FAQs about Verifiers, Coaches & Personal Trainers.

A unique feature of our 20 Week Challenge is its use of official verifiers, personal trainers and a huge range of ‘coaches’ including Nutritionists, Physiotherapists and Counsellors.

Yes, it makes our Challenge a little bit more complex but it’s all the more reason why our entrants do so well.

How does the 'coaching work'

This is how it all works.

1. Your testing sessions need to be with an  ‘Official Verifier'(OV).

This is so the judges can be assured that your fitness testing is done accurately and safely by someone who qualified to give you extra guidance if need.

OVs can ensure the tests are comfortable for you to do and totally within your capabilities.

These tests are done in the first and last four weeks of the Challenge and need to be done in person unless you are more than 20 km from an OV in which case you can do them via Skype or similar if the OV feels confident doing your fitness tests via an online portal.

2. In-between your testing sessions you also need to check in with a ‘coach’ at least another two times.

You can choose different coaches for these in-between sessions and you can do them via Skype or similar, providing they are still one to one i.e. just you and them.

We recommend that you wait until the 20 Week Challenge gets started before deciding which ‘coaches’ you should use.

Who qualifies as a coach

For your first and last ‘fitness testing’ sessions you need to use official verifiers.  These are:-
a) REPs registered Personal Trainers/Exercise Consultants (or equivalently registered in your country,)
b) Accredited Exercise Physiologist
c) Physiotherapist
d) Physical Education Teacher

In between you need to have two sessions with one or more of the following ‘coaches’:-

a) REPs registered personal trainers (or equivalently registered in your country,)
b) Accredited exercise physiologist
c) Physiotherapist
d) Physical education teacher
e) Counsellors and therapists who are full members of their respective association.
f) Dietitians
g) Degree qualified nutritionists
h) Podiatrists, as well as
i)  Occupational Therapists
j) Qualified Sport and Dance Coaches (in running, swimming, cycling, tennis, athletics, dance etc) that hold first aid certificates and do coaching in a paid for role i.e. not volunteer coaches.

Contacting your coach

Your first challenge of the Challenge is to find one of these people to help you out, but to be fair, you probably already know a few, otherwise a simple internet search will most likely reveal suitably qualified people in your area who are usually only too keen to help out.

We’ve also done up a template email inquiry you can send potential coaches to get the ball rolling,  explaining what they need to do and asking for their prices etc.  Click here to check it out.

Why have coaches

Why have we said you need to see coaches along the way?
Why can’t we just give you everything you need in the weekly material?

The weekly Winner’s Guide contains essential reading for everyone, regardless of their goals. It lays a solid foundation from which you can leap from into getting great results by targeting issues specific to you.

As an example, the Winner’s Guide may alert you to the importance of having good microbiome health and you might then start taking some of our recommended steps to improve that. As a result your bowl movements improve and you feel more energized. On the other hand, even after trying our recommendations you may not feel any better and decide your gut health needs closer attention. In that case you’d need to go to someone we are calling ‘a coach’, who can do gut health tests and give you individualized advice about what you should take to help you progress further in this area.

As another example, our Winner’s Guide may make you aware of key causes of shin splints and you might never get them again as a result of applying our Plan A suggestions, but a load of other people may need to go to Plan B and layer that advice with a personalized postural assessment, a run coach session or a visit to the physio who tells you your left glute muscles need strengthening! As you can imagine, that’s not the stuff we can do.

As a final example here, we can help you identify emotional eating triggers and from that you may gain insights around some online-therapists who may be able to help you conquer that problem.

As these examples show, for each person the gaps are different and the ‘coaches’ they would see are different.

A one size fits all diet, or training programme, in our opinion, while heaps easier to roll out, can never work as well as one like this, where there’s tons of helpful ‘foundation’ advice given to entrants combined with the use of experts.

More reasons to use PTs

While you don’t have to use a Personal Trainer we are huge fans of them and here’s a few reasons why.

‘75% of people who exercise are not getting the results they want.
Of the 25% of people who do get results, 90% of them are working with a personal trainer.’

IDEA International Health and Fitness Organisation.

1. Accurate assessments.

At the risk of losing in you in the lingo, the official verifiers, which will often be personal trainers and exercise experts, can assess your VO2 levels, ROM, BP, hydration levels, FHP, lean mass, body fat levels, metabolic age, take before and after photos with a plum line, test your glucose levels and a whole lot more!

If you’re not sure what any of those things are trust us, they are  important to achieving goals and your trainers will know how to do them accurately and safely which our judges need to be assured of for the purposes of verifying your results.

Physios are great at assessing the extent of an injury and are the perfect professionals to see if you are setting your goals around recovering from one.

2. Individualized training programmes!

As you’ve no doubt realised by now we don’t believe dishing out one programme for everyone. We give you essential ‘foundation’ information and tools we know the next best step is for programmes, whether physical, nutritional or mental, to be individually adjusted for you, to meet your circumstances which we can guarantee will be different to everyone else’s.

