Questions you should ask before hiring a strength coach.
Every time a prospective client walks through our doors for the first time we are basically going through a job interview to get them to hire us. Quite often we are asked the same questions. Questions like what is your formal education? Do you have a degree in Kinesiology or related field? What certifications do you have? While these are important questions to ask they do not make my top 3 questions to ask when hiring a strength coach. The following are criteria that i believe every person interested in hiring a strength coach should ask.
1.) Who have they trained? The first question a person should ask is what type of clients do they train? If a trainer says they specialize in training strength athletes, endurance athletes, general populations, weight loss people, body builders, highschool athletes, post rehabilitaion people, etc. then chances are they don't really specialize in anything. At Adrenaline we are fortunate enough to have a team of trainers that actually have different niches that we specialize in. We are not all carbon copies of one another, instead our different areas of expertise compliment each other. If your goal is to to be the next great powerlifter or strongman or maybe you just want to be a little stronger. Hiring an experienced strength coach with a proven track record will definately get you off on the right foot. However, If a trainer hasn't made anyone else strong what are the odds that they could make you strong.
2.) Who have they trained under? This is the second question that i would ask. You can only learn so much from books. Ask your strength coach who they have trained under. We were fortunate when we first started our careers to receive training and guidance from the best IPF powerlifting club in Western Canada. Currently we are fortunate enough to train along side the best strongman in Western Canada. Thats not a bad resume. The experience and knowledge we have gained from these mentors is not something that can be picked up from reading a book or watching some youtube video.
3.) What have they done themselves? This one can be a little misleading. The strongest guy in the gym isn't necessarily the most knowledgable. They might know how to make themselves strong but can they make you strong? I find the best coaches in any sport were not always the best athletes. Take football or hockey for example. It is usually the "ok players" that go on to make great coaches. Same can be said about strength coaches. A good strength coach does not have to be one of the few elite. However, they should have put up respecatable numbers as a lifter in either the past or the present. Take a strength coach who doesn't have the best genetics to be the strongest but has the passion and desire to get in the gym and grind day in and day out to be the stongest version of themselves. Not only have they sacrificed blood, sweat and tears, it is likely that these trainers have exhausted every resource in the persuit to put an extra pound on the bar. So in this situation would you rather learn from someone who has had to claw tooth and nail for every pound they put on the bar or someone who was born strong.