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The value of ongoing Coaching, from a decade of experience – guest post by Andy Sinclair

Client Success, Coaching

andy1Andy Sinclair is a client of Scott's who's been with Scott for over 10 years. Andy's been on the cover of fitness magazines, romance novels, ads, and much more. Here's a write-up by Andy himself about the value of customization, ongoing coaching, and his experiences with Scott and with things like the Cycle Diet.

My name is Andy Sinclair and I have been a client of Scott for over a decade now.

I have had the privilege to appear on the cover of multiple fitness magazine covers, romance novels, advertisements and as an extra in several major motion pictures, all of which could not have been attained without Scott’s coaching.

I first started training under Scott way back in November of 2004 and have never looked back since. It’s been a journey to say the least. I’ve learned a lot about myself, not only physically, but also mentally and spiritually as well from Scott’s expertise and vast wisdom.


Why I Chose Scott 10 Years Ago

At the time, choosing to sign up with Scott was an obvious choice for me: his articles on training and nutrition were a breath of fresh air at the time, and continue to be to this day; his client success rate was obvious to anyone who went to any bodybuilding show at any level in Canada, and of course the simple fact that he himself talked the talk, walked the walk, and practiced what he preached, and stayed in great condition year round – which is seldom seen amongst a majority of coaches – I mean, come on: how many coaches are asked to guest pose at pro bodybuilding shows? I was sold.

I knew if I wanted to take my physique to the next level I needed professional help, real professional help. I was like a lot of people who had been training for a few years, hung up on external cues like solely focusing on how much weight I used for every exercise, doing the same exercises and workouts week after week and following a lot of the industry dogma, which just lead to a lot of confusion and frustration.

Scott changed all that right off the bat and took all the guesswork out of it on my end—all I had to do was do it. Anyone who is a client or has been a client of Scott’s knows the importance of program design and your current “needs state,” which Scott is a master at addressing. These elements are why the majority of trainees who create their own workouts end up spinning their wheels in the gym, as they assume that they are training properly and following a sound routine when nothing could be further from the truth.

Certainly being in the internet age now “Googling” topics on fitness has become the norm for obtaining expertise, but in reality taking a random workout program off the internet and expecting great results over time is akin to trying to self-diagnose then treat a medical condition by entering symptoms into Google without ever seeing a doctor. Application is everything.

Scott has always been a true professional of his craft and genuinely cares for his client’s success and looks out for their best interests. That’s the way it was when I started with him and continues to be that way to this day.

The only difference after 10 years would be that I’m very in tune with my body now, and can accurately read my own bio-feedback, which at the start of the coaching relationship involved checking in more and asking more questions involved with that process. However his expertise is still as valuable to me today, as there is always the odd question or concern that comes up, and just having a true expert in your corner, constantly designing new training programs for you, each one fits like a piece of a puzzle into the next. Sometimes you need a great coach to tell you when to turn it on, but you need an even better one that knows when to tell you to back off the intensity. This is when knowledge of program design is critical and being able to implement the proper program at the right time is essential for long term success, and why Scott is so good at what he does.

It’s incredibly easy to justify staying with the same coach for over a decade now, when I see other trainees struggling and frustrated with the same problems, year after year, who keep pin balling from one program and diet to the next, with little to no benefit.


An Example of Reading Biofeedback

One particular time I had been training hard and staying very lean for an extended period of time, as I had several photoshoots scheduled. Of course I was still taking regular breaks from training and diet probably, every 16-20 weeks or so, all depending on bio-feedback.

However, in this case, I was only about 8-9 weeks after a whole week off, and starting into a brand new program, but was still having a very hard time getting into it mentally. This was unusual for me. I really just didn’t want to be there, and that was hurting my ability to have great workouts. I didn’t think I felt or worn, but my head just wasn’t in it. I thought it was about pushing through it, and that it was a mental game.

I reported the bio-feedback to Scott, and was instructed to immediately take two weeks off everything, no working out and no following any type of diet, just eat whatever.

It seemed so counterproductive to me at the time, how could I just stop and drop everything in the middle of the program? I’d just had a big break from training and diet! As it turned out, it was the best thing for me. After the two weeks of “normal” living, I was recharged and chomping at the bit again, and when I resumed training I immediately started having great, focused workouts, and going to the gym was fun again. The workouts finally felt like a form of self-expression for me rather than work.

