The Iron Stronghold Method: Part Two – Coaching

Dan Blog Leave a Comment

Standing before a wave of new recruits, I look each of them in the eye. For within every person, lays a slumbering champion, a beast waiting to be unleashed. Will one of these be the chosen one? To rise above and lay claim to victory and become the strongest version of themselves? There is only one way to find out.

“What is beneath your feet?” I yell


Answer! WHAT, is beneath your feet?”

A concrete slab?” Replied a nervous first timer.

Nik! What is beneath your feet? “

Sacred ground, Dantore. Watered with the tears of blood. ” He replied.

Your tears! Your blood! Your lives forged into something of worth. Listen! Learn! And, perhaps, live – As Gladiators! Now Attend your master. “

Just then, a great voice boomed from the skies, the recruits looked wildly about, searching for the source.

“You have been blessed! Each and every one of you, to find yourselves here at the Ludus of Ironus Strongholdius, purveyor of the finest gladiators in all of the Republic!”

Standing by, the Gladiators of the Iron Legion cheer in unison!

Prove yourselves in the hard days to follow, prove yourselves more than a common slave – more than a man or woman! Fail and die, either here where you stand, or sold off to the mines. Succeed, and stand proudly among my titans!”

The deep voice of The Lord of Steel echoed throughout the halls as it fades.

“A Gladiator does not fear death. He embraces it. Caresses it. Each time he enters the arena, he dances with the beast and prays to go home before the jaws of death snap shut. ” I finish. A fine speech to welcome new recruits to The Iron Legion.

The months to follow, for the new members of The Iron Stronghold, will be full of trials and errors, but with the proper guidance, they will flourish and succeed.

At The Iron Stronghold,  EVERYONE  get’s coaching. It is my philosophy that as a gym owner and coach it is my responsibility to guide those who train here, the results of the members of the gym are a reflection of the hard work they put in under my guidance. Since the very beginning, I have provided coaching to everyone that trains with me. The way this works is simple.

Up to this point, I would coach everyone as they came through without any proper organisation. But now, as we venture towards The Iron Stronghold I have developed a system for coaching that allows me to manage my time more effectively and ensures that everyone is getting equal treatment and guidance.

Here’s how it works. 

first-step-coachingGo to The Iron Stronghold website. If you are a new member, go to the homepage and select “Register” on the top right to register an account. If you are an existing member, select “Log in”

If you need to register an account,  fill out the register form and once completed you will be directed to the log in page.

third-step-coachingLog in using your user details.

fourth-step-coachingYou will automatically be redirected to the Coaching page. Select the date and time you want coaching and you will automatically advance to the next step.

fifth-step-coachingConfirm your appointment date, time and details, leaving any relevant notes about the session. Then click “CONFIRM”.


You will then be redirected to a page to view all your bookings. Here you can also cancel your session if you can’t make it. Simple as that!

So we’ve covered how  to book in coaching, let’s go into the WHY, the WHO, and the WHAT.

Generally, you have to pay an hourly rate for coaching, so why have I decided to coach everyone that trains at my gym? These are the main reasons:

  • The type of training we do at the gym revolves a large part around doing the big compound movements, using free weights. If I wanted people to train at the gym without teaching them how, no one would know what to do.
  • By teaching everyone correct technique on the lifts it means that they are less likely to injure themselves. This means that members are more likely to continue training.
  • In the past, I would have issues justifying why someone was paying me up to $100 an hour for one on one coaching when I was giving nearly the same service to everyone whilst I was doing a gym floor shift.
  • I want to develop a strong training environment for the members. If I was to let people with no training experience try and figure out how to do the basic exercises I would be allowing sub-standard training in my gym. This makes me want to cry.
  • I enjoy doing it. I make a living by providing equipment and knowledge on how to train. 

We do things differently at The Iron Stronghold, this is one of the main points of difference. As head coach and owner, I WANT  you to succeed and become strong. Because the more strong people we have in the gym, the more competitive powerlifters we have in the gym, the better everyone is, the better the gym becomes. 


