Written by Sarah Brenner

Powerlifting coaching can be pretty expensive. For some, like myself, a coach is essential to progressing and totally worth every penny spent. For others, coaching may not be reasonable or necessary.

I think that hiring a powerlifting coach is worth it when:

  • You are serious about your strength progression
  • You have no prior knowledge or experience in strength sports
  • You can pay for coaching without putting yourself in financial hardship
  • You have the time and dedication to follow your coach’s plan

Hiring a coach may not be worth it when:

  • You are still making significant gains using a free program
  • You are experienced, knowledgeable, and confident in your ability to coach yourself
  • You have an injury that prevents you from following a plan effectively
  • You aren’t sure if powerlifting is for you or have no plans to compete

With that being said, not all coaches are created equal. Here is what makes a good coach, in my opinion:

  • At least once-weekly communication/check-ins
  • The program is altered based on check-ins
  • Program/Accessories are tailored to you as an individual
  • They are available for meet day coaching (if local). If they are not local, they are available for contact and support via phone or other forms of communication
  • They provide you with a meet day game plan
  • They know the rules of your federation (Note: they don’t have to compete in the same federation, just know the rules)
  • They offer encouragement and support
  • You have been with them for at least a few months and are making progress

What to watch out for in a potentially ineffective coach:

  • Everyone who is under their coaching running the same exact program
  • Everyone who is under their coaching does the same accessories regardless of individual weaknesses
  • They do not offer meet day coaching (if local) OR are not available for contact on meet day (if remote)
  • They do not know or pay attention to the rules (i.e. allowing their athlete to step onto the platform wearing items that are not allowed)
  • You have been with them for at least a few months and are not making progress
  • They are really just a “template guy/girl” (No, seriously, you can find free templates online. Don’t pay someone $50+ monthly to just send you a template program.)

When choosing a coach, you can ask questions before hiring them. If they are unwilling to take the time to answer your questions, you may want to find somebody else.

If it comes down to money, and you are unable to afford a coach but want one, there are tons of free resources out there. Dedicate some time to educate yourself on programming or utilize any of the free templates available on the internet. For the additional support that coaches provide (like form critiques, advice,  encouragement, etc.) you could join an online community or forum, much like Girls Who Powerlift Strong Girls Club.

1 comment

  • Melanie: February 23, 2019

    I just hired one to get me back on the right track and help gain strength. The new plan and accountability have been worth it. I told him before we started I just needed help temporarily. So I didn’t commit to lots of money. Since he is semi retired he was fine with that. I’m glad I hired him.

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