I would have to say that is one of the greatest things that Scott ever made me realize. He challenged me to look inward and what truly motivates my actions, and what led me to the gym and physique enhancement to begin with. He helped me realize it was never really about the results of the workout for me, or going to the gym because I felt I had to look a certain way to feel good about myself.


His coaching goes deeper than that, and it allowed me to see that working out was indeed a form of self-expression for me. It wasn’t an obsession or something that I felt I had to do each day. It was about a complete lifestyle and how I enjoyed living my life. The physique enhancement was a by-product of that lifestyle, and I’ve never had to justify it any more than that.


The Cycle Diet

Another big part of that lifestyle has been following Scott’s cycle diet for the last 8 years. For those not familiar with it, this involves eating at or slightly below your BMR all week and having a re-feed or cheat day of anything and everything in order to fill up the tank, so to speak.

The re-feed also accomplishes a slew of other physiological benefits that allows staying lean and athletic year round, while still making progress without having to bulk up and diet it off. (But, that said, a certain amount of muscle and mental maturity and leanness must be met first.)

A diet must be sustainable and it must serve your body in a beneficial way. The Cycle Diet covers both of these, and to be quite honest, I wouldn’t want to eat any other way, as it’s not a diet – it’s a lifestyle.

I think anyone undertaking this needs to realize it’s not about what you can or can’t eat during the week.

Listen: I’m 32 years old. I can eat whatever I want, when I want it, but I’ve made a choice as a responsible adult to follow a lifestyle that benefits the way I’ve chosen to live. Besides why would I want a slice of pizza or cake or whatever through the week when I can wait until Sunday and eat the whole thing, in way where it’s actually beneficial, and serves my body in many great ways.

That’s the beauty of it, by the way.

On cheat days there are no rules, you can literally eat anything and everything, and if you have a coach like Scott who knows exactly when to give you the green light to start taking those cheat days, you can eat a lot, and it’s almost like you can’t get full!

Every cheat day is a little different for me now, sometimes I have certain foods that I definitely want to get, and sometimes I just wing it and see where the day takes me. Also sometimes I might have functions with family and friends to attend, but one thing is for sure the day is usually legendary as far as food consumption.

It’s not uncommon for me to eat two large pizzas in one sitting, go through the Tim Hortons drive-through and order 50 Timbits and have them finished before I get home, or order two appetizers, two entrees and two desserts all for myself at a restaurant (much to the embarrassment of my girlfriend). Needless to say most people regret treating me and picking up the check on certain occasions.


The Benefits After the Cheat Day

One of the more noticeable benefits are the first couple days after a cheat day.

I’m normally 10-12 pounds heavier than I am on the day before a re-feed. It’s very common to have people comment that “you look bigger,” and the muscle pumps and energy I have in the gym are unreal, to the point where the pump hurts sometimes there is so much blood rushing into the working muscles.

Also, the metabolic carry-over is very evident with the increased amount you sweat in your workouts too.



For anyone who is truly serious about adopting a truly healthy lifestyle and may be sitting on the fence about acquiring the services of a coach, then I would say look no further than Scott Abel.

First of all Scott is a bargain, when you factor in the amount of money and time some people waste on useless protocols and products hyped up by the fitness industry. Most of these are designed to keep you going in circles and coming back for more. The simple fact that Scott himself has kept himself in great shape and well-being for the better part of four decades using the same principles and strategies that he will individually apply to you makes the decision to stay with him easy. Not to mention his success rate across the board with hundreds of other clients.

I’ve seen and experienced that value of having a coach of his caliber for over a decade now.

The process of improving, learning and growing as a human being never stops. Also, individual, personal circumstances change, and so does your body. Having an expert there to coach you through this, as a constant in your life, is truly invaluable. Why do you think professional athletes have coaches? Golfers who have been playing their whole life have swing coaches. There are position coaches in football, hockey and baseball, and these are people at the top of their craft. Just because you show up to the gym five days a week doesn’t guarantee results. I’ve been flying in planes my whole life but that doesn’t make me a pilot, so having Scott to Coach me all these years really has been a no brainer, and the proof is in the pudding.

If you don’t have the mentality of someone who is waiting for the next big and greatest thing in a bottle, then I would absolutely consider acquiring Scott’s services, stop wasting your time and start investing it, it just may change your life… it certainly did mine.