Should you use an online personal trainer?
As any good coach should answer, it depends.
COVID has certainly changed the way we view traditional personal training services and with the rise of on-demand streaming services over the recent years it’s become very apparent that the fitness industry must keep up with the pace.
If we’ve learned anything from the last few years, it’s that online personal trainers that offer a proven system and multiple methods of entry are the ones that will stand the test of time.
The problem with “Fitness Influencers”
There is more to look at when attempting to achieve your fitness goals than just the price. With the rise of marketing gurus and influencers, anyone can dress themselves up as an expert so when you are choosing an online personal trainer you should consider things like:
- Your current activity levels and ability,
- The equipment you have available,
- Your previous injuries and limitations and;
- Your goals and what you wish to achieve.
Regardless of your choice, another important part is looking at the individual and asking “Do they have a proven track record in helping people achieve the same goal as me?”. Quite often, a fitness influencer is a great athlete or they have had some success in their own training journey but this doesn’t necessarily mean that they can coach or their system is replicable.
So, what is an online personal trainer?
An online personal trainer is someone who can provide you with the right fitness program regardless of the location. The best part about online personal training is that you can train with your favourite coach on the other side of the world.
How does online personal training work?
A good online personal trainer should have a complete system like this one, the online personal training system should be customisable around injuries, limitations, equipment and level of skill. They should be able to highlight any weak points and be able to show you an exact map of how you will achieve your goals.
From there, the next stage is building an easy-to-follow online personal training program. The program should:
- Give you just enough information to keep you progressing,
- Focus only on the essential points and;
- Not overwhelm you
You should also have as much access to the coach as you need to keep you accountable along the journey.
How do you find an online personal trainer?
Finding an online personal trainer for your needs is becoming easier as the years go on but also harder at the same time with “influencers” invading the space.
When I first entered the industry in 2013, it was harder to reach a global audience but now things have changed. You can start small by using these four easy tips to find the right online personal trainer for you:
- Skills or Niche – Find coaches with a deep level of understanding in the skills or niche you’re interested in.
- Track Record – Find coaches with testimonials and reviews of people just like you achieve the same goals
- Negative Reviews – A lot can be said for the negative reviews of an online personal trainer. Make sure you look at these to reveal what they are actually like
- Friends – If you know people that have used an online personal trainer before ask them about who they would recommend and why
When you find a coach, most will have what we call free “lead magnets” which you can sign up for and download just like my YouTube channel or free workouts. They can be how-to guides, programs or anything else that may help start your journey.
From there you can see what the trainer is like, their personality and whether or not they suit your goals.
How much does an online personal trainer cost?
Depending on the level of customisation and coaching you require, online personal training prices may vary widely. To explain what you should look at from a cost perspective let me explain the levels of commitment in my own programs:
- My Book: The Minimalism Effect is for experienced fitness enthusiasts that just want a program and do not need online personal training. You would usually have no mobility issues, injuries or limitations. The book costs US$6.99 and comes with six months of programming.
- 66: This is our group-based training journey for people who want a community to help keep them motivated but have some skills in what we are doing. Based on the equipment you have available, we take you on a 66-day journey that features daily workouts.
- The Habits Academy is the final service offering. On top of fully customisable programming, we tackle nutrition, mindset and any other limitation that may be present. To access this course, you’re looking at a one-time payment of $47. Occasionally we run online personal training off the back of this product at $99/week.
Before you start an online personal training program
Earlier I mentioned the online personal trainer needs a full training system. This should always be with a thorough screening system that identifies any risks, including movement and mobility. Complete my 10-step self-screen to find out what you may need to work on when choosing online personal training:
If you pass the screen, you might be suitable for a group-based or program-only journey. Things you will also need to consider here is the type of training and your experience. If it’s a new skill you wish to acquire, I’d suggest a coach at the beginning to make sure you avoid injury.
If you have pain in the screen, go and see a physio or physical therapist before you begin any online personal training program. Once this has been dealt with, your best starting point would be one-to-one with a coach to get you started on the right foot.
Need more help before you start your journey? Check out our shop to see what products we have on offer.
Who is the best online PT?
Check out my article for the best online personal trainers in Australia here.