Coach Yourself: 4 Free & Easy Ways To Replace An Online Coach

Get the coaching you need, without the whole paying-for-a-coach thing

Chris Davidson
Over 40 Freakin Awesome



Listen, getting an online health & fitness coach is a great idea, though it could be said I’m somewhat biased.

But occasionally the cost can be an issue for some folks when I’m on an initial call with them. And as much as online sales gurus tell you to be pushier, twist the knife, find the pain points, force people to spend money they don’t have…

that approach just doesn’t sit right with me, even if it means I’ll never be an online millionaire ;-)

Instead when someone can’t afford my programs, I prefer to help them on the call to understand how to coach themselves.

And that’s what I want to help YOU do now — this is how to get a lot of the benefits of having an online coach… just without the whole employing a coach thing.

** But clearly if you DO want to chat with me about what I do (I really am rather good at it…), and see if it’s for you, you can do that right here **

When & Why You Need Coaching

I only work with my online coaching clients for 4 or 12 weeks.


Well I feel those are the tough periods where it all feels hard, confusing and folks are full of doubts. For me, if clients don’t feel ready to fly by themselves after 12 weeks then I’ve failed.

I want clients to not need me any more, instead of locking them into paying me for years because I’ve convinced them I know All The Secrets.

It’s during those first weeks that you need that extra help and support —getting an arm round the shoulder and/or a kick up the a*s when needed is a guaranteed way to stay on track and build the habits you need long term.

But even without an actual coach, these are 4 great ways to get that help and support you need when you start out…


#1 Get An Accountability Partner

You need accountability so you have another competing voice when the nagging one in your head is saying:

“So what if we skip the gym or eat take out for dinner? Why does it matter? Do what you want right NOW”.

A coach will be checking in regularly with you, but even if you can have someone else waiting for you at the gym to work out with you, you’re more likely to go even if you’d rather not.

Or if you’ve an online accountability partner, are you going to lie to them when they ask you how your food choices had gone that day? Probably not. So you’ll make better food choices to avoid feeling bad about admitting to the Big Mac Meal you crave ;-)

Especially during those first 4–12 weeks you need accountability, consequences, so you keep doing the things you know you should.

#2 Gamify Your Healthy Habits

Sometimes I cringe at how simple us men are, we are so competitive about even the dumbest things. BUT…

… we can use this umm… ‘quirk’ to our advantage to get in shape.

Turn your habits into a game. Apps like Streaks or Don’t Break The Chain help you build momentum in your healthy habits, to the point you don’t want to interrupt your streak.

Add in a competitive element by getting friends on board to see who can get the longest streak, and you’ll be locked in to hitting your goals every day.

You can even promise yourself little rewards for 10,20, 50 days in a row — a restaurant meal, tickets to a game, that random thing on Amazon you want but can’t justify ;-)

#3 Set Up A Forfeit

No, I don’t make clients sit in Punishment Corner! (Canva)

I read a news story a few years ago about a website you could donate money to, to help you stick to your goals.

  • If you stuck to your plan, the money went to a nice charity (sick kids, rehoming dogs, etc).
  • If you didn’t the money went to some Neo-Nazi party funds.

That’s some pretty effective motivation, but you don’t need to go that far!

However, as with getting some accountability, bad consequences when you don’t do The Thing are a great motivator.

For my clients the consequences of ditching the plan is having to tell me, and come up with an excuse that sounds remotely legitimate, which they want to avoid.

But for you, it could be doing something you’d rather not do, like mowing your friend’s lawn, or donating an uncomfortable amount of money to charity.

It doesn’t need to be Neo-Nazis though ;-)

#4 Use Online Support Groups

Folks have so many questions when they start a workout plan about exercises, sets, reps, rest, or with diet around what foods are best for XYZ.

A good coach will have answers for most of these, so you don’t get derailed about not knowing what to do.

But if you’re willing to put in the work, be patient and ignore a few a*sholes, then you can also get the knowledge and support you may need through:

  • Facebook groups
  • Twitter (I can’t call it X) or
  • sub-Reddits.

These are great for bouncing ideas off folks in the same position as you, getting feedback on your plans etc.

One word of advice though, each group online is different. So

  • join up
  • hang out for a few days and see if the folks there are nice and helpful
  • get the lay of the land
  • see the back and forth and general vibe
  • maybe share your own experiences THEN
  • ask some questions of your own.

I see so many folks join a group, immediately ask lots of questions as they’ve no interest in the community aspect. Then they either get ignored or maybe DO get the answers they want, and then leave.

Don’t be that guy.

How To Do The Thing Consistently

Information is everywhere online, and for most folks that’s not what they struggle with.

Yes, as a coach I package the information into a nice easy-to-follow PDF plan for you… but you probably don’t struggle with a lack of information on how to lose weight and get in shape.

You struggle with Implementation — Doing The Things Consistently.

It’s the help, support, advice and accountability you need when you’re starting out that you miss out on when you just download a random program online.

And those initial few months can be exhausting for you as you hit bump after bump, and your efforts throw up relentless questions you need answers for —

What if… Can I… Is it better if… What about…

That’s why things like forfeits, gamification, workout partners and online groups can help keep you on the straight and narrow, not shooting yourself in the foot and giving up when the going gets tough.

Now you just need to start ;-)

Yes, you guessed it, I’m a fitness and lifestyle coach for folks 40+. To arrange a free call and get a roadmap for how YOU can get in shape without turning life upside down, find out more here.



Chris Davidson
Over 40 Freakin Awesome

Coach for busy, out-of-shape Over-40s • Dad of 3 • Irishman • Trainer • Writer • Free Over-40s Fat Loss, Fitness & Lifestyle Programs :