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After 14 years of Coaching, What Does it Take?

Coach Sheppy gives some insight into some of the winning characteristics he's seen over the years.


A neighbour asked me the other day whether Madlab would be getting a lot of business, once we re-open our doors, from all the big-box gym closures. 

I thought for a moment then said... "Probably not".  He asked why.

The answer is that the average big-box gym customer wanting to do the elliptical machine and pec deck isn't looking for a professional coach and comprehensive well-rounded fitness program.  They want to pay their $30/month and do their own thing. Fair enough.

That is not to say that we wouldn't welcome them into Madlab...  Of course, we would if they were willing. Moreover, it says that in order to succeed in the Madlab School of Fitness a client needs certain characteristics.


After coaching at the school for 14 years, here are a few of my observations about these characteristics.  This list is not exhaustive and assumes a strong will to be fit and healthy.

1. The willingness to be coached.  Make no mistake about it - We are a coaching service.  If you don't want to be coached then we are not for you.  Coaching exists at every level of our service.  Introduction - Assessment - Fundamental PT Sessions - Nutrition - Classes - Hybrid PT Sessions - Specialty Programs.  Preconceived notions exist in all of us.  You have to be willing to learn something new. You are paying us for our time, knowledge and stewardship. The wise make use of what they are paying for.

2.  Work ethic.  This is more than just trying hard on a heavy deadlift. I'm talking about cultivating multiple approaches to your health and fitness. It can require a great deal of focus and commitment to have an effective and sustainable workout, mobility and nutrition regime. This translates to hard work while at the gym, at work, home and play. It doesn't happen all at once. It ebbs and flows. Those who have this stand apart in their development as a healthy athlete.

3.  Leap without looking.  Ok, this may be a bit of an overstatement but I feel the essence of this saying translates to what is, at some point, required.  Yes, you can read about our programs online.  Yes, you can talk to and do an introduction with a coach so you do get a little look at the inside of Madlab before joining.  However, at some point, you have to jump in and really give it your best shot. I've seen this take 1 PT session and I've seen it take 2 years for some clients.  The latter somewhat participates in our program for a while then something clicks and surrender happens. They get it. They trust the process. These are the people I see racing up their fitness curve and cutting down goals like they are a combine in a field.

To all our clients who fight this good fight every day, I am so proud of and happy for you. These efforts are not to your exclusive benefit. They are a gift to everyone in your life. You make your world a better place to be. Thank you.

To all of you on the outside looking in. Reach out and chat with a coach. Peek a little then please, leap without looking.  :-)