Online Coaching FAQ

Online Exercise Coaching

How does it work?

Every month I write you a new workout plan based on your goals, experience, and schedule. Your workout program will include every detail you need, including: sets, reps, and exercise key technique points. Plus, every exercise in your program is linked to a video showing you exactly how to perform the exercise properly, so before you even set foot in the gym you can be confident about your workout.

During your workouts, you’ll film videos of yourself performing 1 or 2 sets of each exercise and send them to me. From these videos I can coach you over text on what you can do better for the next time. I’ll give you 1-3 key tips to practice for each exercise you send me. You’ll have enough instruction to improve your form, but not so much instruction you feel overwhelmed. Ideally, you’ll feel regular whelmed… whatever that means. Anyway, this constant attention to proper exercise form ensures when you exercise it’s absolutely safe and effective.

I’ll check in with you twice a day over text (Monday through Friday, morning and evening) where I answer your questions about your workouts. In these check-ins I’ll give you tips on exercise technique, how to use equipment and how to navigate the gym without feeling out of place. I’ll also make sure you’re confident with how to perform your exercises, where you should feel each exercise, and anything else you need to know to feel confident about working out.

And arguably more important than making sure your exercise technique is on point, through text I’ll also give you support, structure, and accountability so you stay motivated and don’t miss workouts. Don’t worry though. On the off chance you do miss a workout, I won’t make you feel bad about it. Because guilt and shame are really shitty motivators. Instead I’ll help you strategize to overcome any roadblock so you workout consistently no matter what life throws at you.

I don’t know if it’s right for me. I feel like I need someone to be at the gym with me.

This is a very valid and common concern. You probably feel like you just won’t go to the gym if someone isn’t physically there waiting for you, or that you won’t know what to do at the gym. It’ll all be too intimidating. And fair enough. This is how many of my clients feel at first.

A common misunderstanding about online coaching is that it’s less involved, personal, and effective than in person coaching.

On the contrary!

It’s actually more involved -- because of how online coaching works, I can give you a far more comprehensive coaching experience than I ever could in person.

Technology essentially allows me to be in multiple places at once which means I can give you support multiple times per day Monday through Friday, as opposed to 2 or 3 times a week (for a significantly higher price) for in person training.

This means I can provide a more thorough service because now you’re working out on your own terms. There’s way more flexibility to craft your fitness regime to your liking.

No more waking up at the ungodly hour of 4.30am because your trainer only has an open timeslot at 6am. Instead, you workout when it makes the most sense to you. And I’m still there to help you know exactly what to do when you enter the gym.

The benefit of flexibility and regular communication on your results can’t be overstated.

For example, my online client Greg had very little experience lifting weights and felt super uncomfortable and intimidated at the gym.

When we first started working on the habit of going to the gym, he was going at a time in the evening when it was super busy. That’s just when he decided to go. Going at this time, he struggled to go to the gym on a weekly basis.

But then, he made it a priority to go around lunch time when the gym was empty. Then a magical thing happened -- he realized he actually felt good about his workouts. He started looking forward to his next workout.

When the gym was packed, it made him feel too anxious to be present in his workouts. He just wanted to get it over with and get the fuzz out of there as quick as possible.

He never thought he’d be someone who liked working out, but that changed because of:

  1. The flexibility of going to the gym when he wanted,
  2. Not being dependent on his coach’s schedule,
  3. Daily text check ins for accountability, support, and ensuring solid exercise technique.

I’m worried I might hurt myself if I work out alone.

It's OK -- I don’t expect you to be a weight lifting jedi your very first day. The fact that I won’t be there in person to coach you on technique is taken into account when I decide which exercises you do, how many sets, reps, and how much weight you’ll use. I program your workout so it’s the correct level & intensity for you every step of the way.

But beyond that, you’ll very quickly become equipped with the knowledge of how to:

  • Not get injured,
  • Be in tune with your body,
  • Know when you’re pushing too hard and not pushing hard enough.

This is the meaty stuff we cover together in our check-ins.

Even if you’re brand new to lifting, online coaching will work for you because we take everything into account:

  • Past injuries
  • Workout experience
  • Current lifestyle factors
  • Workout preferences
  • Feelings about going to the gym
  • Gym set up
  • Personality

Every program I write is a user friendly program. I prioritize safety, effectiveness, and suitability to your unique situation. I know how life changes constantly -- that’s why I don’t sell a cookie-cutter program where “one size fits all". Because that’s not just how it works.

Plus, each week I’ll see how your exercise form is progressing so I can give you feedback on how hard to push which exercises and which exercises need a bit more fine tuning before adding intensity. I’ve got your back.

So will you be on a video call while I’m at the gym?

