Is an Online Training Program Right For You?
Online coaching and programming is a good method of getting expert tuition for a fraction of the price. With the right mindset, focus, and coach it can help you achieve brilliant results and take your performance, physique, and results to the next level.
However, online training is not for everyone. I have worked with many clients over the years, both online and in person. The results we achieve are in line with the client’s suitability for the service he or she is buying. So is online training for you? Here are four signs you're not ready for an online coach.
Are You Focused Enough?
Constant feedback is one advantage of a one-to-one personal training session. There are few, if any, hiding places when you are one-to-one with your coach. You can’t slack off. You can’t extend your rest periods by chatting with your mates or checking in with a #beastmode on Facebook.
But when all you have is you, a barbell, and a training program, it’s easy to find excuses not to do the hard graft required.
You stop a set early. You do three sets instead of the five prescribed. You get sidetracked daydreaming of your next peanut butter protein shake. The refined programming and planning, the detailed rep, set, recovery, and tempo schemes all fall down when they aren’t adhered to. You reduce the impact of the session and your ability to achieve your goal. If you get easily sidetracked and aren’t able to stick to the plan, perhaps online coaching isn’t for you.
Your Technique Isn’t Great
Few people achieve technique mastery. The squat, deadlift, bench, and push press are complex skills that regularly require fine-tuning and work. If you are just beginning your lifting journey, you would be better served finding a good local coach than an online coach. Find someone to work with on a one-to-one basis. Someone who can teach you how to brace, stabilise, fine-tune, and find the optimal technique for you.
"Strength isn’t bought, it’s earned."
Teaching the basics is difficult via the internet. Refining fundamental movements is far easier. If you just need a few refinements and pointers, then online coaching could be for you. But if you need someone to teach you how to start squatting, benching, and deadlifting, perhaps save up your money and pay for a one-on-one service.
You Don’t or Won't Track and Measure
As your online coach doesn’t see you regularly, he or she should ask you for feedback and measurements on a continual basis:
- How was your session?
- Did you hit the percentages or numbers advised?
- How is recovery going?
- How much food are you eating?
And so the list goes on. If you aren’t prepared to track the information requested, it’s difficult, almost impossible, to evolve, adapt, and refine your program to optimise success. Few coaches will find the perfect program for you the first time around. The perfect program is the one that you can adhere to. So if your coach doesn’t know about your daily habits and metrics, a program that suits you becomes a very difficult thing to develop.
Your training should change based on your workload in your job, stress, teething children, or a few days of poor food choices. The likely success of your goal is hampered without the relevant information and metrics. If you aren’t ready to measure, track, and be accountable, it isn’t for you.
You Want a Quick Fix
Strength isn’t bought, it’s earned. If you are hoping just by buying an online coaching package you’re unlocking the door to a 463kg deadlift, you should probably save your money.
If you are hoping to find the secret of the strength training world from any coach, you will be disappointed. All good coaches tend to stick to the basics, with custom and bespoke assistance programming developed through experience and results. Because that’s what works.
A lot of the programs you will pay for will not be revolutionary in terms of rep, weight, set, and tempo schemes. They will probably look similar to ones you can readily find online. However, they will have been adapted and written for you - based on your body, your strengths, weaknesses, lifting style and available time to train, eat, rest, and recover.
You shouldn’t receive a cookie-cutter program, but don’t be surprised if your rep schemes take you back to the fundamentals, rather than offer something new and outrageous.
Is Online Programming for You?
Are you ready to take your lifting to the next level but just need some support around programming, lifting refinements, and getting the most from your sessions? If you can stick to a plan, work with focus, and get the job done, then online coaching could be the perfect tool to elevate your lifts to the next level.
One of the most important keys to success is having the discipline to do what you know you should do when no one is watching you and you don't feel like doing it. If you aren't prepared to do the work and be strict with your own approach, you are not ready for an online strength coach.
If you are just starting out, aren’t able to stick to a plan, waste time, skip sessions, don’t give feedback, and aren’t prepared to listen to your coach - then save both your time and your money and wait until you’re ready to focus, adhere, give feedback, and get the results you want.
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Photo 2 courtesy of Breaking Muscle UK.