How to choose an Online Personal Trainer
Choosing the right Online Personal Trainer can be difficult so I’m going to share my top tips on how to choose an online personal trainer and help you get the body you’ve always wanted.
What is Online Personal Training?
Online Personal Training has grown massively over the last few years, which has enabled more and more people to get the help that they need and body that they have always wanted. These days anybody with a six-pack and an Instagram account can market themselves as an Online Personal Trainer. The entry level to the industry is now unfortunately so low that the majority of courses to become a Personal Trainer give you a pass mark if you can write your own name in joined up writing. Even then there are a few who I think would probably struggle!
In fact, holding a recognised Personal Training qualification isn’t even entirely necessary these days. You just have to look at the amount of reality TV “stars” that are bringing out fitness DVDs and selling programs to know how low the barrier to entry is.
But what exactly is Online Personal Training and is it right for you?
Online Personal Training is a way of delivering the service same high level service you would receive from a Personal Trainer, without the Trainer actually being there.
Think of it as hiring a coach to direct you towards your goal. A kind of fitness concierge always on hand to offer help and advice.
Usually, hiring an Online PT will begin with an assessment, which could include you having to fill out a questionnaire where you discuss your goals, training history, lifestyle and current diet.
In some cases, it will also include a physical assessment where you send your trainer videos of you performing basic exercises such as a squat and press up.
From there you will be sent a plan based on what you want to achieve, as well as receiving ongoing support to ensure you’re on track, through either email, Skype or phone calls (or a mixture of these).
Who is Online Personal Training for?
It is great for people who like going to the gym but need a bit more direction. Or to put it another way, you have the will to exercise, but perhaps not the know-how of what you should be doing.
Workouts can be designed for those that wish to train at home or at the gym.
It is also great for those that want to know how to eat right. If you’re looking to lose weight, but are unsure of what approach to take, then hiring a coach can take the headache out of it.
Who is Online Personal Training not for?
Online Personal Training isn’t great for those with zero gym experience. If you have never been to a gym, then it may be better to hire someone in-person.
The majority of the plan will obviously be delivered online, so you will need to have a little bit of computer know-how. Obviously you don’t need to be Bill Gates, but you will need to be a little tech-savvy.
Benefits of Online Personal Training
As Online Personal Training is lower in price, it means that hiring a great coach is a lot more accessible. The cost of regular in-person Personal Training can be a huge barrier, so the lower price means more people can get the help they need.
As well as being more affordable, you can also hire the person that you want to work with, rather than be limited to working with someone based solely on their location. What if you want to hire someone but your gym only has access to trainers who quite frankly aren’t very good?
You can get expert advice from someone you know and trust, rather than having to hire someone of which you know little about.
You can also follow someone on social media to determine whether or not the person is right for you. Do they talk about training and nutrition in a way that appeals to you? Or are they flexing in the mirror with a stringer vest talking about themselves?!
You can train as and when you want to. You are not limited to the time constraints of trying to match up your diaries. If you and your Personal Trainer have a busy schedule, it can mean that that finding the time to train together can be an issue, Online Personal Training eliminates this, as you can follow the plan you’ve been given at a time that suits you best.
If you think that Online Personal Training might be beneficial for you, how do you choose the right person for the job? Here’s some things you need to look out for…
They get results and can prove it
In my opinion, the most important aspect when hiring an Online Personal Trainer, is that they can get you the results that you want. If they claim to be the best, then you need evidence that corroborates their claims.
If they tell you they can transform your body in 12 weeks ask them to show you before and after pictures of people just like you, they should be able to prove that they can get you results.
You shouldn’t buy as plan from a Trainer based on how they look. If a Trainer is posting lots of pictures of their own topless torso on Instagram, how does this help you?
If they are in their 20s, male and ripped, can they relate to the needs of a woman in their 30s or 40s who has had two kids and struggles to get to the gym?
They specialise in the area you want to improve
If you want to lose weight/body fat, then hire someone who specialises in this (and can prove it). If you want to run a marathon in a new PB hire someone who has achieved this with many individuals before. If you want to get strong, hire someone that has a track record of getting people strong.
Your biggest mistake will be hiring someone who is a “jack of all trades, master of none”. If a Personal Trainer has a list of specialities longer than a queue at Tesco on Black Friday then alarm bells should be ringing.
If a trainer is willing to take on anybody and everybody, how can you be sure that they will be able to meet your needs?
It is much better to work with someone who works with a specific type of person, as they will have helped and dealt with all the issues that person has faced many times over and know how to fix them.
Your personalities match
Lastly, you need to ensure that you will have some sort of connection. You don’t have to be sending each other loads of messages and sending Christmas cards (although there is nothing wrong with this) but you should “get on” on a professional level.
If there isn’t a level of respect between Trainer and client then it’s unlikely that you will get the results that you want.
So how do you know if your personalities match?
Well you should be able to gauge somewhat from the way they write emails and texts to you and from the things that they post on social media. They should also offer you a complimentary phone call or Skype chat so that you can ask any questions that you need to and ascertain what type of person they are.
Things to be wary of
You need to know in advance what you are paying for and what level of service you are going to be delivered.
Are you just being given a program to follow? (Hopefully not). Or are you given your program after an initial consultation and more in depth questionnaire that looks at many aspects of your life?
Has your trainer asked you about what sort of things you like to eat? Or are you just given a one-size-fits-all diet plan?
Many trainers will offer “unlimited 24/7 access” so that you can ask them questions. Great in theory, but when do these people sleep?!
Are you going to be taught how to train effectively and eat well so that you can maintain your results after you have finished? Or are you just given a plan and told to get on with I, without knowing the reasons why?
In conclusion, hiring an Online Personal Trainer can be a great way to ensure that all your hard work in the gym and with your diet isn’t in vein, so that you get amazing results.
There are however, some things that you need to be aware of before parting with your hard-earned money.
Make sure the trainer you hire is right for you and that what you’re buying is a plan that will get you the results that you want.
Do your due diligence by looking at their website and social media and reading the testimonials of people they have worked with. Hopefully then you can hire the right person for the job and get to where you want to be.