Core Client Habit: Have A Movement Coach

Question: Did you work with a movement coach this week?
How To Know You’ve Done This: Work with a movement coach at least once this week.

From Dr. Matt: “Since my first son Cooper’s birth, my wife Nicole and I have been determined to teach him how to swim. We’ve all heard the drowning horror stories. It’s scary stuff. Yet, even with the reality of the fear that Cooper could not swim, as Cooper neared the age of three this past summer, he still sunk like a rock in the water. We had told ourselves again and again that we would teach him. There are ample resources on YouTube that would give a parent everything they need to teach a kid to swim. But we didn’t. 


This summer, we decided we needed to do something different. We signed Cooper up for swim lessons. After some asking around, we found the perfect coach. Coach Rosemary. She was no BS. Perfect for Cooper who likes to find the edges of what he is allowed to do and stick his toes past them. 


Coach Rosemary started our first lesson by telling me that there would be lots of crying the first few sessions but that she was confident she could get him to be safe in the water by the end of the summer. That was good enough for me!


So our summer of swim lessons commenced. We signed up and paid ahead for 3 days a week. And by golly, we showed up to every single lesson. Without fail. Even when it was inconvenient, we were tired, or we had to move things around. Come hell or high water, we got our 3 lessons in. It’s amazing how we can make our schedule work around things we’ve already paid for. 


And by the end of the summer, my little dude could float on his back, swim to the edge of the pool after jumping in, and all-around was water-safe. He can now be seen showing off his “back starfish” while in the bath at night. He’s quite proud of himself. 


Without a coach, Cooper would still be floundering (pun intended). Even though we had good intentions, our goal was really important (swimming safety for kids could be a matter of life and death), and we had access to the resources to teach him (YouTube!) we did not make it happen. But with our Coach, consistent accountability and direction, I had the confidence that we were doing what was best, we had consistent appointments, and I knew there was someone I was paying waiting for me that I couldn’t just not show up for. 

I tell you this story mainly to insert a cute picture of my kid. But also to illustrate the importance of having a coach for those who want to make changes to their health. If your health is something you value and you’re not on the right trajectory, get yourself some help. 


We at Village use the term Movement Coach, because it encompasses many different professions. The coach you choose will depend on what you are looking for. If you’re in pain and looking to improve mobility, you’ll start working with a physical therapist. If you want to lose weight and get healthier, you’ll work with a fitness coach or personal trainer. If you love Yoga, you’ll find a yoga instructor. 


To fulfill the client core habit of “Have A Movement Coach” you should be consistently, at least once a week or more, working with a movement coach. 

Why This Habit Is So Important

I love this quote from author James Clear: “Having good health isn’t everything. But not having it is.” 


Most of our clients come to us because something has happened in their life and they’ve decided they can wait no longer to change. Maybe they just spent a few weeks at the city they want to retire in and realized they can’t do all the things they want to do. Maybe they went to the doctor and were told “if you don’t lose weight you’ll have diabetes in 5 years.” Or maybe they’ve just had their first grandchild and are concerned with their inability to squat do to the floor to pick things up. 


The american public are rapidly progressing towards becoming less healthy. We are getting fatter, sicker, and less educated about nutrition, movement, and health each and every decade. And it shows. Younger Americans are dying at higher rates. Older americans are getting preventable diseases sooner. 


If our health is so important, why wouldn’t everyone be exercising and eating well? I think the answer to this question is simple: Life. We get over-busy and our health gets put on the back-burner. We are busy driving kids to school and waiting in long lines to drop them off. We are busy working demanding jobs and commuting in LA traffic. We are busy with kids sports, clubs, and activities. 


But we all know and value our bodies and our health. There is a surefire way to ensure that you consistently exercise and have accountability surrounding your nutrition: get a coach. 


That makes sense, right? We logically understand the benefits of a coach and know that our health is invaluable. But very few people actually work with a coach. Why, O, Why?


There are indeed folks who simply cannot spend extra money on their health. But more often, people tell themselves that they can’t spend extra money on their health. Hearing, “I can’t afford to have a coach” from someone who drops $1000 on the latest iPhone, spends constantly on Amazon, and has a car payment is comical. What they are really saying is “I am prioritizing temporary things over my health.” A wise clients of ours once said, “I can spend the money now staying healthy and preventing issues later in life, or I can spend the money when I’m older trying to get back my health.”


We’ve heard from many well-intentioned folks that they could never justify spending as much as their car payment on a health and fitness coach. This is baffling. The car you are leasing will not last. In fact, you don’t even own it. But the body you live in will be with you through life. If you have aspirations to do fun things in retirement, you have to steward your body well. 


We get it, you’re busy. You’ve got to drop the kids off at school, rush to the office, commute home, and then kids sports and activities in the evening. Here’s a suggestion: block off the time needed to care for your body well and get the accountability to make sure you show up. Then, put other things in your life around it. Make your 2-3 workouts and eating well non-negotiables in your life. If you want to have a body that’s lean, healthy, and works well long into retirement, moving well, moving often, and eating good food are non-negotiables.

