Why do you need a coach?

From Simon ‘Diesel’ Yates, our founder, head coach and program designer:

Now this not a sales pitch at all, although you’re more than welcome to join my monthly online coaching system (wink wink!). This is just a true and frank account of why I feel a coach is a necessary investment for anybody serious about achieving their fitness or sporting goals.

For years I went it alone, picking up bits and pieces in the gym, reading bodybuilding magazines from cover to cover, watching bodybuilding videos and bending the ear of anyone who was bigger than me or stronger than me (which was pretty much everybody in the gym, because I was 9 stone dripping wet when I started, and knew nothing). College had given me a basic understanding of anatomy and physiology, but no qualification can prepare you for the real world when it comes to the very complex worlds of bodybuilding, powerlifting, and strongman.

I’d been in the industry a good 5 years or so when I met top level bodybuilder Steve Avery. It was then that I realised I needed a coach. 

Bear in mind I’d been working with Joe Public since the start of my career. I already had a pretty good idea of how to train people, and how to motivate others, but applying this to myself is a whole other story. 

Ever since this lightbulb moment back in 2000, I’ve had a variety of coaches from different fields, and I’ve studied my arse off to get to the point where I would consider myself a good coach. I’ve taken advice and direction from some of the best in the business and I’ve got over 25 years’ experience under my belt training everyone from competitive bodybuilders, top level strongmen, fighters, and fitness competitors right the way through to your general gym goer looking to change their physique and their lifestyle.

So why do YOU need a coach? Well, here’s 8 good reasons to start working with someone who has more knowledge and experience than you (or can at least come at your training from a different perspective).

1. You’ll get individualised training plans

I see so many online coaches offering ‘tailored’ training plans that are supposed to meet their clients’ needs, when in reality it’s a cut and paste training plan, often with a generic weight based calorie deficit diet plan. This is totally fine if you’re just looking to reduce your waist line and eat a bit more sensibly, but it’s not going to cut it if your goal is more specific, you have targets you want to hit, or even if you have injuries or limitations that need to be taken into account.

What you need is a coach that is going to ask a million questions and get to the real meat of what you are looking to achieve in the long and short term. They must be willing to devise a plan that is individual to you. This may well be a strategy that has been adopted a hundred times before, but it will have specifics that are tailored to you. Don’t be afraid to question the ‘whys’ of your program, because if your coach has really thought about what you need, they will have the answers to back up their choices! 

2. You’ll get consistent feedback

Leading on from point one, getting feedback on your work and progress is so important. Sending your coach a few progress pictures to get a ‘great work!’ over text is not my idea of feedback. There needs to be a proper conversation. I’m not saying you both need to sit through an hour long Zoom call, but you should at least exchange a series of messages or emails so you get the opportunity to break down how the week has gone and share any particular difficulties or high moments. 

I also believe that, when it comes to preparing for athletic performances, video feedback is crucial to the success of a program. It’s very easy to enter numbers into a box and see it as a box that’s been ticked, but if the technique and form are way off, then it’s a slippery slope to poor exercise execution (and could lead to injury, which is no good for either party).

3. You’ll be held accountable

Now not everyone needs an accountability partner. But knowing your efforts are going to be relayed to someone else is always a good subconscious angel on the shoulder. Plus, you are paying for this service, which means you’re going to be invested in getting it right. 

On the other hand, if you’re someone who needs a constant kick up the arse to get out the door and train, then what better way than hiring a coach who is going to check your training diary and demand video evidence of your workouts to check you’re not slacking?

4. You’ll enjoy increased self-confidence

With the right coach – and more importantly the right coaching program – you can learn, develop, and improve your overall understanding on how to train. You can also learn the correct technique. Knowing you are doing things right will give you so much confidence in the gym and in the sporting arena.


“Those who say they can and those who say they can’t, are both usually right.”

Henry Ford, Ford Motor Company

4. You’ll communicate better

This applies to both the coach and the athlete/client. A good coach will always communicate what is expected of you, and give positive and negative feedback as required, which means nothing is left to interpretation or guess work. As we all know, communication is the key to any successful relationship, so if you ask any questions of your coach then you should be in no doubt that the answers they give you are correct. 

5. You’ll manage your fatigue better

You may not know if you’re driving yourself down a fatigue black hole. You might just think that the tiredness and relentless soreness is all part of the plan, and the generic plan that you’ve been sent just keeps telling you to keep going. This is where your coach can help massively, because they’ve seen it many many times before where a drop in performance or enthusiasm is just the product of over training or fatigue that needs to be addressed with a change in the training program or frequency. They can also spot if it’s not fatigue and just a matter of changing the stimulus to ignite the fire back into the athlete to keep them driving forward.

6. You’ll set better goals

Goals are completely individual. They can range from getting to world elite level in a certain sport or getting in shape for a holiday. Whatever the objective, every goal is just as important to the person who is trying to achieve them – and to do them justice, they require planning and goal setting. Managing realistic expectations is a true skill of any good coach, who will help you achieve small wins along the way to reaching your ultimate goals.

7. You’ll gain from their experience

“Just because I give advice, doesn’t mean I know more than you. It just means I’ve done more dumb shit.”


A good coach has failed more times than a beginner has tried. Experience can help with spotting mistakes before they happen, diverting a training plan if things go wrong, and helping with mind set when you start to doubt yourself. Things often happen beyond our control, so trust in your coach’s experience and let them guide you through.

To sum up, a good coach is worth every penny. Having a knowledgeable and experienced coach by your side is actually an investment in yourself. Time is all we have, so why waste it following the wrong path?