Don’t Make This Mistake When Hiring An Online Fitness Coach


Dear 14 to 55 year-old male,

Thank you so much for applying for coaching!

I am truly honored. 

But there was one problem in your “goals” section: 

And Mike, what I really want is your physique!

You probably saw me shirtless on snapchat or youtube.

You see what I eat everyday and hear me talk about my workouts, so it would make sense that following my fitness ideology would get you the same results.

But we are all different.

You Cannot Look Like Me (or anyone else)

Limb length.

Symmetry of abs.

Distribution of fat storage to different body parts.

And one thousand other factors, my man [1].

For example: 

Photo taken this morning – April 2nd, 2016

Please follow me on snapchat immediately: mikevacanti

I have been eating 4,000 calories every single day for the last 250 days.

The scale is up 11 pounds (184 in this photo).

So, I absolutely should not have a six pack at this stage in my bulk!

But I do.

Because we are all different.

Now, I am going to take a little bit of credit:

  • I keep dietary fat low on training days
  • I hit a bit of cardio for improved insulin sensitivity
  • I train as if every P.R. could bring back Cedric Diggory [2]

But the truth is, even I am not entirely sure why I look this good deep in my bulk [3].

So to let you believe that hiring me will give you my body is not only morally grey, but I would deem it morally adjacent to a “fake natty” steroid user pushing a “buy these supplements & achieve my physique” scam.

Let that really sink in for a minute.



Now, I might still be a good coach for you.

In fact, I think a coach should live out his or her fitness philosophy.

But when choosing a coach, there are factors much more important than that coach’s physique. 

A few I personally like:

  • Intelligence
  • Work ethic
  • Ability to communicate
  • Integrity
  • Client results
  • Style of coaching
  • Care & compassion

There are obviously other important qualities; those are just my favorite.

So, if you still want to work together, cool.

Just don’t think that four months of training will give you my body.


ps I want to give a heartfelt thank you to anyone who reads my blog.

I promised you guys one article per week since early January, and I have been delivering. But to be honest, I am not happy with the quality of most of the posts. I am working hard at time management, so I can write better and more helpful content. But I truly appreciate you sticking with me.


[1] I coach many women too, but they usually don’t want my physique!
[2] I hate seeing young people die before their time.
[3] Theories include: Elevated NEAT levels when in a calorie surplus caused by genetics, low body fat set point caused by spending years at 7% body fat, and my possession of over developed abs from years of direct abdominal training.

Comments for This Entry

  • only.nobody

    Hi Mike, I am really enjoying your blog reads and no need to apologize. It is rather appreciated that you find the time for some updates even in busy times. I like most that reading your blog that besides the motivation to get into a healthy nutrition and workout routine your writing feels really honest and real! Trank you! Sebastian (from Munich, Germany)

    April 3, 2016 at 8:47 am | Reply to this comment

  • @deanoakes91

    Love this, Mike. As GV would say "You can only sell what's true" and this is the truth whether everyone likes it or not - I suspect they will, because the honesty is refreshing and is exactly what makes you so credible. I'd also add though... some very lucky and hard working people, with the right genetic makeup, limb length, symmetry, dietary discipline, work ethic etc may actually be able to make themselves look BETTER than you (it's all subjective, anyway). Keep cranking out the posts!

    April 3, 2016 at 9:39 am | Reply to this comment

  • Lath

    Good article man! You are 100% pure hustle, that's why you are the best coach in the biz!

    April 3, 2016 at 9:40 am | Reply to this comment

  • Chad Estey

    Great post Mike - I battled with that issue for a little while. With seeing so many post on social of the "ideal body" sometimes people (including myself) get caught up in the idea of looking like someone else, which as you stated, does not happen. I love your transparency and dedication to your craft. Keep up the hustle and I look forward to following your journey!

    April 3, 2016 at 9:50 am | Reply to this comment

  • Harry

    Thanks for all your content Mike! I'm sorting out my ideas to start helping people online and it's great to see the dedication and honesty you have!

