If you’re a fitness or health professional, maybe you’ve wondered: “Sure, I know about fitness and food. But how well am I actually communicating that to clients? Could I be doing that part better?”
Or maybe you’ve thought: “Yeah, my clients are doing well. But could the results be improved? Not just good… but awesome?”
If you’ve ever wondered these things, today’s article is for you.
Exercising the Kaizen principle
If you’re reading this site, you probably like to exercise. (Or at the very least, you’re learning to like exercise. We hope.)
Maybe you also play a sport. If so, at some point you’ve probably asked yourself: How good could I possibly get at this?
How strong could I get? What is my genetic potential? Will I get anywhere near it?
If you like to run, you might have wondered: How fast could I run? If I really, really, really tried?
If you enjoy basketball, there’s probably part of you that thinks: Could I dunk like Michael Jordan or Brittney Griner? What about if I practice my jumps every day?
It’s not necessarily that you’re “bad” at these things. In fact, you might feel pretty decent at lifting weights, or running, or basketball.
It’s just that you know there’s a difference between where you are right now… and where you could be.
You want to get better because you enjoy these activities. You want to kick more ass than you do now.
You wonder: How could I be excellent? How could I master this?
This is the Kaizen principle at work.
Kaizen is the Japanese word for “good change”, “improvement”, or “change for the better”. And it’s often associated with a philosophy, or set of practices, that focus on small, continuous, never-ending improvement.
So, whenever you feel that urge to improve your game, to test your limits, to move one notch along the progress continuum, you’re tapping into the Kaizen philosophy.
Becoming a Kaizen coach
As it happens, excellence and mastery aren’t just for athletics. Becoming a world-class coach also requires both.
But how do you get there? How do you move along the continuum? How do you make a practice of small, continuous, never-ending improvement?
Here’s our advice:<
- Step 1: Develop a coaching system
- Step 2: Work within a community of excellence
- Step 3: Actively engage and direct your passion
Step 1: Develop a coaching system
A passerby in Manhattan, seeing a man with a violin case, asks him: “Do you know how to get to Carnegie Hall?”
“Yes,” says the violinist. “Practice!”
You’ve probably heard this old joke. And it’s true. You don’t excel without hard work. You need your 10,000 hours.
However, hard work alone is not enough.
You can’t just randomly grab a violin and start sawing away on it, expecting to end up like Jascha Heifetz or Ashley MacIsaac.
Even if you put in eight hours a day, you won’t get much better — let alone become world-class — without a real system.
Elite musicians, top athletes, and everyone else who excels in their field have systems. Most often these systems are structured, objective-driven, and repeatable.
These systems outline and systematize a concrete process of learning, working, and improving.
Of course, as a coach, the same rules apply.
You need a system (or set of operating principles) for:
- assessing new clients and setting initial expectations;
- monitoring progress;
- making evidence-based decisions;
- troubleshooting and course correction;
- evaluating new research and ideas in the field; and
- keeping clients on track and motivated.
You also need a system for determining what to do at the beginning, middle, and end of each client session. One for deciding what to do every day to get better at your craft.
And you need to have a way to repeat these systems. Day after day after day. Client after client after client.
Step 2: Work within a community of excellence
“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
— Sir Isaac Newton
In North America we often celebrate a certain type of individual: the solo genius laboring alone in obscurity. But let’s get real: It never works this way.
Albert Einstein had a community of peers such as Kurt Gödel, with whom he could exchange ideas. And don’t forget his supportive family, who made sure he dressed himself and didn’t get lost on the way home.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was inspired by and worked with other composers and musicians such as Johann Christian Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, and Joseph Haydn.
Marie Curie was inspired by her mathematician-physicist father. She was supervised by Nobel winners Gabriel Lippman and Henri Becquerel. And she worked closely with her husband Pierre.
You get the idea.
Even geniuses need study buddies.
Even — or perhaps especially — coaches need other coaches too.
To excel, you need a community of excellence. A group of like-minded people chasing the same dream. Interested in the same questions. Dealing with the same challenges.
We’re guessing that some of your friends and family are sick of hearing you talk about the latest findings in sports nutrition. (We know, we know, it sounds crazy… who doesn’t want to know more about fish oil?)
So go out there and expand your network. Find other excellent people who are already plugged into eachother for idea sharing, collaboration, and collegial exchange.
Can’t find the magical inner circle in your area? Then create your own inner circle and invite other excellent people to join your club.
Step 3: Actively engage and direct your passion
Precision Nutrition’s super coaches don’t just work with clients to earn a living. Instead, they work with clients to live their passion.
They feel a deep calling to help people improve their health, their eating, and their movement. So “work” rarely feels like work to them.
However, the fires of passion don’t burn strong without a little fuel. So our coaches actively fan the flame.
They’re committed to things like:
- continuing education;
- personal development;
- practice workshops;
- organizing client gatherings;
- attending group workouts;
- making daily expressions of gratitude;
- and much more.
Yet it’s not enough to just engage the passion. You need to direct it too.
You need to channel your enthusiasm into actual client results. And that can only be accomplished through the best practices of coaching.
Sure, caring is important. But it doesn’t matter how much you care if you don’t know how to speak to clients. How to draw the best out of them. How to turn your desire to help into legitimate change.
That’s why, in addition to learning more about movement, exercise, food, supplements, sleep, and stress, you’ll want to spend some time learning more about coaching and change psychology.
Your next steps
OK, you’re on board. You’re going to get yourself a system. You’re going to find yourself a community. And you’re going to learn how to engage and direct your passion.
So what’s next? How do you make that all happen?
That’s where we can help.
Our next Precision Nutrition certification group kicks off soon and, in it, we’ll give you the system. We’ll put you in touch with a supportive community of like-minded coaches-in-training, and we’ll help you channel your passion into next-level results for your clients.
Since we only take a limited amount of students, and the program sells out every time, I strongly recommend you add your name to our presale list below.
When you do, you get the chance to sign up 24 hours before everyone else. Even better, you’ll save up to 30% off the general price of the program.
Soon we’re taking on a small group of new students, teaching them how to use advanced nutrition coaching to transform the bodies of their clients in the shortest period of time possible. Spots are first-come, first-served and typically sell out in minutes.
Get on the presale list to register at a discount 24 hours before spots open to the general public.