We all want to explore the depth of our capabilities, and continue to push our limits. If you’ve climbed a mountain and enjoyed it, you’re going to want to climb another more difficult one. There’s a great excitement that comes with taking risks and challenging yourself, but there’s a certain level we don’t go past because we don’t want to get hurt. Unless you feel extremely confident in your ability to keep yourself safe, you will most likely prefer to have a mountain guide lead you to the top of that mountain.
A similar concept follows when it comes to training. You can keep pushing your body to improve without guidance, or you can progress and grow with the right support. Here are some reasons why having individualized programming and coaching is helpful.
You train because you have certain goals; whether they’re increasing your fitness level, maintaining good health, or improving your athletic career. Probably the biggest reason people work with a coach is to help them achieve their goals. And one of the coach’s main roles is to be able to develop a plan/program that will help the client achieve them.
Just like learning to play an instrument, you could be self-taught and learn the notes from an online source or from observing others. On the other hand you could also get an instructor who will not only teach you the notes, but will also provide you with the right exercises to learn the skills that you need to be a better musician.
One of the most significant benefits is when it comes to working on your weaknesses. In order to move better, be healthier, or become a more proficient athlete, you must have an honest evaluation of both your strengths and weaknesses. That way you can then modify and enhance the areas that are holding you back as well improve further.
There may be certain muscles/areas in your body that need strengthening, or imbalances in your form that need correcting. Not only is it difficult for you to assess your own body, but it may also be less effective for you to design your own program to address these areas if you do not have the adequate experience/knowledge.
Feedback and Information
To the untrained eye, things may seem right when evaluating your body and how you move, but there may be nuances that only an expert notices. An experienced coach is better equipped to objectively analyze the way you move and give you clear and constructive feedback to help you improve your technique and/or get stronger.
When it comes to complex movements, minor adjustments can make a significant difference and positively impact your performance. Even with less technical exercises, the coach could offer suggestions on how to breathe, time your movements, and pace your workout.
Information can be gained not only about your own body, but also about fitness, sports, and health in general. Your coach could be a source of knowledge, or at the very least someone who can point you in the right direction with the information you are looking for. Continuous learning is always good for your brain and soul, and learning from others can give you a lot of insight into new avenues.
One of the most important advantages in terms of health is to prevent or reduce the risk of injury by teaching good form. This, again, is where receiving professional observation and feedback is key as it’s more difficult to diagnose a problem or be aware of subtle incorrect movements when training on your own. Even if you are a professional athlete or coach, an external observer can notice things you might not. It’s easy to let things build up without even realizing it until your body breaks down, so get yourself a good coach’s eye before it leads to injury or longstanding physical issues.
In addition to bad form, an uncontrolled or haphazard program could lead to injury as you may be doing too much, conducting certain movements or lifting weights that your body isn’t ready for. A good coach will write a program that fits your needs and progresses nicely into heavier weights or more intense/difficult levels at a pace that works for you.
Lots of people struggle with being consistent with their training because they get bored, don’t see progress, or need a push from an external source. If you relate to any of this, then having a coach would be very helpful to you. The coach could make sure to change things up often enough for you not to get bored. Plus, it’s always more fun to work out with someone, assuming you get along with them! You will also see progress if the program is right for you and you stay consistent. If you aren’t making any headway, you and your coach can identify the reason your progress is being stymied and address it.
Also, you are more likely to commit to something you have invested in both financially and psychologically. Not to mention that being held accountable for completing your workouts and the efforts you put into them would make it less likely that you skip your training or slack off during.
It’s no mystery or revelation that following a program designed specifically for you and getting professional coaching has so many benefits, and I can say from my own experience that I’ve learned so much from just the little time I’ve spent so far working with my coach. Nowadays with the Internet and exposure we have, it’s not difficult to find a great coach that’s suitable for you even if they are in a different country (of course considering that you are able and/or willing to invest some money into this).
When looking for a coach, it would be more effective to work with someone who is either specialized in your focus area, or has significant experience in the field. For example, if you are looking to become a better endurance athlete, then it would be best to seek out someone who is either an expert in that field or who works with them. It would also make more sense to work with a coach who has a physiotherapy background if you have injuries that need extra care.
One more factor to take into consideration is your relationship with the coach – it’s important for you to relate well to each other and feel safe enough that you receive their feedback well and trust in their method and approach. Also, building a positive relationship with your coach can make the journey much more enjoyable.
This is not a quick fix though, and it’s not about someone else doing the work for you. It’s about taking your goals seriously, and wanting to grow and evolve in ways that you couldn’t on your own.
Maha is a Psychosexual and Relationship counsellor who grew up in Lebanon, studied in London, and has been living in Dubai since 2013. She has always been active and involved in sports even from a very young age, but her interests evolved into more nature-based activities with time. She is extremely passionate about adventure, the outdoors, and fitness in general, and mostly enjoys Rock Climbing, Olympic Weightlifting, Mountaineering and Hiking, Traveling, Snowboarding, and High Intensity Training. She finds engaging in challenging activities and being connected to nature to be very therapeutic, and aspires to continue to grow through these experiences. Seeing and feeling the changes and benefits of this lifestyle herself, she hopes to inspire others to step out of their comfort zone and live a more healthy, passionate, and fulfilling life by sharing her own journey and adventures.