Online Coaching and Customizing Existing Programming Comprehensive Guide

Accountability Step Up

Below is a series of courses we developed for Thrivestry subscribers.

It was created a year-or-so back to be implemented with gyms that were in full operation.

In lieu of recent events, we have decided to release it free for everyone! (There was no way to buy it before).

Some of the content will not pertain to working with people remotely on short notice, but I do recommend you go through everything so you don’t miss any ‘gems’ that might help.

I also did not take a lot of time to thoroughly edit it for a PDF format or tailor it to the situation. I feel that urgency dictates we get this out sooner rather than later.

Thank you for your understanding of any typos or weird formatting issues!


Additional Notes on Working with People Remotely During a Crisis

Without going into a ton of explanations, here are some quick bullets to put you in the right mindset:

  • REACH OUT TO EVERYONE INDIVIDUALLY. And keep the conversation going every day for at least a week or two. This includes people who aren’t coming to your virtual classes or engaging much. You have to front-load this with extra effort on your part.
  • Divide up people and place them under different coaches. Pay the coaches based upon the number of clients they keep. Use a MadLab model of somewhere between 20 and 40% (each month the client pays, you pay the coach that percentage).
  • Divide up the clients into ‘pods’ of 3-6 people. This will help with additional accountability. This does not replace the one-on-one contact.
  • Drive as much interaction as possible with your social media channels. You need to keep on people’s feeds and provide value.
  • Have regular meetings with your coaches talking about everyone on their list. Make sure people aren’t falling off the radar.
  • If you are doing online live classes (and you should), make sure you have time set aside for people to chat. Start the meeting a bit early and plan to run it over. Use the ‘breakout room’ feature on Zoom if you have a large group (this allows you to break people up into much smaller groups, like 2-5 if you wish).
  • Watch out for “Zoombombing” (when you have a public link and a stranger drops in to troll or post inappropriate content). Check the link for ways to prevent it.
  • You should also set up some ‘challenges’ for people to do at home. They can be one-offs (like a flexibility challenge), or than be for points (to make it a game). Some can be a week long…Heck, you could even just start a book club! I cover some ideas here.
  • Be ready to adapt as things go on. This is uncharted territory. Over deliver at first, and double down on the relationship side. Coaches should be prepared to spend additional time modifying programming, making online content, talking one-on-one quick calls with each client once a week or more. Everything will seem chaotic at first, but it will settle down as time goes on. Certain services and tasks will become routine, others will go away.
  • If this continues for more than 4 weeks, there is a good chance you’ll see an increase in holds and membership drops. You will not be likely to sign up many new members for the next few months (or longer). Be prepared for that. Cut expenses a much as possible right now. Talk to your landlord. Get some financing.
  • A 4-week plus stall will also mean you should look at switching people over to a cheaper ‘remote’ program only. Do the math and figure out what will work in your situation to help as many people as possible (and keep them from leaving). Set up the program ahead of time, but do not roll it out until you are ready to offer it to everyone.

The world needs leaders now more than ever.

As a mentor and leader in the health and fitness realm, this is your time to step up. Go beyond the movements and the workouts to deliver value on the nutrition, mental health, community, motivation, etc.

You may need to review this a few times. It is a lot to take in!

Please share what works with others in our private FB Group.

And please share this with anyone else who may find it useful!

Thrive on.


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Please share this if you found it useful or if you think it might help someone else. 

Here are a few other things you may find interesting:  

Corona Virus COVID 19 Gym Owner Survival Guide

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"Should I Just Sell Fitness?"

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Is there one thing you can focus on that will give your business the greatest chance of lasting 100+ years? What does this have to do with learning the Fox Trot?

"The Transition" a Tool For Getting Things Done and Building Habits 

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There is a moment in time that happens hundreds of times per day, and you never think about it. 

There is no way to avoid it. Your life will be filled with them until you die. We can use these moments to help us be more productive and build better habits.

Coaching and Gym Ownership Video Playlist:


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