Tales from the Hybrid Fitness Coach

Since 2020 virtual and online fitness coaching tiptoed into the lives of many fitness professionals as the world shut down and we were championed with finding creative means to maintain connection and center our wellbeing at home. Since we all began to creep outside of our four walls, venturing back into the world as we know it now, hybrid fitness coaching has taken off as a means of offering options to fitness professionals and clients themselves.  

As a hybrid fitness coach, I know all too well the need to remain flexible and malleable in the world of health and fitness. As a servant to my clients, I see the need to individualize plans while also individualizing the approach that best suits each client. There are ways that I can positively maximize my reach, while there are also the subsequent challenges of coaching clients without being there in person with them. That being said, hybrid fitness coaching has changed the world of health and wellness for the better across the board. 

I’ll be honest with you. Like many of you who made the shift to more online options in 2020, the use of technology and working more virtually made me extremely nervous and took me out of my comfort zone! But, like with all the changes we should adapt to, I’ve learned to take these lessons as an opportunity for growth and expanding my business. 

Accessibility for myself and others

Hybrid fitness coaching means that sometimes I can conduct in-person sessions or meet with people in real life. Other times, it means that I can hop onto my laptop and engage with folks online. Accessibility, for me, means that I can balance a schedule that includes a commute when meeting in person along with having the flexibility to cut out the commute and meet via a video meeting platform. Considering online spaces require the proper lighting and camera angles, along with ample room to move around and demonstrate, the key to good online sessions is to be prepared. There is no difference with in-person meetings, as I want to come prepared and ready for proper equipment and spatial considerations. 

Best practices for coaching: Hybrid and in-person

Best practices for coaching clients span all sorts of sessions, no matter the location. Here are some I can share that translate across the board:

  1. Think of each client’s individual needs – hybrid wellness and fitness coaching requires a coach to consider the needs of the client from their preference for proximity, their communication methods, and their motivational needs. Getting to know your client can ensure that their learning style and personal preferences are priorities at all times.
  2. Give yourself a buffer – Online sessions and in-person sessions both require time to prepare, schedule, and forecast disruptions. Traffic jams, lags in internet signal, or schedule conflicts can all jumble our day in ways we least expect them to. Maintaining a schedule that gives buffer time in between sessions can make space for these interruptions and so many more. Creating buffers between sessions also prevents us from becoming burned out from doing too much back-to-back!
  3. Ask for feedback – Like every other industry, the fitness and wellness industry changes constantly. Since you were certified, have you dug into continuing education? Do you ask those who love you the most to keep it 100% with you and give you feedback to help you continue to be an even more awesome influence in the lives of others? Do you ask your clients to give you input on how you can keep serving them? We can do this in many ways: dialogue and conversation, online surveys, or regular check-in feedback opportunities. 
  4. Focus on play – It’s easy to get caught up in “training sessions” being “training sessions” but creating motivating environments online and in-person can also challenge coaches to distract clients from another mundane task of working out and instead see training sessions as time for themselves to enjoy movement and wellness.
  5. Build-in admin time – We need time to prepare, like I’ve said a few times already. I could be driving home a point from lessons learned myself, but take it from me that admin time should be a priority! Playlisting, workout programming, research, checking on equipment being operatable, and even scheduling time with mentors and those who can provide feedback for ongoing personal development are all ways that we are still working to coach the best that we can!

As a busy mother figure and human in this chaotic world, I am forever grateful for the shift to hybrid coaching. Having been in the industry for over 15 years, I have seen so many changes that can benefit others and help us continue to tackle chronic health outcomes in a multitude of ways. Colleagues in this space, who I consider friends as well, constantly check in with me and feel the same, but how about you?

Are you a hybrid fitness coach? 

What are your best practices and tips for being successful for clients of all locations? 


  1. Club Industry. 2021. 22 percent of gyms have closed, and $29.2 billion in revenue lost since COVID-19 hit. clubindustry.com/industry-news/22-percent-gyms-have-closed-292-billion-revenue-lost-covid-19-hit.
  2. Goodman, J. 2022. How big Is the online personal training industry? Personal Trainer Development Center. theptdc.com/articles/how-big-is-online-personal-training-industry.
  3. Huguet, L.C.T. 2021. Business model reinvention: impacts of COVID-19 on the fitness gym industry. ISCTE Business School. repositorio.iscte-iul.pt/bitstream/10071/24161/1/master_lea_tiphaine_huguet.pdf.
  4. Rizzo, N. 2021. Fitness industry statistics 2021-2028 [market research]. Run Repeat. runrepeat.com/uk/fitness-industry.
  5. United States Fitness Market Overview [LINK]


Katrina is a global educator and Certified Wellness Specialist dedicated to bridging gaps through equitable access and collaborative coaching. With over 20 years of experience, she leads diverse teams, creates support groups, and mentors future leaders. Katrina specializes in Bias Unearthing, Neurodiversity Inclusion, and Intersectional Inclusion. She holds a Master of Science in Exercise Science and Health Promotion, certificates in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell and USF, and an Associate of Science in Graphic Design. Katrina’s mission is to foster unity through self-care and compassion, making healing a path to deeper purpose and inclusivity.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Powering the Business of Health, Fitness, and Wellness Coaching