Know Your Why- Part 2

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Know Your Why-Part 2

Simon Sinek makes an incredibly profound statement “People don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it.”  Take a moment to reflect on that statement.  The reason that people get on board with a product or with a company (or with a coach) is because they believe in the values and views of that company.  There are countless examples of companies who created great technology but never got a foothold and there are some great examples of companies who nailed it.  The example that Sinek uses in his book “Start with why” is Apple.  People don’t buy an iphone…they buy that Apple challenges the status quo.  People buy into the reasons you do what you do.  That statement needs to be at the forefront of a coach’s mind.

Last week we discussed a little bit about “Knowing your why?”  Today we dig a deep further into this: Knowing your clients’ reasons, goals and motivations for why they train and why they are seeking YOUR help.

We then break these whys down into the five modules within the OPEX system that you, as a coach, should ask when working with your clients:

Program Design
Life Coaching
And Business Systems

WHY do you want to know YOUR client’s whys when it comes to doing what you do?  Because, without a clear understanding of the driving force behind each of these areas, you risk missing a mark, missing a connection, with your clients, and your overall impact that you are capable of making as a coach.

We will take a look at each, step by step, and why the why is so important for each:


Getting to know your client’s ‘Why?’ First things first, you simply ask, “Why do you want to train?” During the Assessment phase, goals are often discussed in the initial assessment. As a coach, creating an open space for clients to authentically share their goals is key. This is an art that must be practiced with caresince the information gathering you get from this stage is critical to the ongoing work and success your clients are hiring you to see!  As you uncover why they want to train you can build a quality assessment protocol for them that will help uncover just how close or far they are to that goal and how achievable that goal may or may not be.

Program Design

Aligning with their ‘Why?’– When you know a client’s why (why they train; what their goals are; what motivates them), you then know how to best program for them.

For instance, say a client states their ‘why’ is to ‘be healthier’ and ‘continue to progress’ after potentially a recent plateau in their own fitness. Herein lies where knowing a client’s why makes all the difference. After all, with these goals in mind, you then know you are programming for someone who desires wellness and general fitness. (Hint: You don’t have to program for them like a Games’ athlete).

That being said, you may also have some clients who think they want to compete, but should they? Do they have the work capacity and engine to put in 2-4 hours per day in the gym? Do they have the drive? Do they have the raw strength, grit and natural talent it takes to compete at a higher level? Or do they simply say or think they want to compete, but their ‘why’ does not match up with these desires? Their ‘why’ they like to train is because they love the push of a great workout, or want to look good naked?

Knowing a client’s why makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE in the programs you write for them—and the education you provide them around what it really takes to reach their goals (i.e. ‘that doesn’t mean you have to compete’). In addition, knowing what makes each client tick (their why motivation) is a huge key to knowing how to program for them.

The bottom line you, the coach, must ask yourself for each individual client may be something like this: If someone’s why for training is “to feel good” vs. “making it to regionals”, what tools do you then use to program for each of these people?  (Answer: They are not the same tools, same programs or same approach).


There are four things you are not supposed to talk about in life: Politics, religion, finances and…nutrition.

In reality, though, if you know a client’s why around their nutrition and nutrition choices, you will get much further with them in implementing a sustainable, healthy nutrition plan that works for them (client-centered).

A clear understanding of a client’s why ties into a greater understanding of their nutrition in regards to why people eat well or don’t eat well.

Instead of getting frustrated because your client just doesn’t seem to ‘get it’ that eating chips and queso and margaritas on Thursday nights, and pizza every Friday night, is not going to benefit their training…perhaps their ‘why’ for training in general is much different than your own.

Perhaps their ‘why’ for training is so they can justify the junk food they love to eat, or so they don’t go ‘too far’ over the edge when it comes to their tendency to choose not-so-healthy foods.

Or, perhaps your client is uber rigid with their nutrition—eating ‘very healthy’ or so they think. As a female, they’ve been told to count calories, watch their fat intake, and not get too carried away with carbs—they fear ‘bulking.’ Understanding this ‘why’—the self consciousness or hyper-awareness they may have around food, will help you, the coach, better understand why they may have such a difficult time, following YOUR advice to ‘eat more’ or ‘incorporate carbs’ post-workout. Knowing their ‘why’ can help you then educate them accordingly, and open up further discussion to nutrition myths and beliefs.

There are lots of deep conversations to be had here.

A question I’d ask, playing devil’s advocate here, is also: Why do you want your clients to eat a certain way?  Do they want that?  Do they hide food choices from you?  Is that their fault or did you as a coach create that situation?

It’s important to know what your clients want out of their food—and to support them accordingly if they ask or desire your opinion.

Life Coaching 

This module is the basis of the ‘why’ questions. It is here that we discuss clients’ priorities.  Priorities are what drive behavior and are the ultimate why anyone does anything.

It is also here that we discuss the HOW as in the “how” to have these conversations with clients around their why in the first place… the art of ‘why’ conversations.

Again, we also look at the coach’s side of the equation: What is the coach’s personal why, his or her personal goals or desires or underlying reasons for coaching and working with clients? Unfortunately without clearly understand this (your own why as a coach), it can often interfere with your clients’ whys. How so? Sometimes the coach’s why is not in alignment with the clients why and this creates an imbalanced coach-client dynamic (leading to the potential loss of that client down the line).

Business Systems

Lastly we touch on the business of the why. Pretty simple stuff here. Aligning your why to your client’s why creates long-term authentic relationships, which results in client retention and referrals.  Period.

Start with the why.

To become a coach that fully understands and knows how to implement this process, OPEX’s Coaches Certificate Program (CCP) is aimed at training you with a holistic approach to training, including: Assessment, Program Design, Nutrition, Life Coaching and Business Systems. Sign up today.

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Function 4/4/15

For total distance
60 minute Row

Compare to bodyweight adjusted calculator

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Being 4/4/15

5 sets easy pace
Run 400m
45sec FLR on rings
8 TGU you pick weight
10-20mins outside in sun

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Will 4/4/15

A. SJ – from blocks, build to a tough single in 12 min
B. FW – heavy 50m – max load
HS – 155#
Strict HSPU -6″
5 RFT:
5 DL – 275#
5 burpee bar MU

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She 4/4/15

A. Power jerk – tough single in 10 min
20 wtd. pistols
7 bar MU
20 pistols
7 bar MU
20 wall balls – 30#
3 RFT:
35 DU
10 DL – 135#
5 strict HSPU
Fitness Assessments for New Clients