    April 3, 2016 at 9:56 am | Reply to this comment

  • Stepfannie Hradsky

    Really like this post!! I remember when I first started training with you I sent you pictures of who I wanted to look like...but I'm not her, im me. And truly am learning to stop wanting what others have body wise and LOVE my own :)

    April 3, 2016 at 9:58 am | Reply to this comment

  • Joy C

    I know female trainers get the same type of requests. I've realized that I am my own competition after years of yo yo diets and training. I love reading your blog and following you on snap. Thanks for the great content!

    April 3, 2016 at 10:02 am | Reply to this comment

  • Tyler

    Awesome post Mike! Can you check for an email I sent a few weeks ago? Never heard back :(

    April 3, 2016 at 10:03 am | Reply to this comment

  • Joe

    Love the honesty, Mike! Love it! Keeping it real and putting things in perspective. Plus a fantastic second footnote.

    April 3, 2016 at 10:12 am | Reply to this comment

  • Crysil

    Thanks for the post, Mike. I think this concept is true for women, too, and what I take-away from your post is I need to have a desire to be the best looking, performing & feeling ME, not getting stuck in the unrealistic goal of wanting to look like someone else. This helps me a lot in my fitness journey! Your authenticity is one of the reasons I chose you as my coach!

    April 3, 2016 at 10:35 am | Reply to this comment

  • Krissy Jansma

    I wouldn't be too worried about this post Mike. If there is any quality I want in a coach it's gonna be honesty. I don't want someone who is gonna blow wind up my skirt and make me believe it's gonna be all rainbows and butterflies. Everyone is different and a person certainly can get great muscle tone like yours but it's not going to look exactly like you and that's what most people don't get. This article reminds me of how most people are when they take a photo of a hairstyle to the salon. You're not gonna look exactly like that said model in the photo lol. You gotta find what right for you and that's exactly what you're shining light on. Great post as always!

    April 3, 2016 at 10:39 am | Reply to this comment

  • Emily

    The very best thing about you, Mike, is that you put truth about your business success...that actually makes you doubly successful in my eyes and I will read and watch literally anything and everything you create. (Plus you're knowledgable...that helps lol)

    April 3, 2016 at 10:59 am | Reply to this comment

  • Mike ModelSky

    Hi Mike!!! Firstly can I just say this is a great article, and I don't say that lightly, I'm a 32 morbidly obese guy and I have to admit I've been conned by PT’s that have me convinced I can get there “perfect” body just like their body, if I pay out a fortune and train until I'm passed out in pain, but alas each time failure. Each one selling me on the dream that was there body, and using their body as the goal you be working towards, the hook of “you can look like me” it's rare to find the clear honesty that's says, I can't make you the clone of me. BUT…… I can help you towards your goals and help you become the person you want to be, but I can never make you me, just the best you you're willing to work towards becoming. Secondly thank you for you snapchat advise it has helped me lose 42lb in around 6 week, it was extremely kind of you to happily give such helpful advice, and keeping track of my macros has really helped so “Thank You.” Lastly thank you for the snapchats and regular quality content, when you come to the UK next there's a steak dinner on me, hope things keep getting better and better for you, also I hope the injury is better soon. Thank you!!! Mike ModelSky

    April 3, 2016 at 10:59 am | Reply to this comment

  • Mendy fri

    Great article man. Honest like always!

    April 3, 2016 at 11:01 am | Reply to this comment

  • Rachel Balota

    Why people SHOULD hire you as their coach though, on top of all the other reasons like being really good at what you do which people might already know from reading your blog, is because you're ridiculously dedicated to your clients and an awesome person in general. :) And these are facts, which I know from first hand experience! #wortheverydamncent (and probably a bunch more).

    April 3, 2016 at 11:02 am | Reply to this comment

  • Samm

    I absolutely love that you keep it 100%. This is why I applied for your online training in mid 2014. I found your website, read all that was available on your website (articles, blogs, about me, client results, etc.) and knew that you weren't full of shit. I knew you cared deeply about getting results for others. Keep the articles coming! I look forward to a new one every week! (: Miss and love you for all that you did for me during our online training!

