Some people are surprised to hear that I hired a trainer. “Aren’t you a personal trainer? Why do you need to hire a trainer?”
Although I am a trainer, it doesn’t mean I automatically know everything training-related. I am a running coach and personal trainer that specializes in strength training for runners. When I needed help with barbell training, I hired a barbell coach.
The best coaches hire coaches. Why? Because coaches are objective, can fill in gaps of knowledge, minimize the learning curve, and provide accountability and feedback so that you can reach new levels.
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A COACH VIEWS YOUR TRAINING OBJECTIVELY
It’s often hard to look at your training objectively. While I am quick to spot over-training in my clients, I might not choose to see it in myself. If a client tells me they have a pain, I’ll change the exercise or target mobility exercises, but if I have the same pain, I may try to work through it. Just because I know better, doesn’t always mean I always do better. A professional’s outside perspective in an enormous advantage because we are human and subject to personal biases. A coach can reveal blind spots, and keep your ego in check.
A COACH CAN FILL IN GAPS OF KNOWLEDGE
I decided to hire a strength coach a month after starting a new barbell training program. After a few weeks, I realized that to continue to progress effectively and safely, I’d need some help. Barbell training is highly technical.
The first time I read the Starting Strength barbell training book several years ago, I remember longing for willful ignorance. The chapter on squatting was 64 pages long. If I previously thought that loading a bar on my back and bending my knees with my hips back equaled a squat, I was misinformed. After reading the book I knew too much to ignore it, but it seemed too technical to make meaningful progress on my own.
It’s OK not to know everything, but when you know better, you must do better. Who better to fill in the gaps of knowledge than a subject matter expert? Go right to the source.
A COACH MINIMIZES THE LEARNING CURVE
I can read a barbell training textbook, but reading doesn’t always translate to performing. I knew a coach could help me minimize the learning curve.
The most crucial step in your training plan to avoid wasted time and effort, and to prevent injuries from improper movement or training, may be to understand when you can do it alone, and when you need help.
I started the program, watched the videos, read the books, the blogs, and listened to the podcasts. But reading, watching, and listening is not the same as applying effectively.
My first concern is safety and then progression. I wanted to be sure as I added weight to the bar, I wasn’t potentially causing more harm than good. Then, even if I felt I had the basics covered in my research and experience, I didn’t want to waste any unnecessary time on a learning curve. I knew I’d benefit from working with an expert directly on what I needed to learn, rather than spending months with less than effective methods.
A COACH FAST TRACKS PROGRESS
I spent a couple of hours with Coach Trent at Fort Worth Strength and Conditioning in Keller, TX learning the Starting Strength method of barbell training with four lifts: Squat, overhead press, deadlift, and bench press.
While I have been performing some of these moves for a while, I knew right away this training session was money well-spent. Trent’s coaching cues and lessons on proper mechanics, stance, grip, breathing and tension made an immediate difference. I had a few aha moments, and was able to connect the dots between what I read and how to properly execute.
A COACH PROVIDES FEEDBACK
Coach Trent broke down each lift and corrected my form, helped me determine my baseline working sets, and set up a plan to follow. I can take what I learned in two hours with Trent to effectively practice the moves.
If I spent months performing a move ineffectively, then I am only practicing ineffectiveness. If I spend the time and money working with an expert, I can be sure that I am getting the most out of the work I do; That is money well spent.
A COACH PROVIDES ACCOUNTABILITY
After my session with Trent, I’ll practice when I learned and follow up with form videos in a couple of weeks to make sure I stay on track. No matter how self-motivated you are, having outside accountability can propel success.
Barbell training is a skill. You don’t have one coaching session and become an expert. It’s the time you put in week after week, month after month, year after year, that dictates your results.
Coaches need coaching as much as the rest of the population. If I didn’t see the value in coaching, how could I be an effective coach myself? Once you think you know everything, you stop growing.
Coaching isn’t cheap, it’s valuable. How much is your time worth? What is wasting time and ineffective movement costing you?
If you are interested in barbell training, I highly recommend Trent at Fort Worth strength and conditioning in Keller. Don’t allow gaps in knowledge stall your progress. When you need help, ask for it!
Do you have a coach? Do you understand the value in coaching?
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Questions? I’d love to help.