What is Online Personal Training?

Online personal trainers aren't for everyone. What is online personal training? Read more about the potential costs, upside, and drawbacks here.

woman sitting on a yoga mat with light blue dumbbells laptop and smart phone

In this article, we're going to talk about the benefits (and drawbacks) of online personal training.

You'll find answers to questions including:

  • What is online personal training?
  • Is online personal training effective?
  • Why is online personal training better?
  • How much is an online personal trainer?
  • Can personal trainers give meal plans? Nooooooo.
  • Can personal trainers recommend supplements?

By the time you get to the end of this, you should have an idea of whether or not online training is for you.

What is Online Personal Training?

Online personal training is an attempted substitution for in-person coaching.

You work with your trainer to find a plan that fits you based on things including:

  • Schedule - How often do you want to go to the gym? For how long?
  • Goals - What are your fitness goals and what's reasonable in the short and long term based on them?
  • Access - What kinds of equipment will you regularly have access to?
  • Experience - What kinds of exercises are you familiar with?

For some, online training can be more effective because they're allowed to exercise more frequently, whenever they have time. That said, online training is not the best for everyone. It requires you to be a bit of a self-starter.

(Some trainers work virtually, training in real-time for an in-person rate.)

Is Online Personal Training Effective?

Online personal training can be effective if you don't need immediate feedback.

When you're working with a personal trainer at a gym, you can get corrections and advice on the spot.

Online training is different from the gym in that:

  • Your feedback comes after a session and not during - If you film videos.
  • There is not someone in front of you motivating you as you train - If you need a push.
  • Your trainer can't tell you on the spot how to adjust - More upfront planning is needed to account for this.
  • Trainers may be able to provide you video libraries with exercises but, they can't spot you while you do them.

Hopefully, you're tech-savvy.

Dread working with your coworkers in Zoom meetings? Pass on online training.

If emails, texts, and phone calls aren't enough accountability for you, online training likely won't work.

Why is Online Personal Training Better?

Online Personal Training can be better for some because it's flexible.

When you work with an online fitness trainer;

  • You can lift on your own time (assuming you could buy things during covid).
  • You can likely afford to train more often as this doesn't typically cost extra.
  • You can choose to work with a trainer anywhere in the world.

If your kid gets sick, your schedule changes and you get a bad night's sleep, you can stay on track with your program.

Feel uncomfortable at a gym and have weights at home? You can lift there.

If you can motivate yourself to make it to a gym without a scheduled appointment, online training is great.

If not…Maybe check out some in-person training if you're in Columbia, Missouri ;)

How Much is An Online Personal Trainer?

Prices for online personal training vary greatly.

As of February 2021;

Every service will be billed differently. Each service offering is slightly different.

Can Personal Trainers Give Meal Plans?

Personal trainers can and should not give meal plans.

Registered dietitians can provide you with a meal plan should you ever need to get that specific. Trainers are only allowed to coach you on the basics of nutrition and dieting.

Some clients find it helpful to create their own "meal plans":

  1. Figure out how many calories and macronutrients you need based on your goal.
  2. You can create your meal plan by simply hitting the macros, and settling on meals that fit your day.
  3. Once you've got your meals down, you don't have to track them (if you don't want to).

I explain one way that some nursing clients have found success doing that in this article.

Can Personal Trainers Recommend Supplements?

Trainers can recommend some supplements with a bit of guidance and some caveats.

Your trainer cannot "prescribe" you a supplement. From a trainer's scope, supplements aren't needed for exercise.

There are a small handful of supplements that you might take for very specific performance-enhancing reasons.

For science read the following position stands from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition:

Again, you don't need any of the above. Seek the advice of a healthcare professional before undergoing any nutrition or supplementary changes.

If there's something that your doctor or dietitian has told you that you need, take that.

Not Sure Simple Solutions Fitness is a Good Fit?

You can learn more about working with SSF online here.

If not here, no prob. Check out these other online personal trainers (Steven approved):

How Does Online Personal Training Work?

  1. Reach out to the trainer that you're interested in working with.
  2. Payment may take place before or after your first interaction.
  3. You'll likely fill out a long questionnaire. Some make this a condition of contacting them.
  4. At this point, your trainer may set up a meeting with you or ask you to send assessment videos.
  5. Once your first program is ready, your trainer will be in touch and you will start working together.
  6. Every trainer has their system of providing feedback and coaching.
  7. Between sessions, some coaches will allow you to contact them while others may direct you towards a community.

Nutrition, contact, modifications, and accountability are the biggest differences between online trainers.

Phone: 1-573-443-1495

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