Episode Summary

In this episode, Rick and Matt why and how to add a virtual training option to your fitness business. 

Episode Notes

Listen in as we discuss how online training is a viable option to many gyms especially as many have been forced to close due to the current pandemic the world is grappling with. It is also a good opportunity to keep your members engaged.

We talk about choosing the best tools to help you run your online program as well as being creative with regards to equipment your clients may have in their homes.

Virtual training is more than just fitness. It involves a lot of communication, emotional support and holding your clients accountable. You should thus consider it a premium service and don’t sell your services short.

We talk about how virtual training can help you handle more clients due to automation. You also get to put out workouts several weeks in advance and adjust them as you get feedback from our clients and incorporating deeper personalization of your client’s programs

Key Takeaways

  • Keeping your membership engaged through virtual training (1:55)
  • Tools to help you run a virtual training session (8:01)
  • Developing your program around what available equipment your client has at home (9.15)
  • How to sell online training as a premium service (11.30)
  • How online training helps you handle more clients and automate some things (16.46)
  • Why virtual training is not just about fitness, it’s a chance for life coaching as well (17:28)
  • Virtual training allows for deeper personalization of clients programs (18:32)

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Mentioned in this episode

Matt Helland

Rick Mayo 

Alloy Personal Training Franchise


We’re talking about online training today. It’s a great topic right now, because a lot of gyms are trying to survive, and we’re trying to keep our membership engaged. We are trying to do right by our communities and we’re trying to keep top of mind why we got into this industry in the first place. Right now a lot of gyms are forced to close, a lot of you guys have closed voluntarily. Because of that, online training has become a viable option, or maybe a necessary option, a viable option for customers necessary for your business. 

Let’s break down how we look at it and how we’re doing it right now. Hopefully, that will be a value to you guys. So without further ado, let’s dig in a little bit.

The online playbook that we’re running right now?

Sometimes people think that virtual training is just throwing workouts at you and there you go, you’re done. But really, we’re going to be as hands-on as we normally are or more even more so. The whole plan literally starts with a phone call or Skype or messaging of some kind. In this interaction, we sit down and do just like our starting point session where we’re going to talk about goals, needs, injury history and what equipment they have available and also just see how they are doing because this is a tough time, to be honest.

You guys can go back to our sales series and listen to Part One of the sales series where we covered sort of the peeling of the onion, a lot of that is just finding out where people are mentally and how they’re doing. I think in this day and time, certainly, with what’s going on, a lot of people are all over the board emotionally. What better time to have emotional support like a coach? 

Again this would be for brand new clients, but it’s also something that we may talk about later. It’s in our playbook right now, where we do these calls weekly with current clients. A lot of this is going to be around how they’re feeling and how they’re dealing with stress. For instance, questions like, “How are you doing with your kids? How’s it going with homeschooling? What’s it like teaching right now?” Giving them the opportunity to vent and talk about this with someone is really important. They may or may not have a support group that they do that with. Maybe they’re home right now, and they’re scared. There are so many things that happen when you just have a sit-down and have these types of conversations with somebody. I think it’s something that we do anyway in person and the starting point. I think it takes on a whole different meaning and this particular time,

The only difference in this process between a new client and an existing client is the questions we already know about their fitness levels and whatnot.

This is a totally different time for everybody. They may be stuck at home, right? Most can’t go anywhere. Maybe they could have high-stress levels. Now is a time to really talk about those things which they may have never talked about before. Talking about food, for one thing literally being at home a little bit more just makes you want to eat everything in the house. This is why I’m saying you may have more hands-on with these clients than you ever have. Before, You may have seen them three times a week. Now is a perfect opportunity, one on one, to find other avenues. Last week in the entrepreneurs must do we talked about a healthy diet and what you’re consuming.

Not only in your diet, but this would also be a chance for us as coaches to step in and say, Look, maybe only consume a certain amount of news every day. This is for your mental state right now. Start a gratitude journal. We talked about that in our team meeting yesterday, our virtual team meeting. There’s a lot of ways that you can guide and coach people right now to help make them healthy. It’s a lot about exercise and we know chemically and scientifically what that will do for your brain and your stress levels, but it’s also a lot of other things. This is more life coaching and lifestyle coaching, a thing which most personal trainers do inherently. They probably don’t know it. It just happens during the session between sets, or whatever.

