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Spoiler Alert: Virtual Personal Training Works

Spoiler Alert: I am a big advocate for Virtual Training right now because with the right trainer, you will forget you aren’t at a gym!

There is still some ambiguity, skepticism and hesitation around how Virtual Training works. I get asked about it every day and what my experience has been with it as a Personal Trainer.

I have been conducting all my sessions and classes via Zoom which is a really great, user friendly web meeting site. With cameras and audio on, it is the perfect solution to being Safer at Home for training clients.

I compiled some FAQ’s I have been asked over the last few weeks and my thoughts on them. Virtual Training is our new reality and so I would love to see more of you doing it.

Q: How do you give cues to clients if you are not in person?

A: The same as I do in person: by demo’ing and verbally. I’m not a very touchy feely trainer anyways. It is rare I have to physically touch a client (with permission) to give a cue. So being virtual is in line with being in person.

I have cued basic things through virtual training from air squats to more complex things, like partner banded tricep kickbacks.

Q: Have any of your clients not wanted to do Virtual Sessions during quarantine?

A: I am EXTREMELY fortunate that all my clients, both personal and classes (including my corporate client) have transitioned smoothly to virtual with NO complaints. I know of other trainers who lost clients during quarantine so believe me, I count my blessings every day.

Q: Why do you think there are people out there who do not want to do virtual training?

A: It is a few things. One is they haven’t tried it so they don’t really understand what it is. They don’t realize that it is the same one-on-one attention they get in person. I also think a lot of people are uncomfortable being on video.

Q: What’s your advice to someone who is hesitant about trying Virtual Training?

A: Try it at least once. You will be surprised at the quality! If you trust your trainer in person and you connect with him/her, you will know that sessions are still professional and boundaries are still respected. Being on video can feel a bit uncomfortable at first, but just like when you work out in person, you get lost in what you are doing. You will forget you are even on camera.

If you don’t already have a trainer, get a recommendation from a friend. Ask to speak on the phone first. Treat it the same way you would if you were going to work with someone in person. Ask what the trainer’s style is. What are his/her fundamentals around health and fitness, and do they align with yours?

The reality is, we are going to be under quarantine for a while and if you are someone who needs a little extra push, there is no shame in that! Having a trainer even virtually is a great option.

Q: Have you lowered your prices for Personal Training during Quarantine?

A: Nope! The value of what a client gets in each session is no less than being at a gym. The programming is still just as challenging, if not more. It is still methodical and in line with their goals.

Also, the value of my time is the same regardless of where I train clients. If anything, I am spending more time outside of sessions with programming as I have to get more creative using less equipment. I also am in contact with my clients more than usual in between sessions. Neither of which are complaints! They just go with the territory of this new “norm” we are in.

I did add “mini” Virtual Sessions for 30 minute to better fit new clients’ schedules and budgets.

Q: After doing virtual training for the last month, is it something you want to keep doing even when Safer at Home is lifted?

A: Full time? No. I like being around people and long for the day when I can train clients in person again.

I also recognize that we could be months away from that and so as long as virtual works for my clients, I am happy to keep doing it. I also respect that once regulations are put in place and gyms open again, it will be just as much a joint decision between my clients’ and I as much as it will be the governments as to when we want to return.

It’s funny because I have done virtual training in the past way before the virus hit so it is not completely new to me. It has reminded me though that there is an option to still train clients even when in person doesn’t make sense for normal reasons. Like, if a client is maybe getting over being sick or has a sick kid at home, I would prefer virtual to avoid spreading germs. Or maybe I am the one with the cold. I can train clients from afar and everyone is happy and safe.

One last thing that excites me about virtual is the potential to work with people outside of LA!

Q: What has been the general feedback you have been getting from your clients about training virtually?

A: They are so happy with it! They all tell me how much they need their workouts now to help them stay sane and have some sense of normalcy. They are so grateful that we found a way to train effectively. They love their workouts (well by love, I mean they still hate me during but love me after!) They tell me I am helping them more than I realize.

What they may not realize is they are helping ME too. I don’t know how I would be holding up right now if I wasn’t able to work. I need social interaction and they provide so much of that for me as well.

Q: Do your clients all have equipment at home for workouts?

A: Most of them do but it ranges. Some have a few bands and a set of dumbbells. Some have an array of weights in both dumbbells and kettlebells and medicine balls. A few have StrongBoards! I also have been lending some equipment out. I program specifically for them taking into account what they have. I have had some come into classes without any and we just swap out anything with weight for bodyweight. And it always works!

Q: What is the most creative adjustment you have seen clients make for virtual training?

A: I have a client who in person always liked incorporate movements using a sandbag. So she recently bought one for home. Another bought a min-trampoline! It works great for cardio movements to avoid jumping on hardwood floors or slipping on a yoga mat.

I have also had a client do her workouts from time to time in her bathroom! That is commitment at its best!

I really am blessed I have the clients I do. I don’t mean the quantity or a numbers thing. I mean the individual people I get to train. They bring me a sense of tranquility because they are easy to train. They are easy to talk to and to connect with. They don’t create drama. They respect me and my business. They are everything I want in clients.

By being able to give Virtual Training to my clients, it is also such a reminder that the core of fitness is not necessarily about where we train, it is about how. We can accomplish a lot without even leaving our homes which given the situation we are in right now, is very reassuring and inspiring.

If you need an extra push to get exercise in while under quarantine, please consider Virtual Training (with myself or any other trainer. We all need to move!

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