There’s a lot of bullshit out there.
And “stuff” that the general public just don’t know.
This post holds true for 99% of the general public.
The other 1%? Individuals with EXTREMELY specific training requirements -> competitive powerlifters, professional athletes, MMA fighters, bodybuilders, etc.
For those? Hiring not just any coach, but the CORRECT coach could be the difference between a first-place finish (and the corresponding prize money) and a consolation prize of a bathrobe.
But the vast majority of people don’t fall into this category.
Most of us want the same things we all want. General health. An attractive physique. Longevity. High quality of life. Mostly obvious, applicable, common characteristics.
The big overlying piece to this entire article?
There are no secrets in the fitness industry.
None. None whatsoever. And there’s your first takeaway. If your primary goal is to look and feel better, even optimal, and someone attempts to get you to “click here” and spend away for the latest fitness “secrets”…………..close that browser quick, fast, and in a hurry.
It’s all there. It’s all out there. On sites like this one, or bigger, more popular sites. There’s a zillion ways of calculating your correct macros (a quick google search of “how to calculate your macros” had over ONE MILLION links). There’s countless fitness programs that work. There are no secrets out there.
Well, that might not entirely be true.
While there’s no secrets on how to lose fat, gain muscle, and kick ass – simultaneously – there are some items that your online coach or trainer might not openly discuss with you……..
Fitness Industry Secret #1: Consistency, and nothing else, will determine your ultimate success and/or failure.
Anything will work for a moment in time.
Start any program and you will see results. With the proper parameters and adjustments along the way, any program can be taken as far as you’d like.
Same with your dieting regimen.
It really doesn’t matter if you’re talking low-carb, no-carb, ketosis, Atkins, low-fat, Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers, paleo, South Beach, The Mediterranean diet, or going vegan.
They will all cause you to lose weight.
What will determine your ability to maintain your weight and new-found fitness level is your ability to remain consistent.
Your behavior over a very long period of time will determine whether you “win” or “lose”.
It’s not how you do short-term. Anyone can stick to a plan for 90 days. Anyone. Just ask someone who’s been through P90x.
But true fitness and health are the factors of how you do indefinitely. Forever.
Remember this before you sign up for your next “30-day air-squat challenge”.
An “80-year air-squat challenge” would be entirely more accurate and fitting – assuming maintaining your improvements interests you in the least.
Fitness Industry Secret #2: Losing weight, in the short term, is incredibly simple and relatively easy.
Don’t be fooled by hearing a sales pitch about the “latest and greatest” fat-shredding plans.
They’re all the same.
Your calories will be manipulated, either through diet or exercise.
You burn more than you take in, and you lose weight. Easy as that.
All of those diet plans mentioned in #1? Why do they work? A decrease in overall caloric intake. That’s it and that’s all.
You’re not “keeping your insulin at bay” or “losing pure fat due to fasting” or “benefiting from the caloric ‘afterburn'” or anything goofy like that. You’re bringing in less than you’re expanding.
And weight is being lost.
No matter how you slice it.
Fitness Industry Secret #3: Maintaining weight loss long-term relies mainly on one factor: sustainability.
An unscrupulous coach will give you a minuscule amount of calories to eat and an insubordinate amount of activity to partake in.
And in 12 weeks? You’ll have one kick-ass before and after picture. (More on that in a bit.)
In 30 weeks? Good luck trying to keep that weight off.
The best coaches? They will focus their efforts entirely on the sustainability of their program.
They know that their system and their product contains methods which can be continuously used – forever.
12 week before and afters? Forget that nonsense. The best coaches are looking for FIVE YEAR before and afters.
Who gives a shit if you lose bunches in 12 weeks and look different as a result?
The most telling evidence is that a coach’s client “figured out” how to remain lean, fit, and healthy – for life.
And how is this best accomplished?
By eating as MUCH as you possibly can – while still losing weight.
And by training as LITTLE as you possibly can – while still gaining strength and/or musculature.
NOT vice versa.
Fitness Industry Secret #4: Almost zero coaches will give you a training plan with no nutritional plan –> for a reason.
For long term success, quality coaches will ALWAYS give you a proper nutritional plan.
Regardless of what anyone says, you can’t out-train a bad diet.
There is not a snowball’s chance in hell all of those amazing before and after pictures you see on the internet are functions of training and training only.
Easily, the most efficient way of improving your body composition is by eating whole, nutritious, vitamin-rich food.
Training hard is a distant second. Important? Sure. But second place, without a doubt.
