What are the benefits of online coaching?

Precursor:

Face to face coaching has its own benefits and can offer all of the below and more. However, I don’t know many face to face coaches who can justify the time required to offer these benefits if their client is paying for 1 hour of their time i.e their session.

If you go to a trainer for a 1 hour session once or twice a week you generally end up getting an hour (or two) of fairly random exercises. Which is fine if that’s what you want.. But if you want to see long term progression you may want to consider a more structured approach. Which is generally delivered with online coaching (you do get some bad coaches so I can’t say everyone provides adequate programming).

– Freedom & Flexibility

You can train when you want and where you want and if you have to or decide to change the time or place it doesn’t matter. You won’t be charged for missing sessions and you won’t be restricted by the availability of your PT or location and facilities at the gym they work from.

-Time

Fitting your training around you and your life rather than your trainer will save you time. You can train whenever you like and you’re not restricted to hour long personal training slots.
It is likely you will want to train before or after work and any busy PT is likely to be full at these times.

-Choice

At your local gym or in your local area you might have a choice of 5-10 decent personal trainers..of which only 3 are taking on clients at your gym and if you live in Dundee 1 of them are sleeping with your ex and the other one just cheated on your best friend.
Your choice is pretty much endless online given that your desired coach has space to take you on new clients. You’re not limited by location which means you literally have your pick. And you should be picky! Do your research.. ask for recommendations. Ask yourself who you think you would work best with.

-Structure

Online programs tend to (not always) give you far more structure. As opposed to training with your PT once or twice a week you’ll be given a structured plan to fit around YOUR life not theirs.
Some trainers do program all of their clients sessions but I can’t merit programming 5 sessions a week for Patrick who trains with me once every two weeks for an hour..and it is unlikely many other trainers would either.

-Cost

Online coaching is generally more cost effective. Example: decent trainer in London may charge ~£80 per hour which = a whole months training with a decent online coach.

-Accountability

You could argue you get accountability with face to face trainers too. However, I think online coaches help clients be accountable not just to them (the coach) but also to themselves (the client). The act of sitting down at the end of the week and assessing their own week forces clients to face where they went wrong, what they could of done better and also what they did right.
Sometimes you think you’ve had a rubbish week but when you sit down and list what you got done you realise you’re pretty damn great.
Of course, you don’t need someone else to tell you to do this.. you could assess your week on your own.. but will you?

-Ownership

Online coaching forces you to take ownership for your own training and nutrition. Your coach isn’t going to be screaming in your ear telling you to do one more rep.. you have to push yourself. This encourages and nurtures intrinsic (internal) motivation and empowers the client to push themselves.

We give you the guidance, structure and support but you still do the hard work.

-Guided rather than shown

Teaching or guiding someone rather than merely showing them improves self efficacy and hopefully instils life long skills..

‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.’ Which leads nicely on to my next point..

-Education

I like to give a full explanation a long with each plan .. I am well aware at least half of my clients don’t read it. However, they may go back to it as they become more interested in not just ‘what’ but ‘why.’
I like to think that after working with me my clients have learnt something and are more equipped to go it alone should they wish to. – this should be a goal of all coaches (and clients).

-Contact

This depends on the coach I guess but I know that most coaches will answer emails within minutes on occasion and always endeavour to within 24hrs.

So.. is online coaching for you?

Given that your program will be (or at least should be) tailored to you the simple answer is yes. In my experience the people who get the most from online training are those who are highly motivated and willing to put in the time and effort required.. although this is true for all training and.. well.. pretty much everything in life.

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