    April 3, 2016 at 11:07 am | Reply to this comment

  • CJ Adams

    Another killer post buddy. Happy Sunday!

    April 3, 2016 at 11:58 am | Reply to this comment

  • Christian

    Absolutely incredible, Mike! You give out more value than pretty much everyone!

    April 3, 2016 at 11:59 am | Reply to this comment

  • Rebecca

    Great article and something that is so true. Thanks for your honesty, passion and of course your ability to be an awesome coach!

    April 3, 2016 at 1:43 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Amy

    Hey, you're cool for posting this. Love your snap story, it's motivating. Keep doing what you do!

    April 3, 2016 at 2:24 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Diego

    Hey Mike, i saw you were worried for posting this post but you shouldnt have been and shouldnt be,this is really great!! (and really honest). And your work on the posts are reaviling! You have to keep in mind mostly any creator likes the final result of his work, even Spielberg doesnt completly like his movies at the end. I extended too much. Please keep it up!!! Ps: i love when you said the thing about Zedric and the PR's.

    April 3, 2016 at 3:03 pm | Reply to this comment

  • James McDonald

    Love the truth bro. Appreciate you putting yourself out there and speaking it how it is. Big ups to you my man! ✊

    April 3, 2016 at 3:28 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Hanson

    Mike you are the man! Killing the content on all platforms! :)

    April 3, 2016 at 3:42 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Hilary

    Haha, I love this post. So I can't say that I want to look exactly like you, but I DO want to look "my own version" of you. In other words, I am a female who is (blessed? cursed?!) with a more traditionally masculine physique--broad shoulders, narrow waist, etc.--which I used to HATE but have come to love and appreciate because 1) it's who I am; and 2) there are a lot of benefits (easier to gain lean muscle; more flexibility with macros because I don't store fat as easily; high BMR; lower body fat, etc.). I've realized that instead of fighting against what my body wants to do naturally, I should embrace it. And that's what I've done. Getting this comfortable with who I am motivated me to start blogging, so thank you for being a constant source of inspiration!

    April 3, 2016 at 4:31 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Quan

    "I train as if every P.R. could bring back Cedric Diggory" made me chuckle pretty hard. I still think the quality of your posts are top notch and consistent.

    April 3, 2016 at 5:20 pm | Reply to this comment

  • CW

    Your physique is what got me to start poking around your website. Your writing is what made me become a client - specifically this article:

    April 3, 2016 at 5:21 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Christena

    Lol! this will not lose you clients. Anyone with half a brain can tell that you're honest, and when looking for a sidekick in ANY form you want to be able to trust them. SO this will definitely gain you fans. :) I have no desire to look like you....I like my curves thank you very much! :) But healthy and strong...yes please. :) Keep your articles and snaps coming please. I enjoy them immensely. :)

    April 3, 2016 at 7:43 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Sliceofadam

    You're proof that you don't have to sign a deal with the devil to gather a following, your purely genuine and honest niche is rare in this industry. Keep it up bro! You're youtube and snapchat stories are awesome inspiration too!

    April 3, 2016 at 9:18 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Malek

    Can't agree with this anymore!! ?? I love this statement! My brother told me at age 13 (when I really wanted to look like Arnold lol) that it was never going to happen. He told me to focus on progress pics because that's the one of the best ways to visualize your personal progress with your unique body type. I'm glad you wrote this post bro! ?? Great job with it!

    April 3, 2016 at 9:55 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Ryan J

    From GV Snap to MV snap, now I've read my first article of yours. Good funnel. Hope you're remarketing with the emails provided ???????

    April 3, 2016 at 11:06 pm | Reply to this comment

  • JillianB

    So true. Good reminder even from a female perspective that they only person you can look like is yourself, not to compare. Love your blog and what's your snaps daily! Way to grind it out!

    April 3, 2016 at 11:58 pm | Reply to this comment

  • JillianB

    So true. Good reminder even from a female perspective that the only person you can look like is yourself, not to compare. Love your blog and watch your snaps daily! Way to grind it out!