So, if your plan is to “run” so you can “eat”……there’s a very slim chance that you’ve “cracked the code”.
Before you decide to purchase a coach’s services, if your primary goal is simple weight loss, give eating better a try.
You have a very good chance you’ll realize you just might not need that coach after all.
Fitness Industry Secret #5: The list of movements necessary for optimal health, fitness, and physique is short and sweet.
Okay, here goes…….how many movements do you TRULY need? Many would argue two.
Squat and deadlift.
Seriously. That’s it.
Squat hard on Monday, deadlift hard on Friday, watch your intake on the other days.
And that’s about it.
Those two, indisputable, important exercises can easily create an attractive, fit, and healthy physique – for a lifetime.
Nothing additional required.
Okay, okay, you want to have a bigger chest. And wider shoulders. And bigger biceps.
We can throw in a few more…………bench press, overhead press, pull-ups, and rows. And maybe hip thrusts.
You can use some variations to break up the monotony.
But you need no more.
Think you’ll get bored? Think again. Knowing that each day, you’re doing something you couldn’t do the previous day is literally the most important feeling in the universe.
And with properly done squats and deadlifts, you’ll be doing just that.
So, before you begin to look at the fancy-looking training regimens of a particular coach, just remember this: Fancy isn’t necessarily better. The same exercises which have produced elite physiques today are the same exercises which have produced elite physiques forever.
The choices are limited and finite.
No kettleballs required.
Fitness Industry Secret #6: Intensity (90%) and programming (10%) will determine how close you get to your maximum genetic, muscular potential.
And the only reason programming even gets 10% is due to the obviously stupid shit so many people do.
Don’t do stupid shit. Make sure you have a plan. Have a program. Don’t just head into the gym and do “whatever you feel like” for that day.
I am impartial to reverse pyramid training – but it’s not the end-all-be-all.
Any smart training program will produce the desired results you’re looking for.
Starting Strength, 5-3-1, Stronglifts, Texas Method, Doggcrapp (yes, that’s a real program), etc. They will all work.
But what determines if they will work? Your intensity in the gym and nothing more.
Do you have the guts (or the balls) to push yourself to the max when asked? Then you’ll grow.
And you’ll get stronger.
It’ll take some time, sure. But it’ll work.
And if it’s not working? There’s one, single thing lacking, assuming you have an intelligent nutritional plan and get good rest.
Fitness Industry Secret #7: Selling supplements is a money grab – and nothing more.
It doesn’t matter in the least if your coach truly believes in their own version of protein powder.
Or a particular “pre-workout” they are touting.
They are trying to make money. On you. 100%. Beyond a shadow of a doubt.
And they know this.
Do you REALLY think their supplement will do the “trick” and get you “there”?
Go buy it on Amazon.
For half price.
Fitness Industry Secret #8: Phrases like “cuttting-edge”, “research based”, “results driven”, “alpha”, and “metabolic” are marketing gimmicks and nothing more.
The first rule of advertising: You are selling an IDEA, not a product.
Don’t be fooled by fancy sounding words.
Of course the shit your coach sells you is “research based” and “results driven”. If it didn’t provide results, then your coach would be out of business – fast.
Want to see what will determine your ultimate success?
Consistency. Over a very long period of time.
And what, ultimately, determines consistency?
Sustainability. The ability of your coach’s program to be followed – indefinitely.
When choosing a coach, be sure to ask yourself, “Can I do this program forever?”
And if the answer is “no”? Run for the hills.
See a pattern here?
Fitness Industry Secret #9: Every fitness coach has their preferences, but in order to retain credibility, and sell their services, they must always adhere to the answer “it depends”.
Many coaches, when asked, will fill your head with it “might” be this and it “may” be that – all the while never giving a straight answer.
And most of them? Their workout plans? They’re generally the same.
Sure there will be various templates your coach will use for their clients.
A beginner gets this, an intermediate gets that, an advanced trainer receives an appropriate training plan.
Things of that nature.
Certain exercises may or may not be swapped out to meet the specific goals of the individual.
But in all honesty?
We are all people. We all have the same, basic physiological capabilities, assuming general well being.
So, when a coach seems “wishy-washy”? It’s for one of two reasons: To get you to buy their product or to retain credibility that they rely entirely on “research based evidence”.
Which isn’t in and of itself a bad thing.
But to posture like they don’t have personal preferences on how someone can meet their goals?
Marketing 101, my friends.
