Aug 30, 2021
Matt & CJ Gotcher answer your questions about the Academy and
coaching, including when you should fire a client, how Matt's
coaching practice has changed, the PBC process, and how to know if
coaching is NOT right for you.
CJ Gotcher is a staff coach for Barbell Logic and the Academy
1:57 Firing a Client
As a coach--or really anyone in the service industry--you will
eventually come across a client who you no longer wish to serve.
Often, this comes from repeatedly crossing boundaries. Often the
coach is not a good fit for that person--it doesn't mean that the
client is a bad person.
How could I do this better? Often, that client needs a different
coach who can better serve them. This is a great aspect of Barbell
Logic, that we can usually find a different coach to better serve
Occasionally, a client may habitually cross boundaries--the term
"malevolent" pops up--and you should not feel like you need to
protect yourself from the client. That is a sign you might need to
fire a client.
7:02 How Has Matt's Coaching Practice Changed?
We've moved from strength at all costs to strength as a tool to
improve quality of life. There are other things important beyond
strength training. We still value barbells and think barbells are a
fantastic tool to improve quality of life.
What is the client life-cycle? Matt has hit big squat and deadlift
PRs, but he's okay with the idea that he never will again. He
recognizes the sacrifices it would take to hit another PR, and he
doesn't want to make them.
11:32 Credibility in Coaching - Clients' Wants vs Needs
Have to realize that a new client has not necessarily bought in
fully to your training paradigm, that you have to build
credibility. For whatever reason, they've come to you, but you were
likely one of multiple options.
What really matters--to you and the client? For example, if the
client wants to compete in powerlifting and won't squat, that's a
problem. If, however, the client wants to sumo deadlift and you
think the conventional deadlift is better, how important is that to
you? Can the client still accomplish his or her goals?
For example, Matt now has Gillian Ward coaching him for strength
(already a nutrition client). Matt is beat up from years of Strong
Man & Powerlifting. Gillian has been asking how exercises feel, if
they hurt, if they do hurt, where and how much? She is building
trust and problem-solving and not pushing Matt into a cookie-cutter
16:26 Is Coaching NOT For Me?
Just because you love to lift, doesn't mean you'll love coaching or
be a great coach. If you don't really care about people, that's a
red flag. Really ask yourself if you enjoy it? If you feel some
resistance, which aspects of coaching might you not enjoy (because
you will always not enjoy SOMETHING about a certain job or
There are lots of different demographics and types of coaching, so
experiment and see if a different demographic or type is
23:33 Training Older Men
Can I find guard rails where they can push themselves (maybe a
super heavy low bar squat can't be pushed, but what about some
accessories or box squats or stressing the deadlift).
Educate them on why you're doing what you're doing.
A huge trust-builder here is to be more right about their
experience than they are (eg they hammer themselves on Wednesday
with extra volume after you've pushed less volume, have a
discussion with them after they bonk on Friday--not an "I told you
so" but a moment for education).
27:43 How Frequent is the Academy?
It's at your own pace in an online learning environment. There are
optional events, but you complete it when and where you
Also, there is the Advanced where you can deep dive into a subject
you need to focus on.
30:26 Long-Legged Athletes-Squatting & Pulling
They're going to look more bent over, but can also be too bent
over. CJ finds himself using overcorrection cues "overcues."
Most people aren't made to squat AND pull well. So, there are
tradeoffs (Kirk Karwoski versus Ed Coan).
33:42 Beginning to Charge Clients Money
It really should be as early as possible, because the money--even
if it's not much--gives the client skin in the game. The flipside
is you need to know that you can provide value to them.
How Not to Totally Suck as a Coach is a good article to Read. Make
the exchange explicit--it might not be monetary.
38:56 In-Person & Online Coaching Hybrid Model?
It depends on your situation, but it can definitely work. The
general model might look like an introductory session or sessions
and then go to a cheaper, online model that stresses
accountability, programming, and just technique tweaks &
40:55 Coaching as a Side Gig?
Is coaching worthwhile as a side gig? It depends. You have to enjoy
and be good at coaching. You can certainly MED your way into
coaching. It's DEFINITELY better than quitting your accounting job
and going "all in" on coaching and "swing for the fences."
46:27 Best Way to Work at BLOC?
We're not doing interviews & looking at resumes anymore. If you
want to work at BLOC, go through the Academy, earn your PBC, and
this is your BEST way to work at BLOC. It's not a guarantee, but it
gives us a good way to evaluate you and your fit for BLOC.
49:50 Coaching My Parents...AAGH!
Make it fun, limit the whole "I'm the expert," and ensure you're
providing value--maybe you find another option.
51:40 What is the PBC Platform Process?
First, yes, you can apply for the PBC without having gone through
the Academy (you are forewarned, the failure rate is much higher
for those who have not gone through the Academy).
The written exam is done first and you will do it on Zoom so we can
see and observe you taking the exam. The exam is designed that you
do not have enough time to look up the answers--if you came in and
planned to look up all the answers on your phone, you will
If you failed, you will know which sections caused you to fail (eg
you did well on 3 sections but were weak on programming &
The next step--if you pass the written exam--is to schedule and go
through an interview. Right now Andrew & Niki are doing them, but
that may change.
Lastly, you go through the virtual platform evaluation. You will be
coaching a real person, whom YOU must find. You submit videos of
yourself taking them through the teaching progressions and working
sets and submit that to a current PBC. We want to see how you coach
in your own space.
The virtual exams allows the evaluator to provide better feedback
on why you failed (if you fail). For example, the 3rd set of the
squats, what error did you miss? What might you have cued? You can
see what the evaluator saw and get feedback on what you need to
If you pass, you join the PBC registry and receive your physical
PBC certificate in the mail.
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