    April 4, 2016 at 12:02 am | Reply to this comment

  • Filipe

    Now I want to have you as coach more than before haha And if those are not the top quality posts, I don't know what to expect, I think they are awesome!

    April 4, 2016 at 12:11 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Amy Johnson

    I have been following you on SnapChat for a while and reading your blog for about a month and I love what you have to say. No I don't want your physique (obviously), but I am really enjoying your perspectives.

    April 4, 2016 at 3:14 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Ashley

    If only making massive gains would bring back Cedric Diggory. #gonetoosoon

    April 4, 2016 at 3:15 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Emma

    This is a great post, and important read for everyone! Great reminder not even just with training, but with diet and exercise in general that each body and person is different; what works for one person is not the same for the next. Will definitely pass this along to women my age as an important reminder!

    April 4, 2016 at 3:45 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Ty

    Great stuff. If I could speak anecdotally, this sings to those who are on a fat loss program for the first time. This means its the first time they've ever seen THEMSELVES with abs, the problem is, they don't know what they should look like so they look to others, then back at themselves, disappointed they didn't get the abs they see everywhere else. Into my second year of online coaching, but with a different coach, and now that I know my own physique, the transformation I'm making now is even more exciting. It's me, Its what I know I look like, actually, better. Point is, you have to remove ANY expectations for those on their first fat loss journey, and realize its one of discovery not destination, and this is a great article to help nudge someone into that mindset.

    April 4, 2016 at 5:06 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Mohammad Oubeid

    Enjoyed the read! Short and effective!

    April 5, 2016 at 2:08 am | Reply to this comment

  • Justin Evans

    "I train as if every P.R. could bring back Cedric Diggory [2]" Laughed so hard I spit out my coffee on this one.

    April 5, 2016 at 10:28 am | Reply to this comment

  • Chris weller

    Big up the HP references!!! Never thought of getting your body. It would be nice but appreciating your own physic is important. Keep up the writing, soon you'll be MJ level for sure!!

    April 5, 2016 at 12:15 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Romeo

    Great post Mike #HTDLHPD

    April 5, 2016 at 1:20 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Sonia Vive

    Appreciate this post and all of the other ones; very helpful! I've been following you since early this year, so not a very long time. Read almost all of the blogs and watch your snaps. From what I can see, you walk your talk and are living authentically. Keep up the inspirational and honest posts! Sometimes seeing you grinding helps me to keep going on the days that I want to stop. So just wanted to reach out and say thank you.

    April 6, 2016 at 11:07 am | Reply to this comment

  • Jayne

    Yeah no, I don't think I would look good with your body at all. Great post and very helpful to women as well (ie. me). As a recovering Pinterest addict and Instagram double-tapper, I have noticed a lot women "coaches" on there that are very gimmicky and also promise results on a certain ASSet (see what I did there?). So yeah, I completely with your list - actually I think it can be applied when looking for a coach in any industry (biz coach, etc etc). Thanks again for an awesome read!

    April 6, 2016 at 11:12 am | Reply to this comment

  • Kati

    It's always good to level set with people and I believe that really fosters an environment of trust. Thanks for being honest!

    April 6, 2016 at 11:18 am | Reply to this comment

  • Mary Rawles

    I'm your physical opposite...female and old (68) and I love working with you, not for your body (ha, ha), but because you possess the qualities you listed as a good coach! And, hey, my biceps are getting pretty cut, too!

    April 6, 2016 at 11:31 am | Reply to this comment

  • Sol

    I love your honesty, this is the main reason I continue to read your articles. Thanks for being you and sharing it with many.

    April 6, 2016 at 11:33 am | Reply to this comment

  • Kim Bee

    I love the message in this article. I don't want to look like you, I would be happy to just eat like you LOL I really appreciate your motivation and information Mike. Follow you on Snapchat and feel so motivated by your stuff. I've even quit taking the elevator!!!!

    April 6, 2016 at 11:56 am | Reply to this comment

  • Mia

    Yes! So many people miss this point, it's amazing. Also, I know this wasn't supposed to be my favourite part but that Cedric Diggory reference was A+.

