Client-focused vs Workout-focused Coaching

Workout-focused Coaching: If the goal of a workout is X, the client needs to do Y.

Client-focused Coaching: If the client’s goal is X, the client needs to do Y.

A workout-focused coach guides their group through a well-choreographed class experience with a generalized stimulus for all participants. They keep their clients safe, improve their movement, and help them get through a workout to the best of their ability. When they deliver a brief to a client, they do so in the context of time caps, rounds/reps, and scaling strategies and mold the client around the workout.

A client-focused coach comes in to tailor that day’s workout to each individual’s goal. Their goal is to help each athlete understand WHY a workout will help them achieve their goal—Josh Martin of Two-Brain Coaching talks more about coaching the “why” here.

Like the workout-focused coach, they are personable, keep their clients safe, and guide the group through a workout together, but where they differ is how they communicate the purpose of the day’s training to their clients. Rather than telling a person that a workout’s goal is to complete X amount of reps in a particular amount of time, they give their client a strategy to achieve their specific goal. To a client-focused coach, a workout’s details are secondary to what a client needs most to continue to make progress.

We’ve spent years developing workout-focused coaches who address only the workout’s stimulus. Today, the market is flooded with corporate chains like Orange Theory and F45 who have commoditized intensity and put workout-focused coaches on every corner. A lot of the coaches at big chains are simply moving people through a choreographed workout experience. This is fine, and I am a fan of people working out in any capacity, but it’s not going to deliver long-term results. 

Becoming a client-focused coach doesn’t mean our coaches forget the skills they have developed throughout their careers. But, we need to develop new skills to ensure their and our success. At Two Brain Programming, we give coaches the resources they need to grow from workout-focused coaches to client-focused coaches by providing three client avatar briefs for every workout: weight loss, general fitness, and increase strength.

These are great examples, and more variations are possible. The best coaches in the world use our briefs as a guide. They take the notes we provide and apply them more specifically to their clients on the class floor. The more individualized we can make a client’s experience, the longer the client will stick around. Our friends at Two-Brain Coaching can teach your coaches how to personalize workouts in their Second Degree Course.