Updated: Oct 8, 2018
We are living in a time where Social Media rules almost every aspect of our lives. If you are active on social media or if you are in contact with people who are die-hard fitness enthusiasts, then you may have come across or heard of people offering ONLINE TRAINING for Fitness. The trend is catching on. But, you should realize and be aware that any other average Joe or Jane who has managed to get six packs or slimmed down or toned up personally, is NOT your go-to online trainer. Period.
Is Online Coaching for you?
For most self-proclaimed fitness professionals (I am talking about the ones who claim to have done extensive research but have nothing to show for it) out there Online Coaching is a way to make more money by offering fake promises to people they haven’t met but just made contact online This is what’s becoming of our fitness industry, especially in India. A person gets ripped or toned up, competition or not (most of them with Anabolics) and then starts posting on social media about how to get in touch with him/her for Online Training/Coaching. Then, the person who doesn’t want to shell out money for personal training in the gym does get in touch with them for online training. There are hundreds of them out there now, thanks to social media! So, if you these professionals have nothing to show for their knowledge and you have difficulty trusting people online, which I think is fair, then Online Coaching isn't for you. You are better off shelling out some extra bucks for Personal Fitness Training or Nutrition Coaching with someone who you can see in person
Stay away from the ‘It worked on me so it will work on you’ and ‘Copy and paste from the internet’ kinds. They don't teach or educate on lifestyle or habit building
How does Online Coaching happen?
First step is to establish what the professional wants to offer- fat loss plans, lean mass gain plans, tone up, weight loss etc. They then ask potential clients to send them details- body fat percentage (in most cases assumption based on photographs only which is alright because there are certain drawbacks to Online Coaching and the client not having access to BCA machines is one), height, weight and in some cases, waist and hip circumferences. They then design a program which is partly similar if not identical to the one that got themselves fit or ripped or toned minus the ANABOLICS or copied from some site on the internet with a few changes. Most of these professionals have nothing but pictures of self on the internet with a motivational post and hardly any testimonial or transformation pictures to show for what they offer.
Most Online Trainers try to coach the elephant than the rider i.e., preparing a plan, a blueprint and expecting the client to follow it to the T and not coach the brain to ease into the lifestyle. This is one of the primary reasons why most people don’t see progress despite shelling out valuable money. I personally believe (and yes, this belief has gotten me results) that a coach should design programs bearing in mind many factors such as and not limited to current health/fitness status, lifestyle, current body composition and realistic goals. What about follow ups? This is where most people lack. There is either plenty going on at the coach’s end or they themselves lack motivation that they fail to offer continued support to their clients and give value for money. Result? No progress!
Most of them don’t have proof of what they offer is really working- I mean the client transformations. People when they pay for your services expect results. I know that results are not completely on the coach as the program requires the clients’ adherence to it which will need a great deal of motivation from the coach. But if the client swears that he or she has followed the program religiously then there is everything wrong with what you coach knows about program design for specific fitness goals. Value for money needs to be realized at both ends- coach as a service provider and client as the receiver of it. That’s one way to ensure adherence. Sometimes and only sometimes that we find clients who are beyond help. Clients sometimes don’t respond to numerous follow up calls or texts. Then, there is no point pursuing it further until they get back to the coach. Services come with validity!
There needs to be some degree of realization that customizing programs for clients based on their lifestyle, current fitness levels and body composition, will bring success. As customers, you do have the right to ask for the coach’s credentials, ask what he/she is doing to upgrade his/her knowledge and not just fall for their social media selfies and hollow promises and extensive marketing of their services. Everyone starts somewhere but if you are contacting someone who has been in this business for long then do make sure they have had previous success with clients. If they are new, then make sure to have a long conversation with them before you have made your decision to completely trust them and to avail their services.
Online Coaching won't help you with your form and technique but is a tool to learn and educate yourselves on lifestyle management
If you are training under someone who knows what he/she is doing, then make good use of your program duration to get educated on lifestyle management so you can maintain it for your lifetime. Health is priority. Make sure your health and fitness are in qualified and trustworthy hands.
There are a few honest, knowledgeable, certified and service-centred professionals out there who really value time, money and service- both of them and that of the clients. We need more of them for the health and wellness industry to head in the right direction.
Moral of the story- don’t take chances with your health. If you need to get healthy and transform your physique by losing fat and adding muscle, then make sure you do your research on who the best coaches are out there, ask for credentials ask for testimonials, ask to see successful transformations, so you can spot the real from fake. Always go for QUALITY!!!
Happy Healthy Transformation!