The COVID pandemic has changed the way people live, work, train and socialise in ways that seemed almost impossible and unrealistic just a short time ago. Online coaching has surged through the lockdown as people are keen to achieve their goals despite not being able to train like they normally would!
In many respects, cycling has been in a privileged position as most riders have still been able to get out without having to think too hard about social distancing or the spread of the virus. Off the bike, home training has become more important and specific online training plans, like my own Lockdown Power Up, are very popular because you’re still able to follow specific sessions with minimal equipment.
Now that gyms have started to reopen, they are restricted by measures to limit the risk of infection, so the opportunity to train freely, at convenient times, is severely limited. It’s a seismic shift that’s become too much for many, even some larger chains.
What’s unclear is how many people will return to commercial gyms and how many will continue training from home? From personal experience, I know many of my clients have invested significant sums of money on gym equipment and I can’t see them wasting that money just to go to the gym! What is very clear is that the fitness industry is changing dramatically, so here are a few reasons why online coaching is here to stay…
#1 – Value
Value doesn’t mean free! With a simple google search you’ll be able to find strength programs, cycling plans, mobility programs, nutritional advice and a whole load more – for free, all over the internet, so what makes people like you put your hand in your pocket for something that’s free and easily available? The quality of the coaching, that’s what! You want to know that your program is written specifically for you and not some off-the-peg plan randomly put together by someone who’s never even spoken with you. But that comes at a price!
The beauty of the online training plans I write is that they allow for specific programming and as much individual attention as I gave international riders at British Cycling; while giving you the flexibility to train when you want, without the expense and inconvenience of face-to-face sessions.
Better still, you can do them from anywhere in the world, so you don’t even need to be local to me to benefit!
#2 – Convenience
Since leaving the world of professional sport I no longer coach full-time athletes who get told when and where they have to train. I now spend most of my time working with busy people with busy lives. One thing they always hated was my lack of availability and not being able to do sessions if they happened to be away on business. For many, the forced switch to remote training – because of the pandemic – has been a revelation.
Now, they’ve realised that they get the best of both worlds; they can train at home (without the commute), whenever they like. It can be at six in the morning or eleven at night – it doesn’t matter. They can continue their training anywhere in the world and still get the feedback and precision coaching they need to keep making progress.
Shifting to a remote coaching experience doesn’t remove the accountability either. By using TrainHeroic I can see whether you’re completing your sessions or not. The integrated commenting and messaging features let me as a coach understand any sticking points and react quickly to make sure they’re ironed out.
- You don’t have a barbell? – No problem, I can quickly and easily swap the exercise and you can keep on training!
#3 – Personalisation
As an experienced coach I’ve worked hard developing training methods and programs that I’ve used with elite athletes, competing at the highest level. Over the years they’ve been honed and refined. They work!
But coaching non-professional athletes is different, you have a very different lifestyle and very different priorities. So, I’ve taken programs that I know to work with the best and modified them to work for people with limited time and hectic schedules.
This necessitates being agile and often needing to change things on the fly.
One drawback of face-to-face coaching is the perception that you’re paying for a certain amount of time. Most clients would feel hard done by if they came to see me and I prescribed a 20-minute mobility session. But that’s the beauty of online coaching. I can program what you need as often as you need it.
- Deadline coming up at work – no problem, let’s just do a 30-minute session today.
- It’s the Summer and I want to be out riding more often – Of course you do, let’s reduce the frequency of your sessions.
- Big event coming up – Right, let’s start a taper to help you perform at your best. We can also arrange daily warm-ups and cool-downs during the event.
This is the flexibility of my remote coaching packages and it’s something my clients and athletes absolutely love.
COVID-19 has forced many people into remote coaching and most are realising it’s not the cold, faceless experience they thought it would be. Modern technology has allowed people like you to get access to expert coaches whenever they like at a fraction of the cost it would be to see them in person.
It’s the best of both worlds that give you the flexibility to work when it suits you, but also grants you the structure and accountability you need to keep you heading in the right direction. Who knows where things are headed after lockdown ends, but one thing is for sure; Online coaching is here to stay…