Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Personal Training Knows No Boundaries

I know personal training would help me live a healthy lifestyle, but I just can’t get to the gym for a scheduled appointment. This excuse actually does sound reasonable because most personal trainers are affiliated with one or two gyms or fitness centers, which can be a challenge for the client who is constantly on the go or maintains a highly inconsistent schedule. Just ask anyone in sales when was the last time s/he was in the same town on a twice-weekly basis. 

The last WordUp! article focused on co-working as a means to bring together people in similar professions from different companies to share ideas and work on their own projects in a community forum in conjunction with social media. 

Personal training also takes on a combined physical/virtual model. Social media-savvy personal trainers, like Julie Costa, ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and IFBB Bikini Pro, and founder of JC Fit, have cultivated  full-service program bundles that include exercise, nutrition, and ongoing individualized  email support as well as packaged articles, e-books, and blog posts to accompany each plan. These offerings bring together the concepts of one-on-one customized training with group personal training for accountability and peer support with the added convenience and flexibiity of being able to complete the workouts anytime, anywhere. 

I asked Julie about the delivery and effectiveness of this model in the following interview. 

Julie, tell me a little about the typical JC Fit client. What’s the profile, and what are his/her fitness goals? 
There is no typical JC fit client. I love helping others to reach their own health and fitness goals!  My current clients range in age from 18 to 60 with a wide range of fitness goals. Most clients' fitness goals are geared towards weight loss however I also train clients with goals of putting on size/mass, clients who wish to get stronger, clients who are enlisting in the marines, clients who are going away on a week long ski trip and need to work on their endurance, clients who are competing in bikini and fitness competitions - as you can see there is no typical client. I'm here to help everyone reach their health and fitness goals.

How do you use social media to find new clients? 
Social Media makes it super easy to promote your business. I promote a lot of my online training via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I have my own personal Facebook page and I also have a business training page for JC fit where I include workout and nutrition tips, and all things health and fitness. I post weekly challenges to get everyone excited about a new week as well as healthy recipes, workout tips, nutrition tips, etc. I also promote my online training programs and e-books on Facebook for people who are looking for a little more personalized attention. Social Media has made it so that I can work from anywhere and train clients from anywhere.

Do most of them complete your program successfully? 
The key to sticking to an online training program is checking in with your trainer/coach. When I don't hear from some clients for a prolonged period of time, I know that they are not being accountable on their end so I'll send a quick email to check in with them. By checking in weekly with me via email, clients can tell me what's working for them, what's not working, and what we can do moving forward to have success. My most successful clients are those that check in.

How have your clients reacted to the online and social networking aspects of the programs as opposed to 1-1 or group training they’d receive in a gym? 
I have just recently moved from Boston to Miami. In Boston, I had a handful of 1 on 1 personal training clients and taught a handful of bootcamp classes every week. For a lot of my clients, it's difficult to cut ties completely so enrolling them in my online training programs was ideal. Online training programs hold the client more accountable as they physically have to go and do the workout on their own, but each workout is written the same as if I were there training them in person. I really connect with my clients and my friends, they respect me and trust me so online training is the next step for them. I'm still having interactions with my clients weekly, it's working out great

What advice would you give to someone just starting out on a fitness and nutrition regimen who needs a little boost of motivation? 
With anything that involves change, it is best to start slowly. Most health and fitness programs fail within the first 2 weeks simply because we start off too strong, lose motivation and quit. A simple way to overcome this is to start off slowly and to actually enjoy the process. As we become more emotionally attached to our workouts, our new eating style, and our personal health and fitness goals, it becomes much easier to push ourselves harder. Remember that with every new journey, in this case a health and fitness journey, you must take baby steps to get there. Enjoy it and think of it as a new lifestyle adventure.

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