Ever felt overwhelmed by the number of options you have when it comes to picking the right strength and conditioning coach? Hundreds of different facilities. Thousands of different trainers. All telling you that they are the best option for you. Well believe me, strength coaches are not all created equal. Here are some tips that will help you sift through the thousands of pieces of coal and help you find your diamond in the rough.

  • What do they call themselves? Do they refer to themselves as a “personal trainer”, “strength coach” or a “performance coach/specialist”? If they don’t take themselves seriously then you shouldn’t either.
  • What is their cliental? Look for a performance coach that works with athletes that are similar to you and with athletes that are better than you. If you are the best athlete working out with your trainer then you may have reached their ceiling.
  • Check their education. Where did they go to college? What certifications do they have. If you are an athlete I would highly recommend looking for someone that is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). This is not the end all be all but is a good start.
  • Are they continuing their training? Do they go to conferences, read books and articles, etc. Ask them to explain some of the new stuff they have been learning about.
  • Are they educating YOU!? A good performance coach should be empowering you mentally as well as physically. Make sure they educate you on lifts, theory, strategy, etc. Knowledge is power!
  • Are they hands on? A good performance coach should be putting their hands on you and constantly correcting your technique and form. If you have worked out with a performance coach for 30 minutes and they have not physically touched you to cue you or fix something then you are likely with the wrong person.
  • Do they give you corrective exercises? No one is perfect and everyone has stuff that needs to be worked on outside of your time with your performance coach. Make sure they are giving you things to work on at home to help you correct these limitations.
  • Is your program cookie cutter or personalized? You should be looking for a performance coach that will design or modify the strength and conditioning program to fit your needs. You should not be doing all the same things as the other people in your group.
  • Do they make you do a screen prior to training? A good Performance Coach will want to have you screened by a Physical Therapist or other professional prior to working with you so they know what your needs are and how to build a program to fit it.
  • What types of lifts are you doing? Your workout should be mostly total body movements that work in a variety of planes and should be always changing. You should not be doing more than 1-2 single joint exercises (bicep curls, seated knee extension, calf raises) during a workout unless you are a body builder.
  • Is there progression? Lifting and conditioning programs should be changing as you grow and as the seasons change. Reps, sets, frequency and weights should all be changing throughout the year.
  • Do they communicate with other professionals? Your performance coach should be asking who your athletic trainer, physical therapist, or skills coach are so that they can communicate with them and modify your program as needed based on their feedback and input.
  • Do you like their personality? When it is all said and done, you will be spending a lot of time with your performance coach. Make sure it’s someone you can stand to be around.

Do not be afraid to ask any or all of these questions when you meet with a Performance Coach. You are paying good money with the anticipation that they will positively effect your life. Make sure they are the right fit for you.

For more information on how to select your ultimate performance team or for more information on how to safely and efficiently increase your performance please check out paramountperformancept.com and follow us on facebook.