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The Ultimate Guide To Virtual Training Clients

Written by Ben Camara on 17th July 2020.



The Setup – Don’t Under Prepare!

When it comes to set up for face to face training you need to be making your prep a priority. We’ve talked about which add-ons to buy, such as a tripod or anti-gravity case or even some kind of stand.


The set up is everything. The best way to think about this is when taking your first session in the gym you’re going to want to know where the lat pulldown machine is or the heavier dumbbells if needs be. If you’re just starting on this quest to build an online virtual live business. Take some time to see how space you will be using matches up to your programming.

The Sound – Crucial in LIVE online training

Sound is a big thing and the good thing for the Ultimate Guide to Online Live Training. You just need a good set of Bluetooth headphones to connect to the device that you’re remote coaching through.


For music see a further thread on the best music solutions.

Music is one of those things that you know is needed greatly to create that experience, especially when you’re doing group training. When looking at the one-to-one side of things, however, it’s for you to decide whether you want music in the mix. When I’m training my clients on a one-to-one basis I want them to be focused on me coaching them so we may have some sort of music in the background, but it’s a minor factor with regards to me creating the environment.


1-on-1 Vs Group

For us, here at Remote Coach, we go a layer even deeper and talk about 1-2-1, small group (1-6) and then large group, which we call Tribe.

The difference in coaching experience can be tenfold when looking at this and again you’ll notice I keep referring back to your ‘face to face’ sessions to get you thinking.

In face to face 1-2-1 you’ll usually find like you are performing a demo and then moving around your client to correct form, keep the intensity high or low, and ensuring that your client is getting the best bang for their buck from their set, rep or movement flow.


Now coming back online it’s very much the same. Some coaches will perform their 1-2-1 sessions by just coaching, similar to a facetime call, sat in a comfy spot, and then coaching them or counting reps.

For me that is only going to get you so far and creating an easy environment to demo, and talk to your clients is not hard, but takes some effort and makes all the difference.

The set up goes as follows, and in this case, it’s how we see the best remote coaches training their clients around the world. 

One: Make sure you’ve given yourself enough space around you so that you can if needed demo exercise for your client. As a rule of thumb, I always put my phone in an anti-gravity phone case and I’ll have it around about 16 cm off the floor and 2 m away from the place where I will be standing so I’m 2 m away. That gives me enough space and gives the client enough space to see me move. Whether it be through a sagittal plane movement or a lateral plane movement such as a lateral lunge.


Second: I then put my AirPods and make sure that everything is clear with regards to the communications. That’s why the first thing I say to a client “can you hear me okay?” We need to get the communication element of things in order straight away so that we know that we can move away from the phone. As for me, I want my client to prop the phone up in the tripod or whatever. It might be they’re using the antigravity phone case for example and then never need to go back to it.

Read More, If You’re Not Sure How Much To Charge for Online Personal Training?

Third: I look at the program that we are putting in place, making sure that the client has enough space now where they are training to go through the first process of the program, which for me is looking at the warmup activation and getting them ready for their training that day. For more tips on doing a virtual warmup and the differences between a virtual warmup and a face-to-face warmup please check out the blog post with regards to virtual warm-ups the perfect start to a session


Fourth: Now, I spoke earlier about being 2 meters away from the phone after I’ve gone through the main focus of giving the demo. I want to make sure that I can easily move into the screen and look for any pointers that I might be needing – take note here that your coaching cues may need to change as you’re going through just more verbal cues rather than being able to have hands-on or p.m. to quickly move to a demonstration with yourself doing the physical movement. Changing the way you word things is important when you’re working with clients, especially when they’ve never done virtual sessions before.

Fifth: Of course when we moving through the session and you need to demo. Make sure that you do understand space, so for example where I do my virtual sessions isn’t that wide so I’ll make sure that all my lateral movements and lateral lunges are done where the client can see me in a frontal plane so I’m facing to the side, facing to the left or facing to the right and I’ll move closer to the camera, whether I’m doing a lateral lunch to the left or lateral lunge to the right and I’ll make sure that I am telling the client what I am doing. As in face-to-face sessions, the client needs to have the availability to do a 360-degree view of what the exercise should look like and on which areas you are focusing on.