Do It Yourself

For some people it’s a bull-headed “I can do it myself” sort of approach. And hey, if you’re getting the results you want, good for you. But most mere mortals struggle to consistently prioritize exercise and eating well. The crazy ones keep telling themselves that this next workouts program or diet will be different and that they know what to do, they just need to do it. The smart ones will get help. 

I Can’t Spend Money On Me

Others have a hard time investing money in themselves. They live with a self-sacrificing mentality. But in reality, not taking care of your body, health, and mind is selfish. By not caring for yourself, you are rendering yourself unable to be your best self for those you love. This is especially prevalent in moms. One of the best gifts you can give your kids is an example of what it looks like to care for your health.

The Benefits Of A Coach

1. Confidence and Clarity


We as humans love choices. But, give us too many, and we will default to not making a decision. There was a fascinating study done on different types of jam and choices. Researchers found that consumers were more likely to purchase jam after given 6 choices instead of 24 1. Logically, it would seem that more choices would be better.  Yet the jam study showed that when given too many choices, people defaulted to no decision rather than spending the mental energy to riffle through 24 different decisions. Too many options breeds indecision. 


A coach, even a coach that isn’t all that great, can simplify decisions for you when it comes to workouts and nutrition. A great coach, like those we have at Village, can help you make optimal decisions to maximize your potential and become the healthiest version of yourself. If you’re busy running a company, working 10-hour days, or raising kids, you don’t have the time or mental energy to decide what you’ll do for workouts. This is one of the reasons most American’s default to not exercising at all or walking on the treadmill while they watch the news and trifling around with a few bicep curls and bench presses before calling it a day. With a coach, things will be different. When you show up for a workout, they will tell you exactly what you will be doing that day. Even if you are feeling a bit sluggish and would have otherwise skipped your workout, you’ll do what your coach says. Having a coach is like outsourcing the decision making in your health. If your health is one of the most important things in your life, and you are struggling to make consistent exercise and eating well happen, get yourself a coach. 


2. Accountability

You leave work after a long day of making decisions. Your brain and your body are pooped. You’ve told yourself that you’re going to the gym on the way home from work, but now you’re questioning, “is it really a good idea to exercise if I’m this tired? I think I read an article that said you should just go for a walk when you’re tired. I’ll do that.”


But if you have a coach waiting for you, who will text you passive-aggressive emoji’s (like this one: 🤥) if you no-show. 


Less than half of all gym goers use the gym twice a week or more. At Village, in our small group training program, our clients show up more than 90% of the time. In our 1-1 sessions, it’s nearly 100%. 

3. Bank Accounts And Priorities

Our bank account reflects our priorities. We spend money on what we value and we value what we spend money on. So, if you’ve been stuck and unable to accomplish your health goals for years or decades, it’s time to put your money where your fat and muscles are. Buy better food, get some nice workout gear, and get yourself a coach. Once you start investing in their health, your identity will begin to change and you’ll become the TYPE of person who cares for their body well. 

4. Motivation

A coach is able to motivate someone to push themselves even when they don’t feel like it. A phenomenal coach can decipher how hard a person needs to pushed on a given day and when they need to back off. The coach that always pushes to the brink of exhaustion a-la bootcamp, OrangeTheory and many CrossFits, will create people who are stressed, burned-out, and more likely to get injured. 

5. Get To Your Goals Faster and Realistically

A coach can help you to set realistic goals. You may want to lose 60 pounds in the next 6 months. Your coach can bring you back down to earth and let you know that’s not realistic based on your schedule, experience, and other factors. That way, when you’ve lost 20 pounds 6 months from now, you feel successful instead of frustrated. 


A coach gives you the clarity and confidence that the workouts you are doing and the habits your are implementing are the right ones. 


It’s your coach's job to help you figure out what’s best to work on next. And then it’s your job to go and do it. The coach along the way to make sure you’re on track and to help you troubleshoot when things go awry. 

6. Do It Right

Exercise is a stressor. It sets off the inflammatory process in our bodies, breaks us down, and can lead to injury. Whether the stress of exercise is a “productive” stress which makes you stronger and healthier, or an unproductive stress which gets you sick, burned-out, and injured depends on the exercise you do. It’s the job of a good coach to make sure your workouts, recovery, and nutrition program are conducive to productive stress. 


There is a lot of crazy misinformation in the world of exercise and fitness. Like do you really need to do you squats atop that little blue half-ball thing? Does every workout need to feel like you are knocking on death’s door and begging for it to be opened just so the burpees can stop? Or how about nutrition. Should you go keto, low-fat, or intermittent fast? Do you need to do hormone pills? A coach helps to cut through the noise and pick out the right workouts and habits for you. 

A Quick Word About Personal Trainers

The personal training profession is atypical. Most trainers quit within two years. The split shift hours are draining and the pay is low. Any course you can complete in a weekend, should not be sufficient as a qualifier to be an authority on a subject. Personal training is often not a sustainable career. At Village, we are changing that. Our Fitness Coaches work 8-hour shifts, get benefits, and are in a culture of Life-Long Learning. We have created and are creating careers for our fitness coaching staff instead of jobs. 

1 "More Isn't Always Better - Harvard Business Review." Accessed 11 Nov. 2019.