Thursday, May 7, 2009

Why Virtual Coaching?

Finding a coach who understands what your needs are and how to meet them is not always the easiest of tasks.

Go to one of the mega-gyms and you may end up with a young kid who isn't really certified and doesn't understand the needs of a variety of individuals.  Oh sure, he or she may have gone through the gym's trainer program but that's not the same as a real certification where the trainer actually committed a fairly substantial amount of time and energy in studying their skill set.

Not only that but at most of the bigger gyms, the personal trainers get paid to sell you more sessions at $50 to $200 per, and to sell you other peripheral items like supplements and gear.  Someone focused on up selling you is likely not as focused on getting you real results.

Find a local personal trainer who is actually certified and you've got to be ready to spend a fair amount of money.  Honestly, if you've got the extra money, hiring a trainer or coach who can work with you on a regular basis is definitely a worth-while investment, in most cases.  Just make sure you don't take 10 session to find out you're not a match for this particular trainer's style.

Yes, personal trainers and coaches just like all other human beings, have their own way of doing things.  If you find a trainer that is knowledgeable and yet your personalities don't match you may find yourself being discouraged and in some cases you might even find yourself thinking about giving up on fitness and that is the last thing we want.

The other alternative and one which is just starting to gain traction, is virtual coaching.  With virtual coaching you don't have to be limited to the trainers or coaches strictly within your neighborhood.  In fact , you could literally work with a coach from Italy if you wanted to.  Its more about being able to find the right one.

That seems to be easier than the traditional method.  In spite of the fact that you lack the face to face evaluation you get from in-person training, you are likely to get better attention from your virtual coach.  It just takes more thought to design a training program and then motivate someone to do it when they're not right there in front of you.

How does it work?

There are varying degrees of virtual programs.  Some very basic programs are nothing more than telling a trainer your desires for your health and them sending you a training program to follow.

Some of the programs involve a training program designed for you and limited email access to you coach during the training period (say 3 mos.)

A program like mine begins a little differently.  Once you sign up with me, you receive an assessment to fill out.  This is designed to give me a good idea of who I am working with by providing information such as current level of physical activity,  potential health risks, current lifestyle, and your personal fitness goals as you see them at this point.

After the assessment is complete, you'll receive your initial training schedule based on everything you told me about what you like and don't like and what kind of schedule you have available for exercise.  From that point forward you'll receive daily emails regarding your training and have unlimited access to email the coach with questions regarding form or nutrition or anything else that comes up during your exercise.

Its kind of like having a daily conversation with a friend only with a serious focus on moving you towards your desired outcome!

Its affordable!

With no overhead so to speak, a virtual coach is really only charging for the program design and then the daily interaction via email or occasionally via the phone.  That's a huge advantage versus a "bricks and mortar" gym because it doesn't require a huge facility to get the job done.  Bottom-line: It usually doesn't cost as much.

I have seen some of the trainers who focus primarily on just designing a program charge $200 for a three month program design and no other trainer interaction.

In my case as it is a monthly investment in your future, I charge $29.99 per month plus an initial $25 for the start up assessment.  Since it is monthly you can drop out at any time or once you feel comfortable with your training although most people do not.  Worst case scenario, if you only stayed on board for the initial month, you'd have a completed assessment of your health and current fitness levels (something many of us never really do), you'd have a customized training program designed just for you and you would have benefited from a month of unlimited email access to your trainer.  All of that for less than one typical session with a trainer in a gym.

You can begin to see why a virtual coach might be a great alternative to an in person trainer.

Which ever way you choose to go take the time to find out what you can about the trainer.  Find out who they're certified with and what their life experience is with fitness.  Your trainers experiences can come in pretty handy down the road when you find yourself stuck in a training plateau or with an injury and you trainer has already been through it.

With a trainer, without, whichever way you choose just do!  You'll be glad you did, trust me I can say that from personal experience!

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