Written by Sarah Strong
Remote coaching is very popular in the sport of powerlifting. It allows athletes to work with some of the best coaches from around the world, no matter where they’re from. This platform has numerous benefits for both coach and athlete, but it also presents some challenges. If you’re working with a coach remotely, here are 5 tips to help you get the most of it:
COMMUNICATE Communication is key between an athlete and coach. If your coach has protocols to send notes or videos, follow them! If you don’t, we’re just blindly giving numbers. It’s also important to communicate when you need a break, when you want to compete, and if life stresses are effecting your lifts. A good coach WANTS to hear these things so we can best help you. Remember, though, that a coach is not a therapist. We do want you to communicate, but some things are out of our scope to give advice on.
FOLLOW THE PROGRAM Listen, I know maxing out is fun. But if it’s not on your program, you’re jeopardizing your progress. Some coaches may dictate lifts based on a RPE or RIR scale, which can give you some wiggle room. Still, don’t intentionally deviate from what’s programmed. Trust your coach. You’re paying them for their expertise and advice.
STICK WITH IT Results aren’t instantaneous. Progress takes time. If you’re not hitting a new PR the first month, that’s normal. Look for form improvements, increases in endurance, and learn to value that progress.
BE ADAPTABLE Whether you’re a brand new powerlifter or have 10 years of experience, you can always learn more. While it’s more than okay to ask questions to your coach, don’t do so just to challenge them because you think you know better. You hired them for a reason. A good coach will encourage you to ask questions and will have answers that aren’t just “do it because I said so.” You have to be open to change, though, and trust the process.
DON’T LET INSTAGRAM BE YOUR COACH I know there are a lot of badass lifters out there you probably follow. But too often I see athletes emulating a popular lifter’s technique because it’s “cool” vs doing what their coach sees best for them. Instagram, and the internet in general, can be a great tool to learn. But remember that following twenty popular lifters is not the same as getting one-on-one coaching.
Online coaching isn’t for everyone. And that’s okay! Before you hire a coach, I recommend asking their protocols, communication preferences, and training styles. Remember that you are hiring this person. You should ensure that they are a good fit before you shell out your hard-earned money. When you find a coach who is a good fit, follow these five principles and you’ll be setting yourself up for success as a powerlifter.
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