No, but you’ll film clips and send them to me of your exercises, should you feel comfortable doing so. The Total Fat Loss and Nutrition Coaching packages both come with a video chat. Exercise Coaching doesn't unless you request it (in which case the monthly price of the package goes up). For more info on adding coaching calls to a Coaching package scroll down to General Questions.

However, the call was never intended to be at the gym, but in the privacy of your own home where I can give you any necessary instructions or physical demonstration for your next workout.

How will you make sure my form is good?

In your workout, each exercise will be hyperlinked to a youtube video showing you how to perform the exercise. The more important and complicated exercises have in depth tutorials with full explanations of the exercise plus common mistakes to avoid.

Knowing the key points of the exercise and what muscles you’re meant to be working, plus the tutorials, means your form will already be pretty solid even before I give you any feedback or instruction.

Not only that, each week you’ll send me video clips of your workouts by propping up your phone against a dumbbell and record your exercises from 2 angles, the front and the side.

From there, I can see what you’re doing well and what you need to adjust. For each video I’ll give you, at most, 3 simple and easy to remember feedback tips to improve your form with every workout. Anymore than that and it gets overwhelming.

While the purpose of the videos is so I can correct your form, it also will help you self correct. Seeing footage of themselves, my clients often can see what they’re doing wrong themselves, especially when comparing it with the video tutorials. And even if not right away, they develop an intuition for what good technique feels like.

You actually learn how to workout independently. The goal being you’ll get so good at working out you won’t even need me as a coach anymore.

So yeah, filming yourself even without a coach, is one of my top tips for improving your form FYI. But having a qualified coach to give your form corrections is even more effective.

What kind of workouts will you write?

Strength training workouts designed for your goals, plus a warm up. If you’re on the Deluxe Fat Loss Coaching package, I also write for you a bunch of other workouts as well such as travel, mobility, and HIIT. However, we always place strength training as the most important component because that’s where the money is to maximize your results.

Can I do your workouts with other kinds of workouts?

Everything you do will affect your workouts and the results you get from them. Sleep quality, nutrition, emotional stress, physical stress -- everything really does influence everything else. A workout program is designed as a comprehensive program, if you add or subtract anything, you’re no longer doing the program.

That said, my goal in writing your workouts is to give you the best results, catering to your preferences so they’re fun and enjoyable. As such, your workout will be designed specifically for you.

So if you want to strength train twice a week and do yoga twice a week, that’s absolutely fine. You just have to tell me so I can take the yoga classes into account when writing your workout.

Like I said, strength training is where your focus should be for the best results. However, the best workout program is the one you can stick to. So it’s important you enjoy the process, because it means you’ll be more consistent and get better results. If your workout regimen needs to have activities other than strength training we can make it work.

Why strength training?

Because strength training makes pretty much any goal easier. It makes life easier and better too. Which is awesome.

To name a few of the medical benefits of strength training just 2 or 3 days a week:

  • Improved quality of daily life
  • Slowing down muscle loss as you age
  • Increased bone density
  • Decreased risk of injury
  • Cognitive function
  • Reduced mortality risk
  • Improved sleep quality

Plus, when you lift weights a few times a week a bunch of other magical shit happens like:

  • Opening ALL THE PICKLE JARS
  • Moving furniture or carrying the groceries without throwing out your back
  • Keeping up with your kids and/or grandkids
  • Making people think there’s a solar eclipse when you flex your biceps (Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating a tiny bit here).
  • Not having to think twice about hiking up to amazing veiw points like this:

Viewpoint

Point is, your daily life will be easier and better after just a few months of lifting weights a few times a week.

Will this help me lose fat?

Yes, but only if your nutrition is on point.

Here’s how strength training and nutrition work:

  • Eat too little calories without strength training = weight loss (fat loss and muscle loss)
  • Eat too many calories without strength training = weight gain (fat gain)
  • Eat too many calories + strength training = muscle and fat gain
  • Eat too little calories + strength training = fat loss and minimal muscle loss
  • Eat just enough calories = weight maintenance (weight stays the same)
  • Eat just enough calories + Strength training = weight maintenance (more muscle and less fat)

Can I add travel workouts?

Yep. Say you want travel workouts because you travel a ton. However, you don't need everything else that's included in the Deluxe Fat Loss Coaching package. You can simply add travel workouts for $50 more per month.

Online Nutrition Coaching

How does it work?

Each week of coaching starts off with an hour video coaching call to come up with a game plan.

During this call we agree on a “mini goal” for the week. A mini goal is an action based goal that breaks up your main goal into manageable, weekly steps.

The idea is you commit to something that will:

  1. Contribute to better nutrition
  2. Be something you feel confident in tackling
  3. And is a habit you want to better

For example, if your main goal is to lose weight, you should eat more vegetables. So your mini goal could be “I will eat vegetables once a day everyday this week”.

