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  • Writer's picturekmbleekman

How does online fitness coaching work?

I hope you’re all having a great week so far! It’s nice to see the sun back out & shining bright so fingers crossed it’s here to stay after all the rain last week.

It’s been a busy week with lots going on at Event rider fitness, new clients joining, lots of training happening & jumping at Devon County show over the weekend. Today I wanted to talk about what online coaching is, how it works and why it gets you results.

Since the start of Covid, now over 2 years ago online coaching has become one of the most popular fitness options out there.

In a nutshell, it’s exactly the same service as having a personal trainer in person the only thing is it’s provided remotely so for some it’s a far better option than having to go in and see somebody physically at a set time, on a set day each week. The coach creates a fitness & nutrition programme that the clients then execute in their time from home or the gym then report back to the coach through the online platform, and then discuss their results to make sure they are progressing towards the goals set & if not changes can be made.

Your one-to-one program will include support and accountability from your coach which at Event Rider Fitness would be from me! Your training programme is completely bespoke designed specifically for you depending on what you need, your goals and what you want. The initial onboarding phase I take my clients through is in-depth & allows me to collate all the information needed to provide the most thorough & effective training programme possible!

Part of online coaching is also providing nutrition advice to help you achieve your physique goals. A huge part of online coaching is focusing on the mindset side of things and as my approach is all about sustainability and long-term management that is a huge area we focus on.

But how does it actually work?

The biggest thing here is actually having a programme designed just for you. We all know what it’s like to get to the end of a busy day, you don’t have the energy, you don’t know how to put a workout together and the last thing you want to go and do is smash yourself through a HIIT session or go & beast an hours gym session so you don’t end up training.

On the flip side if you had a coach and you were in that scenario all you would need to do is have a conversation with your coach and ask them what their advice would be and what you should do. You would probably find the advice would be to go down and do something in the gym but after such a long, hard day make sure your training is not too tough or over-demanding. Give yourself an easy day.

That is one of the best things about having a coach and especially with online coaching you can communicate at the touch of a button and have somebody to answer your questions & bounce ideas off as well as provide you with support.

A coach can help you in many ways, not just to give you direction & clarity but also to make sure that your workouts are effective in terms of getting you results. You will go through dips and troughs as you go through your training experience and that is the good thing about having a coach because it will help you to work through it and find a solution. Your programme will consider the time you have available, your lifestyle, other commitments so that for once your training programme is actually going to be something you CAN do long term as it works for you!

The first steps of online coaching consist of a week of onboarding. This is where we will have a look at what your day-to-day looks like in terms of lifestyle, work commitments, riding commitments and it gives me a good idea of what you want to do but also what is realistic to expect of you. You will then be taken through some physical screening such as a mobility screen, an aerobic capacity test and body weight workout to judge where your understanding, capability and movement efficiency are at.

From all of these areas I am going to assess your movement, ability and fitness levels and I will be able to design the most in-depth and specific program just for you to make sure you hit those goals. Whether that is training from home or the gym we can adapt for whatever suits you & you want to do, many of my clients do their programmes from home or even when they are away at a show in their lorry or on holiday so you can literally train from anywhere! Having that time freedom is the luxury of online coaching.

In terms of the training program it really is up to you how many times a week you train but I will programme anywhere from 3 to 6 sessions a week. It’s essential you have 1 full rest day a week but apart from that your programme is whatever you want to do & works for your life.

This includes resistance-based training, aerobic workouts and mobility sessions to make sure your programme gives you everything you need in 1 place and we all know most riders are time poor and that for me is an essential consideration when planning your training. I want you to get everything you need in 1 place so your training is as effective for you as possible with whatever time you can afford!

In terms of progression and making changes over the training block what we are looking for is to apply progressive overload over time. Obviously to begin with, especially if you’re new to training, it will take time to understand movement patterns, gain confidence in certain exercises but as you go through the process & improve you will find your program becomes more challenging and you’ll be doing more each session. This is where your results will come from in terms of getting fitter and stronger. I like to keep training as varied as possible to give you guys lots of fun but it is also important that we establish really good form and understanding in the basic movement patterns so you can move forward and understand how to move safely. So variety & spice comes in through your mobility, finishers & core work but your basic strength training programme will be quite similar following fundamental movement patterns week to week.

