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What exactly is online coaching?

Dr Paul Henning PhD, CSCS, CISSN

What, exactly, is online coaching?

Online coaching is extremely expedient and flexible.  If you want to work out where and when it's convenient for you – instead of relying on someone else's location and availability – at the fraction of the cost of in-person fitness training, online coaching could be for you. 

My thoughts below: 

“Online training is a novel and exciting mechanism for me to offer incredible value to my clients and give them exactly what they need, when they need it, without the limitations and expenses a gym.  This allows me to offer a better, and more cost effective, service than any in-person trainer.”

So, what do I get with online coaching?

My programs are just one example of how online training can work. I’ll describe what I do here so you can get a sense of what to expect. With my coaching programs, you get everything you need to reach your health & fitness goals.  I start with a metabolic classification which allows me to prescribe exactly the right type & amount of exercise for you to start seeing results and be confident that you are not doing the wrong exercise and overtraining which leads to burnout.  Every client is unique and requires a tailored approach.  I work with whatever each client prefers and has available, including their own homes, outdoors, or local fitness facilities.

You also get nutrition coaching where you'll understand exactly what goes into a meal that enhances your metabolism and promotes fat loss.  I'll make sure that your nutrition supports your fitness, health & body shaping goals, including pre- and post-workout nutrition and any food-related lifestyle habits. Oh, and I’m the master of creating food prep “hacks”, so I teach my clients how to make food fun and enjoyable through my fast, delicious nutrition (FDN) method.

I don't give clients prescribed meal plans for the simple reason that they don't work. A diet plan is not empowering; it takes you away from your own decision-making process.  This is something I help you develop because it empowers you and guarantees long-term success.  Instead of restrictive meal plans, I empower you to take charge of your own nutrition in a way that works for you - and get kick-ass results in the process.

With online coaching, you also get personal support from me throughout each week of your program to hold you accountable.   So, you’re basically getting a friendly virtual kick in the ass.

The basics of Dr. Paul's online training

I’m not much of a “tech-y” person (and neither are many of my clients), so I aim to keep things as simple as possible while still delivering mind-blowing results. I use 1 online platform that educates and keeps track of all my clients data so we both know exactly your compliance and where to progress so you keep moving towards your ultimate goals.  I also use zoom for weekly scheduled coaching calls.  

There is absolutely no need to be afraid of the tech.  After a very short learning curve, it’s really not a huge time investment.  My clients spend the majority of their time focused on their workouts, nutrition, creating sustainable habits, not spending hours glued to their phones or computer screens.

Below is a short interview I did with Catrice; one of my online clients:

So...who can benefit from online coaching?

A array of people can benefit from online fitness and nutrition training. I’m one of those people myself! (I think it’s important that all coaches have their own coaches.) You may be an especially good candidate for online coaching if one or more of the following describes you:

You’re looking for a coach with specific expertise or within a specific niche

Great coaches often have very specific types of clients they’re best suited to working with, given their qualifications and experience. As a client, you can seek out a coach who precisely suits your needs, even if they live in a different city – or on the other side of the world.

I work exclusively with busy people who have tried countless diets/programs in the past without permanent success and want clear & efficient solutions to get their metabolism fired up so they can get the health, energy & bodyshape they desire.  If you’re looking for a “quick fix” 90-day challenge, I’m not your guy. But if you’re looking to make a permanent change and are ready to commit; then this is the last program you will ever need to realize your fullest potential.  

My online client Joshua specifies what he thinks is different about working with me:

You live in a remote location

People who otherwise wouldn’t have access to personal training can now have a coach! For example, one of my clients lives in Germany and is also in the military.  She is very limited on time and wants to be very efficient with her time in the gym and her nutrition.  She wouldn't normally have this kind of service given her situation, but she now gets customized workouts, video coaching sessions, progress tracking, exercise form checks, nutrition coaching, and a friendly kick in the ass to take her fitness to the next level.

You have a very full schedule

Scheduling and the complexities that come with it are not an issue with online coaching. Instead of being stuck with someone else’s schedule (i.e. a trainer at a gym), you work out when and where you want, but still get the benefit of a structured program and ongoing support from a coach.

We can also be much more

accommodating with your workout programs than a typical 60-minute gym session. Due to demanding work/family schedules, for example, many of my clients split their workouts into 30-minute sessions per week. Others will do cardio in the morning and weight lifting in the evening. Still others will do most of their workouts for 45 minutes at the gym, but also have back-up 15-minute home “quickies” on hand for days they’re extra busy.

I create workouts to accommodate your schedule – no matter how full it might be.

You travel a lot

Maintaining and improving your fitness can be challenging if you travel a lot. Having a plan of action and the support/accountability  of a coach can certainly help! One of my clients travels a lot and we work together to find him a gym in the city he travels do or I give him a hotel-based workout to stay on course.  They also get my "Dining out" guide which teaches them exactly what & how to order so they stay on track with their nutrition. 

You want to work out at home

You don't need to go to a gym, if you don't want to! Many of my clients train in their own homes for various reasons, like taking care of young children, living in remote locations with no gyms available, or just simple convenience.

You can skyrocket your fitness with the right set of body weight moves coupled with a few simple (and inexpensive) pieces of equipment. My clients’ home gyms range from a $20 set of resistance bands to a full garage gym with a squat rack and bench press.  Below is what my client Jodi achieved in only 15 weeks while working out at home and while holding down a 12 hr a day job.

You’re on a budget

Online coaching is cost effective. You're not paying a coach an high hourly rate (plus club overhead,etc.), so you can get better coaching at a fraction of the price. Rather than booking hour-long sessions at the gym each week, online coaches can provide ongoing (and better!) support as you work toward your ultimate goals.

What type of client might not do well with online coaching?

If you’re the type of person who needs an in-person appointment with a trainer at a gym in order to work out, online coaching might not work for you. In order to be successful at online coaching; you will need some level of self-motivation and self-discipline to get the most out of it. You get structure, direction, education, empowerment, support, and accountability of course, but it’s still up to you to get done what you’ve set out to do.

Online coaching is a great way of

emboldening yourself to take ownership of your own fitness and build bulletproof health habits. It could be what you need to level-up your health & fitness!

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