Phoning in the Workout -- Could It Work for You?

Jeanne Sager
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Photo from Fitzness
I have a gym phobia. The sweat. The smell. And anyone not directly related to me looking at my mom butt in workout gear. 

But lately I've found my self-directed workouts are just not cutting it to lose the last 10 pounds. So when my friend B. started extolling the virtues of her virtual personal trainer, I was intrigued to say the least.

No mom butt on parade. No gym stink.

And the added bonus of not having to look my trainer in the eye when I fail miserably. But can phoning in your work out really work?

I contacted B.'s trainer, Fitz Koehler, author of Everything Flat Belly Cookbook, fitness director for the International Sport Kickboxing Association, and a trainer to the stars (check out her working out with Anthony Field of The Wiggles above), to get some tips on finding an online trainer that will work for you.

What prompted you to offer services online?

I had dozens of Facebook friends from around the world asking me to personally help them lose weight or become fit. At some point, it became clear to me that I needed to have an official system to educate, manage, hold clients accountable, and lead them to success from far away.

What's the response been like? Do you find this is a trend?

I’ve had a pretty significant amount of phone clients already, and so far 100% of them have reached their goals or have come about 99% of the way there. It’s been exciting to help commission success from thousands of miles away.

The only downside is that I can’t hug each one of them like I do with local clients. I'm personally invested in my clients near and far, so our relationships become very strong.

No, this isn't a trend and I'd advise against “virtual training” with just anybody. I have 20 years' experience in this field, a master's degree, and a crystal-clear reputation. Other than what I’ve accomplished via word-of-mouth recommendations, this could be an awful opportunity for scams. I’m honest, trustworthy, and effective -- I can’t vouch for copycats.

How does going online to find a trainer work?

Future “Phone Clients” can visit the store at Fitzness to pick a program and get started. Almost immediately, we’ll arrange an initial hour-long phone consultation in which I learn about the client, educate him, and give new standards and goals for his eating and exercise habits.


Photo from Fitzness
Every client is different and I design programs based on her needs and goals. My clients and I are in constant, sometimes daily contact once we get started. I often joke that my master’s degree is in harassment. Only those who truly want to reach their goals need apply!

What are the advantages for people?

First of all, it’s personalized unlike most “programs." I deal with each client individually based on their specific needs; I’ve trained the morbidly obese, asthmatics, elite athletes, postpartum mothers, and everyone in between. They each get a unique plan that has been completely customized.

The other benefit is that the price is a tenth of what it'd cost to train with me in person! My phone clients get a true expert who can get them where they want to go, and they only pay between $23 and $43 per week. 

Koehler recommends the Net be a first stop for finding fitness tips. Besides The Stir's workout routines, where do you go?

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