Along with literally being the golden age of powerlifting (yes, I am saying this is the greatest time with the greatest competition since the sports conception), we have equal parts astronomical feats of strength mixed with immediate access to the entire human compendium of training information all being stirred together with a spoon of complete all-fired social media psychopathy. The trolls are abound. But, not all trolls wear capes. Some wear leviathans too. (Please stop ruining squats).
Anyway, this unbridled access to information has bred this weird sect of “evidence based coaches.” Evidence based is sometimes code for “I have zero education, experience, credentials, and I am not even strong, but I can read a free access abstract so I am pretty much early 20-something bench hipster Boris Sheiko.”
Don’t get me wrong. There are some decent “Evidence Based Coaches” out there. The guys at Squats & Science come to mind immediately. Same with Brett Contreras. EBP looks like a solid group (especially since adding the “Barbells and Brewskis” to the site). What I am getting at here, there are established groups out there that actually know their shit. The issue is there is an overwhelming majority of snake oil salesmen out there that don’t know shit at all.
So, I have a little criteria questionnaire (most of which I stole from Brian Carroll) that I like to use to tell if the “coach” in question is worth listening to. This is also a good valuation of whether or not you should spend your hard earned cash on someone that’s just going to send you the same cookie cutter $99 program they made 10 years ago just to turn around and spend your money on a weeks worth of Cambodian prostitutes. It makes me unfathomably sad inside that that statement is 100% something that happens in our sport.
Questions for your potential coach
1. Who have they worked with?
2. Who have they trained with?
3. What is their professional background?
4. What is their educational background?
5. What have they personally accomplished in sport?
Obviously, the answers to these questions work on a sliding scale to fit your specific needs. Someone doesn’t need to be a 25 time world champion if the rest of the answers to those questions are satisfactory. Just like a sports science PhD isn’t going to be the best option if they have zero sport training experience themselves. You just want to use these questions as a barometer based on your current needs and goals. Find a coach who’s experience and specialty seems to be on par with where you are at in your “training age.”
Sprint. Kill. [insert link to shakeology and quixstar page here].