Switching to Remote Coaching


Bo Hickey

My name is Bo Hickey and you might recognize me under the name Bomenclature on social media. While I still use the name Bomenclature, I felt it was time to make a change to the larger picture. That picture being The Lifelong Athlete! I have been a sports performance coach for over ten years and find amazing joy in helping athletes achieve levels of performance that they couldn’t once fathom. Equally enjoyable is helping everyday people strive for a better path of health and wellness moving forward. During my journey, I have been very fortunate to work with athletes who have made world teams, competed at Olympic Trials, solo swam the English Channel, set masters national records, competed at masters worlds, and won national titles.

// Tips for Online Training While Gyms Are Closed

There has never been a better time to make the switch to remote coaching. If you run an online strength & conditioning business as I do, your week probably started with countless emails from clients saying something to this effect.

“What the hell do I do with the gym being closed?”

Or you are an in-person coach who just realized your means to make a living for the next few weeks, or months, has drastically changed and you need to figure out this online training thing and figure it out fast.

For clients you work with in a 1-on-1 capacity, there are key points you can focus on in the next few weeks to keep things moving in the right direction for both their results and your finances.

The basics still work really well!

I have to remind myself of this all of the time. While we can get caught up in all of the flashy pieces of equipment and exercise variations, the basics still work mighty well! Take a step back with your programming and remove all of the barriers for your client. 

During my undergraduate education, I had one class where we had to design and implement a training session that could be completed in a box that barely cleared our head in height and was barley our arm’s length wide. We were given no external equipment to utilize. Little did I know how powerful this project would be. 

The good news is that a lot of the basics fit this project and also fit your client’s current training environment (ex. their living room). If you’re new to online training, you can either use TrainHeroic’s library of exercise videos or shoot these demonstrations on your phone, upload to Youtube and then your TrainHeroic account. Starting with the basics will give you a foundation to grow your exercise library after all of this madness passes as well. 

Don’t underestimate how far a squat, push-up, or plank can go during a time like this. Your client wants your help and is looking to you for guidance. Implementing the basics gives them a path forward which they will greatly appreciate.

Teach your clients how to adapt

With the new “Swap Exercises” feature, TrainHeroic gives the user the ability to swap out exercises for different ones that fit their environment. This is a phenomenal feature but takes some legwork on your end to educate your client on how to use it effectively.

For example, I recommend setting guidelines for your client. I tell clients when they need to sub out a movement, they need to try and do it for a movement in the same category (ex. a squat for a squat). While this sounds like common sense for us as coaches, it is not always the case for your client. I also recommend giving additional options in the exercise notes portion of the training program.

For example, if I schedule a Back Squat + BB

I will put the following phrase in the exercise notes. “If you are unable to complete the Back Squat + BB, substitute in Goblet Squat + DB,

or Anti-Rotation Squat + Band.”

This gives my clients three options to utilize while keeping them on track. If you do not guide this flow a bit, you will quickly find imbalances growing in your training plan. Figure out which minimal equipment exercise variations will fit your client’s needs and arm yourself with options for them to move forward effectively.

Show the value of minimalist training

One thing I have learned from traveling often to work with athletes, teams, or for my own enjoyment is how to leverage a disrupted schedule.

We often look at a disrupted schedule as a negative, but it can be such an amazing positive if you approach it correctly. 

For example, maybe your client has been avoiding some sort of weakness or limitation for some time. This schedule disruption is an awesome way to focus on a weakness and bring it out of a state of limitation. This way when training returns to normal, your client can attack their training without restriction. 

With my clientele, shoulders are a major problem area. Over the next few weeks, I am having some of them complete three simple movements every single day. This way we can kick the limitation out of the way and make their bodies more ready for performance. It is nothing elaborate but it gets the job done!

The way I pitch this to a client is, the less time you are injured the more time for progress with your training. Working on these little details over the next few weeks can pay off in a big way. This will also show your client that there is still value to completing a minimalist program when they are used to training in the gym. 

I know the next few weeks are a bit of uncertainty for coaches everywhere, so don’t hesitate to reach out (training@lifelongathlete.co) if you need a helping hand! With some simple adjustments, you can adapt your training process to fit the demands of today.


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