Everyone who trains here will be booked in for their free first session or sessions. What we cover in these sessions is:

  • Overview and introduction of the gym and members, helping you to become familiar with the equipment, layout and the people training.
  • SQUAT TECHNIQUE, we go through all the elements of the squat.
  • During this session, or sessions, we will identify and begin to develop a plan to overcome any technical issues which may arise.

A lot of the training we do revolve around these big movements.

Want to get optimize your results? You better be squatting, benching and deadlifting properly.


Ash doing some well executed deadlifts.

And so begins the circle of gains. When you first start, it’s nerve racking, it’s scary, it’s intimidating. You look around and see people who must have been training for years! You think to yourself,” Why am I here!? This place is only for people who train!? Why am I in a gym if I’ve never been in a gym before!?”

But then you grasp the concept of training, you familiarize yourself with the basics. Then you keep training. Soon, you are hitting numbers you never thought possible. You’re losing weight, you’re feeling awesome. Then, you notice the new member, in for their first session, looking over at you repping your old max and you know what they’re thinking. 

Everyone, let me repeat that.  EVERYONE, who trains here starts off with the basics and the first coaching session. Setting the foundation for gains, for eternal progress. It all begins with the proper coaching. So when you come in for your first session, remember, as you look around and see all these seemingly unrealistic weights being thrown around by men and women who appear as though they are monsters of the underworld, they were in your shoes not that long ago. Everyone here respects, understands and relates to the journey you must take when beginning training. You’re not alone. 

After the first session, you should know what to expect with your training. From here I will give you basic programming advice and each time you book in for coaching we will be reinforcing the basics. Training is all about repetition. Practicing the basics is vital!

But coaching is not just for the beginners, from the new lifter to the strongest in the gym, everyone needs guidance. Coaching at The Iron Stronghold is great for:

  • People who have NEVER stepped foot in a gym before, to learn HOW TO LIFT PROPERLY.
  • For people who have been training for a few months, have a solid understanding of how to approach training but want to ensure they’re not developing bad habits.
  • For advanced members who need to have their technique evaluated and checked over.
  • To ensure you’re not regressing in your training intensity.
  • To ensure you’re not regressing in your lifting technique.
  • For evaluating lifts coming into competitions.
  • For help with fat loss, muscle gain, strength gains and fitness gains.

When you book in for coaching I will be here to assist you in any way I can. There is a maximum of 3 people per time slot and during this time my attention will be on the members that have booked in, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t watch someone else’s set, or give them a spot, this is not personal training where I follow you around and tell you how many reps you’ve done. I am here to guide everyone on their lifting journeys, the booking system allows me to focus on those who need more attention.

As a Coach, there are a few things I’m concerned with. Some of the main points being:

  • Technical prowess on the main lifts.
  • Ensuring proper application of programming.
  • Remaining injury free.
  • Long term progress.
  • Knowing when to push hard and when to take a step back.
  • Ensuring members aren’t developing bad training habits.
  • Making sure that members aren’t maxing out their lifts all the time.
  • Ensuring a safe and accepting lifting environment for everyone.

Often, without guidance lifters are left in the dark. They have no idea on the direction their training should be going, or if their technique is good and what exercises they should be doing to help them grow and progress.

The two pillars of a solid training plan revolve around the two services outlined in these blog posts, coaching, and programming.

Coaching ensures that your foundation is solid, that your individual technique is optimized for you, that you’re approaching training correctly. It is the master of arms preparing you for battle. Whilst programming ensures that your path is laid out for you, it is the map, the map to your progress. The battle plan to ensure victory!


Vic , moments before executing the overhead press battle plan. 

Working with myself, as head coach and with a properly structured program you are forced  to get stronger, leaner, bigger and better. As long as you do the work you will make gains.

Thanks for reading! As always, if you have any questions please be sure to ask!

Remember, your first session is free!

Click here to get in touch and we can organize a time once the gym has opened!

Until next time,

Live strong.

Leave a Reply