Coach Development to Change the Face of the Fitness Industry with Colin Broadwater

Guest post by: Colin Broadwater

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” – Marcus Aurelius

One of the biggest obstacles, or impediments, that we face in the fitness industry today is a lack of both standardization and professionalization.

As trainers and gym owners, we can piss and moan all we want about these obstacles: Not having reasonable work schedules, not making enough money, not having paid vacations or retirement pension plans etcetera, etcetera.

OR we can get organized and fired up!

We know we have at least as much to offer as a physical therapist, a chiropractor, an athletic trainer, or an occupational therapist. We know we are not just a bunch of amateurs.

Some of the milestones the latter professions had to reach before they earned ‘professional’ status in the workforce were to establish both training schools (or programs at colleges or universities) and local and national associations, as well as to provide full-time career opportunities for their graduates.

We aren’t there yet…

However, achieving professional status is exactly what the MadLab Group is striving to do. In fact, our number one aim is to professionalize the fitness industry, and more specifically, the fitness coach.


Serious business with Colin Broadwater

Currently, education that effectively prepares a student for what it takes to thrive as a fitness/health and wellness coach doesn’t really exist. And neither do any significant number of viable full-time occupational opportunities. The reality is the vast majority of fitness coaches and personal trainers are part-time coaches that don’t stick around in the industry for more than just a couple years.

Considering the climate today, why would other professionals, let alone the general population, have any reason to think that we are working at the same level as a physiotherapist or a chiropractor? And if there are a small percentage of us at the professional level, how would anyone know? And how could we differentiate ourselves?

Standards and professionalization: We’re at an impasse.

The MadLab Group is in the process of setting a new standard for coach education. Our newest version of the MadLab Professional Coach Diploma Program (PCDP)—slated to be released October 1st—will be by far the best coach education that has ever existed.

The foundational knowledge MadLab coaches will receive through our new and improved PCDP program will allow them to communicate to others in the medical, rehabilitation, health and wellness fields, and most importantly, to affect the lives of the general population—of the people they work directly with on a daily basis.

Tony Leyland

Tony Leyland (aka Prof) is one of the main reasons the academic part of MadLab’s Online School is a legitimate and credible source of information. Leyland holds a position as a senior lecturer in the Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology at Simon Fraser University. He has written the vast majority of the academic material in the PCDP. Further, he has been teaching at the university level for more than 30 years, and throughout his career, has been (and still is) heavily involved in sports like rugby, soccer and tennis.


Long-winded like a true academic, but Leyland knows his shit!

Sean Manseau

Sean Manseau is the other major content contributor to the PCDP. Manseau has logged approximately 8,000 coaching hours over the span of 10 years at his two gyms in New England, and his new book By the Numbers has quickly become recognized as the go-to resource for training coaches in Multi-Modal General Physical Preparedness, as well as for standardizing movement instruction.

His concept of standardized movement instruction has become what we are now calling the MadLab Movement System, which our students will learn about through multiple practical courses—and a first of its kind movement library designed to teach coaches how to coach. In other words, Manseau’s hands-on approach balances out the academic component of the PCDP.

Logistics of the PCDP

Once student coaches become adept in both the practical and academic sides of coaching, in order to graduate, they will go through a testing process, which includes multiple choice exams, written and video submissions, oral exams, and an in-person assessment.

Final Words

To say that I am proud to be a part of building this next version of the PCDP would be a gross understatement.

I have watched the MadLab Group grow from it’s very beginning. Before Craig Patterson started the group, he was working with gym owners as a consultant, and I was one of his clients. His advice to me during the first couple phone calls was so incredibly simple, but it made a huge difference in the outlook of my business, as well as on my bottom line.

He emailed me a handful of documents, set me up with a software company to help manage my clients, and we talked on the phone occasionally. That was it.

I continued to make a lot of mistakes, but managed to build my gym into a successful business for six years before I sold it earlier this year. I often think back to the words that Patty said to me on the very first call that we had together:

We’ll just keep getting on the phone together until you’re running a successful business…”

Now here we are more than six years later with an incredible team of folks continuing to find better and better ways to help gym owners and coaches.

The constantly evolving  PCDP is just the next step in the evolution of a group that has a strong, clear vision to offer a better life for coaches, as well as those we serve, and we are completely dedicated to seeing that vision through.

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