Book Review: Let The First Rep Suck - The Art of Unconditionally Positive Fitness Coaching

Updated: Apr 28, 2020

A solid 4/5 Stars and why I think this book is a 'must-read' for all coaches.


Let The First Rep Suck - The Art of Unconditionally Positive Fitness Coaching

By Todd Bumgardner

I have to tell you, I first heard of Todd through a trusted mentor a couple of years ago referring me to join Strength Faction. This was one of the best decisions I had made at that time for so many reasons, which is saved for another blog. Ultimately it brought me here today, writing a review on my personal website.


Todd has become someone I can trust for honest advice and feedback. I very much appreciate honest feedback that helps me become a better well-rounded person. When I saw he wrote Let The First Rep Suck, I ordered it right away, not only support him but I genuinely like to hear what he has to say because there is always something new to learn from his knowledge and experiences.


A Summary:


"Let The First Rep Suck is the guide for fitness coaches that know that the client connection, and the systems that support it, are the most important tools for a successful coaching career."


The book is broken down into 2 parts:

Part 1: The Three Pillars of Fitness Coaching

  1. Psychology Safety

  2. Guidance

  3. Aims and Goals, and

Part 2: Managing the Three Fitness Coaching Environments

  1. Small Group Personal Training

  2. One-on-One Personal Training and

  3. Group Training


Each of these ideas and systems have a story applied to them, making it easy to understand and keeping you engaged. I easily read this book in a week but took away many lessons I am eager to implement. It also, confirmed some beliefs I have developed as a coach over the last 12 years - to always keep learning, keeping your clients safe and being a guide to their goals.


Because I was with Strength Faction for a few semesters, I came to have a deeper understanding of their lessons and their purpose after reading this book. It was a great way to understand what and how these lesson came about, and his reasoning as to why they are important enough to pass to up-and-coming trainers and gym owners. I enjoy stories and seeing the big picture around lessons, this helps me see how I can apply the same ideas or lesson to my career or client.


This is a great book for a fitness coach new to build systems to make your daily life easier and still getting your client the best results, or how to create a positive environment for your clients, and why clients seek out a coach/YOU (this was the lesson I needed the most).


Also, the stories in the book made me laugh and truly enjoyed reading them. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did and pass it on to your fellow peers!


If you want to learn more about the book you can listen to Todd speak about it on The Strength Coach Podcast.


I rated this book 4.75 out of 5 Stars - the only reason I did not like this book is because a few pages fall out of the binding LOL.



You can find the book on Amazon (like everything else).


https://www.amazon.com/Let-First-Rep-Suck-Unconditionally/dp/0578615843



*I am NOT affiliated with the selling of the book. This is my personal review to help you spend you time and money wisely.

Thank you for reading my review, please share your thoughts below. I would love to heard your feedback!