What Is Online Coaching?

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While most people believe a personal trainer barks orders and counts reps at the gym (NOT an accurate representation of a quality trainer, by the way!), Online Coaching is even less well understood. Even so, Online Coaching seems to have become more popular in the last few years, probably because we seem to be doing everything on our devices. I personally order food, toiletries, birthday presents, clothes, and electronic gadgets online on a regular basis.

In order to clear up the misconceptions, I want to explain what Online Coaching is and how it can help you.

You Do What?!

When I meet people at social occasions, trying to explain my business can be a bit tricky. Some people get it right away, but others say things like,

“So you record videos of yourself working out for people to follow?” or

“You create standard menu plans that you send to everyone?”

In fairness, some online fitness and nutrition programs do work like that.

How effective they are depends on the person, but they miss key elements in a person’s long term success at fat loss.

You’ll have a better understanding of that once you read about how my Online Coaching program works.

With Online Coaching, We Address Three Areas:

1) Nutrition

It’s often said that your diet (I call it a Nutrition Plan!) is 80% of your success with fat loss. Nutrition is very important, that’s for sure, and you can’t out-exercise poor nutrition.

Online Coaching involves complete analysis of your nutrition, including the quantity (in calories and macros) and quality of the food you eat. It’s not always just that you’re eating too much that’s the problem.

We look at what YOUR particular issues are.chicken-snowpeas-plate-online-coaching

Mine is not a one-size-fits-all solution. I don’t force you to do a detox (I’ll teach you why they’re a bad choice) or a put you on a 30-day plan to give up gluten/dairy/starches/sugar and other random things that you probably don’t have to give up. 

You learn how to eat the foods you love and deal with those pesky cravings as you work towards your goal. You’ll change your relationship with food permanently.

2) Exercise

If you’re serious about building a strong, athletic shape, weight training should be the focus of your workouts. Three days a week is the minimum for a real change in your physique, but it doesn’t have to be an hour or more.

Most of my clients fit in 40-50 mins four days a week, but I work with you to create a workout program that works for your schedule. If you can do 3-5 sessions of 30 mins each week, that’s great.

I’ll plan a program that fits into those time limitations.

You’re busy and I want you to make the most of your time in the gym.


Getting results from weight training comes when you’re consistent, progressive, and push yourself within your limits.

Sometimes I have to encourage clients to push themselves a bit more, but other times it’s about restraining them so that the optimal ratio of growth/recovery is attained. This is especially important in people 35 and over, when recovery becomes more of an issue.

3) Psychology & Mindset

Mindset Coaching will help you overcome psychological barriers to your progress (habits, associations, overcoming negative influences in your life). This is the skill that most personal trainers and online coaches lack, but it’s a key part of my Online Coaching program.

When you change your relationship with food and exercise, you’re on your way to lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle.


I’m at your beck and call for any lifestyle-related questions too. I help you cut through all the nonsense in the fitness and nutrition industry. Whether you want to know about Intermittent Fasting, Crossfit, Paleo, Keto, or whether dairy causes cellulite, I’m ready to give you a science-backed answer.

How Does Online Coaching Work?


To make things a bit more clear, here’s the step-by-step process you’ll go through with Online Coaching:

1) When you sign on with me, I ask you to fill out a CLIENT INTAKE FORM online.

You’ll give me important details about your lifestyle, including your sleep, work schedule, limitations, health & injury history, nutrition, and workout experience.

2) We Do Your Initial Skype/FaceTime Consult (1 Hour).

We discuss anything of relevance in your Client Intake Form, identify your key challenges and limitations, and you get to express your food and workout preferences.

3) You track what you’re eating with myfitnesspal for 6 days (4 weekdays & 2 weekend days).

This is NOT about trying to impress me.

I just want to see what you’re eating now and what your key issues are.

Many nutritionists do this backwards! They just tell you what to eat without finding out where you’re starting from. This often means that the plan given isn’t going to work for the client long term.


I make the nutrition changes I give you gradual and sustainable. They work around your special occasions or holidays. It’s not about giving you a meal plan – it’s about teaching you to eat to reach your goals.

4) I provide you with a workout plan for the guidelines you’ve given (days, duration, your ability) in a Google Docs file in our shared Google Drive.

This allows you to record your progress and share feedback with me as needed. I also give you videos with my instructions for all the exercises I give you to do in your Google Drive folder. You can use the Google Drive app to view your program while you’re at the gym.