The next area we can focus on is nutrition. It’s important to understand as a fitness coach any advice I give related to nutrition is just that; advice!

If you are looking for a more in-depth nutrition service you need to work with a specialised nutritionist or dietician. Depending on your physique goals I can work with you to set your calorie target, so for example, if your goal is to lose weight we will make sure that your calorie target puts you into a deficit so weight loss will occur. I will also help you learn how to construct a balanced diet making sure you have the right amount of macronutrients in your diet and as well as focusing on the physique side of things making sure you understand how to fuel your body as well so you have the energy to train, ride and go about your daily life feeling great!

For riders when time is an issue I will help you to learn how to keep your diet & eating behaviours on track & together we will work through nutrition management when on the go or away at shows to make sure you've got all the tools you need to keep yourself on track, especially on those busy days!

My nutrition principles are focused around long-term sustainability and that includes no restrictions. It’s helping you learn how to have a balanced approach to food so that you can still have a social life and get results. Through the process you learn a lot about nutrition and you’ll find why certain areas are so important and how to make sure you can sustain these behaviours in the long term.

Online coaching is all about habit change and that is really important to remember.

When we are talking about changing things for the long term we want to focus on changing your habits and behaviours so it’s focusing on making very small changes to what you’re currently doing so that in time we build habits that serve you better in the long run from a health and fitness point of view & you can sustain your results & these changes for the rest of your life.

The final piece of the puzzle with online coaching is having the accountability and support of a coach. Like I said at the start if you’re having a bad day or you’re not quite sure what to do that day or maybe you feel really tired, if you’re by yourself you simply won't follow through & will most probably just give up. Having somebody on your side to share these dilemmas with & balance training around is really crucial because it’s going to help you to understand how to balance training around your life and also understand that doing a crazy hard workout isn’t always going to be the best option!

It’s all about having someone in your corner that shows you how you can stick to a realistic plan that works for your life! Obviously as well you have the accountability of a coach keeping an eye on what you’re doing, in our online training app you can see if a client adherence drops so if you miss a workout I can drop in and check why that’s happened and we can make an action plan to move forward and make things work better for you.

The other side of having a coach is also the education side and this is something I encourage all my clients to make the most of. You’re putting your time, money and effort into working with me so you may as well get the most out of it, and like I said the whole point of my process is to give you guys the tools so that in the long run you can go and do this for yourself. Make sure you use your coach to gain knowledge and learn from. Any coach who has experience will have picked up things that work across their training years and will be able to show you different ways of getting to the same result and again knowledge is power.

I provide my clients with the knowledge they need so that you understand why you’re doing what you are doing and in the long run this makes adhering to the plan so much easier because you actually understand why you're doing these things. If you don’t know why you’re doing something it’s going to seem pointless! Mindset is another area we will focus on & as I've spoken about online coaching is centred around habit change so mindset is a big part of this. You're talking about changing your life once & for all & making these changes stick for the long term & in order to do this mindset work is needed. It's about being open to change & helping you grow into a growth-focused person so you get the most out of this process.

With life being so busy online coaching is also a good option for many financially. Rather than paying a trainer for an hour of their time which would be somewhere between £40-75 an hour you've got your trainer at the end of the phone, checking in with you daily providing you with a programme for every day of the week. You can better, more consistent training at a fraction of the cost of PT so win-win all round as well as having the time flexibility to fit it into your schedule as & when works best for you.

Online programmes can be good for beginners & experienced trainers whether you want to train in the gym or at home & can really elevate your results to the next level. The flexibility of being able to train physically from anywhere is the beauty but also the time flexibility of scheduling sessions when works for you is what suits all my busy riders. You have my full support in the background but you go away and work through things in your own time so that it fully fits your schedule whether that’s around horses, around the children or your job.

Online coaching is all about building independence in clients through learning. By giving you a framework to make training fun & effective and show you how to achieve results & then maintain them in the long run you can then go away and do it for yourself. You know that somebody’s got their eye on you and you have the expert in your corner which is only going to drive you further forward & faster! Online coaching really is the whole package and I hope this helps you to understand how it works and gets you to that result.


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