Don’t Hire Me Or Any Other Health Coach/Personal Trainer Until You’ve Read This…
4 Reasons Your Current Program is Probably Ruining Your Health
1) Time Frame Issues
Is your program built for short term gain or long term success. The majority of programs are built for the former: Great abs in 6 weeks, Lose 10 kilos in 30 days. Why? Because that’s what the consumer wants. Quick and easy results. What you have to realise is that short term success in health and fitness often comes at the EXPENSE of long term success. A quick look at the legend that is Ronnie Coleman one time world champion bodybuilder who can now barely walk shows you this mentality taken to the nth degree.
2) Optimal vs Maximal
One of the first questions I ask clients when they tell me they want to be stronger is “What for?” most at them look at me as if I’m a bit weird, as they’ve been told all their life that stronger is better. Without knowing what you need that strength for, how can you know when enough is enough? As soon as you go past optimal strength for whatever it is you want that strength for, you are by definition sub optimal. As a simple example, muscle requires a lot of energy to build and to maintain, which requires you to eat more, and eating is the main driver of cell cycle progression, more commonly known as ageing. So just piling on muscle for the sake of it, is not a great long term plan.
3) The Longer, Harder Model
Our current model of exercise is based very much on elite athletes with the ethos of, “if it works for Hary Kane it’ll work for the common person.” The difference is that Harry has a team of professionals around him; a masseuse a nutritionalist, a chef, a coach. He also finishes training and heads to the jacuzzi for a few hours and then leads a relatively stress free life. To compare him to a busy executive who scrambles to the gym on their lunch break and then dashes back to a stressful desk job and has 2 kids that need looking after when they get home, is not comparing like for like and we cannot apply the same principles to them.
4) Exercise is is a Stress
Stress is public enemy #1 when it comes to weight gain and health. The more of it you have in any form the less healthy you are and the harder you are going to find it to drop fat. Exercise is a stress, so if you lead a stressful life and then throw a hard workout routine on top of it, without allowing adequate recovery time, you are simply adding more fuel to a fire which is already raging out of control.
Why Most Online Programs Fail In 10 Quick Points – And How to Choose the Right One
1) The Startling Truth
A staggering 5% of people who enroll in online courses actually complete them, and even fewer achieve the desired results. Knowing why this happens can help you steer clear of failure-prone programs and opt for the ones that genuinely work.
2) One-Size-Fits-All Fallacy
The crux of the issue is individual differences. Online courses, by their nature, target a general audience, often reflecting the creator’s profile. If you differ from the target demographic, you’re at risk of falling through the gaps. Make sure the program you choose is adaptable to your unique needs.
3) The No-Contact Zone
The absence of continuous personal contact with an experienced coach is a major obstacle. You’ll likely have questions and concerns that need immediate attention. Without timely, personalised responses, doubt sets in—your biggest enemy when navigating an online course in isolation.
4) Self-Starters vs. The Majority
While self-starters or data hungry individuals might relish the challenge of adapting a generic program to their specifc needs, this approach isn’t feasible for most people. Those familiar with the course subject can make the necessary tweaks, but that’s not a universal solution.
5) Data-Driven Progress
If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. The program must offer a way to track your progress and achievements, giving both you and your coach a clear overview to guide further action.
6) Where’s the Accountability?
The lack of accountability in online courses is a glaring issue. While some programs tout their community forums as a solution, experience shows these rarely work. Direct interaction with a real coach especially when combined with a date driven process which gives both you and your coach access to your actual progress as shown by the measurements you’ve taken along the way, instills a sense of responsibility, motivating you to put the program into practice.
7) Instant Feedback Is Essential
A quick feedback loop is crucial for effective learning and behaviour change, in fact as the time between cause and effect gets longer, humans become worse and worse at assigning cause to effect on an emotional level. As an example of this: if we got a hangover the moment we took a sip of beer, how many of us would ever drink?. From a quick thumbs-up on your healthy lunch picture to an instant analysis of your tennis swing, timely feedback in any program creates the cause-and-effect connection needed for progress.
8) Adapting to Change
Your life will change during your time on the program (we all have those moment when life just goes crazy and your free time drops to zero). Also, if the program is doing its job, you as a person will evolve over the course of the program. The program must evolve with you. Someone must monitor your progress and adjust the program based on your evolving needs and life circumstances.
9) The Overwhelm Factor
Many programs cram in endless “bonuses” to add perceived value to the offer, or drown participants in content under the mistaken idea that more equals better. While this might appear generous, it can overwhelm participants right from the start. What most program creators fail to realise is that the participant just wants to get results and often the easier, simpler and quicker those results can be got the better. So the optimal approach is a simplified starting point, followed by incremental learning tailored to your lifestyle all aimed at the specific change you want to make.
10) Impersonal and Isolating
Despite even the most vibrant online communities, the digital nature of online programs inherently lacks personal touch and can be isolating. One effective solution is to integrate offline experiences, perhaps in the form of occasional in-person meet ups, to lend more authenticity to online interactions.
