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Your Guide To Finding A Coach

SUMMARY: All the top professionals agree: Coaches are only at their best when they get coaching themselves.  In this article I'll talk about why and share some ideas for getting started.

The Therapist Who Needed Therapy

The other day, I was talking to a good friend who's a marriage counselor; a fantastic one at that.  And he told me something I found interesting, if not a little surprising.

He's actually in therapy himself.

That's right, he's a well-published, well-respected, extremely effective counselor.  Yet he also needs therapy.  And he's proud to admit it.

According to him, therapists used to be embarrassed, even ashamed to admit they got counseling themselves.  But times are changing.  And the very best professionals don't just think it's okay.  They consider it essential.

You see, a counselor's role - and a coach's role - is extremely demanding.

Working with clients requires every ounce of empathy, creativity, and compassion a coach can muster.  And the best coaches end up carrying the burdens and struggles of their clients with them, into their own lives.

That's why they need a counselor of their own.  To make sure they're mentally healthy, emotionally unburdened, and refreshed and ready to bring their best to clients, day in and day out.

As we kept talking, he shared some other benefits too.

By participating in the counseling process - this time as a client, with another skilled coach leading the way - he regularly gains new insights and learns new coaching techniques.

"During counseling sessions, I often think: 'I would've taken an entirely different approach there.  But what he did just now...that was really good!'"

How cool would it be to have a coaching mentor who takes care of your personal needs, while also helping you grow professionally?  Talk about two birds with one stone.

And here's another benefit he mentioned - one I'd have never considered:

"By paying for counseling myself, I'm actually being consistent with a deep held belief that good coaching is worth paying for."

Woah.  Did you catch that?  He's basically saying that, for a coach, the ultimate act of integrity is hiring a coach.

After all, how can you sell a client on the value of paying for a coach when you've never actually paid for a coach yourself?  That seems hypocritical, to say the least.

This Isn't Just About Therapy, It's About Fitness Too

It's about this time the big picture lesson hit me like a ton of bricks.  (I know, I'm a little slow).

This approach isn't just something for therapists.  It's something for every coach and service provider, in every field.  In the fitness area, that means personal trainers, strength coaches, nutritionists, massage therapists, etc.

You see, I travel the world presenting at seminars and hosting workshops for strength coaches, personal trainers, and nutritionists.  And I've come to learn that very few of the pros I work with have coaches.

Sure, they sign up for CEUs.  Seminars.  Weekend workshops.  Certification programs.  (Which I appreciate, of course, since Precision Nutrition offers all of them).

However, ongoing coaching is the missing link.  And that's a shame.  Because it's precisely this type of coaching that's required to go from a good professional to a real master.

Coaching: What Are Your Options?

Of course, if you're looking for coaching, there are quite a few options out there.

Depending on which areas you want to develop, you could join one of a number of distance-based mentorship programs, such as Alwyn Cosgrove's Results Fitness program or Craig Ballentyne's 100K program.

(Alwyn's mentorship is focused on developing a successful in-person training business while Craig's is focused on developing a successful online business).

You could apply for an in-person fitness internship, such as Eric Cressey's Cressey Performance internship or Mark Verstegen's Athlete's Performance internship.

(Both are excellent internships that focus on strength and conditioning development in athlete-oriented settings).

Of course, you could always hire a personal coach.  Or, another option, one we offer at Precision Nutrition, is the Lean Eating coaching program.

Specifically, each January and July we invite a small group of elite fitness professionals to go through the Lean Eating program, just as our clients do.

What do we hope they'll get out of it?  Here are just a few things:

Mastery of their own bodies
The best fitness pros - even if they're in great shape already – are always looking for new ways to use nutrition and exercise to boost their health and fitness.  To walk the talk.

So, though the Lean Eating program, we help them do that; just like we help thousands of other clients lose fat, build lean, and get a handle on their training and nutrition, once and for all.

World-class coaches to model
Whether your field is personal training, investment banking, or professional sports, the better you get, the fewer mentors there are to help you take the next step.  And that can lead to a stagnant career.

So, through the Lean Eating program, you'll get to see - behind the scenes - just how the world's best coaches do their thing.  Our coaches have been there and done that.  And just watching how they coach is worth the price of admission.  This is stuff you can't learn in a hundred seminars.

New insights into what clients go through
For most fitness and nutrition professionals, it's been a long time since they were beginners.  For this reason, it's easy to get wrapped up in being a coach; forgetting what it's like to be a client.  That's why there's a lot of value in becoming a client again.

As a client in Lean Eating, you'll get to see the world from a different vantage.  You'll have a fitness and nutrition coach.  That coach will ask you to do things, some of them challenging.  And you'll feel what exactly your clients feel when challenged.

It's a novel and humbling experience for a coach to become a client again.  It also produces a tremendous amount of growth.

New ways of teaching fitness concepts
If you've been in the field for a while now, you probably have "your way." Your way of coaching the squat.  Your way of talking about protein.  Your way of introducing supplements.  And, while your way is probably pretty great, wouldn't it be great to learn other ways too?

In the Lean Eating program, you'll get to see another way of presenting year program that's considered one of the best in the world.

So, by participating in the program as a client, you'll get to learn how we teach.  And, in doing so, you may pick up some new lessons you'll want to teach to your own clients.

Of course, I'm completely biased here.  I helped to develop the program.  I've seen what it can do.  And I think you'd get a lot out of participating.

However, Lean Eating is just one of many options.  And, in the end, what you do isn't really as important as that important you do something.

Because – for coaches – if you want to look and feel your best, learn new coaching strategies, continually update your skill set, and live in a way that's consistent, getting coaching isn't just an option, it’s a requirement.


One of the biggest things missing from the fitness profession today is nutrition coaching.  And, at Precision Nutrition, we're trying to fix that, both with our professional certification and with this free, 5-day video course for fitness professionals.

The truth is, If you can successfully teach your clients to change their nutrition habits, you will instantly become 3 to 5 times more effective as a fitness professional.

And if you can spare 12 minutes a day for the next 5 days, I'll show you exactly how to do it.  To get started, simply click the link below:


In this free course you'll discover:

- How to integrate nutrition coaching in a personal training or strength coaching environment
- How exactly to assess a new client
- How to devise a nutrition plan based on that assessment
- What stats to measure and how exactly to measure them
- How to optimize a nutrition plan based on those stats

Until next time,

John Berardi

Dr John Berardi is the director of the world’s largest body transformation project.  In the last 5 years, his team has helped over 15,000 clients lose more than 250,000 pounds of body fat.  (That’s more total weight loss than all 13 seasons of the Biggest Loser combined).  For more on his one-of-a-kind program – Lean Eating Coaching – click here.

Want more from me? Find me on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

>> Read more of John Berardi's articles here! <<

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