The Biggest Mistake I Have Made As A Coach
Posted by Michael Vacanti
Today is Saturday.
I’ve been in bed with the flu for 4 days: headaches, vomiting, and a 101 degree temperature.
So sadly, I have not been able to write you guys a proper article.
In the interest of not going broke, I did slosh together a little something. It’s not so much an “article” but instead more aligned with “blog” in the 2003 definition of the word — like, that time Zuckerberg drunkenly “blogged” about Erica Albright’s boobs.
My Biggest Mistake As A Coach
I gave a few women a few too many calories.
That might not seem so bad, but let me explain.
Sally, 44 year-old mother of two, signs up for coaching with Mike.
At 5’2” 149 pounds, Sally wants to lose body fat.
Our new client works a desk job, is motivated by scale and visual progress, doesn’t hate working out but also isn’t very experienced.
Without much lean mass, I estimate Sally burns 1800 calories on a good day.
What I Wanted To Do:
Put her in an aggressive deficit, averaging 1150-1200 calories/day.
Start her on lower than average carb intake to drop a few extra pounds of water weight.
This progress would excite her and increase adherence.
Come phase two, we would add some carbs and calories because super aggressive deficits don’t make sense for long periods of time.
What I Actually Did:
For fear of having my name cursed in the depths of a private FB group as an evil calorie hoarding coach, I ignored my gut.
Young and lacking confidence in my conviction, I took the easy way out and started Sally on 1500 calories.
I knew in my heart that a 1/2 pound per week deficit would be demotivating for her and far less than optimal.
But I put my faith in the machine. In the majority. In convention.
I was holding the keys to a brand new Model S, but I jumped in a Ford Fusion because it felt safer.
But there is still an important principle here, one that applies to all areas of life.
You Must Avoid Groupthink
How many decisions are you making automatically because it is perceived as “normal” by those around you?
I’m not just talking about nutrition ideologies, I’m talking about everything.
- What kind of job you work.
- What education you pursue.
- How you spend your time each day.
- How you use alcohol.
- How much money you want to make (hint: more probably won’t make you happier).
Don’t do things simply because you see other people doing them.
Think for yourself. Form your own hypotheses and test them. Pay little attention to those in your same industry. Question everything. Don’t be afraid to create your own path. Avoid social constructs.
Young Coach Mike (YCM) ignored his intuition, sided with the masses for the safe route, and got a handful of women suboptimal results.
Don’t be like YCM.
Instead, be like…
Yeah, be like Elon.
Elon Musk threw a metaphorical middle finger at the entire tech industry as he made electric cars cool while simultaneously pushing us towards becoming a multi-planetary species.
Avoid group think.
Have conviction in your intuition.
Be like Elon.