With the coronavirus pandemic growing, gyms and other fitness businesses all across the country have had to shut their doors. While this is certainly the right thing to do, it’s left many people in a lurch without their usual group classes or personal training sessions. Many gyms and trainers have turned to virtual classes or online coaching, to varying degrees of success. Though some states are allowing gyms to reopen now, many people still may not have their home gym available or be comfortable going back into a gym yet. For those folks, remote coaching is a great option.
It’s important to understand that remote training isn’t as simple as taking what you would do in person and doing it via video chat. Central Athlete has been offering remote coaching services alongside our onsite training for the last 5 years, so we wanted to share some tips for folks who are looking for an online option for their fitness routine. Below are the 5 attributes of a professional and effective remote coach.
- Track Record
First and foremost, you want to find someone with a track record of success. Like any other service professional, you want someone who can actually get the job done. Anyone you consider should have testimonials on their website along with good reviews on Google and Yelp. Keep in mind that you probably want to look for things deeper than, “got a great sweat on!” Did this coach help someone lose weight? Did they get someone else to their goal 5K time?
If you’re going to spend money on health & fitness right now, make sure you find someone who can help you reach your goals amidst the drastic changes in the fitness scene.
- Comprehensive Assessment
When working out with someone in person, it’s easier for them to change things on the fly if they see you struggle. For a remote program, a comprehensive assessment is even more important. Look for a coach who spends adequate time getting to know you before they start designing your training plan. They should want to learn more about your fitness background, your general health, your lifestyle habits, your nutrition, and your goals. And that’s all before they ask to see how you move to ensure they give you workouts that are safe and effective.
To learn more about what a fitness assessment should include and why it’s so important, take a look back at our post from this summer.
- Service Delivery
Since you’re no longer able to have your workouts written by your coach on a whiteboard, you’ll need to receive them in another way, and it should be professional. In the year 2020, there’s an app for everything - so why would you still use spreadsheets, emails, or Google Docs for workouts? When evaluating whether a coach is the right fit for you, ask about how they deliver their workouts and how they communicate with clients. Central Athlete has been using TrueCoach since they got started years ago and we haven’t looked back. Their mobile and web app houses all client workouts, benchmarks, equipment lists (extremely important when working out at home), and communication in the form of comments and messages.
(If you’re a coach reading this and you’re not using TrueCoach, they’ve extended their free trial from 14 to 30 days to help everyone who is just now making the transition to remote training.)
- Consultative Process
The consultative process is an essential part of long-term success for any training program, in-person or remote. The training component of your program is only a small part of your health & fitness journey, so if all you receive from your coach are workouts, you’re missing out on a massive opportunity to reach your goals. To get the most bang for your buck and give yourself the best chance to hit that PR, you need to work with someone who takes your nutrition and lifestyle into consideration. A professional coach should be spending time with you on life outside of the gym, so you can get the most out of the time you spend in the gym.
To read more about how the consultative process works, you can read our blog post here.
- Not Templated
The immediate response from almost every trainer and gym during the shut-down was to begin putting out workouts that are accessible for everyone. This is completely understandable and not inherently bad. However, if you’re doing the same workout as the person next to you (who has completely different fitness goals), only one of you is going to reach them. If you’re going to pay for remote training during this time, why would you want a template that everyone else is getting? Find a coach who will tailor a training, nutrition, and lifestyle program specifically for you, your equipment, and your goals.
While the current situation is scary and uncertain, being at home with minimal distractions does provide a good opportunity to build new, healthy habits. If you want to use this time to work towards your health and fitness goals (wherever you’re located), you can schedule a time to talk with one of Central Athlete’s professional coaches at the link below!