Last week, I had to tell a client that they could not carry on training with me as the training was not working. I said they could come back at some point in the future when they were in a more coachable state. 
Being coachable is not about getting results, many trainers throw clients off their training if you fail to produce results. For me that was always cheating, if you are only going to work with efficient, motivated and focused people you are failing to do your job. Anyone can coach people in that state. I accept that most people are going to struggle, I already assume most people will be a bit of a disaster and that is fine. For me, as long as you are trying, however bad it may seem to be going, we still have a chance to turn things around at some point. 
I have almost endless patience with a client if they are trying to some degree, even though their best at that moment under difficult life circumstances is probably miles off what their best could look like if life they were in a better place. Most people come to me during or just after a tougher period in their lives so it is expected.


An element within the Grand Unified Theory of Weight Loss is coachability, which almost no one considers as it puts the emphasis on your attitude and approach over what actions you should be doing. Here is what I wrote about coachability in my book;


“This refers to how easy you are to be coached, how open you are to doing what is asked of you and receiving honest feedback. This is important even if you are doing this alone. You need to be open to coaching, albeit the coach will be you!


The average person is pretty awful at being coached and does only a small percentage of what is asked. Low coachability shows itself with fights over every detail, a lack of honesty about behaviours, heavy resistance to change and rarely asking for help when struggling. Being coachable is not about being successful with your actions. It is about effort, communication, persistence and working within the process.


Your level of coachability is affected by your personality, prior experience, level of engagement and trust in the process. There is also an element of timing to this. A particular programme may be good enough to get results but you are not in the right head space to get it to work at that particular time of your life.  Overall, coachable people get much better results.”   

What Does This Mean For You?


When you next embark on a fitness drive, be it with a coach or on your own then you need to ask yourself; how coachable are you? 


Personally, I have had many coaches over the years including nutrition coaches, sports coaches, life coaches and my own personal trainer. I am very coachable…I am all in! My aim is to follow the plan as close as I can to what the expert is saying and judge the process on the results I get from the programme (this factors in if it is at all sustainable to follow long term, but only after I have tried to follow it!).


Most people I work with and within the whole health & fitness space in general enter the process almost immediately trying to pick which parts of the plan seem appealing, which elements they believe are true and which aspects they ‘know’ they never could do. No one visits their doctor or mechanic and acts like this. 


For me this is frustrating, as the plans I use with people have already factored in that you cannot follow a nutrition or exercise plan long term. My approach looks nothing like what normal health & fitness plans do because I am developing long term success using the different elements of the Grand Unified Theory of Weight Loss. 


To become coachable it starts by making a decision to commit to following the plan and the advice that comes with it. While doing this you also need to be ok if it all goes wrong or you ‘fail’. Being coachable is not about being successful, it is about being engaged in the process, being present to what is happening and working with your coach (or yourself) to try to make improvements. Every problem, issue or trait you are struggling with can be overcome when the process is adhered to long enough with the right strategies. 


Photo –  A photo of me as a coach of Casa Amarela rugby team in Recife, Brasil and my own bodybuilding coach, former NABBA world champion Mark Krah.

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