What is Online Personal Training

Written by Gerard Hatfield

January 26, 2020

What is Online Personal Training?

Technology is driving our lives with both positive and negative aspects.  The fitness industry is an ever evolving beast especially in regards with fitness tech.  One popular fitness tech trend that is growing faster than your belly over the Christmas Holiday period is Online Personal Training.

There are still a lot of common misconceptions of what Online PT really is. To be fair, the model does vary from coach to coach.  This can cause a bit of confusion due to the different setups on offer.

As I offer the online personal training service, (check it out here) I do receive a few questions about it from time to time.

The most common questions that get fired my way are:

  • How does it work?
  • Would it be useful for my fitness goals?
  • What are the positives & negatives?

“Technology is driving health & fitness. Fitness apps and online personal training platforms are flooding onto the market.”

How does Online Personal Training work?

As alluded to earlier above, the style of program can vary from coach to coach.  Mainly the big differences come down to how customized the programs are and how much individual on-going support you will receive. 

You could break it down into two types of styles.  

  • Fully individualized fitness & nutrition programs with constant support and feedback (support through skype, email, phone or in-app messenger).

OR

  • Access to content such as general fitness plans, meal plans and other relevant health guides.  (not customized to the client but essentially a membership to a range of heath & fitness content). 

There is also another style that incorporates Online Personal Training.  Called Hybrid Personal Training.  It is a combination of two things, mixing Online PT with traditional 1 on 1 Personal Training.  

Some features of what a good online training platform should include –

Fitness Plans
Nutrition Plans
Exercise Pictures & Detailed Descriptions
Exercise Video Demonstrations
Food Diary & Tracking
Scheduling
Results Tracking

All these features plus many more, can be packed into an app which gives you access to everything you need anywhere, anytime around the world. It’s a personal trainer in your pocket that you can whip out at your convenience.  Obviously, the crucial factor is that there is no trainer next to you.

Will it work for me?

Speaking from experience, for most people, an online pt platform is a perfect solution for them as they require a cost effective and time efficient solution.  For others, they prefer the personal presence of a trainer and their constant supervision and motivation.

Do you need someone on your shoulder, willing you on to keep pushing through and beyond your limits.  Or are you the self-motivated type that has no problems getting stuck into work but needs a comprehensive fitness plan to guide you?

What are the pros & cons?

Positives

 

Instant Access

On demand access to all your fitness & nutrition plans, result tracking & schedules anywhere in the world. Now there are no excuses on those business trips or holidays.

Currently I have a client who travels frequently on business and is extremely dedicated to keeping fit whilst away. Hotel gyms are extremely hit & miss when it comes to fitness equipment and facilities. To find a solution, he takes a few photos of the gym , sends them to me via the inbuilt messenger in the app and based on the equipment available I can see, I can then quickly and easily design a program and send it straight back to him through the app. Which leads into the next point.

Support

As the point above regarding the in-app photo messenger, many online personal training platforms also provide constant support and feedback through the form of Skype, Email & Whatsapp.

Constant personal attention and feedback can be applied to your fitness & nutritional tracking results daily. You might be keeping a food diary through the app and a trainer can assess that on a daily basis and provide valuable feedback.

This level of support outside will vary depending on the type of package and app platform a trainer offers, but generally the level of depth of support and feedback is a massive positive.

Cost Efficient

1 on 1 training can be beyond the spending budget of many. Especially when it is recommended for many clients to train at least 3 times a week for the best results. The costs can really add up over time.

Online Personal Training provides a cost efficient fitness platform that can still deliver a personal fitness service with all the perks.

Negatives

Motivation

Not having a trainer by your side, keeping you focused and pushing through a workout could be a problem for the less inclined.  You have to dig deep in yourself and find the motivation to put your workout shoes on to get busy.  Since you haven’t paid for a session and have a dedicated appointment time (where you have a responsibility to be) it is very easy to become flakey and put off working out.  Or succumb to the dreaded “I’ll do it a bit later” but later never happens.

Performing Exercise The Correct Way

Without a trainer by your side you need to have the confidence to perform the movements with the correct technique to ensure the efficiency of the movement and most importantly, your safety, to ensure you do not injure yourself.

Really good Online Personal Trainer services will include a feature where you can record yourself to send back to your trainer for critique and tips.  This is a great feature, however it does not quite compare by having a real trainer right next to you giving you real time cues and feedback.

Workout Intensity

The onus is on you to perform your workouts at the correct intensity.  Experienced trainers know when the weight is too low, effort is sub-par and can pull you up on your lack of effort.  You’re on your own with this.  A great workout plan can be rendered sub-optimal if you attack the workout like a Sloth.

Final thoughts on Online Personal Training

A well designed fitness app that incorporates an individualized fitness & nutrition solution with full support from an experienced trainer for the end user is a powerful fitness tool.

Will it ever render having a personal trainer in a traditional 1 on 1 capacity or make that service obsolete?  No,  but it will definitely be a beneficial way of training and a great option for many.

Online personal training is a no-brainer for the self-motivated, time poor and busy travelling types who want the convenience of working out in their own time and place but need outside expert guidance. 

It is also a great platform for people on a budget but still require frequent support from a fitness coach.

The online platform opens up opportunities for people to work with great trainers that are based anywhere in the world.  They are no longer restricted to the trainers available in their local area.

Online Personal Training is a trend that is here to stay and will only become more popular especially as the technology improves.

For more info on our Online Personal Training at Hatfield Personal Training please contact us at info@hatfieldpt.com

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