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Online Personal Training Services and Process


After the terrific response from last week’s post about my goal for my clients as a personal trainer as well as a marked increase in questions concerning personal training and certifications that I have noticed in various fora, I thought that it might be helpful/interesting to broach the topic again. If people are responsive, I might continue to do these types of posts; if not, that is cool, it’s a one off thing, and we move on!

being a personal trainer online services process

Last week, I talked about my objective as a personal trainer: to produce self-sufficient clients. In many ways, I liken this role to the role of a parent, a doctor, or even a manicurist–the idea is that we (as your trainer or coach) do such a great job at what we do that clients are able to get to the point that they don’t need our services and yet they choose to return to us regardless. Just like it is lovely to go home and have your parents dote on you–you are perfectly capable and knowledgeable, you just relish the attention for a bit, and hey, you might learn something or get to try something new, without the commitment.



I thought that I might start this discussion with my approach and “specialty” with regards to training, at least at the moment. I see myself as much more of a personal trainer than a fitness trainer. What I mean by that is simply that I have always felt more comfortable and useful working one on one with people. Heather, for example, is fabulous at doing group fitness, and she has really found her niche there. Myself? I don’t like the ambiguity, if you will, of working with a class that I don’t get to have a conversation with. I want to know your short and long term goals, and help you get there. I want to know what you like/dislike, and tailor a workout and plan to fit your needs. So how do I do that?

Online Personal Training Services : Initial Process

I send you a bunch of questions. My clients have, thus far, been online, which poses its own set of risks and challenges. My job, as a trainer, is to ask the right questions in order to make the right assumptions with regards to my clients. Questions that I ask include (but are by no means limited to):

  • Your goals: short term and long term
  • Your workout history:
    • Have you worked individually or received personal formal instruction from a certified trainer? Or just what you have seen on TV?
  • Medical history and clearance?
    • Current meds?
    • Past surgeries? Injuries?
    • Any conditions that I need to be aware of.
  • The sessions themselves:
    • What are you looking for from me?
    • How much time do you have to devote to sessions, and how many times a week?
    • What is your current workout schedule?
    • What will you be doing in addition to the workouts I provide?
    • What equipment do you have access to?
    • What do you most like to do/workout and what do you least like to do/workout? WHY?

And several others. I actually love to ask this last question–it tells you quite a bit about your client, their workout style, and their insecurities. And I love to see if their mind changes in a few months time about things they previously “hated.”

Then, I typically take a few days (I like to get my information on Friday and “deliver” on Sunday) and synthesize the information, sit down, and come up with plans.

spot me

I do not specify exact weights to be used. I give them reps and tell them how to gauge their competency with the weights involved, and how to know when to move up. I ask them to keep thorough notes during and in the days after–not just lbs lifted, but what they liked, what felt good, what didn’t feel right, what was too easy, what was sore. This is a MUST for me. I am not there to get that feedback–I need them to do it for me.

Lastly, we have a consultation at an agreed upon interval. They have my phone number, should they ever have a question, and of course my email. But during this time, I learn how to tweak the program, and what did/didn’t work.

Online Personal Training Pricing:

This was actually pretty difficult for me. I charge on an “a la carte” system–For example, new workouts cost $25, revisions to old workouts $15, and initial consultation and plan development are $10-15. These price might change in the future, but for the services I offer, my experience, and the market, they are fair to both myself and my clients. (prices subject to change)

Online Personal Training Case Studies:

For Whitney, I created both at home and gym workouts of the the same muscle groups so that she could workout regardless of where she was. My focus for her is on building strength and muscle definition while also maintaining her heart rate so that she can burn calories without doing so much traditional cardio. I have given her a plan for the week–to do x days of strength training, x days of cardio, x days of rest, x days of active rest and abs. She is a mama and works full time–she needs to be able to pick up her baby and her handbag! So my goal is to give her workouts that take an hour and accomplish everything, but also let her continue her life. For active rest days, I want her to do things that benefit her progress but also let her spend time with her daughter (and husband, if we can convince him, haha).

Another client is looking to supplement/complement her cardio routine to gain more definition. She works out in a weight room, and hates group exercise. So, knowing that she might be fatigued from the cardio, but wants full body toning, I have incorporated more compound moves that work more muscles at a time without over working the legs. We have just started working together and I am eager to see what she thinks of the new plan!

Now do you see why I don’t usually post workouts? I’d be asking all of you for exactly what you need each time! I mean, look at how many modifications I tend to include in my recipes!

I also want to say that this is obviously not my main means of support–I work full time as well. I am able to take clients on a boutique basis because of it, and I honestly think that I would find the bootcamps that Paige and Tina have done in the past to be completely overwhelming. But this works for me, it works for my clients, and I have loved to do it!

If you are interested in working with me, please let me know! Email me at my blog email (suzlyfe) (gmail) or my business email (susie.lemmer) (gmail). I am happy to answer questions (within reason), and I would love to work up a plan for you!

Something I want to be very careful to note is that I do NOT give my clients specific nutrition advice. That is not my job. I might suggest that they refuel after their workout, and we might discuss nutritional successes and misfires, but I am NOT a nutritionist, and I am all too well aware of the fact that every body is different to assume that I know best. 

Any other questions you have? What topics would you care to discuss?

Have you ever worked with a personal trainer, online or in person?

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