My exercise library has over 200 different exercises (and growing!).

Workout programs change every 5-6 sessions (most people have a split program, meaning they have 2, 3, or 4 different workouts each week), depending on your experience and personal preference for change.


5) We do a focussed 30-minute Coaching Call (Skype/FaceTime/phone) session every week (or more or less frequently, depending on your preference).

This call is for accountability and to trouble-shoot any issues you’re having. We talk about your habits and mindset issues you have to overcome.


You also get:

  • Video feedback of your exercise technique whenever required.
  • 12 educational emails to help you understand key parts of the program and optimize your results.
  • Unlimited email support with any nutrition, training, and psychological issues that come up.

I’m there to support you through any setbacks and help you clear any hurdles that arise.

Benefits Of Online Coaching

You Can Work With A Coach Far, Far, Far Away From You

I live in Toronto and I’ve had the opportunity to work with clients in Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and the UK. Apart from making sure to get our time zones correct for calls, there’s no difference between a local client and an international one.


The Workouts Fit Your Schedule

If you only have a certain amount of time per week, that’s what we work with.

If you have to travel a lot and don’t always have access to full gym equipment, I’ll design a travel program for you as well. You don’t need to make an appointment to do your workouts. You just fit them into your own schedule.

The Nutrition Coaching Is Comprehensive

Much like going to a nutritionist in person for a consultation and appointments to update your plan, the online nutrition support is complete. Many in-person trainers only mention nutrition briefly while doing a workout with a client. Not only does it dilute the quality of the personal training session, but it doesn’t give nutrition the time and attention that it really deserves.

Psychology and Mindset Issues are addressed as well, particularly when it comes to food. If you don’t change your relationship with food, you will never optimize your results. This is NOT about finding a special diet with mystical unicorn properties…it’s about learning to eat for your goals.


World-Class Support and Accountability

Real results come from someone qualified looking at your needs and finding ideal solutions for you. When you have guidance from a coach with the skills and expertise to guide you in the right direction, you’re more likely to reach your goal. You’re also more likely to maintain your progress through the rough patches (and there will be rough patches!).

Drawbacks Of Online Coaching

You Don’t Have Anyone With You When You’re Doing Your Workouts

For some people, this is a real problem. They don’t know how to push themselves hard enough to get results or they don’t have the experience to use correct technique. I provide instructional videos for the exercises that I prescribe (as well as answer any outstanding questions) and most people do well with those.

Still, if you’re very nervous at the gym and have a hard time following instructions, in-person instruction might work better for you.

Nobody To Watch Your Technique

Although I offer technique assessment for any exercise you’re given (you submit a video of yourself doing the exercise and I review it) it’s not the same as having someone there to correct you on the spot.


You Can Skip The Workout And No One Will Know

When I trained people one-on-one in a gym, I knew they were doing the work. Having the appointment with me was the only thing that got some people to the gym. With Online Coaching, you’re on your honour.

Still, given that the majority of the weight loss result happens through nutrition, even an in-person trainer that you train with two or three times a week won’t have control over it.

You need to take responsibility for yourself with both your workouts and with what you’re eating.

Who Will Online Coaching Work For?

If you’re an independent person with some weight training experience under a good coach, or someone who knows their body well and has reasonable coordination, working out on your own isn’t a problem.

I provide detailed videos of all the exercises that I want you to do and if you have any questions you can always ASK ME.

Any time.

You need to be open-minded and willing to make some changes in your life.

Maybe you’re stuck on certain ideas (that being vegan is the best choice, that you only want to do cardio).

In that case, my program won’t work for you.


If you want the same result, keep doing what you’re doing.

When you want to see changes in your body and your health, you’ll need to make some changes in your lifestyle.

Who Is Online Coaching NOT For?

If you need someone with you at the gym just to make sure you do the work, then Online Coaching won’t be for you. I won’t be there beside you fixing technique or making you do one more rep when you’re feeling lazy.


Personal Training in a gym environment is very different from Online Coaching.

Some people are very good at motivating people on the spot, a la, “Harder!”, “One more!”, “You can do it!”.

While this style of training can occasionally be useful, it doesn’t do anything to address the underlying issues that are preventing a person from achieving lasting fat loss.

Nutrition is generally 80-90% of the problem and you won’t change that, even if you get a personal trainer to “put you through your paces” three or four days a week.

