Well, let me first tell you this: I’m not here to preach what you should or should not do. You are always the captain of your own ship, the master and commander, the general, the emperor or the king of the world. Yeah, just like Leo was screaming it loudly from the bow of the Titanic. Remember? Of course you do.

So, then why am I writing this article if there is no real intention behind it? It’s simple because you do need to invest in your health. One way or another. This doesn’t really mean that you need to hire Personal Trainers or Coaches. You could though… Even more when you face the situation of not knowing how you could reach your goals the most efficient way possible. Sure, there are ways you could do it on your own. Research, go through the internet, ask friends for advice or whatever comes into your mind, just do something. Fact is, this will take you a lot of time and in the end you don’t really know if this works out for you in the long run. Don’t you think? We are all somehow lazy by nature and always want to save every buck, don’t we ? There are costs and expenses all over the place and sometimes you think you are just here to pay bills.

And why should you then even think of spending and investing money into Personal Training/coaching? I know what you think now and I can somehow relate to this as well, also because I know how it is being a self employed Coach. Nevertheless, our health is the most important thing we have, we should cheerish it and do the best we can in order to be able to pursuit our dreams. Think about it!

Soon, another year passes by and everyone is running around and stressed out all over the place. You run from one business apero to the next, have drinks and superficial chats almost in a 24/7 rhythm and in the end you think: when did I last do something for me, for my health, for my person? You think this year it will all get better and by January you will restart paying more attention to you and your goals? Well, it doesn’t really work that way? When we have something as important as our health, we cannot afford to procrastinate it, because in some cases, it might be too late. Looking at the current statistics in relation to how healthy we truly are in Switzerland, then we discover some surprising facts:

  • Did you know that 330’000 cases of illnesses are due to the fact that you simply move your ass not often enough? High blood pressure is the leading illness by the way.
  • 1000 people per year (within Switzerland) die just from lack of moving. Half of them die because of heart attacks.
  • Costs of inactivity are at around 2.54 Billion CHF per year. 1.17 Billion CHF are direct costs due to medical treatments and 1.37 Billions are indirect costs for example due to bad immune system (so you don’t go to work and your company needs to cover those costs)

(Quelle: BAG 2014 ZHAW/Institut für Gesundheitsökonomie)

So, just like I told you at the beginning, I’m not here to motivate you to move your body, it’s all up to you. But when you decide to move yourself out from your sofa and bring your health back again and take care of the most important part, which is your health, then I may be come into play.
And yes, if you decide to go for a Coach to bring you further towards your goal, there are some quality guidelines that you should check before you hire a coach or trainer.
Depending on what you look for, you will need to check various aspects but as an overall rule, you are pretty fine if you follow the guidelines below:

  • Education/Know-How (not just basic Fitnessinstructor stuff, check for more advanced educations that the coach might have attended abroad). Also check if he/she continues year in and year out to further broaden the horizon. Then you know you are with someone who is taking care of constant learning.
  • Experience (not just a Fitness type of person. The broader the horizon, the more life experience the person can bring into the coaching)
  • Age: well, there are exceptions of course but usually a super young girl or guy cannot have the necessary experience that is needed to do high level coaching
  • Testimonials and results: check for other client’s testimonials and results. Were they happy and did they reach their intended goals etc.
  • Inside out: Don’t get me wrong but a coach has to follow certain standards. If he wants to bring you in shape for example, he cannot walk around with a beer belly. In general it should be a «practice what you preach approach». Nevertheless, don’t get confused with looks. In the Fitness Industry most people are fake, means they look like that because they are obviously taking some extra chemistry. A natural athlete will never have a huge and shredded look. It’s just impossible. This you have to be aware of. In the end it’s all about honesty and that the coach is openly telling you what is possible in a natural way and what isn’t. Unfortunately, people nowadays get dazzled by too much fake and that’s not the fair way approach.
  • Social competence: Maybe one of the most important factors. You don’t learn this in any seminar or whatsoever. You have it all inside of you but of course you can develop this more through experience and self-reflection.
  • Client oriented vs. self centered: this is a classic. Is a trainer there to show off by letting you do tons of circus stuff exercises or is he showing you how big his biceps is and how shredded his abs are? It is just like Bruce Lee once said: The poorer we are inwardly, the more we try to enrich ourselves outwardly. Makes sense ?
  • Measuring tools etc. This could be something like a precise log book/body fat measurement tool, checking strength progress, checking blood markers etc. If your coach does not regularly check if you progress, he is not doing his job professionally.
  • Programme Design: One thing I often see with lots of trainers is that they NEVER take notes of their clients exercise progression. They just do freestyle training and expect progress like that. And it’s also clear somehow why most of them don’t do it. Because they are afraid of giving away information or they simply don’t know anything about periodisation. Clients need to have a programme that they can follow and the coach should guide them through it accordingly.
  • Proper technique: This is my favorite subject. Why ? Because I often think I’m one of very few coaches that really take care of this aspect. Maybe it’s a lack of knowledge or ignorance but proper exercise execution is vital for your muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons etc. And this requires a bit of anatomical and biomechanical knowledge. Of course there isn’t a perfect execution but one that fits your anatomy and biomechanics.
  • Nutrition knowledge: Well, Personal Trainers and coaches are not nutritionists but nevertheless they should know some things about it. If they don’t, they should have the guts to refer you to someone who is capable of dealing with your expectations, which brings me to the next point.
  • Goal oriented: If your trainer/coach is a I-do-it-all kind of person, something might be wrong. The field of fitness has so many different aspects that it is just impossible for a trainer to be a specialist in many fields. He or she should be honest enough to refer you to other specialits if he/she cannot deal with your request. For example: I would never prepare someone for a Marathon because I’m not educated enough in this area.
  • Chemistry: nothing to add but this has to be a match otherwise the trainer and the client both lose too much energy and it doesn’t lead to a healthy and sustainable customer-coach relationship.

Now, I’ve showed you some tools on how to check for a great coach. Go out with this information and filter them. Don’t wait for summer to come, start your journey now and stop procrastinating YOUR health!