This much I know: we live in amazing times.
I mean come on.
We can find our future spouse with the swipe of a finger.
We can “ghost” people.
We can start a blog on killer whales.
We can become celebrities by posting bikini pictures on Instagram.
We can travel the world as nomads and make thousands.
We can live out of a caravan and be fulfilled.
We can order fast food delivery from an 18-year-old dude.
We can have this food delivered by him on a bike.
We can invite this stranger into our house to party with us.
We can meet strangers in digital mastermind groups who motivate us more than our in-person friends.
We can become online trainers to people across the pond and beyond.
It’s no secret that the world we live in is open to endless opportunities, human connections, and new information. All thanks to the internet.
With the growing interconnectedness of the world, online training is becoming the norm.
And you’re probably curious as to what it entails. As much as it sounds like you’re checking in with a robot who periodizes workouts for you, it’s far more than that.
Well, at least how I go about it.
Online training, however, comes in all forms. Some good, some bad. Some magical, some treacherous.
So should you hire an online trainer? And who should you hire?
Before you jump ship into cyber training land, let’s answer some more questions first:
1. How is your intrinsic motivation?
Personally, I go hard with online training. If anything, I’m far more engaging with my online clients than in-person clients. Especially in the initial stages when an online client needs the extra motivation, I go all in.
However, since people are executing programs remotely, you have to have some degree of intrinsic motivation to stick with the program, and not have your hand held every day.
As involved as I like to be, several things can ruin constant communication with my clients:
– time zone differences
– I’m out fighting zombies
– I’m coaching in-person
However, the beauty of online coaching is the ability to send video messages and engage on your own time. Certainly, it’s a win-win for all.
2. Are you able to be autonomous in your workouts?
Meaning, can you wake up on a disastrous day, find the strength to go to the gym, without an in-person trainer tugging you along?
I will say, however, a good online coach will shoot over video messages when they can sense you’re feeling down. They provide you with an extra push to get shit done.
3. Are you looking for something more cost efficient?
Just going to throw out some numbers, but in-person training is getting far more expensive, and ranges anywhere from $80-$125 an hour, which amounts to potentially over $640 a month for just twice a week training. So what the fuck does this mean? I’m good at math, and yeah, in-person training ain’t cheap.
In the other corner, online training can be anywhere from $99-$299 a month for 2-4 days a week of periodized training, which is a steal.
And given you hire an online trainer who doesn’t just send you a program and peaces out, you’ve found GOLD.
Think about it: outlined 2-4 days a week of training for less than half of the in-person cost, which means 1.) you can spend more money on bottomless brunch that month and 2.) get strong.
To be fair, it’s important to ask yourself the above questions, but I’d argue you should ask your potential online coach these questions too. In fact, interrogate the shit out of them.
Ask these questions first:
1. What is your training philosophy?
A good online coach should start the conversation telling you their philosophy first, but if they don’t, ask them. It’s critical.
Do they promise overnight results? Do they say they can get you strong in 4 weeks time?
If they do, run for the hills.
You’ll be able to sense how genuine an online coach is if they are fully transparent and say, “hey, this is going to be a long-haul process and I can’t promise a quick fix.”
2. What is your experience?
It’s fair to ask an online coach their certifications, degrees, and years of experience training people both in-person and online.
If they don’t have a body of work in-person, then I’d be reluctant. So be like the FBI…search the fuck out of them.
3. How customized are your programs?
If you have an extensive medical or injury history, tell them. But also, ask them how they will work around it and cater to your specific needs.
Recently, I had an online client ask me what I did for TVA activation. Of course, I answered this question in less than one second.
On the other hand, if a potential online coach freezes under pressure, this a major red flag. To that end, they should be able to answer specific exercise science questions quickly. And with conviction.
Knowledgable online coaches can customize programs with the bat of an eyelash based on any medical history.
4. How engaging are you?
Depending on who you are, you may or may not want your online coach to engage with you.
If you have a high degree of intrinsic motivation, once a month check-ins may work for you. But if you need more motivation and engagement, it’s okay to ask your trainer if they can check-in WEEKLY.
Because sometimes, people who are new to online training need the extra push and mobile check-in to adhere to a program.
One of my clients in Sydney, Australia, for example, truly appreciated the engagement I provided. Even though the time zone tripped me out, I totally left her a message while she was asleep and could wake up to the next day. It boded well in both of our favors and was similar to a healthy relationship: communication being a two-way street. ;-O
Make sure you ask your coach how much they’re willing to engage, but also, communicate *your* needs.
5. Who is your favorite Lord of the Rings character?
I’m part kidding here. Lord of the Rings is an important discussion to bring up, or any pop culture shenanigans for that matter.
Your online coach, after all, will be your coach as well as friend. Especially if you want to stick with them for the long haul, can you shoot the shit together and connect beyond just fitness? This builds trust and connection.
If you’re curious about online training, or if you want to discuss Lord of the Rings, check out my online training services. I promise the results with be nothing short of amazing. And yes, we can talk about the Universe.