How Is My Online Coaching Program Different?

I do things a bit differently and I’ll tell you what you need to hear, and not what you want to hear.

I challenge what most people believe about fitness and nutrition. Although I contribute as a fitness and nutrition expert for various media outlets, I’m the first to acknowledge that there’s a lot of misinformation out there.

Clients have come to me with all sorts of incorrect beliefs, most of which I’ve managed (with appropriate scientific evidence!) to clear up for them. In most cases, they breath a sigh of relief that getting lean and healthy isn’t all about juice fasting and arugula salad with beans.

Online Coaching can be expensive, especially with an experienced coach. The sad reality is that most providers don’t provide a cohesive system that encompasses nutrition and training, while addressing psychological factors that prevent you from following through.

I’ll be teaching you how to change your mindset to allow you to get lean and feel strong and healthy.

I don’t just tell my clients what to do, I help them understand “how” and “why” they’re doing it.

Specialized Knowledge

Using my experience with hundreds of men and women just like you, I’ll give you guidelines to follow that make sense for your lifestyle.

If you’re a postpartum mom suffering from diastasis recti or urinary incontinence, I know what exercises you should do and which you should avoid.

Traveling executive? I’ll help you make the right decisions on-the-go.

Eat too much at night? I’ll find a specific solution that works for you.

If you eat under stress or when you’re anxious, I’ll give you tools to deal with your emotions and specific instructions for dealing with food-based issues.


I started doing Online Coaching over four years ago, just before my son was born. This was after about fourteen years doing personal training in various gyms around the world (Canada, England, New Zealand, Australia).

That experience is valuable, because I’ve dealt with so many different people over the years and spoken to them about the challenges they have to overcome.

I’m often amazed to hear personal trainers with only four or five years of experience deciding they’re bored and want to switch to online.

The years of in-the-trenches work with people is a HUGE part of what gives you the insight you need to give good guidance online. You have less feedback when you’re working online. You don’t see the person you’re coaching at the gym doing the exercises so you need to know what questions to ask and how to give specific instructions that will make things work for them.

I practice what I preach.

I’ve worked through my own issues with food and found a method that works for myself and my clients.

Is Online Coaching For You?

In over two decades as a coach, I’ve developed the tools and flexibility to help you unlock your individual potential, even if thought your peak physical years were behind you.

Being 35 or older doesn’t mean that you have to start packing on the pounds, give up building muscle, or that you can’t get lean and strong.fit-active-couple-online-coaching

Most of my clients are parents between 35 and 48 years old.

They have one or more young children who keep them busy. I also coach a couple of new moms with babies under a year old (one of which started with me at 4 weeks postpartum!), who are managing the early sleepless period of mom life while trying to feel strong and healthy.

I encourage everyone to take things at their own pace.

You don’t have to “get ready” to do Online Coaching.

I take you as you are and get you as quickly and safely to your goals as possible.

lara-mom-daughter-online-coachingMy client Lara, a 38-year-old mom to a 10-month-old girl, says,

The great thing about this program is that it changes the way you think about nutrition and exercise allowing you to make lifestyle changes. If you are busy individual, need support but work well independently and are serious about making lifestyle changes, then this is the program for you!

How Could YOU Benefit?

Online Coaching isn’t just about changing your body with a combination of nutrition and workouts. Changing how you think about food and exercise means a lifelong change in your habits.

When you manage your lifestyle effortlessly, you’ll transform your life.


Knowing how to eat and work out with maximum effectiveness is a tool that you’ll have to keep in control of your life forever.

Although I start my programs at three months, many people continue for ongoing accountability and support. Others use the tools I’ve given them to keep making positive changes over time.

I’m not the cheapest Online Coach available and I realize that for many people it’s a big financial commitment. What I’m offering is a chance to change your life by helping you change your relationship with food and exercise.

When your life is transformed through Online Coaching, you’ll see the value yourself.

Nothing makes me happier than seeing my clients succeed at their goals and achieve happier, healthier lives as a result.

Ivana Chapman

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Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman BSc BA CSCS is a Canadian fitness and nutrition coach, happy wife, and mom to an energetic 8-year-old boy. She is a YouTuber, writer, published fitness model, speaker, 3rd Dan black belt in Shotokan Karate, former World Cup Karate Champion, one-time marathoner, and CBBF National level Natural Bikini competitor. She loves weight training and chocolate, not always in that order of preference.
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