Unless you’ve had personal experience with online personal training, it is probably a bit of a mystery. Do fitness coaches just walk into your life and fix the broken parts of your health and well-being?
Are they only there to motivate and support, or do they get down in the weeds with you? For over 10 years, we’ve been coaching people over 30 to live a pain-free athletic lifestyle, and we’ve cleared up a lot of confusion about what coaching is and what it isn’t.
Here are five of the most common misconceptions we see.
Online personal training is only for people failing to get results.
This misconception can lead many people who are following successful fitness routines away from coaching. They think they have nothing to gain. But coaching isn’t just for people who are struggling with their health and fitness, or for those who are constantly overwhelmed or confused. It can turn a good fitness plan into a great one.
In fact, if you looked at most of the members just starting as Strength Matters Coaching clients, you’d probably say they looked like they were in great shape already.
They’ve unquestionably been successful in some way. Maybe they have worked diligently to hit a 2X bodyweight deadlift. Maybe they’ve worked hard to keep body fat below 15%. Yet, these people are challenged in other ways, too.
Sure, some members come to coaching to fix a struggling health and fitness plan. But many others come with a strong background in training that’s become stagnant, and they just don’t know how to move forward. The point is coaching can help anybody whose health and fitness plan has yet to become what they’d like it to be.
(Online) Personal training is like therapy.
Successful everyday athletes approach coaching as a way to improve their health and fitness, but a healthy, athletic lifestyle reflects the choices you make every day. It reflects what you want and who you are—the good and the bad. To change your approach to health and fitness, you need to change yourself. It’s self-work, guided by a mentor. So it makes sense that people would often make the mistake of thinking personal trainers are—more or less—like therapists. But this is a big misconception.
To treat a patient, a therapist needs to be distant and objective, to look at an individual from the outside. But a coaching client isn’t a patient, and a coach—in the Strength Matters definition—doesn’t linger objectively on the outside. A coach needs to get side-by-side with the everyday athlete to guide them through their challenges. In order to see what they can do to improve long-term fitness, coaches and owners need to speak a common language with no acronyms or jargon, and the coach needs to be personal, curious and invested without being immersed or getting so far into mentoring that they can’t see the picture clearly. To help their client, a coach actually has to be subjective enough to connect and understand, while maintaining enough objectivity to see and light the path an everyday athlete needs to take.A healthy, athletic lifestyle reflects the choices you make every day. It reflects what you want and who you are—the good and the bad. Click To Tweet
An online personal trainer is a glorified cheerleader.
It isn’t the job of an online personal trainer or coach to stand on the sidelines and cheer on their clients. Sure, we can do this—and we love to when people make great strides in their training plans—but coaching is about accountability first. While we as coaches always want to motivate and offer positive feedback, our key role is to see and reflect what our clients need to do to grow and improve their health and fitness plans—even (especially) when it’s tough to hear.
An online personal trainer does the work for you.
If an everyday athlete comes in thinking their coach is going to do the hard work, they’ll find themselves in a very difficult spot. The heart of online personal coaching is transformation and change, and it has to come from the everyday athletes themselves.
Coaches are interested in helping you create a thriving fitness plan and a more fulfilling lifestyle. It’s an exercise in patience for everyone involved. To create lasting and productive change, you need to learn how to do everything on your own. Only then will you know to do it the same way—or not the same way—next time.
To be honest, it’s a difficult line to hold, especially when we find the fitness solution really interesting. Online personal training or coaching isn’t about fast results. It’s about getting to those results in a meaningful way. If a coach does all the work for you, it short-circuits your outcome. If you’re driving your own solution—if you’re tied to it tactically—you’re going to use it. If not, the solution will live in isolation. Coaching goes beyond getting to the answer. It’s about living that answer.The heart of online personal coaching is transformation and change, and it has to come from the everyday athletes themselves.Click To Tweet
Online personal training is a quick fix.
Online personal training is like any other type of coaching. It’s a development process. Consider a cricket coach. If you’re having a hard time hitting the ball, your coach can’t simply come in and say, “Do it this way, and you’ll hit it.” To achieve your goal, you need to take the necessary steps. You need to shift your stance, hold the bat differently, concentrate harder. You need to practice. Online personal fitness coaching is no different. It takes time.
In online personal fitness coaching, we’re talking about you, the everyday athlete, not just the components that make up being healthy. We look at you as a whole (not simply a single pain point) and how we can start training your weaknesses to improve your strengths. It’s a lot of work.
Some everyday athletes just need a working structure to thrive. Others who have been trying on their own for years simply need to adopt different habits and beliefs than the ones they are using now.
Whatever your current level of fitness or your challenges as an everyday athlete, in order to change, you need to accept what’s true today so you can stop the merry-go-round and spin it the other direction. If you work at it, you’ll see results on day one, and you’ll see lasting impacts down the road that will amaze you.
Every Journey Begins With a Single Step
In every great movie, the hero embarks on a path that promises adventure, challenges, and finally, achievement. Often, the hero finds a guide that takes the hero under their wing and pushes the main character to his or her very limits. Just think, where would Luke be without Yoda? We are the stars of our own movies. And we all need that guide.
When it comes to fitness, a coach can be your personal guide to movie hero-type success, and your secret weapon. There are so many benefits to having a personal coach. I would go so far as to say that coaching is a prerequisite for achievement. Period.
Once you take that first step, you can achieve anything you want. The Strength Matters Steps to Living a Pain-Free Athletic Lifestyle won’t be easy, but they’re guaranteed to work if you follow them. And we’re here to guide you every step of the way. But it’s up to you to get started.
Are you ready?
Life’s better as an everyday athlete.