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How To Help Your Clients Be More Compliant With Check-Ins

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December 4, 2020
tim saye

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If you offer an online coaching component to your personal training services, regular check-ins have likely been a source of difficulty for some of your clients at some point.

It may be that rather than being unwilling to check-in, they don't understand the role of the regular review for the online coaching process, or how to do them correctly. Like anything with online coaching, compliance is improved when there are structures in place to make it feel more manageable for your clients.

Unlike face to face training in a gym environment, it can be easy for clients to escape scrutiny online - especially if the personal trainer has a full roster of coaching clients. But online coaching should provide at least the same level of accountability as face to face even if in a different way.

So, let's look at five essential elements of your coaching practice that will help your online personal training clients submit those check-ins and smash their goals.

#1. Explain Why They're Important

One of the fundamental pillars of any online personal training programme is the accountability and support. Helping your clients understand why they need a check-in, is a crucial element in compliance. Providing valuable feedback during the check-in will give the client both support with problems and accountability towards their training and nutrition goals.

If you can establish very early on in the coaching relationship, ideally as part of your on-boarding process, that regular check-ins are vital for providing a useful and timely source of feedback, accountability and support, your clients are more likely to complete them on time.

Framing the check-in as a fundamental and valuable part of the online coaching process will help your clients to understand that they're paying for coaching touch points. That it's not merely about getting a workout, but the support you can provide is much more complete than that.

If your client is regularly missing check-ins, perhaps the frequency of your check-ins feels unnecessary. Ask them if they would prefer less contact (fortnightly, or monthly). They may also feel overwhelmed by the number of questions they need to answer. Ask them if they would like to streamline the check-in process.

They could also be non-compliant, and not want the check in to highlight a lack of progress. You could communicate simple, get back on track tips in a check-in "amnesty" if this is a problem for a client. But don't ignore missed check-ins, as the client may be going off-plan and may need to realign their commitments to the process.

#2. Set A Reminder

Letting your client pick their check-in day could lead to you having a couple of check-ins to do every single day of the week. Make it clear to all clients that you'll be batching your responses to a couple of days a week to get the best possible level of service from the feedback and coaching leadership they receive. They can still have the flexibility of choosing a check-in. Yet, to be efficient in your coaching, and getting into the right mindset of providing coaching feedback, it can be effective to limit your responses to one or two days a week.

There are ways that you might set reminders for the check-in. The simplest option is to schedule the check-in inside PT Distinction, clients then get a notification on their phone at the time of the check-in. You could also send an automated email or message to remind clients throughout their time with you, which is a feature that can be set up on the PT Distinction message center.

#3. Use A Template

The idea of using a template is that it gives your clients an expectation to follow. By showing your clients examples, they will better understand how much detail you would like to see, what type of aspects of your week is relevant and also how they can ask you questions for the check-in progress to be fruitful.

Templates also save you time asking questions and instead gives you more scope to focus on the actual coaching elements of the online check-in. While the coaching elements are

highly personalised and bespoke, the format of the questions is likely to be very similar between clients.

#4. Micro Commitments Through Your Community

If your coaching clients have access to a Facebook group or shared messaging through the group coaching chat, using the successes of other coaching clients to demonstrate "good examples" of behaviour can influence others to do the same.

Something as simple as posting a reminder to check-in and tagging all clients that are due that day can be powerful. Even more powerful is asking them to make a micro commitment; "drop an emoji in the thread once you've submitted your check-in!" is a public way to hold one another accountable. Accountability isn't just to you as the trainer, but to the community at large and to themselves too.


Many clients that are new to online coaching don't understand the value of check-ins. Finding ways to communicate the importance of it, why you need the information and how you use it to help your client early in the process is vital. As clients get used to regular check-ins and receiving your feedback they soon see what a hugely valuable part of your service this is. Not only will it lead to greater long term results but it will also provide your clients a very clear benefit of working with you over any other online coach or automated system like Peloton or Les Mills on Demand.

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