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What You Should Look For In A Strength Coach Before You Hire

What You Should Look For In A Strength Coach Before You Hire

  1. Are you looking at stepping up your fitness and performance and considering hiring an independent strength coach or trainer?
  2. Are you having a difficult time on how to make a decision for who to hire?
  3. Do you know what characteristics to look for in a coach or trainer so that you feel comfortable about your investment?

If you’re interested in hiring an independent strength coach, or fitness trainer then you need to consider a few things. Sure you would be expected to do your homework with any other hire, but let’s face it hiring your own independent strength and conditioning coach, or fitness trainer is a unique hire for a number of different reasons. I’ll work to try to help you with that process here in today’s article.

Expectations Regarding A Strength Coach

Guys performing agility drills under the watchful eye of a strength coachBefore you go looking to hire your own fitness trainer, or strength coach you first need figure out your own level of commitment and goals. If you’re a competitive athlete that is serious about your training that’s great, however you will also need to evaluate what reasonable expectations involve in terms of your own level of commitment.

Hiring a professionals is great idea. Hell, I’m a professional strength coach myself so I’m certainly going to be in support of it. However, being a coach that offers services to the public in a free market system I have learned over the years that it’s the student doing the hiring that is going to have his or her work cut out for them especially if they are serious about getting results.

What I mean by this is that I believe people often look at strength coaches through the lens of sports teams and how professional strength coaches direct those athletes in their training. This is a bit unreasonable as most people, including competitive athletes, that live day to day pursuing careers, school, family, and most other normal life tasks are working within a bit of a different model than professional athletes that are contracted by sports teams.

It’s easy to control athletes in a team environment at the Division-1 and professional level since collectively these athletes pretty much share the same life schedule, practice schedule, and training schedule. As a strength coach it’s easier to plan on what you need to do regarding an athlete’s training since their life schedule is consistent from day to day and from week to week.

However if you’re a business owner, or have a demanding career, but value your training then your hired coach is more than likely going to be structuring your training around your life schedule and needs. This doesn’t mean that it’s not worth the investment for you to hire your own strength coach, or trainer, but it’s something you need to be aware of in terms of your approach to contracting out to a professional.

Things To Look For In A Strength Coach

Strength coach performing a step up on a boxWhen it comes to hiring a coach, or trainer you obviously want to do your due diligence. Having been in the fitness business now for over 17 years I can tell you that when it comes to you hiring a coach or trainer you want to consider some things. Granted some of the things I’m going to outline here will probably be fairly obvious, but I’m certain there may be one or two things that you may not have thought of before.

Consider the following when looking at a coach or trainer…

  • Years of experience
  • CSCS designation (Certification)
  • Does the coach do a good job of explaining his or her approach to training
  • Does the coach communicate in way to help trainees understand the execution of movement with the use of effective cuing
  • Is the coach’s approach practical and direct
  • Does the coach come by a reputable referral 

These are just a few things to consider and if you’re not sure about them then another great option is to look into to other resources such as the coach’s social media, website information, and perhaps even asking them to let you sit in on a training session to see how he or she operates. At the end of the day you just want to have confidence in the coach’s ability and like the way he or she communicates.

One real way to evaluate this involves how the coach cues a trainee to perform movements that they may have a difficult time comprehending. Of course I mentioned cuing in the list, but this is a big one as cuing is a skill that comes with experience so in a way you’re checking a couple of things off the list.

One example of this that I like to use when communicating to a trainee how to go about performing a box jump is trying to emphasize the importance of landing on the box softly and with control. To communicate this to the trainee I like to tell them to imagine they are landing on a glass surface and the goal is to not break the glass. This allows them to internalize the meaning and control their body for the movement so that they land on the box without crashing their feet onto it.

The Takeaway 

At the end of the day you want to invest some time in getting to know the coach before pulling the trigger on a hire. More than likely you’re not going to find the caliber coach you need the most in a general health club chain. Most of the high profile coaches are going to be independent.

Are you currently working with a strength coach? 

Does your coach do a good job of cuing to help communicate the execution of movement? 

Please share in the comment section here below. 

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Brandon

I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

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