Reviewed by Brian St. Pierre, MS, RD
Signing up with a health coach is an investment.
Time! Money! Doing stuff!
It’s also an investment in yourself.
With that in mind, we’re here to help you figure out how to find the best health coach for you, considering your fitness goals, lifestyle, and personality.
Why you should interview your new prospective health coach
Talking to prospective health coaches is really the only way to figure out if you “vibe” with them.
If you’re going to invest time, money, and energy into this relationship, it should be with someone you feel comfortable with, and the way to find that out is through an interview.
Interview three to five potential candidates before choosing the person you’ll work with. The point of these interviews isn’t to “stump” a coach with tough questions. Rather, it’s about having a live conversation to make sure you click.
To make the most of this meeting, have a list of questions and talking points prepared. This will help you gauge how well each coach aligns with your goals and whether their approach works for you.
There’s no such thing as a “perfect” coach.
Instead, look for someone who’s “good enough” and can simply help you make progress.
If you’re choosing between someone with all the “right” qualifications on paper versus someone you really connect with, go with the one you have a good connection with.
Coaching is a relationship-based service. The rapport you build with your coach is key to achieving the results you’re looking for.
13 questions to ask your new health coach
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential coaches, use this guide to ask the right questions. After these conversations, you’ll probably feel ready to pick “the one.”
1. What experience do you have working with clients like me?
When you’re in the process of selecting a health coach, one of the most important questions you can ask is about their experience.
Specifically, inquire about their track record with clients who have goals similar to yours or those from a similar demographic / stage of life as you.
This question serves as a filter to ensure you’re choosing a coach who understands your specific needs. Additionally, if a coach can personally attest to achieving the very goal you’re striving for, that’s a powerful testament to their efficacy.
2. What are your credentials?
This question is probably essential: It can provide you with additional confidence, and ensures a coach has a certain baseline of knowledge.
Plus, some coaches might have “niche” certifications—like pre- and post-natal fitness, or intuitive eating—that might benefit you and your specific needs.
However, this isn’t about prioritizing certifications or degrees over the personal connection you have with your coach. Mostly, it’s about ensuring you’re in safe hands.
3. What’s your coaching philosophy?
A coach’s philosophy encompasses their beliefs about health, wellbeing, and their approach to goal setting and attainment.
Pay close attention to how a coach articulates their philosophy. Does it align with your values and beliefs regarding health and wellness? If it “fits,” this sets the foundation for a productive and harmonious coaching relationship.
4. What does your coaching process look like?
Knowing a coach’s process allows you to anticipate the strategies they’ll employ to help you reach your goals. It also helps you gauge whether their approach works with your preferences and expectations.
If everything you’ve heard from your coach sounds good so far, it’s time to dig deeper. The following questions can help you understand a few more details about what it would be like to work with them.
5. If I sign up, will you create my workouts? (Or: What will you help me with?)
Understand the exact services a coach will provide—such as nutrition, movement, or stress management.
And find out how flexible their plan is. For example, if you already have a workout program that you’re comfortable with, are they okay if you stick with it?
On the other hand, if you’re starting with a clean slate, will they tailor a workout to suit your needs? Some coaches place a heavy emphasis on exercise, while others might have a more flexible approach that focuses on nutrition and other lifestyle habits.
6. How will we keep in touch, and how often?
Some coaches prefer regular check-ins via video calls, while others may use messaging platforms or email correspondence. Either way, it’s good to know. (And good to assess whether their communication style suits you!)
Ask how often you’ll have check-ins, progress updates, or opportunities to ask questions. Establishing this now will save you time and improve communication ongoing.
7. If we were to start working together tomorrow, where would we start?
A seasoned coach will have a clear and structured starting template for new clients.
They should be able to articulate a logical sequence of steps that demonstrates their expertise with the change process. This gives you confidence that they have successfully navigated clients through similar journeys in the past.
8. If we work together, what time commitment is expected of me (the client)?
Before asking this question, consider your availability and how much time and energy you can realistically dedicate to nutrition and fitness.
The level of time and engagement required can vary significantly from one coach to another. So, find a coach who can work with your schedule and level of commitment.
Some coaches may have a more structured approach, requiring frequent check-ins and consistent communication. This can benefit clients who need a higher level of accountability and structured guidance.
On the other hand, other coaches may offer a “looser” style, providing resources and support that clients can access at their own pace.
9. What tools, apps, platforms, and equipment do you expect clients to use?
Some coaches may have specific apps or platforms they prefer clients to use for tracking progress, while others just work with whatever you already have on hand.
If they do have specific tools they like to use, just ensure that you feel comfortable and capable using them.
10. How do you measure progress?
Find out how your coach will evaluate your progress—whether it’s through tracking behaviors, body measurements, or other metrics.
This ensures that you have a clear understanding of how your progress will be assessed—and celebrated!
11. How do you handle ebbs and flows in motivation?
Ebbs and flows in motivation are natural.
The response you receive should feel reassuring, as it’s likely to be indicative of how they’ll support you when you’re feeling less enthusiastic—or even frustrated—about progress. (Note: Ebbs and flows in progress are also natural.)
If a coach can address these fluctuations with empathy, understanding, and practical strategies, you’ll be well supported.
12. Do you have any former clients I can talk to?
Testimonials, transformation pictures, and personal accounts can provide powerful evidence of a coach’s ability to facilitate positive change.
A coach who’s organized and effective should have no trouble providing references or connecting you with past clients.
13. What questions do you have for me?
A good coach understands that coaching is a collaborative effort.
They recognize the importance of getting to know you, and this question allows the coach to gather the information necessary to design an individualized coaching plan.
Furthermore, a coach who has a set of thoughtful and pertinent questions demonstrates their commitment to your success. They should be interested in your aspirations, challenges, and preferences in order to provide the best possible guidance and support.
We’re here to help you reach your goals
You don’t have to tackle your health journey alone.
Our coaches at Precision Nutrition are the best in the industry, and our science-based 1:1 Coaching Program is personalized to suit your unique needs, lifestyle, and goals. Bi-weekly video calls and daily messages help you stay motivated while you gradually gain the skills and knowledge for long-term wellness success.
Learn more today and get started by meeting your coach.