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Personal training

The Growth of Online Personal Training - is it the Future?

By Joe Talarico on Aug 12, 2020 3:00:00 PM
4 Minutes Reading Time

If you asked me a year ago what the value of online training would be...it definitely wouldn’t have been what I think now.

No doubt with the lockdown, and the panic of people not wanting to be near each other, personal training is about to take a big hit. So what do we do?

If you’ve been listening to Mind Pump for the last year, hopefully you’ve been implementing tips they’ve been saying in order to adapt to technological changes. Covid or not, training is turning more towards an online presence than most trainers want to accept. It might seem saturated, but the beauty of it is, as of right now, most of the online trainers that exist aren’t very good. Which leaves a whole lot of room for GOOD trainers.

What about In-person Training? 

There still is a value to training people one on one. I for one believe, you won’t ever be a great online trainer if you’ve never had the experience of working with people in person (3-5 years minimum). When it comes to online, it’s harder to assess people’s injuries, and know they are even doing the work you’re giving them. When you have your client face to face, you can watch for any shifts in body weight, and imbalances they might not have told you about when you first met them. There is simply a level of experience gained, that you will be able to carry over to online training that comes from being in the field.

If you signed up for most of the online coaches right now, I guarantee no doubt, you’d see cookie cutter programs. That might make them money in the short term, but I’d be curious to see 5 years down the road, where these coaches are at.

Having said that, if you have been keeping up with your in person clients, that opportunity is not gone. Finding out ways to provide them value virtually, and being assertive about it, is what’s going to separate the strong trainers from the weak. There’s no doubt a lot of them are stressed, wishing they were working out, but unsure of how to make an efficient workout at home. Others may never want to go to a gym again. Don’t see that as a lost client, see it as an opportunity for a lifetime client!

How Do I Switch to Online? 

First off, I wouldn’t look at it as 100% switching. Ultimately, your best bet as a trainer is going to be having different avenues of reach. By that, I mean hopefully still having people to train during the week, while also having an online presence.  

What you should be doing right now is taking your list of gym clients, and offering them virtual sessions through their existing package they might have or a new one. Since you won’t be training them like you used to, your goal should be creating lots and lots of content for them to have access to.

-Create mobility and exercise demonstration videos catered to that client they can have access to, or schedule FaceTime sessions when they’d normally train

-due to lack of equipment, find other ways to increase value - focus on mobility drills they’ve been neglecting, and rehabbing injuries they’ve been ignoring (this will provide lifelong clients).

-If you are trying to take on new online clients, create blogs, or guide’s that provide FREE information about all aspects of fitness from proper form to what to eat. This will give people a reason to spread your brand. 

Ultimately having both an in person, and online presence is going to be the way of the future. As a trainer, this should excite you because what you want is ways to maximize your reach, and be able to help as many people as possible. With regular training, you are limited by the hours in the day. Being online allows you to switch to more weekly or daily check-ins on a bigger scale. A lot of your clients may be skeptical about this at first and that’s ok. Show them that you are still valuing them just as much through individualized (not cookie cutter) programs, and clear communication. Hopefully if all goes well, you may find yourself with a nice extra side income.

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Joe Talarico

Joe is a certified Precision Nutrition and strength & conditioning coach. He assisted the UCLA Women’s Tennis team in winning their 2014 NCAA Championship Title, as well as study under the great strength coaches at Pepperdine University. He was a collegiate rower at the University of Rhode Island (where he got his Kinesiology degree) as well as an amateur physique competitor. He is currently the master trainer at Upgrade Labs in Santa Monica where he is combining his years of training clients in the gym with newer technology to optimize their performance and recovery. He also cohosts The RelationSH*T Show Podcast with his fiancée where they discuss all relationship topics unfiltered from who pays on dates, to open relationships.

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