Over two decades in the fitness and health industry has time and time again shown two things:
1) The basics work
2) People want / need accountability
Pre-pandemic, I had an "old school" mindset without question. How can you possibly coach people via phone, online, virtual sessions etc... I honestly didn't get it.
Shift into the pandemic when so many people in so many different professions were forced to think differently. I entered the world of distance coaching;
-I utilized an app for a while for coaching some clients
-I began virtual sessions with some clients
-I began weekly coaching calls with other clients for more habit based and goal setting conversations
-I began building my library of exercises on my YouTube channel
-I began sharing more thoughts, conversations and stories on my YouTube channel
There were pros and cons to all of this. But one thing was for certain, it opened new doorways for myself and my clients.
Now, in mid 2022, one of my favourite things I've added to my services are coaching calls / distance coaching. Most of which are done via an old school phone call and human conversation, while the odd client chooses similar methods but via video call. These clients have been the ones I've been able to see the most progress in over the past year or so, and it's been really fun along the way. Here's what one of my clients shared with me via an email after a couple months of weekly coaching calls together:
"The benefit of coaching with you has really helped me psychologically. Having a different view point, and positive feedback has stopped that continuous loop of negative self-talk in my head and I feel better about myself." ~ Donna W.
Regular Accountability & Coaching Calls
Whether a client chooses to connect every week, bi-weekly or more spread out, the act of talking about your goals, your health practices, what's happening in your day-to-day lifestyle right now ... it's all been a big boost to client progress. My theory as a long time coach of why more progress is seen this way, is because it puts an emphasis on "everything else".
When clients hire me (past or present), they come for "workouts" or "to get fit". Yet that's only part of what a fitness and health coach does and the reality is, your "exercise" (I don't even care to use that word often anymore) is not the overall factor in your health practices (in terms of 'what you do'). It's more how you approach your health practices; your mindset, daily habits/routines, stress management, sleep habits, relationships etc... that drive you towards (or from) being healthy and happy.
Rather than simply coming to "exercise or workout", clients who have decided to do coaching calls for accountability and who have these important regular discussions, have been able to truly learn more about themselves, what they enjoy and discover how they can be more accountable to their health practices. That same client who's testimonial I shared earlier, often would say to me; "I just can't have these kinds of conversations with other people... they just 'don't get it'."
Clients are Focusing More on What Makes them Happy
As I've been working on this mindset myself over the past handful of years, I've noticed it more in my clients as well. Not everyone enjoys "working out". Not everyone (even long time clients in the studio) will be consistent with health practices throughout the week other than their 2-days with their coach. We have many more conversations now about why that is, and I truly see now that it's because we aren't choosing the things we love to do. So many of us are doing what we think we "have to" to be healthy. When in reality, there's SO MANY ways we can be healthy and enjoy the process! Regular accountability and coaching calls have put an emphasis on THAT more so than regular studio visits for clients.
Put the Work in to Reap the Benefits
Everyone knows you have to put the work in to see progress/results. Then why is it that more people than not, still don't do it?? I go back to my previous point; I feel that too many of us are still doing what we "think we have to do" to improve our health. The reality is, if you enjoy the activities you choose to do, you're going to do them more often and more consistently. Plus, since you enjoy them you're going to improve your mental health and mood as well, because you're having fun!!
Approaching our health in this way can possibly lead you into doing some additional strength work, mobility, balance etc because you WANT to, rather than feeling you "should". When you find activities you enjoy and do often, you may find you have the desire to do more within that activity, improve your performance, be able to enjoy the activity longer etc, therefore you seek the coaching to help. THAT is when "exercise" and "programs" REALLY work best.
Coaching Calls Help Deal with the "Road-Blocks"
Clients who come each week for their programs/routines in the studio definitely chat about some of their day-to-day challenges with consistency, ask questions etc.. but it's not quite as effective since they're also focusing on their exercises in their routine. With coaching calls, we have the opportunity to truly focus on the road blocks clients encounter in their day-to-day lifestyle, and help them better understand how they can work with them, rather than against them to better their health practices.
It allows us to take a step back, and look at things a little more clearly through conversation and exercises of a different kind, that deal more with mindset and habits rather than muscles.
Fitness and Health has changed over the past decade or so, and definitely since the global pandemic. I truly feel that shift from "get my butt kicked and feel like death" each session, to more a mindset of "I want to be a healthy, happy human".
Thinking outside the old "workout box" will help you get there!