Agile Fitness – Coaching Requires Healthy Living

Imagine having Agile Coaches look like this? We’d be more than just a service… we’d be an IDEAL.

“I can’t take an Agile coach or trainer seriously when they stand in front of me telling me about the transformative effects of Agile when they, themselves, are over-weight, out of breath and sweating. They’re telling us about transformation. THEY are the ones that need to transform.”

I recently had a chat with a fellow Agile Coach around my healthy-living lifestyle. He is now undergoing his own body-transformation. πŸ™‚ Our conversation was very enlightening as I had never thought about writing about this particular topic. If you know me, you’ll know that I’ve been a health junkie for a years, even helping train others in their gym workouts to grab a little bit of extra cash when I was in University.

Look. Let’s get real. Candid. Truthful. For a moment:

  • People (aesthetically) may not take you as seriously if you’re out of shape. Just by standing up in front of them telling them stuff… means you’re asking them to model a different way of thinking, transforming… even modeling themselves after YOU. Why would they want to model themselves after an unfit individual?
  • Our bodies are our temple. Our engine. We need to take care of it. It’s our source of power, of will. You will be 500% more engaged, more excited, more aware of things when you’ve fed your engine well. People resonate with that.
  • Why are people drawn to high-engaging, exciting, and high-energy coaches and speakers? It’s because they excite the senses. I’ve never been excited about listening to a slow, lethargic individual. Have you?
  • We have to live what we preach. We’re, again, talking about TRANSFORMATION. Eat your own dogfood for once. Get serious. I want to follow people who show proof in their lives that transformation exists. Often… it’s hard to get past the exterior. In many cases 99% of perception is (our own) reality.

So… back to my conversation with another Agile coach. He asked me very simply, what I do to keep up my health in terms of exercise. Here are my 5 core beliefs when it comes to being healthy.

Top 5 Disciplines for Healthy Living

  1. Eat well – Eating well is 40% of being healthy. Stop eating crap. Eat good, organic foods, and add variety to your diet. Balance is key here. You can google the right dietary needs for your healthy goals.
  2. Sleep well – Sleeping is the other 40% of being healthy. There is a reason we need to sleep. We’ve conditioned ourselves to sleep less and less… and this in turn affects our abilities to be at a higher level of activity, engagement, and responsiveness.
  3. Exercise as a lifestyle – Having a constant and disciplined attitude towards exercise is not just a routine you add in. It’s a lifestyle change. It takes priority. It MUST be a priority.
  4. Accountability/Discipline – You need someone to keep you accountable and disciplined to making a change… Often, we as coaches are that accountability for teams and companies to change. Shouldn’t we need it as well if we’re going to stay in tip-top shape?
  5. Increase your pain threshold – No, this isn’t just for lifting super heavy weights. It’s for anything that causes you to want to STOP training, stop working hard to meet a goal. Often our accountability can help with this. But we MUST break through. Increasing your tolerance for the uncomfortable is the only way to make the gains you’ll need. Pain isn’t just physical. It’s more mental than anything.

Personal Kaizen – Common now!

Aren’t we all believers in kaizen – continuous improvement? Why is it that we’re the last ones to take our own medicine? If we want to preach continuous improvement to others… we have to continually improve ourselves. Remove issues from ourselves… and to break past the dysfunctions we’ve lived with for so long.

If anything, you’ll thank yourself. Just like your clients thank you. For improving your life.

[TUNE IN FOR WEDNESDAY’S POST found here. I’ll post up workouts that I’ve used to train others]

16 Replies to “Agile Fitness – Coaching Requires Healthy Living”

  1. I love your blog, follow and tweet your posts often, and while I know you mean well with this post, I found it offensive. I’m not out of shape or heavy weight by any means, and certainly many of the lifestyles you mention I follow. That said, I found it offensive because I know some brilliant coaches who don’t fit your view described above, and by advocating that point of view, you’re also discriminating.

    I could also say that agile coaches should spell correctly, for example you wrote: “if your out of shape”… I believe it’s you’re, and hence if you don’t know good grammar, how will others take you seriously?

    This is one post I won’t be tweeting about.


    1. Robert,

      Thanks for commenting. The spelling error you pointed out has been corrected! Thanks for noticing!

      I think, if you know me well, that this post was neither meant to be discriminating nor offensive… BUT! If I have your attention, it may just incite some potential change.

