Tip: Are Online Coaches Worth It?

Some are, some aren't. Here's what to look for.

A Blessing and a Curse

Online coaches are flourishing and gaining traction via social media. It's good because it encourages self-reliance in training, and it also makes coaches accessible for those in remote places or those who have irregular schedules.

The drawback is the fact that quality control can go out the window. Credentials aside, it's hard to gauge a trainer's abilities when you're working with them via correspondence and they can't really see everything you're doing.

Plus, if the coach is managing dozens of clients at the same time, there's a chance you may not be working with that coach directly, or that your programming may not be individualized at all. In these cases, the quality of the program suffers and results may be suboptimal.

Online coaching has plenty of potential. But certain prerequisites should be established for it to work well. A lifter interested in hiring the services of an online coach needs to be self-motivated, disciplined, and ideally have a reasonable background of general exercise experience. Someone who doesn't possess these traits will be difficult to work with remotely. They need in-person coaching first.

No Generic Plans

An online coach should be offering his clients the same level of commitment that he shows his in-person clientele, if not more. That means customized programming, open correspondence and attention to questions or concerns in order to make modifications along the way.

Even if it's well intended, it can be a bit of a cash grab to make a generic template for mass consumption. This is what will make a great coach no different from an inexperienced gimmicky coach who's doing the same thing.