Everything You Need To Know About Online Training And Nutrition Coaching
I will be moving to the Gold Coast/Tweed Shire in a few weeks time, which is bringing my personal training services to an end. In its place will be an expanded suite of Online Coaching services, launching in 2018.
When I let The Integrated Insider know, the questions were: what would happen to personal training, and is online personal training a direct replacement?
To be clear: Integrated Fitness & Nutrition will still offer Personal Training in Canberra. Najwa will run the training sessions, while I will look after nutrition and strategy programming. The majority of clients are staying on, but there are some availabilities opening up in the new year, including some ever-popular 6am and 7am training slots.
In terms of the online coaching and it's suitability for you, I will outline the pros, cons, and suitability, in this article unashamedly written about our services.
Over the past four years I have been running a hybrid coaching model - split between in-person training and online coaching. I have coached over 70 people online, working with between 8-15 people at a time, and most online clients are working with me for six months.
Online Coaching is an exciting tool for me, because I can work with clients who might not otherwise come into the gym, whether due to location, availability, experience level, etc. In the past twelve months, I have worked with clients located in from Brisbane to the Mornington Peninsula, across to Perth, and overseas to the UK, Canada, Middle East, and Brazil.
Online Coaching also allows me to focus on what I think is my strength: developing and refining personalised training and nutrition strategies. There are so many data points and pieces of information that can be used to develop the right strategy for an individual. Unpacking and analysing this information, and then assessing it relative to an individual's needs and my experience, is what I love doing.
Little things such as how quickly they complete the Tracking Challenge and want to begin might signal motivation, while bigger things such as previous nutrition intake and strategies that have worked might indicate what they will respond well to.
Developing a strategic hypothesis, putting together a plan, and then testing the outcome is where the fun lies. It's also incredibly quick to provide feedback, because the results either come or they don't.
But enough about why I like Online Coaching, here are the common questions about this service.
What Is It?
Online coaching is fundamentally strategy coaching, aimed at altering your training and nutrition to achieve your body recomposition goals.
In a nutshell: I design and deliver the program and it’s up to you to implement it. Unlike personal training, I cannot supervise you in the gym and there is less face-to-face involvement. Of course, this means that Online Coaching is better-suited to some than others.
Who Is It For?
Early on, I used to recommend Online Coaching to clients with an intermediate level of training experience - meaning some experience in the gym and familiarity with training. But having worked with a number of clients new to training in 2017, I realised that beginner level clients can also do well.
Instead, what seems to be most important is not the level of experience, but what the individual needs from a coach and what they are willing to do.
Online Coaching is ideal for people who are ready to implement an exercise program, but need a personalised strategy to implement. I often hear people say “if I have a plan – I will stick to it. I just get lost without one.”
If that truely is the case, Online Coaching is a great fit for you.
We can develop the initial plan, and then it's up to you to implement.
However, to refine, personalise, and really optimise the plan, I need ongoing check-ins and feedback from you. Otherwise, you find yourself with a personalised initial training and nutrition program that never evolves.
Here are a few traits of clients who do well with Online Coaching:
- ready and willing to implement training and nutrition strategies;
- willing to track food intake, when required;
- willing to track training session (in-app);
- some experience with resistance training or willing to hire a trainer to review technique, if needed.
What Can’t We Do?
If you aren’t comfortable in the gym, or don’t have access to facilities, I won't be able to deliver my method of coaching. Whilst I am happy to work with other fitness and sporting commitments, at least two resistance training sessions are required each week.
What about at-home body weight sessions?
I am more than happy to put together home gym workouts, with an allocation to resistance training and body weight exercises. However, you need access to a barbell, dumbbells, and resistance bands.
Body weight only training sessions are not my specialty. If that is the training you require, there will be other coaches who can better serve you.
The other thing we can't do is technique supervision, as there is no real-time feedback that you would be getting from a personal trainer.
This can also lead to motivation drop-off. While some people find themselves able to train hard due to the fact their workouts are recorded, other might struggle to push themselves. If this is the case, an in-person trainer would be a better suit for your needs.
Consultations take place via phone or Skype, every month or fortnight - depending on your package. The aim of the consultations is to review previous training and set goals/targets for the next block.
Since all training and nutrition data is recorded as you go, it is analysed before your consultation This means we don’t waste time doing data entry, and then me trying to think on my feet. Instead, we have a solid plan to discuss and modify.
These consultations are essential to your package and are booked for recurring times/days. There will also be a scheduling tool in 2018 to help manage changes.
The training program is delivered via a web and mobile application, where you will find the following information:
- exercises, with video demonstrations;
- sets, reps, rest, previous weights;
- any descriptions or additional notes I have added to the exercise or session;
- prompts to track your workout and space to leave comments.
As of 2018, I will be launching a new online program designed for training partners. Essentially, you will both have the same training program – with some personalised tweaks – which will allow you to train together in the gym. The nutrition recommendations and consultations remain individual, so you can both get the most out of your training program. This will allow clients to take advantage of personalised coaching while maintaining the benefits of exercising with a training partner.
Nutrition coaching will vary between individuals and can include:
- tracking food intake;
- implementing food variations to suit macronutrients or energy requirements;
- example meals plans, although I tend to be moving away from structured meals plans. Instead, my preference is to modify your current intake to suit your goals and needs;
Programs are delivered and tracked online.
A lot of people come in with the expectation of highly-detailed personalised meal plans, that are set in stone. Whilst there is a time and place for such structure, 90% of the time I want to start by adjusting your current regime, instead of overhauling it. This makes a huge difference to the program adherence, which determines results.
In 2017, I have been making less changes to nutrition programs than I had previously. The idea is to start developing solid habits and routine, making small tweaks at a time. Any changes we do make are solidified, before moving on to the next optimisation. It can be less 'exciting' than the anticipation of an overhaul, but again, adherence is the key.
Alternatives To Online Personal Training & Nutrition Coaching
Online Coaching is no the best option for everyone, particularly if you need the accountability or technique coaching that comes with in-person coaching. If this is the case, I highly recommend seeking out a Personal Trainer or Exercise Physiologist from the start.
It might seem attractive financially to start with an online coach instead of in-personal coaching. However, you will do much better in the long run if you learn correct technique from the outset. After all, lifting weights is a skill and requires practice for correct execution.
Online Coaching For 2018
If you think online coaching would be a good fit, leave your details below and we can connect. Whilst I won't be taking on any new clients before the end of the year, we can get the initial consultations completed and have you ready to start in mid-January.