Remote program design, whether done on-site or as a true distance client, can be a very productive and rewarding experience. I have coached distance clients since 2009, and I thought I’d share the characteristics of an ideal client. In spite of it’s benefits, it’s definitely not for everyone.
Remote program design works well for committed, detail oriented clients who are able and motivated to train by themselves. You certainly can work out with others, but you must be willing to do your own program.
It takes an investment of time and training to reap the gains, so if one isn’t willing to commit to some months of training, it isn’t a good choice. It won’t have much benefit if you program-hop.
The biggest benefit of individual programming is that the program is designed for your needs exactly. In order to be individualized, I need to know how each part of the training went for you.
If a trainee is lax about recording and reporting results of the workout to me, then it soon becomes hard to keep the training individualized, as I have to begin guessing at what you need. In this case, you are better off saving money and following free workouts on a training blog as you are missing out on the biggest benefit of individual programming!
Anyone from “I just want to be healthy” to athletes with competition goals can benefit from individual programming. One of my clients has competed at CrossFit Regionals every year from 2010 to 2014. Others have made the Games. Another is a busy CEO and he trains with me because he has quality workouts and he doesn’t have to waste time making training programs on his own. I have a few who want an individualized road map to difficult skills such as hand balancing, levers, and strict muscle ups.
You do need some level of knowing correct exercise technique in the basic movements you want to train. For example, it’s quite difficult to teach a beginner how to squat or deadlift over the internet! With that said, thru video analysis, I do analyze and improve technique in various exercises. You will be exposed to quite a few new movements, especially when it comes to movement work, so you definitely don’t need to know all movements possible before starting.
If one is in the local area, then combining individual programming with some personal training is another option for assessments and exercise technique.
Individual programming also works well for those who travel a lot. As long as I know when a trainee will be gone, and what the gym will have at the travel location, I can accommodate this easily. Many of my clients do this, and I frequently write workouts for hotel gyms or just outdoors/bodyweight, etc. This saves you from trying to figure out how to approximate a written workout with limited equipment.
What areas do I specialize in?
Competitive CrossFit athletes, advanced bodyweight work, movement/mobility, and general strength/conditioning are the categories most of my clients fall into. I also work with a number of athletes to rebuild health and fitness following overtraining on other programs. I also have experience with both endurance athletes and power sports, and have programmed for teams and other gyms.
If you are interested in more info on individual programming, I currently have a few spots open.