I know what it's like to look for an Online Coach, I've been there and it's a minefield!
Everyone and his dog is now an "Online Transformation Specialist"
(what I actually called myself for such a long time, CRINGE!)
Promising you incredible results in double-quick time, but after a while they all seem to look the same!
So with this blog I'm going to dive into the warning signs to look out for when looking to choose an Online Coach.
"CELEBRITY" BODYBUILDING COACHES
There is now a new breed of "Celebrity" Bodybuilding Coaches, these are individuals with huge Instagram followings making large sums of money working with hundreds of clients preparing them for Physique shows.
Unfortunately, this dilutes their service greatly. To the extent that only their most marketable clients actually get a 1-2-1 service, the remaining average Joe’s and Jane’s who don't have the goal of stepping on stage and competing get something completely generic.
TRAINERS MARKETING SOLELY OFF TRANSFORMATIONS
EVERY trainer has got somebody into fantastic shape, however the process of how they got there can be substantially different from one person to the next.
Online Coaching is a results driven business, and whilst we buy with our emotions, our eyes are the window to it. Which is why Transformation Photos are such a powerful marketing tool.
However I have seen, and experienced personally, absolutely awful coaching that has led to an amazing outcome simply because the client was so adherent.
Rigid Meal Plans
Horrendously Inappropriate Programming
Check-In's that are nothing more than a 1 sentence email
This can even be the case with some of the highest priced coaches!
Don't fall into the "they've got loads of followers so they must be great" trap!
GENERIC PROGRAMS MARKETED AS A PERSONAL SERVICE
"FIRST EXERCISE, 10 SETS OF 10 BACK SQUATS,
ARE YOU SURE THIS IS RIGHT FOR ME?"
50 Year Old Fat Loss Client Sandra
I know of many online coaches who simply give their clients the same PDF or spreadsheet with the exact same program despite the clients having different goals, needs and abilities.
I can absolutely guarantee you, that if a coach has more than 100 clients online a large proportion of these clients are getting the same program.
Now this is fine if it is being marketed as a group program, but if you have paid for a personal service then this should not be the case!
COACHES WHO TAKE ON EVERYONE!
Online Coaching isn't suited to everyone, you need a certain amount of self-motivation and confidence in a gym environment for it to work well for you.
If you've never trained before DO NOT hire an Online Coach!
Go find a reputable coach in your area, don't go for the cheapest, and get them to teach you how to move first. Once you've done this, then further on down the line you can look to the interwebs.
COACHES WHO DON'T SPEAK TO YOU OVER THE PHONE BEFORE YOU SIGN UP
I don’t care how in-depth a Consultation Form is, you cannot get a full idea of an individuals experiences, personality, likes, dislikes, support required and ultimate “why” for achieving their goal without personal interaction.
Beware of any coach who won't give you some of their time for free before signing up, it builds rapport, gives you an idea of their values and helps you decide if this is the coach for you.
COACHES WHOSE IDEA OF NUTRITION SUPPORT IS A MEAL PLAN
Unless your coach is a registered dietician and you have approached them specifically for a prescribed meal plan, your nutritional support should be far more than just a generic meal plan.
Whilst Meal Guides and Templates can be useful teaching tools for providing an insight into Portion Control, Diet Quality and Structure, it should never be the only strategy you get if you’re paying for both Training AND Nutrition guidance.
This is an example of the first meal plan I ever got as a client when I was working with an Online Coach.
I did this for 8 straight weeks, it is almost hilariously horrible.
THIS STILL HAPPENS!
COACHES WHOSE PRICES ARE EXTREMELY LOW OR EXTREMELY HIGH COMPARED TO THE COMPETITION
If you’re basing your decision-making on whoever is the cheapest, prepare to get the worst service. Like anything, you get what you pay for.
If an individual seems too cheap compared to the competition It’s likely you will be getting a group program as opposed to something personalised.
Unfortunately on the other end of the spectrum, this has also started happening with coaches who price their service extremely high despite it not being particularly different from anyone else. Some coaches have become wise to the fact that people assume an expensive service is a good one which is not always the case.
This is where client testimonials are invaluable when picking out the right person for you!
COACHES WHO DON'T PUT A CAP ON 1-2-1 CLIENT NUMBERS
Whilst online group training is scalable, and therefore can be grown to large numbers, 1-2-1 Online Coaching is not the same.
A coach can improve their processes to enable them to work with slightly more people as they become more experienced, but they will still be limited to the amount of hours they have in the day.
To give you an idea of my client capacity, I can probably handle a maximum of 40 1-2-1 clients whilst still providing the kind of service I’d expect to receive. Some full time online coaches might be able to handle slightly more, MOST slightly LESS.
(PS. I set my client limit at 30 to enable myself to also have some kind of social life!)