Holly Leonard, owner of CrossFit Peabody in Peabody, Massachusetts, started her career in personal training and coaching. She later found CrossFit as a byproduct during the fitness movement toward group exercises. Leonard, knowing all the benefits that come with personal training, still felt the need to offer private coaching as an option for the clients who wanted to be pushed just a bit further.
With private coaching sessions, Coaches can slow things down and really tailor to the different learning styles. An athlete in their first year of training is still working on the basics and building up their confidence, whereas the more experienced athletes are looking for little tweaks or refinements to their already good base. They just need help with the more technical elements or specific limiting factors.
“I would recommend starting by tailoring a small-term program, like a five-week program, around a certain goal,” said Leonard. “We have done programs in the past for fat loss or Olympic weightlifting technique, and we tailor it toward these styles. It’s a specialty option, but more one-on-one. We found a huge response when we target for a specific goal and people come in and are like, ‘Oh this is what personal training is’ and then start moving toward personal training from there.”
Investing specialized time for each of the athletes in your normal-sized classes is where you can start to gauge who would benefit from your private coaching classes. Making small comments on form or technique is just one example of how to raise participation.
“Find opportunities at the end of class where you can say, ‘Hey, I noticed when you’re doing your front squats, this is what was happening. Next time when you come to class I want you to work on this,’” said Leonard. “Or, just any two-second comment that adds a lot of value, so when you do put something out on Facebook saying what you are offering they already know the value and are more likely to take advantage of it.”
Another important aspect to private coaching is ensuring athletes are being paired with the Coach they want and who will train them in the ways they need. Leonard explained unless you want to be trained in a specific style, like Olympic weightlifting, they try at their Box to match you with a Coach that fits your schedule.
“We try to lay the ground work with our members that all our Coaches are at the same level so that it’s not a pick-and-choose type of thing,” said Leonard. “But in general, personal training is usually just a preference of if you prefer male or female, what hours you want to train, and we match it up that way.”
Educating your members is the best place to start in terms of personal training. Use blog posts, videos, and sit down and have a real conversation with them about their goals, making sure they understand all the benefits that can come from them utilizing your Box’s personal training program. Make sure your athletes are getting the best you at all times in order to ensure they become the best version of themselves.