The 12 Top Reasons Most Body Transformation Programs Fail
1) Misunderstanding the Skill of Health
Imagine if you turned up to your first ever surfing lesson and the instructor handed you the board, pointed at the sea and told you to knock yourself out. I doubt you’d be that impressed. But that’s exactly what we do in the health and fitness industry all the time.
You rock up at the gym, have an hour induction and are left to figure it out. You sign up to a weight loss program, are given a few recipes and are told to get on with it. No wonder so many people fail. Exercise and weight loss, just like surfing, are SKILLS, and they’re very complex skills which will inevitably take time to learn and you’ll suffer many setbacks (failures) along the way.
That’s normal and it’s OK!
2) The Real-World Struggle
In an ideal scenario, you’d have ample time for meal prep and workouts. But let’s be honest, life is often chaotic. There will be weeks, if not months, when free time evaporates. Traditional diets claim that willpower and prioritising will save the day. That’s nonsense. A realistic nutrition program needs to accommodate those hectic life moments and spontaneous Friday nights out with friends.
3) The Fallacy of Willpower
Hold your breath until you pass out…go on. What’s that, you can’t? No neither can I. Why because breathing is a survival instinct. Guess what so is eating. So trying to use will power to resist eating is not going to work long term.
Besides, scientific evidence shows that willpower is a finite resource. It depletes throughout the day with every decision you make. A robust program should have a strategy to navigate this reality.
4) Time-Consuming Regimens
The notion that everyone can dedicate hours to meal prep and the gym is laughable. Real-world schedules are often packed, leaving no room for elaborate health plans. A practical program should seamlessly integrate into your daily life without demanding unreasonable time commitments.
5) The Personalisation Gap
Individual responses to foods vary; some people thrive on carbs, while others require more fats. A one-size-fits-all approach simply won’t cut it. Your program should be adaptable enough to meet your unique biochemical needs.
6) Overwhelming Rules
“Don’t mix this with that, only eat these on specific days.” Such a labyrinth of rules is not just hard to remember, but also uninviting. Simplicity is key for any plan aiming for long-term success.
7) Lack of Flavourful Foods
Flavour is important Really important. The foods you’re eating must be satiating and taste really good! Otherwise, you’ll soon find yourself daydreaming about the snacks you’re trying to avoid.
8) Constant Hunger Pangs
If the program leaves you feeling hungry, you’re more likely to raid the cookie jar. A successful plan keeps you satiated, making it easier to resist temptations.
9) Social Life Sacrifices
A good program should not make you choose between health and a fulfilling social life. You shouldn’t feel like you’re missing out because of your dietary choices.
10) Overemphasis on Counting
No one wants to spend their days obsessing over calories, macros, or points. While these factors have their place, a well-rounded program focuses on them only as part of a broader, holistic strategy.
11) Neglecting Overall Health
Many programs are solely weight-loss-centric, often to the detriment of overall well-being. True success comes from putting your health at the forefront and viewing weight loss as a natural byproduct.
12) Ignoring the Post-Diet Rebound
Human biology has evolved to regain lost fat quickly, a survival mechanism from our hunter-gatherer days. Any program that fails to account for this post-weight loss ‘bounce-back’ phase is setting you up for future failure.
8 Questions To Ask BEFORE You Choose Your Next Health & Fitness Program
1) Is The Program Tailored To Me?
A one-size-fits-all program is very unlikely to be tailored to your specific, unique needs, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. However, it does require that you either have a good understanding of the subject matter or are willing to acquire the knowledge needed to adapt the program to you when discrepancies arise between its guidance and your unique needs.
2) What Data Do You Use To Customise The Program?
When a program is customised for you, it’s important to understand what drives that personalisation. Is it based solely on your subjective feedback, or does it incorporate concrete data? Neither approach is necessarily superior, but being aware of this from the start can give you an idea of how comprehensive the program is likely to be. If the program has no way of capturing data to aid the customisation process I would remind you of the maxim…what gets measured gets managed (and what doesn’t…doesn’t!).
3) Why can’t I just ask Chat GPT for a program, what extra value do you offer?
In today’s world, simply asking a chatbot for a workout or diet plan can yield good results and this is only going to improve as AI becomes more sophisticated. However, as information becomes increasingly accessible, the value of programs shifts from delivering information to focusing on implementation and experience—something that AI, like Chat GPT, may struggle to provide. Here’s where the benefit of human intervention becomes evident. A program should, therefore, focus as much on experience and implementation as it does on delivering information.
4) How much time do I need to dedicate to get results?
Time is your most valuable asset. Understanding the time commitment required by a program before diving in is crucial. While some plans will demand more of your time than others, it’s vital to know this in advance so you can determine whether the program is compatible with your lifestyle.
5) How Much Contact Time Do I Get?
