Does Online Personal Fitness Training Actually Work?

Pretty much everyone has wished they had a personal trainer at some point. A dedicated personal trainer will guide you through every exercise, advise you on how to manage your diet and cheer you on when your strength and willpower begin to fail. However, hiring a personal trainer is pretty expensive. Many people are finding that they can get a personal trainer online much more affordably, or even free. But is this an effective way to work out?

Hiring a Trainer

Many personal trainers offer their services remotely, so you don’t even have to leave your home to use their services. You can use video chat software like Skype, but there are exercise-specific programs like Trainerize out there as well. Online trainers typically charge less than a trainer who meets with you face-to-face, but the price can still be difficult to manage. You may still be paying around $20 to $30 per session. Compared to $80 to $100 per session for an in-person trainer, that’s pretty reasonable. But if you plan to exercise regularly, even this small session fee can start to add up to big numbers.

If you’re going to hire a trainer online, do your homework first. Check out their reviews and browse any information they provide about their certifications and training in the fitness industry. In addition to cost, you also want to check on the types of exercise programs your trainer has experience with and find out when they will be available to you. The benefit of working out at home is that you can choose to do it whenever you want to do it. When you’re working with a trainer, it will be necessary for both of your schedules to be coordinated.

The Drawbacks

The Internet has opened up a brave new fitness world for millions. There are tons of apps out there offering workout programs, YouTube videos that provide classes and tutorials on maintaining the right form while performing specific exercise. However, there are some clear benefits to working out with a trainer in person, and some clear drawbacks to doing it online.

While you can see the trainer during a Skype or video chat session, the trainer may not be able to clearly see you. They will not be able to provide you with hands on help for your form to ensure you’re performing each exercise the right way. They can’t spot you when you lift, and you won’t develop the close relationship that many trainers and clients forge when they meet face-to-face.

The trainer also will not be able to motivate you or encourage you as easily as they could in person. The online setting also makes it more difficult for the trainer to assess your fitness level and make judgments about how well you are (or are not) progressing as you move toward your goals.

The Other Option

Thanks to the magic of the internet, it is possible to get a personalized training experience without spending any money at all. There are numerous free apps and free programs available online. You can download exercise programs and play them at your convenience to work out on your own whenever you like.

It doesn’t get much better than free, but there are clear disadvantages to working out completely on your own even if you use personalized apps and hand-picked exercise programs. There is no one around to perfect your form or ensure that you’re actually performing each exercise, and not cheating yourself somehow. You’ll have to push yourself and keep yourself motivated, performing all the roles and wearing all the hats to keep driving toward your fitness goals. If you’re able to be hard on yourself and yet able to know when to pull back, you can act as your own personal trainer.

Does It Work?

In any form, no matter how much you pay, even if you’re acting as your own personal trainer, online fitness programs and routines can work. Any type of fitness program whatsoever will work as long as you stick with it and get yourself up and moving. If you’re doing something regularly to get your heart beating and your muscles working, it will be good for you; but how effective and quick those workouts will be is determined by you.

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