Many people have asked me what benefits they can get from hiring me as a coach especially as I provide a lot of information for free on my website. This article will explain the main benefits of online coaching, how it differs from hiring a PT in real life and who is suitable for online coaching.
Firstly, I also train people in real life also so I have knowledge about both training methods. With my clients in real life I am working to a specific schedule. If someone says they have between 3pm and 4pm to meet with me then that is all the time I have. Initially, I will get an idea of their goals to sort out a suitable exercise program. I normally have to give a brief rundown of the basics of good nutrition and usually point them to my website for further information. Somehow, I doubt that the majority of them end up reading much. So I get to see them for an hour and I basically have no idea what they are doing for the remainder of the week. 24 hours in a day, 1 hour of productive training can easily be outdone with 23 hours of unsuitable nutrition. As they say results are 80% diet, 20% exercise.
With new online clients, the initial process is similar however it is more detailed. I get a lot more information regarding lifestyle, exercise history, dieting history, injuries etc. I can then formulate a full nutrition and exercise program. The plan is then implemented and from there we have regular check ins to assess progress and determine changes to the plan. One major benefit for my clients is just having someone to be held accountable to. Many people have the intrinsic motivation to head towards their goals and have the knowledge to do so but lack that one factor to keep them on track. Others have all the motivation in the world but lack the knowledge or, more commonly these days, suffer from “information overload”. There are so many articles online and in the media on the latest fad diets and “what will get you shredded in 12 weeks”. I am about teaching the basics of good nutrition and implementing. Many people on their fitness journeys will end up majoring in the minors and I am here to provide objective feedback to avoid this. For example, worrying about “added sugars” but disregarding total energy intake (calories).
Another major benefit is cost. One on one personal training sessions cost $60 per hour. My online clients who sign up for 3 months would have the equivalent of 6 one hour sessions. Alternatively, they could receive a full nutrition and exercise program with current feedback when required as well as biweekly adjustments when necessary to achieve their current goals. This one seems like a no brainer to me.
I will make it clear that not everyone is suitable for online coaching. Having a gym membership is not a requirement but the exercise options are limited depending on current fitness abilities. (And I am a big fan of body weight exercises but the fact that they are much harder to assess quantifiable progress makes them not as suitable for online coaching). Also, if you have never touched a barbell/dumbell in your life then it is in your best interest to see a reputable strength coach to teach you the proper form in real life. I do provide instructional video’s also but having someone look at you while you are doing the exercise can be required initially. Also, I have many clients who now video their training sessions and send me a youtube link so that I can assess their form and also perceived effort. This works very well for people who have advanced beyond beginner stage.
Another vital attribute of an online client is intrinsic motivation. Initially, we will go over goals and I abide by the SMART goals system (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based). However, at the end of the day, I can provide a plan to achieve your goals but if you are just can’t be bothered getting off the couch to do anything then there is not much I can do from the other side of the world! In saying that, I have always found that the greatest motivator is progress, which is something I CAN provide a pathway to 🙂
As an online coach, I have the opportunity to work with a variety of different people from all sorts of backgrounds. I draw from this this experience base when getting to know my new clients, setting goals, making suggestions on the path to take and troubleshooting. This experience base is essential and gives me the ability to recognise common mistakes and spot patterns. It’s never as simple as the online diet calculators seem to suggest!
The pro’s of engaging an online coach are well in excess of the cons – and like engaging a face-to-face personal trainer, you need to make sure you choose someone with a wealth of experience who can tailor a plan for YOU, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. YOUR goals, YOUR way.