We have had entrants who have been 180kg and sedentary,  to ones just 30 years young with arthritis, to elite athletes with a broken leg and new mums with three kids under 6 and a part-time job.  Some belonged to gyms, most didn’t.  Some wanted to lift weights or run to get fit, others to dance or do Yoga.

No one, single ‘programme’ could have possibly worked for them all to the extent we wanted it to, yet they all succeeded with our unique blend.

Read the fabulous stuff entrants said to us on their feedback forms about their Personal Trainers – click here 

How often we recommend seeing coaches

While you need to see your official verifier at the start and end a coach at least two more times in between there are certainly some entrants whom we’d recommend seeing a Personal Trainer a lot more often.

How many times we recommend you seeing a personal trainer.

  1. If you are new to exercising.

    Aim for weekly sessions with a personal trainer, ideally one to one, just you and them, for the first 6-8 weeks, of 20 minutes or more. This will ensure you get great technique on the right exercises for you, which means results faster and less likelihood of injury.

  2. If you’re not very motivated when it comes to exercising.

    You’ll do well to have more regular personal training sessions or to at least commit to a weekly group session with your Personal Trainer, or even group ones they recommend like a Zumba class, PUMP an 8 week Salsa course, swimming squads, walking or harrier groups etc i.e.  commit to training with a group of active people each week.

  3. If you’re a super motivated, regular exerciser but not getting the results you want or commonly getting injuries.

    It may be more about having your Personal Trainer change what you do rather than seeing them more often.  Have them check out your current training and nutritional regime and tweak things around a bit.  This is probably the best most underrated benefits of any PT in the life of well trained individual or athlete.

How much do coaches charge


Entrants pay coaches directly for their services and these vary immensely so we can’t give you specific prices.

If your goals are around recovering from an injury and you are seeing a Physio under ACC then your sessions will be subsidized.

To give you an idea of some prices of Personal Trainers:-

a) large group training sessions (over 12) with a Personal Trainer typically range from $5 to $15,
b) small group training with 4 or 5 others around $20 – $30, and
c) one to one’s, i.e. just you and them, anywhere from $30 to $125.

Please feel comfortable talking to your potential coaches about their prices and packages and your budget before making a decision.

How much would you have paid?If you’re in doubt that you won’t be able to afford a coach then consider the money you’ll save!

Clients have told us they regularly save between $40 and $120 a week by getting involved with the challenge, using a PT and incorporating new healthy habits.

And if you’re wondering if previous entrants got good value then Click here  to see what a 100 of them said about that!

How to choose a PT

Choosing a Personal Trainer

Any Personal Trainer registered with a member body of ICREPs can do your official testing at the start and end of the Challenge.

Each country will have list registered Personal Trainers.  Click here to view the Australian one and  click here and scroll down to view the NZ search box. Otherwise simply ask you trainer if they are registered, or have them contact us.

If you would like an email to send a trainer with your initial inquiry about doing your tests you can use this one.

There is no charge for any coaches to register with us to help entrants and they are normally super happy to support people on this challenge:-).  You can also change trainer along the way if need be.

Our top tips for choosing a Personal Trainer.

Video talking about REPs facilities.
Apart from Personal Trainers being ICREPs recognised we’d also suggest considering these factors:-

No.1: Location.

Generally, the closer your trainer is to your home or workplace the more likely you will be to get there for you training sessions.  If parking is an issue for you then be sure to choose a place where it isn’t going to be.

No.2: Results and Reviews.

There’s a lot of knowledge and skill that goes in to getting clients results in the areas that are important to them.  Our hot tip would be to ask your coach to show you the results and/or testimonials of other clients who had similar goals to you.

No. 3: Do you get along?

You don’t always have to ‘like’ your Personal Trainer, although chances are you will, but you do need to trust and respect them and be willing to follow their lead.  It might be helpful to ask them about their philosophy on training, nutrition and motivation as well as their qualifications and experience and ensure it all gels with you.  Ideally trial them for a session or two.

No. 4: Costs,  packages and services.

Ask about additional costs and services.  Some Personal Trainers do weekly walks with their clients, monthly seminars with guest speakers and yearly retreats.  Others may supply you with home fitness equipment and access to a bunch of helpful resources. Some work in with a wide array of other specialists, usually physios, podiatrists and nutritionists,  always a good sign.

No.5: Listen to this.

This is an interview with the CEO of the Exercise Association of New Zealand, Richard Beddie, and it’s a really useful bunch of tips around choosing Personal Trainers as well as facilities.  Click here to listen.

No. 6: Still stuck?

Get in touch because we might be able to recommend a Personal Trainers close to you that has been involved with us before or a Global PT if you are more than 20 km from one,

When to choose your PT

By when?

Ideally, you should secure your official verifier, the person who’s going to do your initial tests, before the Challenge starts.

The latest date for you to find one is May 21st, 2018 and the last date for you to do your official tests to be done with them is May 28th.

Ready to enter?

Personal Trainers keen to support entrants click here

If you are a movement specialist, therapist or nutrition expert who would like to support our 20 Week Challenge entrants or enroll your own clients in the 20 Week Challenge please register here.

We’ll also link you to what Personal Trainers have said about their involvement and how you can jump on board which by the way is 100% free for you.