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Weighing in on online personal training, Part 1

30 Jun 2011

Thanks to the growth of social media and mobile technology, many services that once had to be delivered in person, now can be conveniently done online. It seems like personal training and coaching fall into this category. While a number of certified fitness professionals offer this option, is it right for you? Consider the pros and cons.

Pros

  • Affordable. Online personal training programs often promise to deliver comparable results to in-person training at a fraction of the cost. For as little as $10/a month, some online programs offer customized workouts, individualized diet plans, and more. Compare that to a $80-dollar in-person session with a fitness professional at your health club.
  • Convenience. Many online programs offer workouts you can complete at home.
  • Accountability. With e-mail, text, online chat, and skype, there are a number of ways online training can keep you accountable, which is one of the most important perks of in-person training.

Cons

  • Not ideal for beginners. If you are exercising for the first time ever or for the first time after a bad injury, in-person training would be a better idea than online. You will need the face-to-face interactions with a trainer to make sure you are performing exercises with the proper form, tempo, and frequency. It can be tough to accomplish this via skype!
  • Will you really work yourself as hard as a trainer would? If you’re a seasoned athlete or a long-time exercise aficionado, you may be able to answer this question with a resounding yes! But if you’re like 80% of population, it’s okay to be honest, invest in your health, and hire a coach to make sure you exercise effectively and efficiently.
  • No substitute for the real thing. Online training cannot compete relationship-building aspect of in-person coaching. Once you’ve found a trainer that’s right for you in terms of personality and teaching style, they will become your guide on whatever fitness or athletic journey you decide to pursue. Being healthy and reaching challenging goals are not easy tasks. You may find yourself looking forward to your training appointments so your coach can encourage you and help you sweat out frustrations.

So what’s the alternative? Since in-person training can be expensive, and online training has its limitations, what’s the best compromise so you can get the best of both worlds without breaking the bank? Stay tuned for tomorrow’s installment.

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