WSBB Blog: Strong Theory, Weak Application
In the world of social media, new coaches arrive daily to serve a constantly expanding customer base that is ready and willing to pay whatever amount of cash it takes to deliver the strength training results they are looking for. The internet has afforded the modern strength coach the ability to connect with millions of potential clients from around the world, allowing for money to be made like never before. Since the onset of the 2010’s, weight training has become more and more popular, leading to an increased interest in sports such as powerlifting, strongman, and CrossFit.
Like the gold rush in the old west, coaches from far and wide traveled to social media to begin pleading their case to the masses hoping to increase their following, and ultimately their sales. Along with the increased interest in social media coaching and personal training came a rush of new lifters looking for the fastest route to sport success they could find. As demand began to increase, so did the number of coaches seeking to make the cash they have heard other coaches are making. Unfortunately, this competition did not elevate the art of coaching. Instead, in search of increased popularity, many coaches decided to take the easy road of speaking in absolutes and arrogantly claiming their methodology to be superior without the training outcomes to match these claims.
Walk the Walk
Nowadays, strength coaches seem to come in two forms; The one you can tell trains regularly without having to ask them, and the one that has to tell you they train for you to even believe it to be possible. At Westside, we have long understood and preached the benefits of constantly seeking knowledge, dedicating as much time to the books as you do the weights. The problem today is the marketplace influencing the approach the modern coach takes to develop their business and achieve success. The strength coach of the past had to rely heavily on merit, having to look the part to earn the respect of the athletes they were in charge of, and having to actually produce results for these athletes in order to remain considered an authority amongst them.
Today, we see coaches similar to those of the past, but we are also seeing the emergence of the egotistical coach who bases success on a follower count and leverages degrees and titles for credibility to make up for a lack of success delivering notable results to clients or athletes. Fortunately, these coaches are rather easy to identify. The biggest sign you’re dealing with a bullshit artist coach is a coach who likes to says they know the exact way an athlete should be trained. More often than not, this will involve some sort of phase-based linear approach, including the use of popular social media exercises, with a heavy focus on “mobility” or “injury prevention” to make prospective clients feel safer knowing that Coach will keep protect them. These coaches will post a lot of content featuring endless talking with a lot of hand motion, however, videos of them actually following their own methods and having success are noticeably missing.
Don’t Be a Sellout
There is one thing that will always remain true regardless of the business you are in; Being original and authentic affords you a longer shelf life. Choosing to follow the trends of the day is the easy road, what approach or perspective can you offer that sets you apart from the mainstream? Avoid being the coach that is constantly jumping from one trend to the next, faking an internet personality in order to sell worthless goods and services to a misinformed following.
Find a methodology or approach you truly believe in and master it. The first step to proving your methods is by using them to improve your athletic ability and sports performance. Next, apply your methods to your athletes or clients using their success as further proof that your methods work. Finally, continue to train, learn, and sharpen your approach. Always remain in the gym, in the trenches, doing the work it takes to make yourself a better athlete and a better coach. Internet fame and popularity will only last so long, trends will go out of style. Be original, and have a training philosophy rooted in knowledge and experience.