“Let me see if I’ve got this straight,” Carla said when we first spoke live, “You can train me remotely, using your app and some videos, and it will be just as effective as training with you in-person? But, what about my form? How will you know if my technique, or whatever it is that you call it, is correct?”

Like all prospective clients who’ve never experienced training online, she was trying to get her head around how it could be done effectively. She had been training with a local trainer, but had recently “broken up with her” because they had been struggling to match up busy schedules.

Allow me to introduce my friend Carla

Before we go deeper into how online training works, let me introduce you to my friend Carla. Originally from Texas, she lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico with her husband and four children. She’s 52 years old, is 5’4” tall and weighed in at 158 lbs when we started working together.

She and her husband Sam, who is a classmate of mine from West Point, were high school sweethearts from a small West Texas town and got married right after Sam graduated from the Academy. Sam is now a professor at New Mexico State after retiring from 20 years in the Army. Carla is an attorney, recently graduated from law school which she put on hold for decades while moving about 12 times with Sam’s Army career and raising their four kids. She works for the New Mexico Department of Children, Youth and Families.

In high school, Carla ran track and played volleyball. She weighed about 125 lbs then and feels, to her mind at least, that she’s at least 30 lbs overweight. As a side note… it’s an interesting but very common observation that many clients believe their ideal weight is whatever they weighed in high school.

Sam has been following me for a couple of years through our various MidStrong social media channels and we’ve stayed in touch with occasional back and forth messages of support. It was Sam who encouraged Carla to reach out to me about exploring online training.

So, how does Online Personal Training Work?

She was wary at first because she couldn’t seem to understand how it would be possible to coach her remotely.

The primary appeal of online training for Carla was the freedom of scheduling it presents. Because my online clients train anytime or any place that works best for them, neither of us are confined by the few open time slots that I have available on my calendar.

Carla is busy. She’s still the primary caregiver to her two younger kids who are still in high school. And she easily puts in 50 hours a week with her job. She liked the trainer she had been working with, a young lady at a local gym. But, because that trainer was good, she was busy, and her schedule was full, making it difficult for Carla to consistently find times in her fluid schedule that synched up with the trainer’s.

Carla’s main hang-up was that she felt like she needed close observation to teach and demonstrate correct biomechanics and form. She has a handful of the typical ailments that plague folks in their 50’s, occasional back pain, knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus, and concerns about osteoporosis. Appropriately, she is worried about injuring herself.

I explained that we have built an extensive library of instructional videos, that within each workout on the app, those videos are immediately available in convenient thumbnails for her reference. She can quickly view proper form with pertinent coaching points. Our online members also regularly upload video to the app of themselves performing various movements for my review. And finally, we can do live video calls within the app so I can watch and coach her in real time.

“So, you’ll send me workouts to do and I’ll be able to check your instructional videos for correct form right from the app?” Carla responded after I had explained how this works. “Gee, that sounds pretty cool. Can I see some examples of those videos and maybe take a look at the app itself?”

Some resources available for free…

Here’s the link to our YouTube channel that I shared with Carla: MidStrong YouTube Channel. Once you’re in there, please “Follow” us.

Here is a short screen-save video of how the instructional videos play for a typical workout within the app. 

As you can see, technology wonderfully facilitates online personal training. It makes it possible for us to work with dozens of clients all over the country, even some overseas. I suppose it doesn’t hurt that the cost is less than one third of what someone would pay us for an equivalent package of in-person training.

If there’s anybody you can think of who might be interested in online personal training please forward this email along to them. Click here to access our online training application.

In my next post we’ll chat about what Carla has told us she likes most about training through this novel medium and working with us. Look for that in a week or so called, The Thing I Love Best Is… 

Until then, be strong and have fun!

Paul Reilly

Paul is the Owner and Founder of MidStrong. He created MidStrong in 2017 to train men and women in midlife who are busy with work and family to build muscle and burn fat so they can look and feel better than they did in their 20’s. MidStrong is making Functional Fitness training safe and fun, and inclusive. He and his wife, Julie also own and operate MidStrong locally, their bricks and mortar business, previously called ACCELERATED Strength & Balance. It is a boutique fitness center specializing in training folks in and around Westborough through the challenges of midlife for more than five years.