What is true coaching?

July 17th, 2017 by

I came across the quote below the other day, and it really resonated with me because it pretty much encompasses what we do here at LBC.

“The term coaching typically refers to methods of helping others to improve, develop, learn new skills, find personal success, achieve aims and to manage life change and personal challenges. Coaching commonly addresses attitudes, behaviours, and knowledge, as well as skills, and can also focus on physical and spiritual development too.”
-Author Unknown

There are now a myriad of apps and calculators which set your macros. There are also now 1000’s of Instagram fitness celebrities who call themselves “coaches”. An app cannot coach you, if we are going by the definition above. And just because someone has 30,000 followers on Instagram, has a nice body (drug assisted or not), is a physique sports competitor, has a cool pair of shoes or leggings, seems “motivational”, etc., does NOT automatically qualify them to coach anyone effectively.

Now, am I saying some of these apps are not extremely cool and can’t benefit anyone? Certainly not. They are and they can. However, again, going by the definition of coaching above, they CANNOT do much more than generate and adjust some numbers in an obviously impersonal manner.

If one is at a certain level of competence and self actualization, have their behaviors and emotions on point and in check, etc., yes the apps and calculators-or some blog post laying out a program-might work just fine. But I can tell you, over the course of nearly 20 years working with people as a fitness professional, it’s very rare to find “this type” of person who can just be thrown a program or macro optimized diet, be sent on their way, and it results in long lasting change. An outcome is fairly easy to produce. But if the outcome isn’t sustained, what’s the point?

Similarly, am I saying some social media fitness celebrities are not very good, reputable coaches-true coaches-who generate great results with their clients while also permanently changing mindset? Absolutely not. There are a lot of them, personally know a lot of them and know they truly care.

But, for every one of those, there are 25 who don’t have the slightest clue as to what they are doing…and I’m not talking about setting calories and macros. They may be able to do that (probably via an app), but they can’t coach. Truly coach. Just because someone has veins in their glutes, has a $30,000 workout wardrobe, and great filtering skills doesn’t mean they are going to able to take you from point A to point B in a way that’s right for YOU. It doesn’t mean they are going to be able to identity behaviors, give tough love when needed, and impart a permanent change in mindset.

Coaching is not sending out pre-created workout templates and adjusting macros every couple weeks. Yes, a coach has to have program design expertise (and it can’t be some generic “one size fits all” thing), but that’s about a quarter of the pie, frankly.

We think we do the coaching thing pretty darn well. 100’s of transformations and multi-year clients support that. Are you considering coaching? Have your prior attempts with other coaches, programs you grabbed off of Pinterest, or technology not went so well? If so, change is a click away.