From my usual ponderings through facebook and Instagram there seems to be a growing market for powerlifting coaches, everything from face to face, web based, program only, they all seem to have there positives and negatives, and all seem to be lacking something if the comments are to be believed.
You see it all, you coach knows nothing, you don’t even see your coach, how can they coach you from a video, what has your coach ever achieved, and that is barely scraping the surface of the negatives you see.
Im gonna throw my hat straight in the ring, ive tried all three of the methods of coaching I mentioned above and loved them all. From my early days of being coached faced to face by the best lifter I was local to, then went to web based skype sessions with an awesome all time rated lifter, to program only with no feedback just the trust that im going to get on it.
I found all three methods to be valuable and yes had down falls at times but as long as I applied myself and stuck to what was being programmed I made advances if not just KG lifted but doing it with better form and a lot safer
Heres just some pluses and minuses I can think of:
FACE to Face
Can be very expensive, I say can, but most face to face sessions are done as a PT session and can range anywhere between £15 to £40 an hour
Not liking your coach, so you did your research and got yourself the best only to meet them and think there an arsehole!! Then your stuck for at least 6 weeks struggling through sessions that you don’t want to be at because you cant work with them.
Your sessions are governed by there diary, you cant just train when your free you have to factor in there availability as well.
You will always have a spotter
They will see your lifts in 3D and can spot things in real time and fix them there and then.
You got someone to pick you up and support you if the session isn’t going to plan
Allows you to train under coaches from around the world.
Unable to give real time advise, relying on internet access to both send and receive videos
Accountability to a real person, end of the week having to look someone in the face via skype and tell them what you’ve done with there programming and why you missed reps etc
Making sure your available for your weekly check in at the agreed time.
No accountability, its all on you to get it done.
Again allows you to tap into the knowledge of practically anyone you can think of.
Can feel isolated especially if program clashes against what your gym buddy is doing.
Before deciding which method to go with sit down and have a serious think and be honest with yourself, if like me you need a certain amount of feeling accountable to someone at the end of the week maybe face to face or online only is the way forward, but if your one of those sickeningly driven people that can stick to a program and get things done then maybe the program only rout is to go.
Web based and program only do give you an amazing chance to work with some awesome coaches and athletes at the very top of there game. Ive recently asked Blaine Summer to program me into a meet and its been eye opening to say the least and very different from the conjugate/westside-ish programs that ive followed before.
Which brings me on to another point you need to also think about how you like to train before searching out you next coach/programing, you wouldn’t go to a westside derived coach if you wanted to do a Sheiko split or SBD every session.
The only other thing I wanna rant about is the amount of times I see people saying your coach is useless because they have a coach!!! What a load of rubbish, that is the sign of a sensible coach, you never stop learning especially in this sport. Why risk your training going bland and boring because your coach is fixated on only one group of exercises that worked for them 15 years ago, if there being coached as well it means they are having there eyes opened to new methods and ways to do things and in turn that will be passed onto you, possibly even a little refined as they learnt how to implement there ideas even better.
The best coaches ive met and worked with are those that are continually learning and taking on new methods, whatever you may think of Westside athletes they are continually evolving there training and getting stronger and stronger, there programs are now night and day to what they were doing 15 years ago and this is the progression you want to be thinking about when your choosing your coach. Have they done one meet, put in a good total and now just bang at the same drum over and over again, or are they continuing to get stronger and stronger and there clients setting PB’s at every comp.
I know where I choose to spend my time and money.