Hey, coaches! Yeah, you in the back taking an Instagram selfie. Can you stop doing these things already? It is 2018, and we have made steady progress on the research side of things. Apparently, there is a thing called “science” that we have used for a few years to determine if shit actually works. And there are a couple of things called integrity and morality that you don’t have to throw out of the window to operate a successful training business. Also, professionalism can go a long way in your business and reputation. Let’s dig into a few things (off the top of my head) that you should not be doing or saying as a coach.
Hey, coaches! Stop telling your clients that “abs are made in the kitchen.”
Why? Because they most definitely, are not. Our abs (rectus abdominis/obliques) consist of musculature within our torsos. Everyone—depending on his or her genetic predisposition mostly but also his or her training style—will develop varying levels of muscularity in this area over time. Some folks seem to come out of the womb with very dense abs, whereas others naturally have shallower abs depending on their builds. Even at 10% body fat or less, for some people, abs will still be hard to see if they have shallow abs or hold the majority of their body fat in their trunks. So, simply telling clients that they need to get leaner to have abs is simply short-sighted. Someone’s genetics and how he or she trains his or her abs will have a huge effect on his or her muscle density. Does this mean you should be telling clients to do hundreds of crunches a day?
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No. How about you do your research and find levels of intensity and exercises that can build actual muscle thickness in the ab area? For example, performing heavy compound movements (squats/deadlifts) will create a stronger and more muscular core than basic crunches ever will. So, first, instead of emaciating your clients to see abs that simply might be underdeveloped, how about teaching them to build a foundation of strength and development in their cores first?
Hey, coaches! Stop telling your clients to do extra cardio when they cheat on their plans.
I actually saw a coach rant about this proudly the other day on his Instagram, and it kind of made me gag. Wow, you made your client do extra cardio when he or she cheated on his or her plan—you are so hardcore. First off, this is like an eating disorder waiting to happen. Second, doing extra cardio might not even be the most productive option. Using extra cardio as a threat if a client goes off plan is not only completely lazy coaching but also blatantly shows you have no clue what you are doing as a coach. If a client veers off plan, you first need to understand why it happened in the first place. Was it peer pressure? Is the client starving his or her ass off? Was it a lack of control on his or her part? You need to get to the root of the issue before writing it off as a client simply being lazy. Mental things can be going on that need to be addressed. Maybe things going on in the client’s life are adding stress and taking a toll. So, no, adding extra cardio in most cases is actually not the answer. Using cardio as a punishment is so unhealthy in the long run that honestly, extra cardio shouldn’t be the answer in any case.
Hey, coaches! Stop advertising that you respond to all client emails within 24 hours but you realistically ghost all clients you don’t think will turn pro in a year.
You don’t think your “average” clients matter? Well, you probably should because when you blatantly ignore them for a few days and piss them off, they have already told about 20 people. So, now, a lot of people know you are an asshole even if they don’t say it to your face. Your reputation in the industry is WELL known whether you realize it or not. If you are going to coach clients and you realistically can no longer handle the load evenly, then hire solid trainers to work for you and help. Paying attention just to your all-stars will only go so far until it catches up to you.
Hey, coaches! Can you stop telling your clients to eat nothing but fish because it “thins” the skin?
No food “thins the skin.” Except for Cialis, I guess.
Hey, coaches! Could you stop sending client plans with the wrong names on the documents (meaning you blatantly copied and pasted someone else’s plan to theirs)?
Yeah, there’s no way around this one. I have seen this happen a few times, unfortunately. Seriously, I have had a client tell me that his past coach would send him responses to his updates that didn’t even make sense, as if the coach had copied and pasted the information from another email. And then the client was sent a plan with someone else’s name on it. It was at that point that he fired the coach. Cutting corners and overbooking yourself as a coach will catch up to you at some point like I said. If you do not respect your clients, they will leave and find someone who does.
Hey, coaches! Stop telling your clients you will “make them go pro” as a selling point for them to hire you.
This is just pretentious. If I ever heard someone say that to me personally, first, it would make me laugh, but also, it would clearly tell me that he or she was a joke as a coach. When it comes to bodybuilding especially, so many unknown factors exist in the sport that you absolutely cannot look someone in the eye and seriously tell him or her that you could make him or her go pro. Not only is the sport extremely subjective but also at the end of the day, the athlete must put in the work, not you! Even if you developed the perfect plan, who is to say that he or she would follow it? So, please, take yourself down a notch—you are not that great.
Hey, coaches! Stop being piss poor at time management and sending your client updates late without notice, THEN making Instagram stories about this instead of emailing your clients personally.
This is so extremely unprofessional that it drives me insane. I am sure that you have seen this because Lord knows we all have. We are just minding our own business scrolling through Instagram stories when all of a sudden, we see a “Sorry, clients! I am traveling all weekend, so be patient with my update responses!” (Insert: hearts and kisses.) Like, are you 12? Or just looking for attention? If you are going to run a business, I would highly suggest acting like a business professional at some point before your clients “peace out.” As a business owner and coach, you have your weeks planned out far in advance, so, there is absolutely no reason why your clients should not receive a personal email letting them know ahead of time if your responses will be late. Announcing your lateness is actually embarrassing, and I am not sure why coaches think it is a glamorous thing to do. Like, yes, we get it, you have SO many clients (i.e., 20) that you could not possibly find the time to email them all individually. You are such an entrepreneur. #hustle.
Honestly, there are so many that I could go on forever. Within my sarcastic tone, I hope the message that comes across is simple. First, respect others. Respect their time, the money they are giving to you, and their trust in you. Second, take your job seriously. You were hired to help someone to change his or her body’s appearance or how it operates and moves. You literally hold this person’s health in your hands. So, if you can’t take your job as a coach seriously, just stop. There are plenty of amazing coaches out there who would gladly care for your clients.
"For example, performing heavy compound movements (squats/deadlifts) will create a stronger and more muscular core than basic crunches ever will."
Heavy squats and deadlifts are fantastic for strengthening the transversus abdominis and back extensors, but I think there's a harmful myth out there that heavy compounds are all you need to have nice abs. I don't think that heavy compounds will provide enough direct stimulus to the rectus abdominis, obliques, and serratus, and I see a lot of other coaches' clients buying into the myth and then wondering why these heavy lifts didn't give them a six pack. I think if we (as strength coaches) are going to say we're helping people build a stronger and more muscular core, we ought to recommend a more comprehensive approach. While I agree that doing crunches to infinity is a bad way to go about abdominal training, I think relying only on heavy compounds may leave clients underdeveloped.
I can't stand the phrase "nutrition is everything." If nutrition is everything then, we wouldn't have to even worry about training.