It's a simple question with deep repercussions - who manages your training overall?
Are you in overall command, sub-contracting out to a nutritionist for diet, a personal trainer for weight training, your cardio class instructor for cardio, your running coach for running?
Is your trainer in overall command, determining your diet, workouts, sports training, etc? This is rare outside of sports, but it's how, for example, the Precision Nutrition fat loss program works - you get a coach who tells you what to eat, when and how to train, and what to read or to do to reinforce your process.
This is an idea discussed in Muscle Medicine - the idea that you either find someone to manage your injury, or you manage it and contract out parts of it to different specialists.
This is something I think all trainers and trainees need to consider.
Considering just diet, skill training, and strength training:
As a trainer, your overall ability to impact your client's goals are limited by how much you control about your client's overall approach. If you control only their strength training, you have a limited ability to affect their results. If you control strength training and skill training (for sports or games), you have a larger ability to affect their results. If you control those two plus diet, you have the most ability.
As a trainee, the more coordinated your approaches are, the better results you'll get. Think of an old-era Soviet athlete in training - dieticians coordinate with the cooks for their food; coaches prescribe and supervise their skill training; their strength coach coordinates with all of the above to ensure their strength training matches their needs. It's all coordinated - nothing is lost in the gaps. If you're training yourself, you need to ensure nothing falls between those gaps.
A corollary to this is, as a trainee you are responsible for what you control. You are also responsible for selecting your expert help, and ensuring they communicate and coordinate with each other. If you take diet out of the hands of your trainer and you want to lose weight, you're going to limit your results. But equally, if you train hard with your personal trainer and then train hard with your yoga instructor and then train hard on your own, you're likely to find yourself grinding down.
It's one to think about - what have you taken control of? Can you better coordinate your various aspects of training, eating, and recovering? Is everyone on the same page, or more importantly, are you ensuring they are on the right page?
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