I provide guidance so you choose a mini goal that moves you forward, but ultimately you decide what you want to work on. This is because my clients are so much more successful when they have a say in their journey.

We further set you up for success each week by:

  • Reviewing the prior week’s progress
  • Addressing any questions, struggles or roadblocks
  • Devising backup plans
  • Improving nutrition strategy
  • Bettering your relationship with food
  • Tapping into your motivations to keep you excited about the process

Just like if we were training in person, the time spent discussing nutrition and habit formation is the aspect of coaching most influential to your goals.

Then, each weekday I check in with you over text to:

  • Give you encouragement
  • Keep you accountable, and consistent
  • Discuss anything you need help with
  • Plague you with terrible puns

The weekly calls are the main source of nutritional strategizing, while daily text check-ins keep you mindful and accountable of your eating habits throughout the week so you stay on plan.

And don’t worry, I won’t be breathing down your neck, nagging you and shaming you to eat salads. Instead I give you support and gently guide you towards the decisions you want to make for your goals. This is done without shame or judgement. Because despite popular belief, shame is a really terrible motivator.

We progressively build up your healthy nutritional habits to the point where the unhealthy behaviors get edged out without having to use willpower or whiteknuckle your way towards eating better. Each week builds on the prior week -- every week your nutrition will be better than the last.

Sticking with the example habit of eating more veggies, your mini goal progression could go something like this:

  • Wk 1: I will add veggies to one meal a day at lunch
  • Wk 2: I will add veggies to 2 meals a day at lunch and dinner
  • Wk 3: I will add veggies to 3 meals a day at breakfast, lunch, and dinner

You wouldn’t try and lift 400 lbs on your first day of working out -- you’d work up to it. The same goes for nutrition, you work up to advanced nutrition habits with incremental progressions.

Pretty soon, your nutrition is way healthier than you ever thought it could be, your weight is steadily decreasing, and the whole thing feels like the opposite of your past experiences with dieting.

Why online training when I could hire an in person coach?

With in person coaching you only talk about your nutrition with your coach 2 or 3 times a week (even then, it takes away time from lifting). With this approach it doesn’t take away time from workouts, and helps you build independent nutrition habits because you get help and support on a daily basis.

Plus, online coaching is way cheaper and more flexible. Especially for nutrition coaching, there isn’t really much difference to coaching in person other than the price. And again, I’d argue online coaching is an even more effective option.

Can I eat carbs?

Sure.

An excess of calories causes weight gain, regardless of whether those calories are from carbs, fats, or proteins. Carbs are your body’s preferred fuel source, so a certain amount of carbs will fuel your workouts and energy levels.

That said, maybe you’re eating too many carbs. If that’s the case you’ll need to reduce them. Depending on how many carbs you eat now, reducing your carbs may increase or decrease your energy levels.

Either way, you won’t want to eliminate them entirely.

Are you going to make me give up chocolate and everything else that makes life worth living?

First off, I’m not going to make you do anything. The drill sergeant thing sucks. Besides, it doesn’t even work! Being a dick to people doesn’t make them want to do what you say.

My job isn’t to tell you what to do. It’s to guide you towards where you want to be based on your goals, lifestyle, and feedback. It’s to provide a space for you to learn a new set of skills, and make the mistakes necessary to do so.

I provide a non-broey space where it’s OK to be imperfect and to not be good at this right away. My job is to help you make progress, not to bark orders at you.

Second, unless you want to get really freaking ripped, you don’t need to be super strict with your diet. In other words, a chocolate bar once or twice a week isn’t going to kill you if the rest of the time your nutrition is on point.

For the majority of fitness goals, you don’t actually need to entirely give up any single food, or food group, for that matter.

Of course, your eating habits need to change if you want your body to change. However, the changes don’t need to be extreme. Instead, they need to be reasonable and realistic.

They ought to take into account what you like eating. So if life isn’t worth living without chocolate, there’s no point in giving it up.

Will you write me a meal plan?

I’m not a registered dietician so writing meal plans isn’t within my scope of practice. But even if I was, I probably wouldn’t write you a meal plan.

Why? Because meal plans generally don't really work when somebody else writes them for you.

The truth is, following a meal plan isn’t as simple as, “just tell me what to do and I’ll do it”. So writing meal plans isn’t part of what I do.

Following a meal plan requires an advanced skill set that takes lots of experience to build. So unless you're already pretty advanced when it comes to eating healthy, a meal plan isn’t the answer.

What I will do is help you write your own meal plan, one that balances your goals, tastebuds, habits, and ideal lifestyle.