For many, their lives came to a screeching halt. It actually let them focus on themselves a little bit. At Alloy, we’re fortunate our app literally allows us to focus on habits.

Right now, our virtual starting point session, so a video-driven session Facebook video, FaceTime, Zoom or Skype. During the starting point, one of the things that you don’t have to do in a gym that we need to do, which is finding out what type of equipment people have. This is to see what people have access to. If it’s nothing then we have to get creative. Then the tools that you have available to drive this are important. We have an Alloy app, which it’s really built for remote training. There’s not a better tool available than the Alloy app. We’re partnered with trainers and pay development costs to have the Alloy functions in the gym functions where a coach can go and pull a schedule and look at their six tiles of the people they’re working with and apply the programs to them correctly. It’s relatively inexpensive. It allows the trainer to communicate with clients. 

Some of the features available are accountability tools for lifestyle, sleep, stress, and nutrition. This is so we keep that professional boundary. 

We went over the starting point session. The next thing people will ask about is the price point. We see online training as a premium offering. Think of it this way,  if you have a brick and mortar built, and you have a structure like ours, where there is a predictable way to get someone from the front door through the starting point session and apply our programming principles to them correctly, it becomes a systematic approach. In a lot of ways they’re taking up square footage and you’re monetizing that and you’re giving them accountability to show up. However, the programming part we’ve got that handled if you’re a customer or even a franchisee of ours. So in a lot of ways that’s a bit easier. Keep in mind now we’re doing custom program design. We’re still using the same programming principles, but it should be a premium offering. 

How much education in time in the trenches do our listeners have? And that is worth something, right? But when you pay a plumber to come over and they’re there for two seconds to snake your toilet, you think well, should I have done that myself? You didn’t, you didn’t know how to do it. You didn’t buy the tool, you don’t have 10 years as an industry. That’s what people are paying for. If you’re a coach looking to go online, don’t undervalue your services, because it is expertise and you are looking at a lot of things. You’re actually using more creativity in a home workout design with limited equipment than in you’re in your own club. Don’t sell yourself short. Our price point for that right now for current clients is around the $199 mark If we end up in this long term.

We even talked about possibly bumping this offering up to $499 a month. Why? Because if you’re getting on specific phone calls once a week with people, and you’re doing custom program design, you’re holding them accountable. There’s lots of communication going back and forth. That’s a really high level of service. Folks should pay for that. So I would say $500 bucks a month is not out of the scope. Look at other online offerings that were here before the coronavirus hit, that’s in the neighborhood that they were charging, maybe even a bit more. Online is actually not a lesser service. It’s a more premium service.

If you want to offer it to your current clients for their current membership rates, or less than premium. I get it like, it’s a great thing to do. You should do that and it will help you preserve revenue and do right by your clients. However, I think once the dust clears, this is going to leave us the opportunity again to build something that will be a viable addition to our business that maybe we ignored because we didn’t need it before right now.

We give them new workouts every week. Within our app, we can build those out a month, two months at a time. The Alloy App is set up so that each week their new set of workouts are posted.

By building a month program that you’re releasing weekly, it holds the coach and the client accountable to a weekly cadence. Part of this package is a weekly call. Whether it be face to face or just a phone call. The weekly cadence makes sense for that. If there is something that needs to be adjusted, you can universally adjust the programming week over a week instead of having to go back in and take workouts away that are a month out and restructure them at that point.

We’ll also message them during the week to check in to see how they’re doing. It could be text or through the app. They also have the ability on their side to message us right about the workout. 

The Alloy app allows us to help our clients in so many areas. We are grateful this was a tool we already had in place. We notice now more than ever the importance of technology and staying connected. We hope sharing some of our insights and experience was helpful to you.  

In conclusion, don’t sell yourself short. There are tools out there. Right now, there is a massive opportunity to build an entirely new line item of business. It’s not easy right now, stay strong. 

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