I started my career training athletes and active people in a big box gym while I was in Physical Therapy school over a decade ago. I loved it. I loved the interactions, the relationship building and the challenge of motivating a person to achieve their goals; especially on the days when they wanted to be anywhere else but at the gym!
I never would have dreamed of training someone over the internet…how the heck could that work? You would lose all the personal touch and there is absolutely no way you could be sure they were doing the exercises correctly. You would have been crazy to train that way.
Fast forward to 2018. The skepticism worsens…
Everywhere you look there is a new self professed online training expert with tons of “client” testimonials and “tons” of experience training people “all over the world.” They have beautiful looking graphics, videos and “get off your butt” motivational Instagram posts and other social content. You’re hooked and motivated, so you buy.
Then when you get into the program and get to actually look at their “90 Day Program”, put in any catching sales name for it you’d like, it is CRAP! Absolute, total, utter crap. It is likely a PDF with reps and sets recommended, probably some write up about the program and why they programmed it the way they did. If they put a little more time in, maybe they created a video library for you to watch youtube videos from. But, at the end of the day, the videos are just prettier pictures of a start and end point to the exercises.
Your frustrated so you do some research on your “expert’ coach and find out that they only really train people online from behind a computer and haven’t actually taught a live human how to move correctly in person in a LONG time, if ever. Oops.
Most of these “coaches”, it is offensive to even call them that, have put together stock programs in a few hours, packaged them and then sold them to the masses. It is a great business model and honestly, they are really good at marketing. I can’t hate on them for that. However, unfortunately they are WAY better at marketing then they are programming. It takes longer to create the marketing around these programs than it does to actually create their programs which is sad, lacks integrity and down right sleazy in my opinion. This is why you will never see a paid for program from Par4Success that is stock made…I believe it is wrong.
The real problem, though, is that you have ZERO human or expert support at the gym, at home or any time for that matter. Maybe they have an email you can send questions to but that is likely all you get unless you are paying $300/month for phone calls and virtual training live sessions. You have fallen victim to the fitness industry once again and you are not alone. This is just the new fitness arena.
This is how I thought all online training was and it sickened me. So much so, that I initially vowed to never do it. Then it happened. I had a professional golfer who was on the road for 6 months out of the year and I needed to be able to monitor their training and make sure they had everything they needed. Feedback, accountability, instruction, medical support etc. This is where the future of online or virtual training was born for me. I realized I was able to actually deliver more communication on a daily basis via our in app messaging and video sharing feature. I could see her movement and coach her to improve it. i was getting real time data on her recovery, her soreness and if she was doing her workouts or not.
I was able to adjust her workouts for her as if she was here even when she was on a different continent! I was literally able to deliver the same customized workout for her as if she was here in person.
From this experience, we have vowed to do it differently when training anyone online, just as we do it differently for all of our clients in house. There is always a person, a true expert, who does more than sit behind a computer. They actually train people during the day in person and demand the same results from their in person clients as virtual.
Every aspect of programming and coaching that we do online virtually is always customized to the individual. I decided that if we were going to do this “online training” thing that we were going to do it right. That is why we don’t call it “online”, we call if “virtual”. It is as if we are really there with you on a daily basis. This is how all remote, online or whatever you want to call it training needs to be!
The cool thing is that we have seen the same results from virtual training as we have from in person training in most cases. This is actually also bearing out in research on Telehealth Physical Therapy as well which is pretty cool!
The moral of the story is that virtual training is real. It is effective, convenient and it works! We are able to see accountability ratings of over 75% from all of our clients and it means we can give the same money back guarantee that we give for all of our in person services.
The only problem that we have with our virtual training is that it gets lumped in with the “online” training crap that is rampant out there. Please educate yourself and ask questions about whatever online training you are doing. To summarize, the following are things you need to demand from any online program you participate in:
- Human contact on a regular basis via phone/virtual meeting as needed
- Messaging daily with questions
- Technique feedback all the time via video
- Customized program daily
- Changes made to program based on your progress, equipment and schedule
- Coach needs to actually train people on a regular basis
- Avoid anything that says 90 day, 16 week “x” or any variation of the sort
- Customized nutrition coaching as part of your program – nutrition is 80% of it!
- Accountability from a real person, not just emails or notifications – if you miss a workout, you should hear from a live coach to get back on track and adjust anything necessary
Hopefully you find this helpful as you attempt to sift through the weeds of all the options that you have online. Here at Par4Success we check every one of these. You can check out more about our program here