And it'll probably look something like this:

  • Breakfast: Protein and/or fruit/veg you enjoy eating with a little bit of filler/carbs (bread/rice/noodles etc.)
  • Lunch: Protein and fruit/veg you enjoy eating with a little bit of filler/carbs (bread/rice/noodles etc.)
  • Snack: Fruit or protein you enjoy
  • Dinner: Protein and fruit/veg you enjoy eating with a little bit of filler/carbs (bread/rice/noodles etc.)

How is this going to be different than other programs I’ve tried?

Because the approach and logic is different than what you’ve tried in the past. This is about as different from a diet as you can get.

This is a system to build healthy habits that are customised, flexible, realistic, and effective for lasting results. Rather than another set of diet rules to follow.

You won’t be shamed for eating a cookie. You’ll have support, accountability, and a judgement free space to be imperfect, to not be good at nutrition right away. This is the best environment when it comes to fostering sustainable changes in how you eat.

Most programs are designed for people who are already good at fitness and nutrition. This one isn’t. This is designed for everyone else, for people who are fed up with dieting and have struggled with nutrition forever. Who don’t want to live in the gym and probably don’t care about having a 6 pack to flash on your instagram account.

Maybe you just want to have lower blood pressure and be able to go on hikes with friends and family without getting out of breath. And feel comfortable at the beach or pool. With nutrition coaching you can achieve just that.

As your coach I won’t lazily tell you what you should do and what you already know you’re doing wrong.

The way we build habits here runs counter to pretty much everything about dieting and mainstream nutrition belief. So how is this going to be different? In basically every way. From mindset, philosophy, to strategy, to approach, and impact.

What if I’m vegetarian?

I’ve worked with a number of vegetarian clients who had success and was myself vegetarian for 3 years so I’m familiar with how to change eating habits within a vegetarian framework.

Everything is tailored to you as an individual, so being a vegetarian or having other eating restrictions isn’t a problem.

What if I think you suck?

Then I will cry silent tears and refer you to someone who will be a better fit.

What if I don’t know how to cook?

Most of my clients didn’t cook before they started working with me. Plus, you don’t have to cook to eat healthier. Cooking does make it easier, but it’s not necessary.

If you don’t cook now, but want to, then I’ve helped others just like you achieve this to improve their health and their waistline. For more details on how my clients learn to cook for themselves check out this post.

Online Total Fat Loss Coaching

How does it work?

Total fat loss coaching is a simply combination of nutrition coaching plus exercise coaching. When you purchase the total fat loss coaching package, you get everything from both the Nutrition Coaching AND Exercise Coaching package. As such, for any questions about the details of this package simply refer to the Nutrition or Exercise Coaching FAQs depending on which aspect you have a question about.

In summary though, here’s what you get when you sign up for the total fat loss package:

  • Customized workout programs specific to your goals, schedule, experience, personality, and injury history.
  • 1 hour video chat per week to create your personalized fat loss strategy, hold you accountable, keep you motivated, and conquer anything that’s holding you back. This call is where we set you up for success for the week. Where we make sure no matter what happens, you keep losing weight and getting closer to your goals.
  • Daily text correspondence to empower you to stay motivated, mindful, and accountable to your workouts and your nutrition. It’s easy to forget when you’re doing something new. Coaching over text on a daily basis keeps you mindful and focused on your goals so you keep taking action — so you don’t remember your diet 3 Oreos away from an empty package. Not only that, this gives you the flexibility to get real, lasting fat loss no matter how erratic your schedule is.
  • Lifetime access to my extensive exercise video library containing over 100 exercises (and expanding), where you can see exactly how to perform the exercises in your workout.

General Questions

Who is and who isn't this program for?

This program isn’t for you if:

  • You already have this fitness stuff figured out.
  • You want a quick fix or a rapid 6 week transformation.
  • You want a meal plan or a diet to stick to.
  • You want someone to guilt and shame you into changing you into getting healthy.

This is for you if:

  • You want to feel healthier and more energetic without your life revolving around your diet.
  • You want to actively look forward to exercise and be in tune with your body.
  • You want to finally feel clear about how to lose fat for good and what it means to eat healthy.
  • You want to reach your goals and maintain them forever, even when works gets stressy or there’s a family crisis.

How does payment work?

You pay on a monthly basis. You aren’t locked into anything and there’s no minimum time commitment. At the beginning of each month I’ll send you a Venmo request. For those outside of the US, we'll use Paypal. I also offer you a 30 day money back guarantee if you aren’t happy with the service.

What if I need more coaching call time?

You can add coaching calls to any package should you choose. You can add calls as a recurring monthly addition to your coaching program or as needed.

Can I switch coaching services?

Yep. You're not locked into anything. So if you want to start out with Exercise Coaching before tackling nutrition that's totally cool. Just upgrade to Total Fat Loss Coaching whenever you're ready.

Want to hire me as a coach?


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