What is online personal training and does it work?

By Scott Laidler

Online personal training is a relatively new phenomenon in the fitness world. However, with the recent economic problems, it’s becoming an increasingly popular method of personal training. A big reason for this is that, for a fraction of the cost of training in person, you can hire a highly skilled personal trainer to help you achieve your fitness goals from anywhere in the world.

For example, as a personal trainer develops a strong reputation for delivering results, he/she can get busy very quickly. This can make it very difficult for new clients to get sessions; and, inevitably, such demand leads to a rise in session prices, making the more sought after trainers too expensive for most people to work with (some trainers in the UK charge £150 per hour).  This is where online training comes in as many of the same trainers actually offer a month-long training plan for the same fee as one hour training with them. If you want results, you may have to train alone, but for this price and to receive the same expertise as someone paying £150/hour, it’s a bargain.

Not only does this mean that anybody can benefit from one-on-one guidance and tailored personal training plans, but it has also removed the need to hire a trainer who is located close by. This has made it especially popular amongst athletes who may not live near to a personal trainer who has the specific expertise, knowledge and understanding they require. Whit online training, they can research, hire and seek guidance from a trainer across the globe, whose background and personality suits their needs.

If you are thinking about trying online training, here are some more of the pros and cons to help you decide if it’s right for you.


1) Easy To Research A Trainer’s Ability And Credibility

Before deciding if a personal trainer is right for you, I recommend researching them online first. This will give you reassurance as you can also research their background, past results, reputations and recommendations. You will soon get a feel for whether they are someone you would be comfortable working with and how up to date they are with the industry in general.

2) Flexible Locations And Times

Having an online personal trainer deliver a workout program to you electronically means that you can access your workout on your mobile devices at any time and in any location. This is great for people who travel frequently or who don’t want to be restricted by gym opening hours.

 3) Ongoing Support

Many online trainers provide comprehensive online support in the form of answers to emails, dietary guidelines and the ability to have your weekly food journal assessed. With these perks built into the initial upfront costs you are guaranteed personal attention throughout your customer experience. Unfortunately, many trainers are reluctant to have much contact outside of one-to-one sessions, which unfortunately you won’t find out until you’ve invested a lot of your time and money.

The Cons

1) Nobody Checking For Correct Technique

Due to the remote nature of online training, by definition, you won’t have the benefit of anybody checking for correct technique in-person. This could drastically reduce the efficiency of the workout, and even make it dangerous. The drawback can be mediated by enlisting the help of a live trainer to demonstrate proper technique of the prescribed exercises, or by introducing video workouts. There are a lot of good ones on YouTube though, so it’s worth having a look.

 2) Motivation

While a high quality program can be easily delivered over the phone or email, there’s no guarantee that it will be successfully completed. One of the main benefits of working with a personal trainer is that they can make sure you complete your workouts, even when you don’t feel motivated. That extra motivation – to actually turn up at the gym, and to push through tough workouts – just isn’t available through an online program.

 3) Online Trainers Struggle To Judge Progress Accurately

An online trainer cannot actually watch you perform your exercises. Therefore, how successful the results are depends on a) how well workouts are tracked by the client, and b) how honest the client is about his exertion and results. It’s easy to fabricate over email, whereas in person it’s almost impossible.

Overall, online training does work (I’ve seen the results), but it’s definitely not for everybody. I recommend it for seasoned exercisers who don’t need instruction in the gym and who know how to motivate themselves. It can work brilliantly though so why not give it a try? It could work for you.

For one-to-one online training with Scott, visit www.scottlaidler.com   @Scott_Laidler.


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