The Symbiosis of Gyms and Online Training Post-Pandemic

DeShawn Fairbairn

NASM Certified Personal Trainer

Brooklyn, New York, United States

Personal Training, Fencing, Karate


Amidst the reopening growing pains, most beginners will continue to participate in purchasing or researching online programs or fumble.


Personal trainers and or coaches who aren't sold on online coaching, take note. This article will be a discussion about the win-win situation for the average gym patron and online coach.



What Is Online Coaching?

In an era where the information highway is but a tap of one's smartphone, jobs, including personal training, can be accessed online. This plethora of information, however, comes at a price.


This price is called the paradox of choice. The more information available about training, nutrition, rehabilitation, the less accessible it is, and even less screening takes place, which brings us to the era of online coaching.


I'll begin with what online coaching isn't. It's not a random stranger with a CPT certificate asking you for money and merely providing a non-specific, non-measurable, non-attainable program and series of guidelines.


Indeed, it's not fad dieting coupled with bro-science training programs. It is a legitimate business model and a way to kickstart progress.


Choosing a coach within certain circles will fine-tune what this will mean. For example, an online bodybuilding coach will ask for:




The coach should be:



In Olympic weightlifting, coaches should have competed in the sport, earned certification, and successfully taught others.


Coaches should be actively involved in their communities, whether that be within a federation or online community, not Instagram.




During the onboarding process of online coaching, the coach will then provide a series of questions to meet the needs of the client best. Programming should be a product of said questionnaires.


After the onboarding process, follow-up calls, check-ins, and in-person meetings ensue. This combination of expertise, support, and individualization creates a beneficial online coaching experience.


Start Online Now?

COVID-19 has caused closures of most gym facilities worldwide, and as such most people have forgone clean and sensible nutrition and, in some cases, activity altogether.


For those who have become passive and unmotivated, gym reopening will not miraculously rejuvenate the luster of fitness. Instead, having a gameplan to rejoin the gym and continue a healthy lifestyle begins in their home.



Within the home, there are great tools to discuss with your coach for weighted training such as gallon jugs, or couches. Home cooking is becoming more a mainstay considering restaurant closures as well.


Learning how to count your macros, weigh food, and understand the nutritional content hasn't been more straightforward. With a healthier plan, most dishes aren't from a can or a box; they require seasoning, marinades, and cooking of raw ingredients. Within the home, there is more time to spend with family without concern about the spread.


After Social Distancing?

Hybrid coaching. If a coach is stagnant and will not part ways with pen and paper in this era, they are at a significant disadvantage. Zoom workouts, Youtube, seminars are becoming more popular amongst the young and old.


Coaches now have more work to do. They need to be accessible outside of the gym or office, scale to their clientele, and provide obsessively excellent service or lose face to IG models.


Meeting in person may or may not become a premium, but it should be just as important as the online portion, if not higher.


Companies such as Starting Strength and Renaissance Periodization have taken this to another level. They offer seminars and camps, both in-person and online, while providing certifications for ordinary people to learn the technique and implement at home in the kitchen or out there in the gym.


Many patrons and clients will not return to gym facilities right away. With guidelines set, social distancing and awkward gym etiquette aren't too far away.


Online coaching provides an opportunity to regain control of your nutrition, learn to become more consistent independent of the gym environment and, upon return, doesn't seem like a far stretch.


I hope this was helpful and encourages you to regain control of your health and inspire you to support your local coaches. Lift with love, my friends.

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