Paul Shelley

On-line Coaching vs Coaching

The new “buzz word” in fitness at the moment is online fitness programming, and everyone one wants to sell us one if it’s for marathon training or Crossfit.

How many times have you looked through Instagram or Facebook and seen someone selling their services or an online programme that will get you to the Games? Some people will go looking for the "Smolov” Squat programme, or the “Russian” Squat programme thinking it will improve their squat, and yes it will if the movement patterns are correct and all the muscles are firing in the correct order. Some even go to their favourite athlete’s page and follow what they did, just cause it looks tough and it will “raise them above everyone else”.

Matt Fraser

Choosing the correct program to follow is tough, many people look into what Matt Fraser is doing. Matt is at the top of his game, so everyone thinks “if I do that, I’ll be at the games too!”.

We as humans want to jump too far ahead of ourselves take the quick route in the hope we’ll get the results quickly. What we need to do instead of doing what Matt Fraser is doing now, is to do what he did five years ago, the endless hours of technique, practice, endurance work and recovery.

Following an online programme is hard work, hours on your own doing things you don’t want to do. How many of you would honestly do a 60-minute row if it was programmed?

Having a programme which is too advanced is not going to help you, it’ll probably harm you! If you don’t have muscle ups why follow an advanced programme that has them in. Acknowledging your own ability level is tough. Make a list of your weaknesses, then plan appropriately. It will improve your psychological strengths too.


Having someone watching over you every class and coaching the session you are doing, will benefit you more than just blindly following a plan. Some days you’ll need cajoling and some days you’ll need someone to push you or critique your positioning.

Coaching isn’t about cheerleading and pushing you to your limits, it is saying to you “drop the weight, your body isn’t ready for that” or “lets just scale that back a little bit and fix the positioning first”. It’s not because we don’t want you to improve! it’s to say take it easy and improve the technique then push the weight, your general health and prevention of injury is far more important than weight chasing for followers.


Tom Landry

“A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be”.

Author - Paul Shelley
Coach - Central Staffs Crossfit