Fitness Industry Secret #10: A coach’s results (often seen on the before and after page of their site) are mainly functions of one variable: proper compliance. This variable correlates very closely with said coach’s price to hire.
Think about that statement for a bit.
The “bigger” the coach, the “better” the before and after picture.
When a coach is first starting out, their prices are lower.
They have to be –> it’s simple supply and demand economics.
Over time? Assuming the coach is competent and knowledgeable?
They gain popularity. Their website reaches more people. Credibility is obtained.
And ultimately, prices go up.
Many of the top online coaches have prices that, quite literally, would pay for your gym membership 10 times over……..and then some…….for a 12-week program.
And those coaches?
When you’re paying close to a thousand dollars (sometimes more) for a 12-week program, are you going to follow it?
You’re damn right you are. To a “t”.
That’s a hell of an investment.
And with proper compliance and proper consistency come proper results – and the corresponding, impressive before and after pictures as a result.
Have you ever gone to your local video store and found a $3 DVD, purchased it, brought it home, and never watched it?
Why on earth would you ever do that? Purchase a movie and never watch the damn thing?
Because it only cost $3. That’s why.
But if you drop $50 on a special, director’s cut of Scarface with your very own cocaine sprinkled into the wrapper?
You’re watching that bad boy the second you get home.
The top coaches out there can charge so much because they KNOW the clients they work with will be compliant and consistent. Because if they aren’t, they’re losing out on their investment.
Fitness Industry Secret #11 (Super-Secret BONUS Truth): You can do it ALL, YOURSELF, FOR NOTHING.
You can do it.
There’s templates out there. Resources to research. Videos to watch.
It’s all out there.
And you don’t have to spend a penny.
Then what the hell am I even paying a coach for???
-actual quote from a concerned reader.
Well, it’s all laid out for you. The dirty little secrets YOUR online coach doesn’t want you to know.
What on God’s green earth are you actually paying for?
A lot. Seriously.
While you might be able to figure it out on your own, it’s going to take some time.
And some self-experimentation. And some research.
It’s going to take a fair amount of effort.
Millions have done it, but it takes a shit-ton of hard work and effort if you’re going at it alone.
Ever get your house’s windows washed by a professional?
That shit costs you upwards of $200.
You can do it all for a $3 bottle of Windex and some rags.
So, why would you ever pay someone else?
Because you don’t want to do it yourself.
Which is completely understandable and acceptable, assuming you have the means.
B) Understanding and Compassion
Your coach knows what you’ve been through.
Some of the best coaches out there? They’ve been in your shoes. They can feel your pain.
They can ease your anxiety and your frustration.
They can earn your trust and they will allow you to not get caught up in the minute details.
They should make you feel like you matter, like you’re worth it, and like you’re the only client they have.
It’s hard to put a price tag on that.
It’s a difficult thing to go at diet and fitness alone.
And your coach should be your partner.
Your shoulder to cry on, metaphorically or literally.
You’re in this together. You need someone to fight WITH.
There’s strength in numbers. And knowing somebody is on your side is a comforting feeling indeed.
Your coach should have checkpoints. If they don’t, they aren’t worth the words typed on their website.
Knowing you have a definite check-in with your coach helps to keep you on the right track.
Whether it’s a weekly check-in, an official “monthly progress” report, or just a casual “how’s it going” type email……..a coach should be willing and able to hold you to task.
Doing this will go very far in helping out your number one factor to ultimate success: consistency.
E) Monetary Motivation
This should be obvious.
As previously stated, when a client makes an investment in themselves, they are much more likely to comply.
I’ve given “programs” – pro bono – to a few close friends and family members.
And it saddens me to say – they seldom are followed consistently.
But when someone drops loot on their well-being? Everything changes.
We are a capitalistic society. Money talks.
And when you drop it on yourself, your odds of success skyrocket.
F) Definitive Answers
When you’re attempting to better yourself in diet and fitness, you’re going to run into issues.
Weight loss stalls.
Strength gain stalls.
Moments of being unsure.
And your coach? They should be able to give you simple, straightforward, uncomplicated means of answering the question they’ve been presented with.
Alterations, adjustments, and advice as needed.
Which ultimately saves you time, effort, and energy in the long run.
It would be incredibly hypocritical for me to claim online coaches don’t have any value. Obviously. Since I am one.
But before you make a choice and decision to invest in one, be sure you’re doing it for the right reasons.
And not the wrong ones.
I hope you found this post useful. Feel free to put any comments you wish below.