An essential aspect of adhering to a training program is knowing how you best respond to learning about exercises, routines, nutrition, etc. In other words, how you respond to being coached. It would be easy to think that there wouldn’t be much difference between a trainer’s approach if he/she was to cue or design the same exact program for multiple individuals. However, the way we trainers approach a training program varies and depends on the person we are working with. As trainers we can’t expect to have one single coaching style and for it to work with every single one of our clients. Some people are more responsive to authoritarian styles, and some other like to have a say on whatever is included in their programs. What works for some, might not for some others and that is perfectly fine. It is key for us trainers to realize that, but it is also vital for clients to communicate with us so we know what coaching style works best for them.
There are three main coaching styles:
Command: This style is the most dominant and one sided. The trainer makes all the decisions, and the clients just follow the lead without questioning the trainer’s knowledge or programming.
Cooperative: In this style the client is more involved. Trainer and client work as a team to find the best and most effective training. There is shared decision making, and the trainer is always ready to adapt and be flexible to whatever the client needs on each session.
Submissive: Here trainers take a step back and leave most of the decision making to the client. They provide general guidance but then let the client do whatever they want, it gives them most of the responsibility once the initial instructions are provided.
Finding out your coaching style is and communicating it with your trainer, will allow both parties to have the best experience possible. It will help you adhere to a training program, and most importantly, it will help you enjoy your gym time even more! For us, it is always helpful to hear from clients what they respond the most to, so we don’t have to spend weeks trying to figure it out on our own. If we know what your coaching style is, we are equipped to help you reach your goals while making sure you are getting exactly what you want/need from us.
So there it is, next time you are at the gym make sure to let your trainer know what your coaching style is to make sure you are on the same page!