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Why do you have your own Coach?

When you first started training at the Zone, the first thing that happened was you were given your own personal coach.

Maybe you realized at the time—or maybe you didn’t—but having your own personal coach is a fairly unique concept in our broader community. Talk to your friends who CrossFit at another gym in a different city, and chances are they probably don’t have a personal coach in their corner.

But have you ever thought about why we do it this way?

Why we think it’s best for you to have a consistent coach for the duration of your time with us?

I can assure you it wasn’t an arbitrary decision. We do it this way because we think it’s the best way to help you be successful with your long term fitness plan.

Let me sidetrack for a moment here and say this:

The fitness industry is a mess!

Part of the messiness is because most people who become personal trainers, or bootcamp, or spin class, or yoga, or CrossFit instructors do it for an average of one to three years and then they quit and move on to something else because they realize they’ll never make a living in the fitness industry.

Truth is, there are very few full-time, career fitness coaches today (let alone professional coaches). Most fitness instructors have other jobs, and they coach on the side (sometimes just to get a free membership in exchange for their coaching services).

In most (other) gyms, for the client, this means one of two things:

1. The part-time coaches at your gym just aren’t that invested in you.
2. Just as you get to know and develop rapport with you a trainer or coach, he leaves!

This was definitely the case for Sheldon Suen, a 42-year-old in Vancouver, B.C., who was looking for a stable coach in his life and was struggling to find one.

“I went through four coaches in two years…because trainers kept quitting. One trainer would just get to know me, and then he would leave and I would lose my routine…It was just a constant cycle. And it wasn’t working for me…I was looking for someone—a coach—who could help me, and who was focused on the health side, as opposed to the competition side,” he said.

We’re part of a movement that’s changing this. We have found a way to help coaches become career coaches able to make a professional living in the fitness industry. And because of this, coaches stick around are are able to offer you more coaching security by providing you with an invested coach for life.

Our hope with the coach for life concept is for you to have someone to manage your health and wellness for years to come—the same way you have a family doctor, accountant, lawyer, and maybe even hairdresser for the duration of your entire life.

This doesn’t mean you can’t work with other coaches, of course. It just means your personal coach—the one who put you through your first day experience at our gym, who trained you during personal training, and who probably still coaches many of the classes you attend—is more invested in  your progress than any  other coach you may have met at any other gym!

And if you ever want more personal training, or an individual program to work on specific weaknesses, or you find yourself needing to rehab from an injury at some point, or you want some diet advice, or just need someone to vent about life, you have a personal coach to turn to.

We’re well on our way! We’re part of a larger business network called the MadLab Group—a group of gym owners who have all embraced the concept of the coach for life.

Pam Headley, a client with a coach for life at TracFit in San Jose, said this:

“It doesn’t make sense to do it any other way. If we have a coach monitoring our fitness, then we won’t need a doctor as much…I’m not the same person I was 20 years ago. My needs change as I age, so why would I want to navigate that on my own? I wish more people would recognize the importance of having longterm fitness goals. It’s your body. you’re going to have it your whole life, so why would you not try to take care of it? And why would you try to do it on your own?”

Fundamentals/Personal Training

5. Fundamentals/Personal Training

When you started training with us, you most likely went through a one-on-one introductory session with a coach, and then 10-20 personal training sessions with this same coach, where he/she worked with you on your strengths and weaknesses and got you prepared for classes at a speed that was comfortable for you. And before you were graduated to group classes, you had to reach a certain fitness level before qualifying.

If we’re doing it right, then you probably developed a relationship with this coach and feel like you have someone in your corner helping you reach your health and fitness goals.

Can you imagine what your gym life would look like without having gone through personal training? If you had been thrown right into the fire of group classes on day 1? If you would have been asked to snatch on day 2? It probably wouldn’t have gone all that well for you, right?

Many gyms do just that: They throw you directly into the fire of group classes, or they put you through a 12-person group fundamentals program and you never learn the movements properly because you don’t receive enough one-on-one attention. Best case scenario, you get by because you happen to move well and be athletic. Worst case scenario, you get injured or overwhelmed and quit. Through it all, you never get the chance to really get to know your coach. In fact, you probably are never even given the option to have a personal coach.

A one-on-one intro day, followed by 10-20 personal training sessions, is part of the MadLab prescription. It’s what we have discovered is best for performance, for health and safety, and for longevity at the gym.

Coach for Life

4. Coach for Life

We’re not interested in New Year’s revolutionist clients. We’re interested in clients who are looking for a coach and fitness program to keep them healthy and fit for life.

The same way most of us have a family doctor our entire lives, and likely an accountant and maybe even a lawyer, our hope is that your MadLab coach becomes your fitness, health and wellness, and nutrition coach for life—someone you turn to to help you when you’re 20, when you’re 40 and when you’re 85 years old.

Believe it or not, this is RARE in the fitness industry today. What is more common are personal trainers or CrossFit coaches who stick around for just a couple years. The reason they leave the industry is because they can’t make a living coaching. For the client this means the gym you’re at is often marred by a constant revolving door of coaches.

MadLab’s biggest goal is to professionalize the industry so its coaches can earn professional wages and become career coaches—meaning they stick around for years, even decades.

For YOU, this means you won’t have a constant revolving door of coaches; you’ll have someone in your corner for life.

MadLab-trained Coaches

#3  MadLab-trained Coaches

Let’s be honest: The fitness industry is somewhat F-ed up. Anyone can call himself a personal trainer, whether he took a weekend course or did a four-year educational program.

MadLab coaches have all been through a two-year apprentice coach diploma program (the MadLab PCDP—professional coach diploma program) (More on the details of PCDP in an upcoming post).

In short, your coach knows what he/she’s talking about—how to keep you working toward your goals, and how to keep you injury-free.