Should You Hire an Online Personal Trainer?

For many people, the prospect of working with a Personal Trainer is very attractive: customized programming, expert coaching, zero guesswork, and cheers through every rep and set. But the truth is that not everyone has the time or money to spend on working with a Coach one-on-one.

Fortunately, more Trainers are now offering their services through Skype, video instruction, and online training platforms such as Chances are, you’re following at least one Online Trainer or on Instagram or YouTube right now. Everyone has different wants and needs, and a unique workout personality—so what works for one person might not for the next.

To figure out the right fit for you, and if you should take the virtual plunge, consider these five simple questions.

1. What do you want to Invest?

Perhaps the biggest selling point for online training is cost. “The average trainer may charge around $70 to $100 for an hour-long training session, whereas if you buy a six-, eight-, or 10-week [online] program, you're paying anywhere from $100 to $200, depending on the coach,” San Diego-based Personal Trainer and Grand Master of Jing Shen Kuoshu Greg Fraser and his Team of Trainers, train private and group training clients both in-person and online. “It's much more cost-effective to have an online trainer design you a customized program for you to execute it on your own.

2. How much instruction do you need?

When you hire an in-house or mobile Trainer to work with you at gym or at your home, they have an opportunity to guide you through every angle and give you real-time feedback...Unforunately, depending on where you live, there may not be trainers or instructors that fit your goals and needs. 

Often, from a technique perspective, online training may be better for people who already have some exposure to exercise, travel a lot, or live in remote locations.

What’s more, many online trainers can personalize and share exercise instructional videos or go online live with you to help adjust your movements,  coach safe and effective technique. Our online coaches do a stellar job of instructing their clients from a online, using a variety of platforms they have access too (live video, instructional videos, program design etc.) We will set you up with an online coach who cares and checks in with your progress, as will adapt your program based on your needs as you go.

Some of you have enough exercise experience to feel confident exercising, for the most part, on your own, and honestly don’t need a trainer watching over you on every workout. If you are one of these people, an online coach is probably all that you need..

3. What Trainers are available in your area?

One benefit of online training is that you aren’t limited by geography.You can train with anyone you want in the world. Finding someone online who specializes in what you need is far easier than finding the same credentials within a 30-mile radius of your house.

This tends to hold the most true for those of you living in small towns with a limited number of gym-affiliated or independent personal trainers. Consider if you need pre- or post-partum training, have a disablility, body image issues, or any other health conditions your trainer may need to understand and take into account, an experienced online trainer could be of great benefit to you.

4. What motivates you?

Some people need the accountability and encouragement that comes with meeting with a trainer in person three times per week. Others would may prefer to train alone in the gym or at home, and use an online trainer for accountability and  motivation with weekly check-ins. Still others want to get their motivation not just from their trainer, but also from other likeminded people who are going through similar fitness journeys—which is where our online group challenges really shine.

Your needs and preferences are crucial when deciding how to train. After all, if you don’t complete your workouts, it doesn’t matter how expertly crafted they are. You know yourself best, being honest with yourself about what has and hasn’t worked for you in the past will help you determine whether you'd do best with a one-on-one trainer or can be successful with an online training program.

5. How packed is your day-to-day schedule?

Online Trainers can create workouts designed to for you at home, in the gym, or even outside. That way, you can train anytime, wherever, and you won't be locked into your trainer’s or gym’s schedule.

“This flexibility is great for busy moms, business travelers and students or anyone who has an unpredictable schedule. After all, many personal trainers charge clients for last-minute cancellations.

Here's how to find the right online trainer for you:

If you decide to opt for some form of online training, the first thing to look for is a Trainer’s qualifications and experience in the field.

Before hiring an online Trainer, be sure to check their education, experience, certification, and reviews.  Too often, people hire online Trainers based on how many followers they have, instead of the actual work they've done for people. There are plenty of charlatans in the industry who do not have the necessary qualifications. 

Look for degrees in Kinetics, Physical Education or certifications from large reputable organizations such as the National Strength and Conditioning Association, American Council on Exercise, National Strength and Conditioning Association, or the National Academy of Sports Medicine. If you can’t find a Trainer’s credentials online, don’t be afraid to ask for them. 

All qualifications aside, ask questions such as, “How accessible will you be throughout the program?” “How will you customize my routine to fit my needs?’” and “How many clients do you have?” These are important questions to ensure you aren't just another person with a cookie-cutter program that is blasted out to the masses.

To start your search, consider asking for referrals from your friends, family members, or even your doctor. Check into any trainers whose blogs, articles, or workouts you already enjoy and have found useful. 

Send messages to a few potential Trainers. Don’t stop until you’ve found someone who you truly ‘align’ with and who fits your unique needs. It’s worth it. Remember, you're in control, you have the ability to shop new Trainers if your first choice doesn't totally fit. and HIITFIT Trainers and Instructors pride themselves for providing Top-Shelf Training, both online and in person.