      The point, simply, is this: “We ought to change if we’re preaching or talking about change in others.” Sometimes that change can be physical.
      Now… I totally have met great people who aren’t of the super-model-body archetype. But… that doesn’t mean we can’t aspire for healthy-living, which is what I’m all about here.

      We owe it to ourselves to be physically and mentally fit, NO MATTER WHAT that looks like. I use the ‘over-weight’ example as (potentially) an extreme to make a point.

      Cheers and thanks for reading… although not tweeting πŸ™‚ No problem!

  2. Peter, thanks for saying it. I’ve long believed I certainly can’t promote transformation and especially personal responsibility if any area of my life demonstrates to others that I don’t walk my talk.

    1. Completely agree. Sometimes we just have to hear the ‘tough’ truth… or at least… ‘tough ideas’ around how to make our craft better. Thanks for your comment!

  3. Peter, I appreciate the fact that you tackled a topic that could be considered controversial (due to many people who have weight issues) and did so in a manner that was truthful and not mean. I feel like I do a good amount of coaching now even though it’s not my job title, and I see that continuing in the future. So, this post made me think about how I can improve with my self-presentation. I’m not huge, but better eating and more exercise could always help.

    1. Andy,

      Thanks for your honest sharing here. We (including myself big time) have a lot of improvement to go. There is a lifetime opportunity here to continually improve.


  4. Peter, you’ve nailed it. I’ve always been saying to others that if we are representing our Organization as “Change Agents”, we should change first, and, health is the foremost thing we should be looking into. I’m a Certified Personal Trainer and an Agile Consultant and I feel dood when people say that “I walk my talk”. You need to be agile rather than doing agile. Though, I do believe that this psot might look disriminating to a number of Agile community members.

  5. Hi Peter,

    Could you perhaps expand on this a little:

    “Eat well – Eating well is 40% of being healthy. Stop eating crap. Eat good, organic foods, and add variety to your diet. Balance is key here. You can google the right dietary needs for your healthy goals.”

    I always hear lots of talk from people about “dietary needs”, and “x # of calories”, “no carbs”, “complex carbs”, etc. But what I always find missing is actual food. What I want to know is, what meals do you actually eat? When you go to a restaurant, what do you order? What do you snack on in between meals and why?



    1. Great question Todd. As I’m not a certified health and nutritionist, I can only talk about me… and can’t prescribe anything to anyone else.

      For me, I’ve taken a pyramid approach (given to me by my sports nutritionist when I played Division 3 Soccer in University) – Meaning, create a heavier foundation for the day:

      Load protein early in the day. We usually eat our biggest meals at the end of the day… when we need the energy foods the least.

      Start your day with something hearty, like eggs and yogurt, both rich in protein.

      I snack constantly, anyone can tell you that I’m basically munching away throughout the day.

      Hydrate. Keep your body full of that beautiful h20.

      For me, a typical day looks like:
      – Coffee, eggs, yogurt parfait (with granola), a squeeze pack of apple sauce (stolen from my daughter – Tastes great!)
      – Nutrigrain bar around 10 and water
      – A solid (but not super heavy) lunch – Usually made up of an organic smoothie (if I can find one on the road) and a chicken wrap. If you can find a Tropical Smoothie joint near you, they make great Acai Berry Protein shakes and like 10 different types of awesome wraps.
      – Sometimes baked chips and something to snack on and pick at through the afternoon, I usually have trail mix. Water.
      – A solid dinner (eat whatever I want, sometimes a steak). Add veggies (a must do)!
      – For me I like a light snack before bed. Sometimes a chocolate milk and half a bowl of cereal.

      Thats a pretty typical day for me. In all, I’m not loading any particular meal. Eating just enough to feel good and full. If I’m not full from a meal I’ll load up on water. It’s better to feel full with water than anything else.

      Hope this helps! (BTW, my wife picks up organic foods from Whole Foods twice a week). So eating healthy is part of our family life!


      1. Peter… Something to add that we have to do our own research on what works best for us. Nutrition & exercise are a framework just like agile. You have guidelines & not prescriptions. You have to figure out what works best for you base on your context and advice of experts. How I read your post was “do your homework, experiment, inspect & adapt.”. If that does not embody agile coaching or personal improvement, I’m not sure what does. All coaches are models of behavior.

  6. I’m with you on this.

    I know it’s not the same as a fat gym instructor or a dentist with bad teeth, but I do think that a coach who is trim, takes care of his/her appearance, writes/speaks well, etc, is going to glean a lot more respect in their role. Whether that’s “right” is another thing (can’t be bothered to discuss ethics this late at night).

Leave a Reply