One area where human coaches still outperform AI is in their ability to inspire and drive change in others. The amount and quality of contact time you get with your coach could very well be the catalyst that keeps you committed. Knowing how much face-to-face or virtual interaction you’ll get, and through what medium, is increasingly important for long-term success.
6) Does The Program Include Accountability?
How does the program ensure you are following through with your commitments? This is crucial especially if the program has a focus on implementation. Giving you motivation to stay the course
7) Do I Get Community Support?
Often the best person to give you advise isn’t an expert but someone who’s just been through what you’re going through. This is where communities shine. Does the program offer a community aspect, like a group chat or forums, where you can share experiences and tips?
8) Is The Program Adaptable?
You change, your goals change, your life changes and we all have those weeks where life just goes crazy. In these periods it’s important to have a program which can be adjusted to your needs. How easy is it to adjust the program based on your performance or any hurdles you may face?
Debunking The Top 9 Common Myths in Health and Fitness
1) Running from a Bad Diet is Futile
Your body is a homeostatic system, not unlike the boiler in your home. Exercise alone won’t cut it; if you increase your physical activity, you’re likely to eat more to compensate. The real game-changer is the quality of your diet. If your diet consists mainly of junk food, your muscles will be weak and easily damaged. On the flip side, a diet rich in quality nutrients can result in strong and resilient muscles.
2) The Yo-Yo Effect of Weight Loss
Many are familiar with the ups and downs of dieting, but few realize that this yo-yo effect is a natural body response to weight loss. Our bodies are hardwired to think that they’re still on the savannah, where fat is a valuable resource. Lose weight, and your body will fight tooth and nail to put it back on, employing hundreds of potent mechanisms to ensure it.
3) Caloric Intake ISN’T Everything
While cutting calories may seem like a straightforward solution, it’s a method that essentially starves the body. The body reacts by increasing hunger and lowering metabolic rate, also making you feel miserable and grumpy in the process. Once you stop counting calories, the weight you lost usually comes back, often with some extra.
4) The Importance of Recovery
Exercise is fantastic, but the real magic happens during recovery. Exercise induces stress, and excessive stress can wreck your health and thwart your weight loss goals. While stressing your body through exercise is necessary for growth, it’s during the recovery period that you reap most of the benefits.
5) Toning: A Nutritional Concern
You might think that spending hours in the gym will get you that toned look, but if you have a layer of fat obscuring your muscles, all your hard work will be for naught. Toning up is less about endless exercise and more about proper nutrition.
6) Most People Aren’t Exercise-Ready
If you’re over 25 and haven’t put in the work to align your body correctly, chances are you’re not ready for serious exercise. You’re likely to get injured unless you first focus on joint alignment, muscle activation, and good posture. Ensure these are in place before diving into a new exercise regimen.
7) The Lifestyle Challenge
Failure often stems from not tailoring your lifestyle to your goals. Starting a weight loss program without knowing how to cook or setting aside time for meal prep is a recipe for disaster. Similarly, embarking on an exercise plan without considering recovery time is a mistake. Once the initial excitement fades, the time crunch catches up, and the newly adopted routines are the first to go.
8) The BIGGEST Opponants You Will Face
Is from your friends! Of course they don’t mean it, but the social contracts around health are weird. As soon as you start eating healthy your friends will constantly be trying to tempt you to eat something you shouldn’t. “Just one wont hurt”, “go on you deserve it”, they’ll tell you. The reasons for this are many and varied but rest assured we’ve all been through it. The solution? You need to train them. Once they get the message you wont be swayed they’ll stop and go back to accepting you as you are.
9) Balance Is EVERYTHING
The body is a homeostatic system, it attempts to maintain balance in everything. In fact teh key to health is balance accross all systems. So radical workout or diet plans while they may be easy to market and sell, do no t work long term. If you want health you must have balance.
Ultimately the myths surrounding health and fitness are often microcosms of larger societal beliefs that may or may not be true. These broader myths can indirectly impact our approach to well-being, creating a loop that can be difficult to break out of.
For instance, the societal notion that “success equals busy-ness” can lead you to ignore health, skip meals, or choose fast food because you think you don’t have time for anything else. This mentality can negate any efforts you make to live a healthier lifestyle, reinforcing the myth that one can’t achieve both success and health.
Or consider how the concepts of “work hard, play hard” or “no pain, no gain” have been internalised. Many people believe that they should grind away in the gym to ‘earn’ their indulgences, or have to push it at the gym really hard if they are to get any benefits. This kind of thinking can create an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise, rather than promoting a balanced lifestyle.
Similarly, the myth that “youth is the epitome of health and beauty” might drive people to extreme diets or workout routines aimed at anti-aging, potentially causing more harm than good.
Breaking down these societal myths in your own head is as crucial as busting the health and fitness myths discussed above. By addressing these overarching beliefs, you can take a more holistic approach to health that’s in sync with your lifestyle and long-term goals.