What Goes in to Great Group Online Training?

Sep 19, 2017

By Tim Saye

Group training and group support has been very popular for years. The success of many fitness classes alongside the huge following for the likes of Slimming World, Weight Watchers etc.. shows that people love to lose weight and get in shape together, with a community for support.

More recently online challenges have become the best way to bring in long term online clients and are hugely popular among trainers and clients alike.

These trends lead on to a new trend in fitness that is online group coaching, giving clients the convenience of workouts, coaching and group support in the palm of their hand. It also gives great trainers a new service to offer that can suit every pocket and help large numbers of people.

So, what goes in to great online group coaching and how do you get great results?

All top quality personal trainers know that a few things get great long term results; quality training plans, nutrition coaching, setting goals and targets, nutrition and lifestyle habits to work on, accountability and support, all built around modern day busy lives.

This sounds like quite a lot to have in a group program but it can all be done easily enough when using quality online training software.

Training plans

Training plans for the group should be based on the goals of the group you're coaching and done in periodised manor, each new client should start at the beginning and progress their training the longer they are in the group.

Niche specific training plans can work very well. For the sake of convenience it can be a great idea to include a gym based training program and a home based training program for each day of training. Group members can chose the program that works best for them each day. A bonus option may be to also include an outdoor training program for those good weather days.

As every individual is different but group training can't involve bespoke plans for everyone having personal lines of communication as well as group chat can be a great idea. If an individual in your group can't do certain exercises or finds things too hard they can drop you a personal message and you can adjust their individual plan to suit their specific need.

Goal Setting

Group goal setting can be challenging but it gives a great opportunity for you as the coach to help your members set their own goals.

A quick video teaching reasonable goals to set and healthy rates of change followed by asking your clients to set their own short term, mid term and long term goals and to write them down in your results tracking area can be fantastic.

Your members will set goals specific to themselves with guidance from you, their coach. Make sure their goals are specific, have set timelines and that your clients write them down in a place where you, and they can see it.

By writing these down in your members results tracking area they will be able to see their goals every time they record their actual results, this can act as a powerful motivator if they have well set goals and targets.

Nutrition and Lifestyle Habits.

Popularised in the fitness industry by the likes of Precision Nutrition, Mac Nutrition Uni and many more, nutrition coaching and habits has clearly been shown to outperform meal plans in terms of getting long term results for 95% of the general population.

Creating short but simple coaching videos explaining a habit, why it helps your member get great results and how they can easily implement it in their day to day living is a great way to coach good daily habits.

Most research suggests a new habit is formed after around 21 days of consistently working on it. Therefore 21 days of tracking each habit can work well. A simple have you successfully followed your habit today yes or no makes things very easy for your clients and gives you clear data on how well each group member is doing.

Clients love easy..... The easier you make it for them to follow your plan, track their results and move forward the better, especially when considering the busy online client.

PT Distinction members can easily add and schedule coaching videos then set up habit tracking like this.

Accountability and support.

Scheduling emails and app messages each day can be an amazing way to prepare clients for the day ahead and get them ready for the things they need to do each day to move forward and achieve their goals. This can be done inside your group messaging centre inside PT Distinction.

Medical trials have shown that with the simple habit of taking vital medication adherence increased by 90% when participants were sent an automated message each morning. Taking this in to training and eating well can be the simplest of game changers.

Having tried this as an online training client myself I can tell you simple daily messages make a massive, massive difference.

Group chat is fantastic for group accountability and support, everyone chats in one group and they can support each other easily. You have an easy way to speak to all group members and help them all out in one convenient place.

Facebook Groups also offer a good option for group support, chose either group chat (which can obviously be done inside PT Distinction) or a Facebook support group and get moving.

With paid groups it's also worth considering the option of having 1-1 chat available with each member. This way when someone has an enquiry that needs personal attention they have an easy means of contacting you without publishing it in front of everybody. It also gives the option for members to ask for simple changes to make things work well for them as an individual.

Personalised changes could be something you offer in a slightly higher priced plan as an up-sell on your basic group. You can make personal changes to your group clients in PT Distinction by going in to their client dashboard and making the changes.

Built around your members lifestyle.

A great joy of online training is convenience, training can be done any time and from anywhere. By giving home based and gym based training options group members can chose what works best for them at any given time.

Nutrition and habit coaching can be consumed at any time that is convenient for your clients and no matter how busy someone is a simple tick to say they succeeded in their habit today is easy for anybody.

You can also see how hard your members are working with the new MyZone integration.

While many people do love tracking apps such as My Fitness Pal many clients find them too time consuming and off putting as time is a very precious resource in todays world. Perhaps offer your clients the option to chose their nutrition tracking methods in the same way they can chose home based or gym based workouts.

To easily set up high quality group online coaching try PT Distinction free for one month here.