Below is an actual conversation that has happened between me and a health coach on Instagram:
Coach: Hey! I just wanted to say I LOVE your profile! You seem like such a positive and motivated fit person. What do you do for your workouts?
Me: Thanks! I lift weights at my gym for the most part.
Coach: That’s awesome! I don’t know if you’ve ever considered it but I’m looking for some motivated women to join my team helping to choac and motivate other women online. Is that something you’ve ever thought about?
Me: Nope, I’m a Certified Personal Trainer so I already train people and write them customized workout programs! 😉
Coach: Oh, that’s awesome too! You seem like you’re doing a great job, keep it up!
This is becoming common!
How many of you have received a message similar to the first one in this dialogue? I’m guessing over half of my readers are nodding their heads yes. This coach in particular was with BeachBody, trying to get me to sell other people the workout programs that BeachBody provides, which goes against everything I believe in when it comes to customizing workouts based on the client’s needs. It was pretty obvious that she didn’t even read my Instagram bio before she starting sending me messages because it says right next to my name that I am a personal trainer.
I left this out of my conversation with her but I’m also an Herbalife independent distributor.
Here’s the thing. To someone who does not know the ins and outs of the fitness industry, “health coach” probably sounds like a cool title. They can be helpful, however they can also be extremely unhelpful!
Things I Dislike About Health Coaches
Selling a Product
Most coaches only have one goal and that is to sell their product. There are some health coaches out there who really do care about their clients but there are tons of them who only pretend to care until they make a sale off of you and then you never hear from them again.
Or, in my experience, some can get very rude when you don’t buy their product. I explained in my post about my battle with perioral dermatitis that I had so many people from MLM companies try to get me to buy their skincare products; I finally grew so frustrated with all these comments on my photos that I lashed out at one of the girls to tell her no, I won’t be buying her product. She went from being super nice to telling me that I was an ugly person and that I deserved to have skin issues.
Typically if someone only cares about the sales, they will send you a message like the one I showed above: all business and not interested in developing any sort of friendship or anything like that. They’ll typically come right out and ask you to buy their product or join their team.
Health coaches only have a couple hours of training before they are considered a health coach. That is a huge issue that I have because they spread so much misinformation! I went through my training with Herbalife and it took me maybe 45 minutes because I already knew everything they were teaching about nutrition thanks to my certifications. You also need to keep in mind that most health coaches are trained from the perspective of whatever they are trying to sell, so the information they receive might be biased in order to help them sell to other people who might not be familiar with the company they are with.
Imbalanced Approaches to Healthy Living
I have found that many health coaches do not live a healthy and balanced lifestyle. They are obsessive over using their product, whether that means they workout eight days per week or they drink shakes instead of eating real food. They often preach a “no excuses” mentality and they post these long captions on social media about how they aren’t feeling good or how they didn’t sleep well but they decided to workout anyways because “no excuses.” I highly disagree with messages like this because, as many people know, I disagree with the “no excuses” mentality. There are plenty of valid excuses to miss your workout and it will not kill you to do so. Health coaches often will post about these things or about restricting (not giving into cravings) because they think it is inspiring and the people on their team will congratulate them and encourage this behavior. All of this just breeds more of these habits which eventually breeds extremely disordered behaviors.
Preying on Insecurities
There are way too many coaches who will search through tags on social media or target people, whether they know them or not, simply because they look like they need their product or services. I was actually just listening to the Goal Digger podcast recently by Jenna Kutcher and she even said that some of these people reached out to her after she gave birth to try to get her on a weight loss supplement or workout program so she could “lose the baby weight.” NOT. COOL. This same type of thing happened to me when I was struggling with the dermatitis on my face; people would troll the skincare tag and that is how they found me and sent me messages about their products that would “fix” my skin.
Things I Like About Health Coaches
A lot of health coaches have private support groups on social media platforms and this can be so helpful for someone who is trying to reach a specific goal. Sometimes it sucks feeling like you’re on your own and perhaps you feel like people around you don’t get what you are going through. I think that these types of support groups are great because you can connect with people that you have something in common with.
A Cheaper Alternative
The workout programs and such that these health coaches provide, while not customized for your specific needs, are a cheaper alternative to hiring a personal trainer. Personal training can be really expensive so when someone just can’t afford one, then these are a great option because you get a pre-made workout and (hopefully) a good coach to hold you accountable.
I wear a lot of hats: NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Weight Loss Specialist, and Fitness Nutrition Specialist. A writer with a B.A. in English and Professional Writing. A fur mom and a wife. A mental health advocate and a septic shock survivor. An Airman and an athlete. I live in South Florida and am in love with the ocean. People can typically find me either in the gym or at home, writing or reading.