    April 6, 2016 at 12:42 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Nora

    You always keep it real Mike! That's why I enjoy your blog, YT videos! Thanks for your time! Keep up the good work ?

    April 6, 2016 at 12:43 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Ashley Ertle

    I need to use that mantra "hit ever PR like it could bring back Cedric" Except maybe I'd change mine to Severus ;) Thanks for another great article! This is something I'm always telling myself to remember. It's progress not perfection and I won't look like someone else because I'm not them. Sidenote: I was taking the stairs with my kids at Disney instead of the escalator and thought "aww I should snap Vacanti because he'd be so proud of me right now" lol

    April 6, 2016 at 1:24 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Heather

    I always enjoy your posts! Whenever I get an email I actually look forward to reading it instead of just swiping (deleting) the email before I even open it. So great job Mike I fully agree with not wanting your clients to have a goal stating I want your shape imagine body etc.

    April 6, 2016 at 1:41 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Saif

    I think one of the reason i enjoy your articles is because they have your personality; energy, honesty, and sarcasm lol keep doing you man, great article.

    April 6, 2016 at 2:32 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Fernando in Toronto

    Great article, Mike. Good food for thought as I research what direction to go in regarding fitness and a coach. Thanks.

    April 6, 2016 at 4:20 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Diane

    Couldn't agree with you more, our main goal should always be that we need to be the best us. Keep on doing what you do..thanks

    April 6, 2016 at 4:24 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Shelby Palmer

    Mike, I stumbled on your blog a while back and I have read almost everything you've written. I find your writing entertaining as well as informative. I really enjoy everything you put up and it has really helped me on my fitness journey! Thanks

    April 6, 2016 at 4:42 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Denis

    Great article, mate. Some people just need to be told (like me).

    April 6, 2016 at 7:17 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Denis

    Great post, mate. Some people just need to be told (like me).

    April 6, 2016 at 7:17 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Monica Nessim

    Have literally stalked your entire blog, and downloaded your app, everything is so useful! Thank you :)

    April 6, 2016 at 8:42 pm | Reply to this comment

  • James

    I have come to the conclusion that the majority of successful blogs come down to one thing: the person (or people) behind them and their personality. You continuously do just that. Integrity and progress. Keep it up. Now, if I can't get your body in four months can I do it in five?

    April 7, 2016 at 9:15 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Nerdy Dani

    Short, but to the point. We still read and enjoy your babbling... I mean complaining... I mean dammit! Hehe keep em coming good or bad!!!

    April 7, 2016 at 11:00 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Chris Wagner

    Honesty is so refreshing - may you never turn into a Mike Chang kind of shill.

    April 8, 2016 at 2:42 am | Reply to this comment

  • Chris Wagner

    TBH, busy people need a few dumbells & stuff at home to get a n y t h i n g done. My wife's friend joined Fitness First in Bangkok and to cut a long story short, I do see how an online coach could co a better job! (<>, twiddling thumbs. Letting ladies do cardio when they need resistance training and HIIT to achieve their goals :X )

    April 8, 2016 at 2:46 am | Reply to this comment

  • Chris Wagner

    Over the years, I've found myself making up an image of myself. The reflection in some window brings me jarringly back to the reality that I'm a fat eff. Still, dreaming, having a vision and an idea of where one wants to go, helps.

    April 8, 2016 at 2:48 am | Reply to this comment

  • Abby

    I've been looking for motivation, and I think I found it here, "I train as if every P.R. could bring back Cedric Diggory [2]". I am, unashamedly, stealing that (for personal use, of course).

    April 9, 2016 at 11:14 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Amanda

    I like your posts... so I guess I'll just look forward to even better ones :P lol

    April 19, 2016 at 6:20 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Patsy

    OMG!! I'm so happy I stumbled across your blog. A lot of information that makes so much sense. I get sooo confused and over think my marcos by following stupid online competitors diet. Ive actually gained weight! I feel so stupid. Ugh. But after reading and understanding your website, I'm excited

    May 20, 2016 at 9:32 am | Reply to this comment

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