Do You Need An Online Coach? Part 3 by John Greaves III

Online Coaching seems to be the answer to both the need for expert instruction and the convenience that Garage Gym Lifters are looking for. But along with the convenience, lowered expense, large pool of candidates and expert feedback come with some drawbacks.

What’s Bad About It:

  • The Invisible Man– As someone who hires an online coach, you face the same challenge as tech companies who hire employees to work remotely.  How can you be sure that he shows up to work? My online coach always uploads the week’s training every Sunday but if he didn’t I’d be left hanging on Monday when it was time to train. Of course, I could just created my own plan but then why do I need him? Also an online coach is not right there if you have a question during the training session. I send the videos after the training session so my coach can’t make on the spot corrections the way he can when we’re in person. It works for me and my coach but you’ve got to make sure that you and your coach are on the same page if you’re going to train remotely.

  • Strangers In The Night– This isn’t exclusive to online coaching but it can easily go from bad to worse in an online coaching environment. The coach -client

    Steve Goggins (on the far right) coaches many of his GogginsForce lifters online.

    relationship requires trust and rapport. That’s harder to build digitally and it was a little awkward when I showed up to a powerlifting meet and my coach had to be my platform handler for the first time. We got over it, but I think we’d have understood each other better if I were training with him in person all of the time.

  • Do You Understand The Words That Are Coming Out Of My Mouth?– If you’re generally in tune with your body, a coach can tell you to get tight and you’ll understand that he means brace your abs, squeeze your shoulder blades, bend the bar around your shoulders, open your hips by torqueing your feet outward, squeeze your glutes and maintain all of that throughout the squat. If you’re not, you might need to get some in person feedback before you go back to training solo.
  • I Ain’t Tryin To Hear What You Sayin– It’s harder if your coach is breathing down your neck to ignore her advice. If your coach is on the other side of the country, you don’t really have to open that email if you know he’s about to get on your case about dropping deadlifts again. That hurts you in the long run and a good coach will probably send you on your way if that sort of thing happens too often, but it’s still a danger.

Good luck and I hope that helped!

John Greaves III writes for a variety of outlets including Power Magazine, and Powerlifting Watch. He is the founder of Garage Gym Life and has authored two fiction books involving powerlifting both of which are available on He is a record holding Masters powerlifter, a combat veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, a former Marine Corps Martial Arts Instructor and was a silver medalist at the 2001 International Kickboxing Federation National Championships.  He is constantly seeking out interesting people who have rejected an average life in favor of building an extraordinary legacy. John’s been training for twenty-three years and from a garage gym for sixteen. You can contact him at

About the author

John Greaves III is a writer based in North Georgia with nearly two decades of experience in training at home. A former amateur kickboxing champion, John now competes recreationally in powerlifting. He takes a physical culture approach to training; believing that strength and health need not be mutually exclusive. In addition to his nonfiction work, John has written two fiction books, A Different Kind of Giant and A Little Lesson in Manners that are available on