Personal trainers have built their business on bringing fitness training and support to individuals in the comfort of their own homes. In recent years though, there has been a new dynamic growing at creating a similar environment for another group of clients – those you never meet in person.
If you’re like me and born outside of generation z (mid-90s to 2000s) then this sounds absolutely crazy!
A personal trainer who never spots you or yells out “c’mon, one more rep”? Huh? Really?
So let’s move together past our collective first glances and see what virtual personal trainers and coaches have to offer.
How exactly does this arrangement work?
Personal trainers offer their online coaching expertise usually by way of two methods – email or phone (Skype). Not only do these methods allow trainers to connect with clients locally but also abroad (hello citizens of Brazil!).
Why would I choose online weight loss coaching vs. “real” coaching?
Individuals who gravitate towards online coaching may not necessarily want someone coming to their homes or may not be in the financial position to afford the personalization of home service.
What is the cost of online coaching?
This is where things get a little sketchy. The cost range varies between trainers and depends on their availability and popularity especially in months such as January where everyone-and-their-mother is hitting the gym in hopes of shedding some pounds.
On average, it would seem that $50 for each half-hour session based on a three month program is the going rate. Many trainers will also charge a $50 setup fee which typically involves a technical session to ensure your PC is configured for online interaction.
Clients also typically receive a manual, which includes an exercise log where they record their “work”, as well as pictures and handouts relative to their goals.
A (virtual) personal trainer’s perspective
I wanted a personal trainer’s take on this whole virtual personal training business and preferably someone who has done both the live and online coaching variety. Thankfully, my network of friends includes such a person who fits the bill.
Enter Vince DelMonte, good friend and most importantly fitness expert. Here’s some snippets of our conversation and what he had to say regarding the topic.
“People always think it’s about the lack of motivation in fitness and weight loss. Sure, it’s a big key of course, but what people typically lack is the proper habits.”
“Proper habits will create motivation and in turn create consistency that is long enough to get results”
“An email or phone call every week to review your exercise and diet homework keeps people accountable to themselves.”
DelMonte says he tends to do the exact same thing in his online coaching as he does with the in-home or gym training – except physically showing up. (This point still blows me away)
Which is better, LIVE or VIRTUAL personal training?
Side note: I love putting people on the spot. Vince’s first response was a classic off-the-record profanity which resulted in a good laugh by both. Now back to our regularly scheduled program:
“Yes, the web is great for people to connect with personal trainers for follow-ups, support, and quick questions BUT… can they really replace face-to-face communication?”
Call me old school but I like the sit-down or face-to-face way of communication.
“No question there’s a bond that’s built between a personal trainer and a client during in-person training sessions BUT many more of my clients (beginners to advanced athletes) thrive in the online fitness environment”
So online weight loss coaching may not be the best choice for everyone. However, many people excel in the online environment, not only for weight loss as DelMonte pointed out above, but for other educational purposes as evidenced by the increasing number of courses and degrees being made available by physical universities.
5 benefits of online personal training
For those that do benefit from a virtual “work out” already, here are 8 reasons why online health and fitness coaching may be right for you as well:
Online weight loss coaching allows people to choose from a wide variety of trainers and styles that may not be available in your area. Why wouldn’t you want to connect with the best personal trainers from around the world?
Connecting with a weight loss coach online offers flexibility for people who have other commitments.
3. Networking and Support
Depending on the trainer you choose to work with, he or she may have an active online community where people can share strategies, and encourage one another towards achieving their fat loss goals. It’s always nice to know you’re not fighting a battle alone.
This depends solely on the trainer you select, but typically online weight loss coaching is less than “real” personal training when personalized manuals and eating logs are included. Throw in the ability to email you’re trainer at any time with a question and your training dollars can certainly stretch further and more effectively.
5. Time and Travel
Forget rushing across town to meet with your personal trainer or waiting for other gym members to use the same equipment. People who choose online weight loss training save on gas, commuting time, and waiting for open equipment.
If you’re interested in learning more about virtual weight loss coaching than check out this video of Vince DelMonte and a bunch of people he just trained in our Six Pack Quest review. Vince DelMonte’s program is one of the very few out there that go beyond paper and pen, and offer DVDs, instructional exercise tools, and online coaching to make it nearly impossible not to reach your fat loss goals.
To find a fat loss program that’s right for you, click the button below: