We all know that working with a personal trainer can provide so many benefits. If you’re just starting out, a personal trainer is a great resource to learn how to exercise properly and regular appointments make you a lot more likely to show up at the gym. Of course, trainers often charge between $40 and $80 per session, or more. Luckily, there’s a great way to get the benefits of having a personal trainer for only a fraction of the cost: Online training. We sat down with Paige, an ACE certified personal trainer with years of experience training clients both in-person and online to find out a bit more about online personal training works.
1. What exactly is online training? How does it work?
Online training is a lot like in-person training, but all training is done virtually. After an initial assessment and consultation, I design a customized workout program for that client. However, instead of being there in-person for their “sessions” they refer to my online exercise video library, pictures, demonstrations, and detailed descriptions for the exercises. Depending on the tier of training they choose, my involvement can be a coaching them and providing feedback 3 to 5 times a week or as little as once a week.
2. What types of people (typically) sign up for online training?
The same as those who come to me in the gym—those who want to better their lives in some way through fitness. The only differences would be that often, those who come to me for online training have crazy hard-to-plan-around schedules. Also, online training is much more affordable than paying $70 an hour for in-the-gym training. Some of my online clients came to me looking for a more affordable way to have a personal trainer.
3. What types of options do you offer for online training? (Including bootcamps)
My services include four options for online training. All of my training programs are one-month programs (except the boot camps) and all begin with a 30-45 minute initial consultation either via phone or Skype, so that I can get as much information as I need to design a solid training program for the client. My various options include:
• One-on-one coaching-style training: A very hands-on type of training from me. I provide feedback on exercise form, assessments, weekly check-ins, exercise modifications and progressions, bonus cardio workouts, etc.
• One-on-one program-style training: Less hands on, more affordable option for 1-on-1 PT. It also places more responsibility on the client by requiring the client to contact me anytime he or she has a question, or needs an exercise progression.
• Small Group Training: Identical to the above two formats, but consists of a group of three clients with similar goals. The great thing with Small Group Training is the support and motivation they receive from each other in their Small Group Training Facebook group.
• Online boot camps: I offer several bootcamps throughout the year, and have one going on right now! This is an 8-week program with two phases designed for the goals of strength gains and fat loss. It includes strength workouts, metabolic workouts, finishers, mobility training, and bonus workouts. This group also has a Facebook group for check-ins, support, questions, and motivation. While it’s the least-customized option, it’s also the most affordable option.
4. How should one prepare for beginning an online training program?
The same way he or she would prepare for an in-person training program: by having an open mind and of course, getting clearance for a new exercise program by his or her doctor. It also helps to have a clear idea of what your 3 primary goals are, and why those are your goals right now.
5. What are some pros and cons of online training?
• Cost: While an in-person session with a personal trainer is around $70/hr, online training is just a fraction of that cost, even the most hands-on tier.
• Flexibility: It’s also great because you don’t have to workout according to someone else’s schedule. Since it’s all online, I create the schedule according to my clients’ preferences and availability. You don’t have to worry about missing sessions and being charged for them, or meeting someone at a certain time.
• Comfort: It can be intimidating to walk into a gym and sign up to work with a trainer. Online training gives those clients who might not feel comfortable training in person the guidance, program design, and coaching they desire to help them reach their fitness goals.
• Accountability: Since I’m not meeting with my clients in person for sessions, there’s no real way I’ll know if they skipped the workout or didn’t put much effort into it. If you sign up for online training, some intrinsic motivation is a must.
6. What types of equipment do you need for an online training program?
All you need is yourself and some space. I work with clients who have access to a gym full of new equipment, and I also work with clients who work out at home and have very minimal equipment. As long as it’s safe, it’s fun to get creative with what you’ve got around the house.
In fact, when I work out at home, one of my favorite exercises is inverted rows with a sheet and doorway. I simply knot a sheet and throw it over a sturdy door and door frame, shut the door, and use the sheet as my implement to pull from.
With arms at extension grabbing a secure implement, brace abs and glutes as you pull your chest to your hands. Squeeze the scapulae at the top of the motion, and return back to starting.
Paige is an ACE certified personal trainer in Boulder Colorado, and writes about fitness tips, workouts, and living the fit life on Your Trainer Paige. To learn more about training with Paige, you can visit her website or follow her on Twitter at @TrainerPaige.
May 13th, 2014