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Does Virtual Training Really Work?

Gone are the days that we all commute to work, come home, and drag our tired bodies and minds to the gym, and we have a pandemic to thank for that. Luckily, we also have accessible high-speed internet and the knew knowledge that yes, in fact we can work from home, and many of us are just as productive or more productive. We can now also pay our bills from home, deposit checks from home, and earn a degree or credential from home.

We've also transitioned to virtual training for each of our clients, and the results are spectacular (check out some of our reviews on the home page). Whether you're trying to reduce body fat, work on flexibility, power or endurance, or want to experience the meditative and mental health benefits of a yoga session in your own home, with your own instructor, we've perfected the process.

Ready to make the transition to virtual training but still aren't convinced? Here's a rundown of our top 5 most common client goals and how at-home virtual training can help reach them:

1. Strength Training

Personal training very often centers around the goal of building strength. Online trainers know that strength training can be done just as effectively via virtual platform as it can in a face-to-face setting. Our fitness professionals have the right tools to help you determine the reps, sets, and rest times for the exercises you have access to, based on your fitness goal of building strength. In online training programs, personal trainers will get you set up and observe you through movement, assessing you for proper form and protecting against injury while you meet your threshold in every session.

Wanna know more about what a virtual strength training session would look like for your goals and equipment? Book a single, 1-on-1 virtual strength training session with us today and come let us show you the possibilities for online clients.

2. Body Fat Reduction

The short answer is, you can train for fat reduction anywhere. Body fat reduction can only be successful if you're eating in a calorie deficit, and incorporating strength training to preserve existing muscle tissue. Without these principles and proper nutrition, including balancing your protein intake with your carbohydrate and fat intake, body fat reduction is not possible. If you're losing weight without these principles, you're very likely losing both muscle and fat.

The good news is that that means training virtually for body fat reduction is as easy as any other type of training. We'll incorporate body resistance and body weight movements for fat reduction training, depending on your conditioning level and available equipment.

For this goal, your trainer will structure the virtual training session the same way as any other, but will check in with you more frequently about meal planning and tracking, and building healthy habits and a healthy relationship with food. Not only can we meet your fat reduction goals virtually, we're going to build your confidence, grow your self-awareness and empower you with the knowledge you need to sustain those results.

3. Cardiovascular Conditioning

Every fitness journey has a chapter about cardio, and most of our clients arrive at our virtual doorstep hating it. Luckily, we can fix that for you.

Cardiovascular training doesn't have to look like miles on a treadmill in front of a tv, or a fancy stair-stepper for your home gym. There are so many ways to incorporate cardio into your daily routine, and they start by understanding what "cardio" really means.

Aerobic exercise is what we're talking about when we refer to "cardio". It can begin after as little as 10 minutes of steady states, moderate intensity heart rate (3 to 5 on the RPE scale), and should be trained for 30 minutes or more 5 to 7 days per week. Aerobic exercise/cardio exercises can include:

  • Swimming

  • Hiking

  • Cycling

  • Using an elliptical trainer

  • Walking

  • Rowing

  • Running

  • Step Aerobics

  • Boxing

  • Jumping Rope

We will find a form of cardio that you enjoy doing and help you reach your mental edge while sustaining the fat oxidation benefits of a steady-state energy burn. Your trainer might ask you questions during onboarding like "what kinds of exercises do you absolutely hate?" in order to build a program that's going to work for you in the long term. We hope to also help you build the affinity for physical training and fitness that we've build through our own fitness journeys.

4. Flexibility and Mobility Training

Flexibility and mobility training are often no-equipment exercises, which might be assisted with lights bands, a yoga mat, or yoga blocks. No equipment is required for these types of exercises. So as long as your virtual training space has room for you, your personal training session will have lots of movements for you to choose from to help you build flexibility and mobility.

5. Muscle Building

In the world of exercise science, building muscle is called "hypertrophy". Like fat reduction, hypertrophy requires some very specific dietary monitoring paired with resistance training. Your virtual sessions would consist of many of the same exercises used for building strength, with a specific plan of action for progressive overload and progress tracking. Online coaching works well for those who are trying to build muscle, because online coaches keep you accountable and help you track your progress over time, using real data.

For hypertrophy goals, you'll need to be very objective with yourself about the calories and macronutrients you're taking in, as well as whether or not you're getting enough sleep and managing stress well. Hypertrophy, like all training goals, also requires you work in a specific rep range and set range, with specific rest times between exercises. When we write up your customized plan, you'll have that data to take with you, regardless of whether you choose to train with us or in a gym.

Health apps like My Fitness Pal can be helpful for tracking meals. Personal trainers are allowed to give general nutrition coaching in most states, and hook you up with resources for you to learn more. This covers at least a basic understanding of your nutrient needs. But depending on where you live, your state may not allow your trainer to write up a meal plan with you. The good news is, your trainer can probably work with someone else on the team with a nutritionist or dietician credential to get you on your way. Just ask!

A Note on Equipment

A lot of clients question during the onboarding process whether or not they need to immediately purchase equipment. The answer is no.

Sanjana Fitness works hard to design programming that works for you, in your space, with the time you have and the equipment you have. Your first virtual meeting with your dedicated trainer will consist of a physical fitness assessment that is tailored to your fitness goals. Your trainer might assess your resting heart rate, level of flexibility, muscular strength and endurance, aerobic capacity or any combination of those. This depends on your goals and how we plan to track your progress over time. Trainers can design that assessment based on the equipment available to you.

After your assessment, your trainer will design the exercise program that's geared toward your goals and works with what you have. Bodyweight exercises and calisthenics can be highly effective, especially if you are new to exercise or trying to learn as much as possible about your body and fitness. Body weight movements, yoga, and similar activities are incredible tools for helping you establish that "mind-muscle connection" your trainer's always talking about.

If after some training you and your trainer decide you need a little more resistance, you can incorporate training bands, light free weights, and other inexpensive pieces of equipment ($5-$40). This decision will be based on your Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE), your experience with exercise, and your ability to complete the training as designed by your trainer.

Most clients come to us with at least a small amount of equipment: a random band or two, a couple of dumbbells, and a good pair of training shoes. We will accommodate you.

Please note that clients with pre-existing injuries may already be limited in the exercises the trainer can safely and reasonably ask you to perform. If this is the case, the trainer may ask you to purchase some bands or dumbbells at a minimum. Stay tuned for our upcoming blog post about recommendations for at-home training equipment.

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