Group training 

Looking at group training, it’s going to be a lot different to the coaching element of doing a large group and I say large group because a small group 1 to 6 can again be different. So for today’s ultimate guide, we’re looking at a large group setting. First and foremost you can have them set up which is the same way you’re looking at the space that you need. So do take the above set up as a way you can get started on your session. But, you also need to look at the music element and make sure that if you are having music you have a music license. For any more information on that click the link here and you will be directed to a specific blog post on music licensing and how that can interact with your business.


So let’s stay on music with regards to how you are going to create an atmosphere and create more of a buzz for your clients who may be training at home. There are many ways that we’ve seen a lot of the remote coaches do that, but as a place to start and an easy place to start, if we are focusing on audio and you’ve got your Bluetooth headphones in, then all you need is another device to have music playing near your device, probably phone, iPad or laptop, where you’re streaming the session live. I like to get music playing from just a Bluetooth speaker that’s right by the phone that is streaming the session and that works great for me. I sometimes say to the group that I’m training that if they want some music on in the background as well I can share the playlist with them, or if it doesn’t matter what music they’ve got on I just say to them play whatever you know works best for you and your music that you think will get you pumped.


So we’re getting set up and as per the above make sure that you’ve got your phone in the antigravity phone case or the tripod and you’ve got at least 2 meters and for your American readers out there, that’s 6 feet of space for you to move into. I mentioned earlier about the distance from the floor that I can change, whether you have a tripod that moves throughout. And the time that you’re moving the phone make sure that you are communicating with your group and your clients to ensure that they’ve got the best view possible. And all the platforms that we’ve seen, and we highly recommend this on Remote Coach, we ask all of our clients to go onto portrait mode where are they using a phone or an iPad as it just gives that broader and fullscreen experience for them to get the best out of looking at the exercises and looking at the demos.


Next, you may want to look at some reminders, so for example it could be that it’s the program that you’re putting in place. I’ve mentioned this a lot in the digital coach podcast special specifically with one of the hosts Eric Dannenberg, who is the head of performance at EXOS. You can check that episode for his take on it and let’s consider that in that you just need something that gives you prompts next to the camera. Make sure the clients can’t see this. You want to keep that professional approach, but just having two pieces of paper or some notes, or a sticky note with some pointers on, making sure you’re communicating, making sure you’re smiling, making sure you’re asking for feedback. The best way to look at this is, what would you do in a group session in a studio? 

The session is where you’re going to need to use data and feedback from an audio perspective. If you’re using the Remote Coach app, I’m sure you’re very aware that you can ask your clients to link their data on the Apple Watch or their Fitbit so that you get an instant feedback loop on their heart rate and their calorie burn throughout the session. This is crucial when you’re looking for feedback and also a data point, but you can create some conversation with clients. Clients are always looking to see their progressions and their results and there’s no better way than giving them some easy simple data feedback and they can see progress week on week, which is exactly what you’ll be looking for also doing virtual sessions. Luckily we brought that into a Remote Coach platform.


We can’t forget the final part of the group session where you’re looking to call your clients down. This is an awesome opportunity for you to build more of your client base through the clients that feel the value that you’re giving them is already fantastic enough to pay for. Looking at simple strategies such as referral schemes or asking for feedback during that call down is a fantastic time to just ask your clients to invite their friends, their family from wherever it might be in the world, to join them in that group session is a fantastic way for them to interact with them in a different way than they have done before. These family members may have never worked out before. They may have never lived together for years and this is a fantastic opportunity for them to come together and do something that they know is good for them and have the guidance of you taking them through a group session.


There are many ways to create a great environment for your virtual life sessions and here are just a few examples of what we put together with sessions going out daily. As always and, as in the real-life of coaching someone face-to-face or coaching your athletes as a group, it’s always good for you to find your rhythm and find your touching points that you can take and adapt to build your own virtual business. But first and foremost take the time to put the preparation into the session and the planning and the programming and ensure that your clients are progressing and the world is your oyster with live virtual sessions.