Online Personal Trainer Guide
Who can afford their own personal trainer today? Thanks to the internet, you don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars per month for your own personal trainer. Instead, online personal trainers are all the rage. Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about online training and fitness coaching.
What is an Online Personal Trainer?
An online personal trainer is a general term for a group of different technologies and services.
The most popular types of online personal trainers come in the form of mobile apps. These aren’t real human fitness trainers, per se, but they offer similar services to a personal trainer. They monitor your diet and exercise habits and make recommendations based on that information.
The other broad type of online personal trainer is the real human personal trainer accessible online. The only difference between this and a traditional personal trainer is that you interact with this trainer online. You might have weekly one-on-one coaching sessions. Or, you might simply be able to email or chat with the personal trainer whenever you have a question.
Some online personal trainer systems blend these systems together. There might be a free diet and fitness app, for example, but you can pay a premium upgrade price to enjoy unlimited one-on-one coaching with a real personal trainer over the internet.
In general, however, when people talk about online personal trainers, they’re referring to diet and fitness training apps you can access on your phone, tablet, computer, or other device.
Advantages of Online Personal Trainers
The first and most obvious advantage of working with an online personal trainer or fitness training app is the cost. An average personal trainer costs between $25 and $50 per hour, with good personal trainers charging significantly more than that. Typically, online personal trainers charge less than that per month.
Accessible Anywhere and at Anytime
What happens if you feel like going for a midnight spin on your exercise bike in your home? Or if you’re making a late night protein shake? You’re not going to call your real personal trainer and ask if that’s a good decision or not. Instead, you can turn to your mobile app anytime from any device for support – whether it’s Christmas evening or 4am.
Developed by Professionals
Just because fitness training is available online through an app doesn’t mean that it’s not good advice. Many of the best online fitness training tools have been developed by professionals in their industry. Of course, that’s not the case with all, so make sure you’re giving your money to a legitimate service with the right credentials.
Many of these online personal trainer apps are updated frequently with new recipes, new workout routines, and new training videos. Sure, real life personal trainers may upgrade their skills frequently too, but the best online personal trainers are updated constantly.
Disadvantages of Online Personal Trainers
Nobody is Spotting You
The biggest disadvantage of an online personal trainer is also the most obvious: you don’t have somebody right beside you in the gym correcting your form, motivating you, or suggesting alternate workouts.
If you’re totally clueless about working out and are bad at following instructions on your online personal trainer app, then this can set you up for serious injuries. Many people, however, won’t miss having someone constantly yelling at them IRL.
They’re Bad at Judging your Progress
Online personal trainer apps rely on you to self-report your progress. Some apps don’t even let you self-report: they just assume that you’re becoming better and better as the training progresses.
This can be a problem. At the beginner levels, the online personal trainer may be too easy. At the harder levels, it may be dangerously hard. Since the app doesn’t see your progress in real life, their perception of your progress can be hazy.
They Can’t Always Be Tailored to Your Unique Needs
If you’re a 150 pound woman in great shape, then you probably don’t want to do the same workouts as a 350 pound obese man. That’s an extreme example, but online personal trainers can’t always be customized to your unique needs.
Sure, you can choose your fitness goals and body shape and height and weight, but the app never really knows you. And that means the diet and exercise advice the app gives you isn’t as accurate as it could be if you were working with a real personal trainer.
Sample Online Personal Trainers
Here are some of the most popular online personal trainers and fitness apps on the market today:
The free version of this app provides basic diet and exercise advice. However, if you subscribe to FitnessBuilder Plus (free for the first month, then $6.99 per month after that), then you can actually view a live-stream of a personal trainer from the app. That personal trainer will guide you through one of over 750 workouts. You can also drag and drop one of the over 5,600 workout images and videos to create your own routine. The app is available on iOS and Android. There’s even an Apple Watch app.
Couch to 5K
As the name suggests, the Couch to 5K app promises to take you from a coach potato to a 5K runner with just 30 minutes of exercise a day, 3 days a week, for 9 weeks. It’s an app that can change your life if you have the right motivation. The app is priced at $1.99 for iOS and Android. You can choose from one of 5 motivating coaches. Each coach offers audio guides throughout your workout. All of your runs are tracked and logged so you can monitor your progress over time.
Nike Training Club
Nike Training Club is Nike’s own personal trainer that lets you work out with “Nike Master Trainers” while also receiving (and giving) motivation to your friends that use the app. The app comes with over 100 workouts and is free on iOS and Android. Sample workouts include HIIT, yoga, and pilates for fitness enthusiasts of all different levels. All workouts come with video demos and a step-by-step audio guide. There are also a whole suite of bonuses and rewards you unlock as you go along – kind of like video game achievements.
Jefit promises to be a data driven workout app that caters to gym goers and all levels of exercisers. It provides in-depth analytics about your personal health and lets you track and record just about everything – including your training logs, rest time, weight levels, etc. Using this information, Jefit then builds a personalized workout routine that pushes you towards your health and fitness goals. The app is free to download, but is ad-supported. If you want to remove ads and enjoy a wide range of “elite” benefits, then you’ll need to pay $4.99 per month or $39.99 per year. There’s also a lesser “Pro” version priced at a one-time fee of $4.99 that removes ads and comes with some additional features.
Who Should Use an Online Personal Trainer?
Some people don’t like it when other people watch them exercising. Others are too shy to approach a personal trainer. Some people just can’t justify spending hundreds of dollars per month on a personal trainer.
Whatever your reason may be, an online personal trainer is an ideal middle-ground solution for people who are serious about getting into shape – but don’t want to pay the high price for a personal trainer.
With so many different online personal trainers and fitness programs available today across all mobile devices, it’s never been easier to get motivated to get in shape.