Coach’s corner: Education first, then action!

By Beth Roberts of Killington Bootcamp

At the start of each Challenge we do an evaluation through a series of measurements, questions and tests. As their coach I start forming an individual plan for each of them. Many factors are taken into account. Schedule restrictions, knowledge of fitness and nutrition basics, and motivation level are the most obvious.

I start with the fitness component and speak with each one individually about their plan of attack to get their workouts in. We come up with a workable schedule and start the training immediately. The first thing I stress is cross-training. We set them up with options for group exercise, outdoor training, TRX suspension training, small group coaching, yoga classes and access to a full gym. They are encouraged to take advantage of as many of these options as possible but we also warn of the dangers of overtraining.

Nutrition coaching is less simple. This requires some calculations along with a lot of explanations and definitions. The composition of fats, proteins and carbohydrates for a well-balanced diet is crucial. We go over basic food lists and help the participants understand what is necessary in each macronutrient category.

They are given a nutrition plan to follow which involves carbohydrate cycling. Simply put, carb cycling is when the participant alternates between days of low carb and high carb diets. Carb cycling is an effective fat loss strategy that is easy to follow and keeps the body out of homeostasis where plateaus can occur. On a low carbohydrate food plan your body can go into starvation mode and energy levels drop. Macronutrient cycling allows fat burning to continue and energy levels to be maintained, even increased. It also takes the monotony out of a restrictive diet by allowing different foods to be consumed every few days.

I design a specific macronutrient formula based on their body type, activity level, body and composition. The participants download a simple app on their smartphone that is easy to use and free. The app does the calculations for them.

Now their plan is set up and my next step as a coach is to motivate, encourage and design fun workouts that they will adhere to. The ultimate goal is to educate so the participants can continue on the path of wellness.

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