where accountability could have saved you regaining those 5 pounds you worked so hard to lose, or possibly even better, saved you regret and beating yourself up over another slip.
One of the most powerful things a fitness coach has to offer is accountability. If you know how to become a mean, lean 6-pack machine but don’t do it, then your knowledge is useless. A fitness coach can help you be accountable to what you set out to do by:
- providing check-ins,
- helping you identify the biggest obstacle you face and come up with solutions that you stick to,
- helping you face reality with what you are or are not doing
- working out a plan to help you be consistent
- offering incentives or consequences based on your personality and goals
- helping you press through “not feeling like it” and when motivation wanes
- obviously not an exhaustive list: fitness coaches can personalize accountability to your goals and personality!
They Are An Expert So You Don’t Have To Be
Something that I’ve discovered about getting healthier and in shape is that it can take a lot of research. For some people, it’s as easy as starting to run three times a week or eating fruit instead of cupcakes, but for most it’s not quite that simple. It’s easy to get down a rabbit hole of questionable fitness advice, fad diets, and unproven supplements.
And you’re wasting your time with all this research- you have an area of expertise you could be improving upon. What you contribute to the world is different and important, and we all benefit when you are thriving in that area. You don’t need to waste your time on researching the best workout, diet, or proper squat form. Let a fitness coach be the expert and you can get healthier while spending your time on what matters most to you. If this is your hobby, then by all means go for it. But I know for many of you it’s overwhelming and you just avoid it!
Here are some things a fitness coach will help you with, but there’s so much more:
- proper exercise form and safety
- warm ups, cool downs, and recovery
- finding the right exercises and workouts for your body and goals
- nutrition and eating right for your body
- breaking through a weight loss plateau
These are so important I’d love to make them their own heading!! But for the sake of time, I’ll just list them.
(Make sure to check out the section on How to Choose a Fitness Coach to help ensure your advice is truly sound!)
They Will Encourage You When Things Get Tough
Life’s tough, get a helmet.
Tough love is a great part of working with a fitness coach, but sometimes you just need encouragement!
To be cheered on when you complete one more rep than last week. To have someone recognize how much you sacrificed to turn down dessert at your work party, or choose to cook instead of going out even though you were tired. This adds fuel to your goal-reaching fire!
A fitness coach has an eye to point out victories in every aspect of your health and fitness routine. They are helpful at cheering you up if you feel discouraged, and knowing you aren’t alone with whatever obstacles you come across on your fitness journey is so comforting!
Encouragement can help keep you going during a tough season or your busy schedule, and sometimes that’s a large weight to put on a friend or family member.
When most of the world is negative, it’s nice to have someone positive in your corner.
They Help You Track Your Progress
It’s so easy to focus on the scale, or to have things we did wrong stand out more than what we did right. I regularly work with clients who are happy about their measurements improving but incredibly discouraged the scale isn’t moving faster. That’s where I get to step in and point out how huge it is they are losing inches. Fitness coaches can help you gain perspective and track your progress in ways that are better than the scale.
A fitness coach can help you know how to correctly measure yourself, help you find ways of tracking your body fat percentage, help keep you accountable for taking progress photos, etc. We also help you track your progress in other ways, like going up in weight on your squats, improving form on your pushups, or being able to do plyometrics longer without being winded.
There are plenty of ways to improve, and the scale only tells you a tiny part of it. One of my favorite things is helping track my clients’ consistency. Consistency isn’t that sexy in itself, but oh, how it will help you get sexier and healthier in the future!
They Can Help You Find Answers to Your Questions
A fitness coach can help you identify what workouts, exercises, and (if certified in nutrition) what foods will help you get the body composition and energy levels you want. They won’t know all of the answers, and every body responds differently, but they can be a great resource for questions.
I get videos sent regularly about checking squat form, and I love answering questions about what workout program is best for their goals or if they should try a meal delivery service because they are stressed.
They Will (Nicely) Call You on Your Crap
Here’s that tough love I mentioned earlier! A good fitness coach won’t yell at you or shame you into changing your ways, but they will, with all the empathy they can find, point out where you are self-sabotaging. The good news is that they will help you come up with a plan or hold you accountable to getting out of that rut or habit.
