If the option is there, in person training is still a great route to go. However, we live in a fast paced world. We operate on different schedules, have kid's soccer practices, meetings, you name it. It can be pretty hard for some folks to lock down 3 or 4 dedicated times each week with a personal trainer. Also, from a financial standpoint, it can be a very pricey venture for some.
Enter online personal training. Flexible around your time, considerably more affordable than in person training, and the same great results if you put in the effort! Online personal training may indeed be the next step forward in the fitness industry. However, as with hiring any trainer, make sure you do your homework and make sure he or she offer you the services you're looking for. These are a few of the things every quality online trainer should offer:
- Personalized workouts complete with videos: If this service isn't offered to you, find a trainer who offers it. Since you won't be in the gym with your trainer, you need to know how to properly and safely execute anything they are asking of you. This means your workouts should be delivered on a mobile friendly app or website that includes videos of how to do each exercise. I use a program called Trainerize, but there are many others out there. Also, make sure the workouts are PERSONALIZED to your needs. There are a lot of websites out there that offer personal training online, but you will only be given pre-made workouts. If you wanted that, you could just buy a magazine. If you're going to spend the money on personal training, make sure you're actually getting PERSONAL TRAINING!
- Nutritional Coaching: The backbone of any solid personal training program is going to involve changing the way you eat. Does your potential online trainer offer nutrition advice as part of their program, or are they only giving you workouts? Assuming you have no prior medical conditions that require a dietician, your personal trainer can coach you through proper meal planning based around your goals and give you a general calorie range you should start out at.
- Online/Phone Support: You're going to have questions, concerns, and sometimes the occasional emergency. Is your online trainer going to be around to discuss it with you? All trainers should be readily available to answer you if you have an emergency. If it's not an emergency, a quality online trainer will have you do a weekly email complete with any questions you may have thought of that current week as well as having you check in with your measurements. Depending on the program, a weekly or bi-weekly phone call or Skype session may also be a part of you package. If you sign up for an online program, don't get left in the dark when you need help. Make sure your trainer will be there for you.
- Motivation and Education: Does your potential trainer maintain a strong online presence and provide motivational and educational materials that you can use on your fitness journey? Your trainer should be constantly updating their social networking sites and blog with information that is useful to you. Some trainers may even have a Facebook group for trainees to ask questions and exchange thoughts and ideas or a members only section on their website.
- Different Levels of Membership: Not everyone needs $500 a month worth of training and diet advice. Your potential trainer should have different levels of membership for you to choose from. Don't get sucked into the most expensive package they offer if you don't need it. Find something within your budget that will give you desired results.
If you already have a gym membership and a general knowledge of how to get around the weight room, online personal training may be the perfect fit for your lifestyle, and more importantly your budget. Just remember, a quality online training program should include nearly everything an in person one does. Choose your personal trainer wisely, and you will both reap the benefits of a successful trainer/client relationship! Ready to START online training? Fill out my client application for a free online consultation now!