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Secrets of World-Class Coaches and Trainers

Secrets of World-Class Coaches and Trainers

By Coach Gaetan Boutin, B.Sc. Kine, CSCS, CCP

As a performance coach, I have had the privilege of working with world-class athletes and the opportunity to learn from the best coaches and trainers on the planet! Being a high-performance coach is a large responsibility that requires me to be able to manage an athletes’ key performance factors such as their mindset, nutrition, recovery and of course, their strength and conditioning.

To be the most effective coach I can possibly be for my athletes and clients, I have dedicated myself to always continue learning, growing, and expanding my knowledge as it relates to elite human performance. If you’re into training, and especially if you train anyone else, you’re going to want to pay close attention here. In today’s day and age, most people consider the best trainers and coaches to be the ones with the largest social media following. However, this is by no means the case and unfortunately far too many trainers are taking uneducated, and potentially dangerous lessons, and applying them to their clients. How do you know if a so-called trainer “expert” on social media is legit or not? Well, do they primarily post photos, videos and content of themselves, showing how great THEY ARE? Or are they posting the long-term success of the people who they have actually worked with and helped?

In my experience, the best of the best trainers in the world are not often found hanging out on social media posting tons of content, they are more commonly found deep in training facilities working hands on with real, incredible human beings. But you can access the lessons and learnings from the best coaches and trainers in the world if you do your research. They often have great books, websites and articles/blogs on performance and you can hear them speak in person at conferences around the world.


When it comes to training, one of the biggest secrets that all world-class coaches and trainers share is that they are far more focused and committed to the WHY of training than the WHAT. The WHY of training refers to the reason why and how you would have a client perform a certain exercise, and the WHAT of training represents the actual exercise used. Thanks to social media, far too many trainers are just focused on the WHAT – what’s the best exercise? When in reality, success has less to do with the actually exercise and more to do with the why and the how it’s used.

The best coaches and trainers don’t spend their time watching YouTube and social media videos looking for the latest and greatest, “cool looking” exercises. Besides, most famous social media trainers are just displaying abilities in their content, not improving it. You know what I’m talking about, the videos showing a 1 rep max lift or some person running super-fast through a whole mess of hurdles, cones and ladders with hash tags like #speedbro. Displaying strength and speed is not the same as building it.

The truth is, getting in amazing shape and being able to perform at the highest level isn’t a sexy video shoot, it takes the right exercises programmed strategically to focus on improving the areas that will make a significant, long-lasting difference. If you want to get great results from training, I suggest you learn the basics of human anatomy, movement and exercise physiology, so that you can understand how the body moves and the energy systems associated with the movement intensity, volume and frequency. Keep an eye open for more secrets of world-class coaches and trainers in future issues!

Gaétan Boutin is an elite high-performance coach, specializing in strength and conditioning, functional athletic movement, performance nutrition and mindset coaching. He is also a co-founder of Strong Athlete Elite Performance Inc.

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