We live in a world where we can do almost everything electronically. We have access to people and information all across the world at the click of a button. While people have mixed feelings about the infiltration of the digital world, the amount of resources available to us is quite remarkable.
As a result, many services once performed face-to-face can now be conducted online. Personal Training or "coaching" is one such service. In the past, when one wanted help in the gym or with body composition goals, they went to their local gym, found a personal trainer or sought out the most fit person in the building (Don't lie -- we've all done it!). With the help of social media, many trainers have taken their business online where they create training programs, nutrition counseling and other fitness related services that they can then send to their clients digitally and then the client proceeds to execute it.
Essentially with online training, I will get basic information from you like weight, age, lifestyle, food preferences, etc. and will create a training plan and nutrition plan customized to you based off of this information. I will send it to you and you will execute it on your own, checking in with me once a week or so with measurements and pictures. If progress stalls, we will adjust a variable of your program to help get things moving again. I'll also be available via e-mail or text whenever you have a question, a concern or just need a little motivation or accountability.
When I first became interested in fitness, Instagram was a relatively new thing and Facebook had not reached the level of popularity it has now, but both were thriving. As I began to consider competing in a bodybuilding show, I used social media to find a coach. I had a basic knowledge of fitness and nutrition, but I knew in order to succeed I would need the accountability and guidance of a coach. Someone else can hold you to a higher standard than you hold yourself to (i.e. - keep you from quitting!). I emailed several people that I had found online, some of which were in completely different states. However, I knew with this being my first go-round, I wanted someone fairly close by that could see me in-person if needed. I hired a coach about an hour away, she sent me my plans via e-mail but met me in person as needed.
Since this initial experience, I've worked with two other coaches via online training. One in Idaho and one in Florida. I think the best part about online training is that if you're serious about whatever sport you're training for, you have access to the best coaches in the world. I currently work with Paul Revelia of Team Pro Physique in Tampa, Florida and he has helped me drop body fat several times successfully, prepped me through two bodybuilding shows and coached me to my first Powerlifting meet. I've since been able to meet him in-person, but I never felt that I lacked anything by using online coaching versus in-person.
As a trainer myself, I value the one-on-one interactions I have with my clients on a daily basis. I love learning about them, hearing about their day and having some really great conversation. However, with training being my second job, I do not have the availability to meet everyone that wants to work with me in-person for an hour once or twice a week. As a solution, I am going to offer online services where I can still create a plan that will help you be successful, hold you accountable and answer questions/concerns as needed.
In order for online training to be successful, there a few things that need to be considered:
1. Can you commit to going to the gym/working out at home on your own as many times as prescribed by your plan?
2. Can you be honest with yourself and with me about your adherence, scale weight, etc.? (it's very easy to fudge a number when sending a check-in, but fudging makes it difficult to adjust your plan)
3. Are you willing to research and learn as needed to understand and complete your plan? (I think one of the big things that made me successful using online training was that I wanted to learn WHY I was doing things. I did research on my own, watched videos of exercises I was struggling with and asked for help when needed.)
Adherence and consistency will be the biggest contributors to success with any program whether in-person or online. In-person training is great for the training portion, but those clients are still responsible for sticking to their diet the other 23 hours/day they are not in the gym. Also, it's important to remember that sustainable results is slow results. You didn't gain the weight overnight and you won't lose it overnight, so it's important that you be realistic and be patient. The picture for this post is a span of 13 weeks. And sometimes it can take even longer than that. So keep going, don't let a small setback derail your entire program.
The check-in process is meant to serve as a tool for me, as well as keep you accountable. If we haven't seen much progress in two weeks, it lets me know it's time to switch something up. Also, if you know you have to check-in with me on Monday morning, it might make you more mindful of what you spend your weekend doing. My coaches have always asked for pictures with my check-ins (front and back in a bikini or shorts and a sports bra) so they have a visual tool to gauge progress. Sometimes the scale doesn't move but pictures show visible progress. Pictures will not be shared with anyone besides me without your consent and they're not mean to be glamour shots. I've rolled out of bed and taken many pictures with bed head and swollen eyes! If an online client is local, I will meet in-person as needed.
It's also important to remember that I'm always an e-mail or a text away. There have been several times I've been in a slump and have had to touch base with my coach for help or a swift kick in the butt as needed.
YOU will be the biggest obstacle or ally to your success. Don't stand in your own way and definitely don't let others stand in your way. You can do anything you set your mind to if you make a plan and stick to it!