A fitness coach is there to help you identify if your excuse is really valid, if your splurging is getting out of hand, or if you really should be complaining about your weight gain when you spend all your time on facebook but say you are too busy to workout. In love, of course.
Coaching is an art, and I know you can find someone who is able to work with your personality and help you get set in these habits you so badly want to create.
They Can Be A Safe Person To Vent To
Sometimes my clients just want to vent. They are frustrated with an unexpectedly busy week, a sweet tooth that’s a saboteur, or their coworker who’s always bringing cupcakes. Sometimes they just want to whine about how they miss eating Kraft Mac N Cheese 5 nights a week. A fitness coach can be a safe person to vent to. They won’t let you stay in the negative, but everyone needs to get stuff off their chest now and again.
Sometimes it’s the fact that you lost your thigh gap while you were sick, and you know your friends will key your car if you complain about that. Safety first, friend. Your fitness coach can field that complaint!
Just be prepared to not only be heard, but to have someone who cares enough to not let you stay in that negative space.
They Can Fit Every Budget
I run an online fitness business, but even I say there’s no replacement for a one-on-one, in-person fitness coach. However, I’ve found that just doesn’t work for everyone’s schedules or budgets, which is one reason I started The Fit Tutor.
An in-person fitness coach is worth the money, and you may find them from $40-$100+ an hour… If that’s not in your budget or if your schedule is bananas or you have kiddos who need naps or babysitting or whatever- there are other options out there! Online coaches are growing in popularity, and having someone check in on you via email, social media, or text can be the motivation you need to get your butt in gear!
For example, plans for The Fit Tutor range from $11.99 to $175.00/month, which is still the fraction of the price for a few sessions in person. With things like email, skype, texting, and even snap chatting your workouts, you can find plans and fitness coaches that fit your budget, goals, and schedule, and get in the best shape of your life!
All that to say, don’t let money hold you back!
Now that you see how much you can benefit from a fitness coach, here are some things to think about as you choose one.
How to Choose a Fitness Coach
Ask for their credentials
I’m sure a lot of people have different opinions on what credentials you’re looking for here, but I’d recommend asking where they are certified through and what the program is like. If they’re giving you nutrition advice, they better have a certification or degree there, too.
There are many certifications out there that only require two hours and a couple hundred bucks… and you don’t want those people giving you advice. I recommend a Nationally Certified trainer, because those are more widely recognized for properly preparing their trainers. A coaching background or certification will help separate your “trainers” from “coaches.”
Have a conversation with them
Or email with them or watch their videos. Check out their social media posts for their business, too. You want to hire someone who is a good fit for you. Someone who seems to be enjoyable to correspond with and who seems like a decent human being. Red flags would be things like not listening to you, telling you what to do, interrupting you, being bossy, etc. A red flag for me is mostly naked flexing photos, but that’s just me maybe. Identify what you wouldn’t want in a coach, and be on the lookout. I love my industry, but there are a lot of creeps and jerks.
Make sure they work in your schedule
If you only have Tuesday and Thursday afternoons open for training, make sure they do, too. Or if working with an online fitness coach, ask them how often they communicate and in what ways. Do they train via skype? Make sure the person you hire to help you is actually available to help you. My online training site is set up so people can do the workouts fully on their own schedule. This helps mamas to sneak in a workout during nap time or a busy professional to workout every day after work, no matter what time that is.
Ask for testimonials
Most fitness coaches should be able to show you the results they can get. I do not feel comfortable asking my clients for photos to post online (yikes!) but everyone should have at least written praise of what their services can do for you!
Find someone who specializes in your goals
This isn’t necessary for general fitness and weight loss, but if your goal is marathon running or to compete in a physique competition, for example, you’ll want to find someone who specializes in those things. If you’re a mom who is trying to get back in shape, don’t find any coach off the street. Make sure they’ve been trained in the specifics of postpartum women!
Now, Go Find Your Fitness Coach!
Health shouldn’t be put on the back burner. You’re in your body 100% of the time and I encourage you to take care of it. You deserve to feel confident in it! Reach out if you have any questions, and check out what The Fit Tutor offers to see if it fits your needs and goals. If you’re not quite convinced, signing up for one month to give it a try is easy and worth your time!
Feel free to share this with your friend who keeps saying she will start working out but never does.