If you believe the hype, online training is the wave of the future. It:
- Is more cost-effective than in-person training
- Offers scheduling flexibility for both trainers and clients
- Is a financial windfall to trainers. It gets them out of rat-race of trading time for money during horrible split shifts.
What’s not to like?
Hell, everyone should be an online trainer, right?
While every trainer should strive to build a long-term, sustainable business, online training is not for everyone.
Wannabe online coaches must first build a solid foundation. It’s like building a foundation in major movements to build muscle and lose fat.
In other words, the strength of your online training business is predicated on your ability to first be a great in-person coach.
Online coaches first need to work in-person with clients from a variety of backgrounds, with unique goals, and training histories. It’s necessary to hone the coaching craft, refine your skills, and learn to transfer your knowledge to a location independent environment.
This post will cover:
- The biggest mistakes personal trainers make
- How to correct them
- How to properly apply better coaching tactics online
In the book Switch, authors Dan and Chip Heath state:
“Big problems are rarely solved with commensurately big solutions. Instead, they are most often solved by a sequence of small solutions, sometimes over decades.”
Don’t change too much too quickly with your clients.
On a deadlift you might focus first on the set-up. Then, on leg-drive. Then, on finishing with the hips. But if you throw it at them all at once, your clients will l be overwhelmed, confused, and unable to focus.
Keep it simple. Make small changes, like one movement cue at a time until your clients are ready for the next chunk. Then, continue to build more complexity into training as your clients are able.
2. Training For Soreness
Just because a client “feels” something, doesn’t mean you’re creating an adaptive response. Exercise is not about difficulty. Sure, can and should occasionally be difficult, but don’t drive your clients through the ground.
Soreness isn’t indicative of a great workout It just means you’ve stressed your body beyond your recoverability. Ask your clients for feedback to find recoverability during training, then progress accordingly. Look to basic overload principles like shorter rest periods, more volume, and more weight — rather than crippling soreness the next day.
3. Recognizing That Experience Matters
Age matters. So does experience. Coaches shouldn’t use the workouts with 50-year-olds as they do with 20-year-olds.
Injury and training histories matter. It’s okay to have a preferred way to train, but keep in mind you’re after your clients’ goals, not your own.
4. Thinking That Workouts Are About The Tool
Don’t fall in love with the newest gadget or the oldest tool. Just because a piece of equipment has fantastic marketing and everyone is using it does NOT mean it’s the best tool. Conversely, just because a barbell and dumbbells have been around for eons, it doesn’t mean they’re the only exercise equipment you can use.
Use dumbbells. Use barbells. Use your bodyweight. Use kettlebells, cables, and machines. Every piece of equipment has its place. No piece of equipment is the be-all and end-all of training.
Focus on getting stronger with lower body movements, upper body pushes (like bench), and upper body pulls (like rows) with a variety of tools.
5. Not Questioning Everything
A front squat is a great lift. Except when it isn’t. Such as in the case for someone who can’t hold the bar in the rack position.
A deadlift is a great lift. Except when it isn’t. Such as in the case of someone who lacks the mobility to pull safely from the floor.
So be wary of absolutes. Adapt an “It depends,” mindset and customize for your clients abilities.
6. Not Investing in Yourself Enough
Every year brings new lessons in humility. I realize anew how much I don’t know.
About training. About fantasy football. About nutrition. About business.
There is always more to learn. There is always someone wiser and more knowledgeable guide you. Seek mentors and coaches who’ve walked the walk.
7. Not Meeting Clients Where They Are
Your clients don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
Speak language they understand. If a client says: “I want to lose belly fat,” don’t talk to him about maximizing fatty acid mobilization. Talk to them about the actual steps that will help them “lose belly fat.”
Don’t say: “ The side plank works your quadratus lumborum and oblique, that’s why we’re doing them.”
Say: “The side plank works muscles that strengthen your core and protect your spine, so you’re less likely to injure your back shoveling snow this winter.
Explain why, educate your client gradually, and help them take control of their fitness.
8. Not Making Clients Self-Sufficient
Clients come to you because they are sick and tired of not feeling comfortable in their own skin.
As the coach, it’s your job to reinforce basic, sound principles. Your goal as the coach isn’t to drain your client’s bank account. It’s to make him or her self-sufficient and able to take control of their own training.
Think of it this way: if you handed your client (or were being watched) by whomever you deem the top coach in the world, would they be proud?
Teach your clients everything they need to train safely first, including:
* Proper breathing patterns
* Movement mechanics for to push-ups, rows, planks, squats, and hinge pattern.
* What muscles are being worked within different movement patterns
* The difference between good pain and bad pain
* The importance of progressive overload: why they need to get stronger, decrease rest or increase volume to make progress.
The coaches who can help their clients get great results without a previous history of coaching in-person are few and far between. Still, there are a few.
But for the vast majority of coaches, focus on mastering the eight points above. Once you’re changing lives, then it’s time to consider adding online training.
And I can help.
Just as every personal training client is different, every fitness business is different. What works for some doesn’t work for others.
Now, demand has been so overwhelming that I’ve taken on a handful of online business coaching clients.
I’m helping them build their online businesses from the ground up, overcoming information overload and finally taking action on their business.
Bach Performance Business Coaching is for personal trainers who want to launch or upgrade their online coaching businesses.
Only two places remain for 2016 at which point we still have to close the program until January. When the program re-opens in January 2017, prices will rise by 25%.
Jonathan Goodman, Founder of The Personal Trainer Development Center and The Online Trainer Academy, says:
“Eric Bach has walked the walk building both a successful in-person and online fitness business. Eric and his team are an excellent resource in the industry and can help you cut through the clutter and take action on building your ultimate fitness business.”
You know that you can’t trade hours for dollars at the gym indefinitely. You know that some trainers have become very successful at online training. You need:
- Expert advice on pricing, so you can charge what you’re worth
- To learn how to make a sales call, so you can close sales and help more people
- To learn how to create effective landing pages and ads
- Copywriting help with websites, eBooks, and eCourses
- Video coaching
You need to be held accountable by expert coaches with proven track records.
We’ll create a personalized plan, just for you.
We’ll give you the best advice, the best practices, and the best solutions for you.
And then we’ll work with you to actually get it done.
Like you, we are coaches who believe in coaching. But we have to be honest. Like anything else in life, you’ll have to put in the work to get results.
But we can only accept only two more clients right now. Our three-month program is surprisingly affordable. Payment options are available.
Apply now and finally take the next step.
Heath, Chip, and Dan Heath. Switch. New York: Broadway Books, 2010. p. 44. Print.