Personal Trainers forced to go online due to COVID-19

Luke Johnson
COVID-19 has fast-tracked Personal Trainers creating an online training system for their clients.  
We are facing some difficult times at the moment, with many lives lost and everyone around the world experiencing life being stuck at home.  

With the UK government announcing the closure of gyms and now being on lockdown for at least 3 weeks, we are all adapting to new routines and ways of life – For 99% of people, it is a case of adapting and damage limitation, caring for others and fighting this together. 
We’ve created a post on the @ptcollective Instagram account with a temporary fix that can help in-person Personal Trainers with their current clients and even help people that are looking to stay active, healthy, and have something to do when on lockdown at home.  

Check out that post below
Zoom sessions are not Online Coaching

Without doubt, in-person self-employed Personal Trainers have been hit the hardest in the Fitness Industry and you can see them downloading Zoom and doing their best at training clients via video calls.  

If you have followed my work for a while now, you will know that true online coaching without the in-person video is far more suitable to advanced trainees.   

The whole point of going to online coaching is to not have to be at a specific location at a specific time to serve your clients. Doing a Zoom session where you speak to your client and watch them workout at home is a substitute and you should be using this time to build out your other systems to ensure your current clients get a better service online. You want to ensure that when we come out of the end of this you have your actual online coaching service available.

Online Personal Trainers serve their clients better than in-person trainers (for the most part)

This is going to hurt a lot of peoples’ feelings and normally when that is the case that is because it is true.
Disclaimer: there are very good in-person trainers that do what good online trainers do. There will always be good and bad in any industry.

In my experience, online coaches provide better onboarding, programming, communication, community, and check-ins with their clients.

Now I’m going to quote myself from 2015:
Health, Fitness & Lifestyle Coaching 24/7, WITHOUT the in-person contact.
Luke Johnson, Online Personal Training Definition
Health, Fitness & Lifestyle Coaching 24/7, WITH the in-person contact
Luke Johnson, In-person Personal Training Definition
As you can see from my definition there should be no difference apart from the in-person contact.

Personal Trainers that go through the PTC are taught to deliver what is needed for the client. Let’s be honest – a lot of in-person trainers will serve them for that 1-hour session per week or for however many sessions they can afford per week.
If a client can only afford one in-person PT session per week, then you should programme their training for the remainder of that week. They should have weekly check-ins (online) they should have nutrition support, they should have a community to be part of – both in-person and online.

So what is online coaching?

Below is a short video where I go through four online coaching models and who I feel are best suited for each model. Make sure you give that a watch.
Making the fitness industry proud

I applaud all of you trainers for adapting. When things go back to normal, you will be in higher demand than ever before. Plus, you will now have ventured into the online world and have added an additional revenue stream to your business.  
This can only help you and your clients out. Diversifying your revenue streams and having online coaching has so many benefits to you and your clients.

How are online coaches impacted due to COVID-19?

I reached out to a few friends that are exclusive online coaches to see how COVID-19 has affected them.  
Here are some quotes from them:
Coronavirus, amid the chaos it’s causing, has surprisingly benefited my coaching and business. Now more than ever is a time where adherence is vital, more and more people are reaching out asking for nutrition and training guidance. For those that don’t want to invest in coaching, I’m providing a home workout exercise library for my member site.” 
TM Cycles
“It’s impacted my business very minimally (I had two clients cancel due to their partners losing their job). Other than that, it’s been business as usual.  
Aadam Ali of Physiqonomics
How to convert in-person clients to Online Personal Training Clients

Before COVID-19 hit I wrote an article on my LinkedIn on how to convert in-person clients to online.
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