Probably one of the most frequently asked questions I've gotten since starting this little business of mine is "so what exactly is online coaching?" As someone who has been involved in the fitness industry as a consumer for a few years now... it didn't cross my mind that this was something that was new to most people! Essentially, paying for online coaching is like hiring a virtual personal trainer. Let me explain:
An online coach is a fitness professional.
When you hire an online coach, they should be certified and experienced enough to be writing your workouts and suggesting your nutritional guidelines. An online coach is someone who is qualified to be a personal trainer, who has an understanding of various styles of exercise, and who is knowledgable enough to suggest what you need according to what you want to get out of it. You shouldn't just hire any Instagram fitness model that has a nice body. Of course it makes sense to hire someone who looks good, but knowledge and experience will take you much further than just hiring the first person you see with abs. Make sure the person you're choosing to coach you knows what they're doing!
An online coach tailors workouts and nutritional guidelines to your specific needs.
Anytime you hire a trainer online, you are hiring them to handle either your workout regimen, your nutritional guidelines, or both. Some people only need help with their workouts, while others just need to be taught how to eat, and most prefer to have someone who handles both! Regardless, your online coach is taking into account your experience level, your goals, your limitations, and your gym equipment access whenever they create your programming. When you pay for an online coach, you are paying for a program that is SPECIFIC to everything you want and need. It's not the same as purchasing a pre-made 6 week program, which is why it's more expensive. This is just for you.
An online coach provides accountability and support all week long.
Hiring an online coach is like hiring not only an accountability partner, but also a new arsenal of knowledge. Having someone you report back to each day or each week can be an invaluable source of encouragement to get things done and to keep going. Your online coach should be available to you on a weekly (if not, daily) basis to answer your questions, provide support, tweak your workouts, adjust your nutritional guidelines, and check in on how you're doing.
An online coach is less expensive than a personal trainer at your gym.
The average personal trainer at a gym could cost anywhere between $50-$100 per hour. This means you are paying at least $50 (usually more) for each and every workout they create for you. The heightened cost of personal training is due to the fact that you are also paying for them to walk you through each exercise and check your form. However, if you feel confident enough to complete a workout without someone watching your every move, online coaching may be a great (and less expensive) fit for you! Paying $300 for 12 weeks of online coaching is what you would spend in just 2 weeks of personal training at your gym.
Here is what a typical week would look like if you choose to work with me as your online coach:
Before starting your first week, you fill out a questionnaire that helps me to gain an understanding of your experience level, your goals (physical, strength, and aesthetic), your set backs, your limitations, and your gym access. I always ask clients to set BIG goals in the questionnaire that we can accomplish together over the next few months.
At the beginning of each week, I will send you your workouts and your nutritional guidelines for the next 7 days. These are completely tailored to what equipment you have access to, what goals you want to accomplish, and how much time you're able to spend working out. As far as workouts go, I am programming your cardio, choosing your exercises, the number of sets, the number of reps, etc. When it comes to your nutritional guidelines, I am setting your macro or your calorie goals, helping you find healthy recipes, and setting other goals like "eat 2 vegetables per day" or "eat at home x amount of times", etc. I am NOT writing you a meal plan, and any personal trainer giving you a meal plan is doing something that is completely outside of their scope of practice! If you want a meal plan, see a dietician.
Throughout the week, you have access to me through a secret Facebook page and via email. You can email me anytime and I will always get back to you within 24 hours to answer any question you may have. I ask for you to post videos a few times a week performing certain exercises to the secret Facebook page so I can monitor exercise form and comment on anything that you may need to change. These exercises are always highlighted in red on the sheet of workouts you get each week. The only people who have access to this Facebook page are my other clients, and this page is "secret" meaning it cannot be found by anyone unless I invite them to it. It feels awkward at first setting up a phone to record yourself performing an exercise at the gym, but you get the hang of it after the first few times! Just prop your phone up on a dumbbell, press record, and get to it! I've found that the Facebook page videos provide an added value of community and accountability. Not only is it another way for me to ensure that you're doing what I suggest, but it also gives you access to a small network of people who are also working with me to achieve their goals! Feel free to comment on each others posts, cheer each other on, and ask questions!
At the end of the week, you fill out a check-in sheet that tells me how your workouts went, how your eating went, how you're feeling, and what small goals you want to set for the next week. I use this information to create a new week of workouts and nutritional guidelines, and we keep going like this for as long as you need it!
So, who needs an online coach?
If you need a constant source of accountability, knowledge, and/or support to help you achieve your goals, then this is something you may want to consider! If you can commit to setting a habit of getting to the gym and completing a workout that is written for you, then an online coach could be the ideal compliment to your fitness journey. However, if you're someone who needs a real-life, 3D person in your face that makes you workout and push yourself, this is not for you. There are obvious limitations to working with someone online versus in-person. If you can't get yourself in the gym and complete what you're asked to without someone watching you, then you should hire a personal trainer at your gym instead!
It does cost a significant amount of money upfront which can be considered one of two things: an investment in your health or an irresponsible purchase. If spending money on something makes you more likely to follow through, then by all means you should hire an online coach! On the other hand, don't spend the money if it's too much for your budget to realistically handle. Find a free resource that will help you put your own program together... that's what Google is for!
Want to try out online coaching?
Online Fitness Coaching (workouts and nutrition)