Online Training: What Is It?

By Raphael | In FBR News | on January 8, 2014

What do you mean you train “online”? Online training? I don’t get it! That’s what some of my successful online clients hear from some people when they tell them they work with me. I’ve been a successful online trainer for 12 years, and sometimes I have to remind myself that not everyone knows what online training is. People just can’t seem to fathom that you can achieve breathtaking success without a personal trainer being right by your side in the gym. Major point of difference: A traditional trainer is in the gym with you two to three times a week for 30-60 minutes. I’m always available to my clients by email, Skype and phone.

How is that not a good thing?

I am by no means putting down training clients in the gym. I’ve done it for 23 years, and it’s definitely effective if the trainer is knowledgeable and attentive, and the client gives his or her all. But don’t discount the amazing benefits of online training with me.

So what is it? I’m going to take you through a step-by-step process of what I do.

Step 1: Assessment
When a client emails me, the first thing I do is email an assessment form for him or her to complete. This assessment is very detailed and provides me with information such as your goals, current weight, current exercise and nutrition habits, available equipment, medications, questions related to stress, work, food preferences, and more. Your completed assessment is my starting point for your workout program and nutrition solution. The more I know about you, the better.

Step 2: Fitness
I design a workout for you based on your available equipment, experience level, limitations and amount of time you are realistically willing to work out. I provide detailed exercise videos that describe precisely how to perform each movement. Many of the exercises are demonstrated and instructed by me and are from my personal library, but some are from other trainers who have passed my scrutiny. Completed workouts include weight-training exercises with video, sets, reps and more instructions in a special notes section. I also provide cardio and stretching recommendations. Because workouts change every four to six weeks to keep you progressing, at the end of our time together you’ll have a very valuable resource at your fingertips — a complete and customized workout library.

Step 3: Nutrition
I offer two options concerning nutrition.

Option A
–          You select an online nutrition tracker (I will provide a list of some of the more popular ones with a document that highlights the pros and cons of each).

–          You’ll track your food for one week (what you normally eat) so that I can get an idea of your current eating habits.

–          I will then provide you with recommended macronutrient amounts (grams of protein, carbohydrates and fats) I want you to reach each day. Don’t worry if you’ve never done this before. It’s easy, and I’ll teach you how to do it.

–          Together, we’ll work to design a nutrition program that is effective based on healthy foods you enjoy eating.

–          I will check your tracker frequently and make comments and suggestions.

Option B
For those who would rather not track precise calories and macronutrients, I offer MealLogger. MealLogger is a photo food journal that allows you to take a picture of your meal/snacks with your smartphone and easily upload it your MealLogger journal with the free mobile app. I then view your meal and make comments and recommendations.

With either option, the ultimate goal is to get you to lose fat based on your lifestyle and foods that you enjoy.

Step 4: Accountability
I’ll ask that you email me daily. I’ll want to know how your workout went, how your nutrition is going and will encourage you to share with me any stumbling blocks that you’ve hit. The key is that you are completely honest with me. Your frequent emails will help keep you accountable. I’ve found that accountability is one of the biggest assets of my program.

Each week I will monitor your progress to make sure that you’re on track, but some of what you don’t see listed here are the intangibles I provide. I act as a coach, mentor and guide. It’s not just about handing you a program. Our ongoing communication is what gives this program power and effectiveness. As one of my clients wrote on his Facebook page, “Nothin’ but love for my personal trainer, Raphael Calzadilla, who manages to be in my head all day long regarding nutrition and kicks my butt at the gym.”

Eventually, that’s the thing I want every client to think and say. They feel me right there with them every day, every step of the way.

Along with email, we may have occasional phone call updates or online video chat sessions. Whatever is necessary to keep you on track and accountable. This isn’t an easy journey, and I know how important it is for me to be outrageously available to you. That’s why I limit my client base. It’s one of the things that sets me apart.

To inquire about my online training programs, availability and rates, please go to my online training page or for any questions on my program, or email me at

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