I have had this question asked to me several times over the past year, so I want to elaborate a little on why I benefit from having a coach.
Over the past seven years I have weight trained myself, had a personal trainer for a period of time, attended a few boot camps, did a few online challenges, had someone train me to box, and now I am a certified personal trainer myself. So what on earth do I need a coach for?
Lack of competition experience. Honestly it’s more common than you think for personal trainers to have coaches themselves. Bodybuilding is an actual competitive sport and it requires a different level of training and dieting. I myself do not have a lot of experience in the diet required for competition prep nor the specific body composition requirements that the judges are looking for on stage. So that in and of itself is one huge reason why I have a coach; lack of competition experience.
It takes the workload off yourself. I feel that having a coach takes the stress off me. I don’t have to plan out my workout regimen, I don’t have to decide how my diet is going to play out. Someone does it for me so all I have to do is what I’m told. Some people struggle with this but I personally enjoy it.
Someone holds you accountable. Ok so it’s easy to cheat yourself. Eat that bad meal, skip a training day, skip tracking your workouts. But when you have a coach you are being kept track of. Weekly I have to send my coach a spreadsheet of my weight, measurements, macros eaten, what I accomplished in my workouts, and also check in pictures. So if I slack off I’m going to hear about it. I personally am competitive enough that I NEED to show progress to my coach. I want his approval not a lecture.
He or she notices your weaknesses. This is important. Looking at yourself in the mirror or even looking at your workouts, you often may not notice what needs work. This coach is looking at you objectively and has no reason not to call it as they see it. For example, my coach knows my posterior chain needs work. I am weak and lacking muscle definition there. So he designs my program to help me grow in that area. Your coach should have enough experience to know what you are capable of and how to get you there.
You do what you are told, not what you want. If I’m training myself chances are I’m going to always add in the exercises I prefer and neglect the ones I despise. This is human nature. You may not even realize you are doing it. What body part needs the most work is often the part you don’t like to train. For me it’s legs. No way am I designing my leg day in the capacity that my coach designs it. Nuh uh, nope. I don’t enjoy leg day at all. I need to be forced to do it.
This also goes the other way. Sometimes we workout excessively. Do way more than is necessary. Whether it’s too many sets of one body part, too much cardio, too long in the gym lifting, or working too many body parts in the same day. In bodybuilding more is not always better. This can lead to overtraining and possible injuries. I was guilty of this with chest day. I loved to bench press. Eventually I needed to have shoulder surgery to check for a tear and clean inflammation out that had built up from overtraining. A coach will limit you to what is needed, and if you abide by it you will be better off for it.
Sometimes you need mental support. Chances are your spouse or family may not agree with your lifestyle. Sometimes it’s tough getting through the aggressive workouts and rigid dieting and seeing little progress week to week. It can be depressing. Your friends and family may not understand or know how to help you. To them you look amazing already and they can’t see what needs to be changed. This is when it’s nice to have a coach. He or she will support your efforts and cheer you along reminding you that it is a process and results take time. I always say my coach is part counselor 😆.
These are just some of the benefits I have seen from my time with a coach. I am seeing a huge difference in my physique versus when I was training myself. Remember even olympians have coaches. Every sport has a coach. It certainly isn’t anything to be ashamed of. If it helps you grow, why not?