From Thin, to Fat, to Fit: Coaches Are People, Too

Fit2FatToFit Episode 1: From Thin To Fat To Fit Coach Is A Person, Too

From thin to fat to fit is a popular phrase used by fitness professionals and health advocates. However, it’s not just a catchy slogan or catchphrase; it’s actually true!

In the world of fitness there are many different types of coaches. Some are certified trainers while others specialize in nutrition coaching or even personal training (PT). There are also some that focus on strength training only.

The thing is, all of these types of coaches have one common trait: they’re all people too! They may be professional trainers, PTs or other kinds of coaches but they’re still human beings with feelings and emotions like everyone else. That means they’ll do things differently than someone who doesn’t work out at their gym or isn’t a trainer.

Some of them will make suggestions that you don’t agree with or they won’t listen to your feedback if you give it. Others will simply ignore your concerns altogether because they believe what they’re doing works for them. And then there are those that aren’t necessarily bad people, but just don’t understand how the body really functions and what specific changes might be needed to achieve their goals.

So which type of coach is best?

Well…it depends on your needs!

The first type of coach is the one that just ignores your input altogether. They’ll usually recommend the most popular training and nutrition practices that are currently working for them with little regard to whether they will actually work for you or not.

They’re successful so they must be doing something right, right?

That’s true in some cases but fitness is a very individual thing and just because it works for them doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you.

The second type of coach is the one that will readily ignore your concerns about their recommendations. Maybe they believe what they’re doing is right and that you just need to trust them because they’re the expert. Maybe they just like hearing themselves talk about themselves so much that they don’t even listen to what you have to say at all!

The third type of coach can be a little tricky because we’ve all met someone like this before. They often believe that they have the best of intentions for you, but their lack of understanding on how the body works leads them to make recommendations that aren’t the best for you. They may understand a little more than Type 2 coaches, but not as much as they should.

For example, they may know a little about training, but not really understand hormonal responses or how muscle building actually works. They may give you a program and tell you that it will help you lose fat, but they aren’t taking into consideration your hormonal status or any other factors that contribute to fat loss.

They may have good intentions and some of their recommendations may even be right for some people, but unless they take a full assessment of you as an individual they cannot possible know what is right for you.

The fourth type of coach is often the best because they’re usually the most interested in their clients. The fact that they’re also the least common is really a shame. These coaches are usually the ones who have a wealth of personal experience when it comes to training and nutrition.

They also tend to have a lot of knowledge in various fields such as kinesiology and other sciences related to exercise and nutrition. Many of the coaches that I’ve had over the years have been of this type. They may not always be right about everything, but their recommendations are usually based on evidenced based practices and sound research (most of the time at least, everyone makes mistakes).

From Thin, to Fat, to Fit: Coaches Are People, Too - GymFitWorkout

These are only some of the types of coaches out there, but you get the idea. Now that you know what you’re looking for, you can start deciding who to listen to.

Get Help if you Need it

If you’re going it alone then hopefully you’ve found a good coach, but if not then you may need to broaden your search or look into other resources. The internet is great, but I find that most people tend to over-rely on it for information. Unless the website has a scientific reference or at least a bibliography of some sort for their information, you don’t really know how reputable the information is.

I’ve been guilty of this myself. I love reading articles and posts on the internet about strength training and nutrition. I’ll find something that sounds logical to what I’m looking for, and even if the article sounds good, it doesn’t mean it’s right or true.

What worked well for me is joining forums or online groups that are focused on fitness. This is a great way to meet people with similar interests and learn from their experiences. Also, you can contribute what you’ve learned through your own experiences and help others.

Another place to find knowledgeable people are at your local universities. Most colleges have kinesiology departments where you can take classes to help you with your training. Some of them may even allow you to get credit for these courses.

This is probably the route I would have went if I’d known about it when I was in high school and college. These classes would have been a lot cheaper too!

Of course, maybe you did take classes that were helpful to your training and you just didn’t know it at the time. Whether you got this help from the internet, a book, an article, a coach, a class, or from another person, the important thing is that you’re learning and progressing.

Don’t think that because you’re young that you know everything there is to know about training.

Sources & references used in this article:

Smart exercise: burning fat, getting fit by C Bailey – 1996 – books.google.com

InsideOut coaching: How sports can transform lives by S Greenhalgh – 2015 – Cornell University Press

Navigating the thin-ideal in an athletic world: influence of coach communication on female athletes’ body image and health choices by J Ehrmann, G Jordan – 2011 – books.google.com

Why Some People Are Fat* and Others are Thin by BN Beckner, RA Record – Health communication, 2016 – Taylor & Francis