Over the last few years, there has been a steady rise in the number of people and companies offering personal training services online.
You may have seen some of the people you follow on Instagram posting about online fitness coaching, or possibly even searched for an online personal trainer yourself in the past.
Understandably, since online personal training is quite new, there can be quite a bit of skepticism about whether or not it’s actually legitimate.
Personal training is generally thought to be something that you need to be there in person with your trainer for, so you might be wondering whether this could actually be done online effectively.
As with many things, the answer to this question isn’t cut and dry. For some people, online personal training can be a great option, and very much worth it, whereas for others it would just be a waste of money.
There are various factors to consider here, so let’s take a look at some of them in more detail, which should give you a better sense of whether working with an online personal trainer would be worth it or not.
How Self-Motivated Are You?
If you’re someone who finds it extremely difficult to get to the gym at all, then online personal training might not be the best fit for you.
You see, unlike regular personal training, you don’t have someone waiting at the gym for you to show up; rather, you still have to get there to work out on your own, which requires more motivation.
This is not to say that working with an online personal trainer can’t be a motivating experience – since one of their main roles is to both motivate and guide you – but realistically you are going to need a greater supply of motivation when working with an online trainer compared to a regular one.
While they can repeatedly encourage you to get to the gym, they simply can’t be there with you in person!
Do You Have Specific Fitness Goals?
In this respect, working with an online personal trainer is much like working with a regular trainer: it tends to work best for people that have specific fitness goals.
If you’re someone that is already content with your exercise routine, and isn’t striving for something specific, then any kind of personal training likely won’t be worth it for you – online or otherwise.
There is a key distinction to be made here between ‘exercising’ and ‘training’. Exercising can mean many things, but it isn’t necessarily goal-oriented. Training, on the other hand, is inherently goal-focused, since by its very nature you are always training to achieve something.
So, if you have a specific goal in mind – be it losing fat, building muscle, or improving your mobility – then online personal training might be worth trying out. However, if you’re happy with what you’re already doing, and aren’t looking to achieve anything specific, then any type of training is unlikely to be worth it for you.
Are You Completely New To Working Out?
If you’re someone that has never really worked out before, then this should definitely be a consideration when deciding whether to sign up with an online trainer.
There is always a learning curve when you first start out with anything, and working out is no different in that respect. You’ll have to spend time familiarizing yourself with each of the exercises and movement patterns, gradually getting more and more comfortable with everything.
Depending on your comfort level, you may find that it is a better idea to work with a regular personal trainer, at least initially, until you feel like you know what you’re doing; then, at that point, you can consider shifting over to online personal training instead.
That being said, this is also a matter of personal preference. Even if you’re a beginner, don’t necessarily discount working with a trainer online, assuming that you’re naturally quite comfortable with more of a remote approach.
Is The Trainer That You’re Considering Credible?
As with any profession, it doesn’t make sense to paint all online trainers with the same brush.
Some are good, some are great, some are mediocre, and some are absolutely terrible!
So, in determining whether it would be worth considering, you should take the time to really do your research on who you’ll be working with.Is it a reputable company, with a solid track record over many years of working with clients online?
Do they have online reviews that you can take a look at, to get a better sense of whether they’re actually legit?
For instance, an online personal training company like Caliber Fitness has been in business for many years, and has lots of client testimonials on their website and positive reviews on 3rd party sites. These are the kind of positive indicators that you should be looking out for.
Just be wary of trainers who sell themselves primarily on how they look. Sure, you might want to work with someone who is in good shape – but being in good shape alone doesn’t mean that they’ll be a good trainer!
Are You Comfortable With A Higher-Tech Approach?
When you’re working with an online personal trainer, there is going to be more technology involved than if you worked with one in person.
This really comes down fundamentally to the medium; after all, working with someone online is necessarily going to be a higher-tech experience.
In many cases, you’ll be interacting with your trainer using an app on your phone, and will need to be comfortable with that in order for it to be a positive experience for you.
Most of these smartphone fitness apps are very user-friendly, but if you’re something of a luddite – or perhaps don’t own a smartphone – then you might find this to be frustrating and not the best fit for you.
Is Online Personal Training Worth It For You?
To sum it up, as you’ve hopefully seen, there is not clear black and white answer to this question.
The truth is that online personal trainers are worth it for some people, and not for others – based on situation, preferences, comfort level, along with numerous other factors.
So, the real question you should asking here is whether an online personal trainer trainer might be worth it for you?
If you’re someone that has specific fitness goals, is reasonably motivated, comfortable with technology, and has some experience working out before, then it may well be a great option for you – and you should likely give it a try!
Just remember to vet the trainer you’re thinking of working with carefully. Not all trainers are equal – so to ensure that it is a worthwhile experience for you, you’ll want carefully consider exactly who you’ll be training with.