Over the past 10+ years people have hired me, and I have made my entire living coaching people to their health, fitness, and strength goals. Kind of funny that over that 10 years I have only had professional guidance on my own programing a handful of times. Back in 2004-2006 when I lived in Florida I had a fellow trainer friend of mine Adym Christopher train me to get ripped because that is what he did and I needed someone to hold me accountable and push me and have a plan for me. Because I couldn’t do it for myself. I also needed to be accountable to someone on my nutrition (if you are wanting to lose weight this is the most important aspect). The end result…..
Now, I don’t look like that today because my goals have changed and Adam is also 2500 miles away. My point is I really wanted to go after something and I hired help to get where I wanted. I didn’t argue with him I just showed up to my training sessions and ate exactly what he told me to eat. I brought in my diet journal. At the time I was a trainer and had tons of successful weight loss clients, but I needed a coach.period.
Over the past few years I have taken numerous Continuing education courses and learned a lot. My training has changed considerably and I have changed goal considerably. I have traveled to learn about kettlebells from the man that brought them over from Russia. I learned corrective exercise from the guy who wrote the book on it. With all of that I still program my own workouts with some sort of strange bias that just is always off. As the they say, “A doctor that treats himself has a fool for a patient”. Same goes many times in the training world. Dan John writes about this in his book “Never Let Go” and talks about the importance of a coach. See when I was training with Adym I just did what coach told me to. I expect my clients to listen to me, yet when I write my own programs I rarely listen to myself.
Fast forward to this past Christmas I had the honor of training someone to prepare for the RKC. He was spending the holidays in the Arizona. He lived in Norway. As I trained Mike Brown with kettlebells I got a good understanding of his background. He was a competitive powerlifter and had deadlifted 600+ pounds raw. I was stuck at 440 and It felt like a ton when I lifted it. I tried for months to get past it and I was at a loss. Mike was kind enough to ask me some important questions and sent me a program to follow over the next 10 weeks. My only job was to follow it. He even went so far as to give me each weight that I would attempt when I went for my new max attempt. The past 10 weeks have been a blast. There were numerous times when the weights he told me to use felt light and my instinct was to just go heavier, but I didn’t. I didn’t because coach told me to do X so I did X. If I chose to do heavier weight I would no longer be doing his program, I would be doing my version of his program and that does not provide results promised. So today was the day that I was expected to attempt my max lift. The funny thing is I kept wanting to take over. Coach told me to lift 315, 365,415,445, and then go for 475. He wanted me to lift singles of each lift. Immediately when I got to 445 I thought, maybe I should try 455 instead. Why? I don’t know why, because I am always trying to make things more difficult for myself. I fought the urge and did exactly as prescribed. Coach told me I would get 475 if I followed his plan.. Well it worked. If I would have tried 455 more than likely I would have over taxed myself and not been able to hit 475. If you know about the deadlift it is a finicky lift. I shocked the heck out of myself today, not just because I added 35lbs to a lift that I couldn’t advance on for almost a year, but that I actually followed instruction. The power of having a coach and listening to a coach is probably THE most important aspect of getting better at anything.