How Does Online Personal Training Work?

Online Personal Training Has Boomed During The Pandemic But What Is It And How Does It Work?

Wondering how online personal training works? Need some expert help to lose weight, improve your health and well-being, or generally feel better about yourself? If you’re not keen on the idea of going to a gym you may decide to enlist the help of an online trainer. So here’s what to expect and how online training works.

Is online training as good as face to face training?

A personal trainer assesses your current health status and level of fitness. They explore things like your motivation for training, specific goals you have in mind, previous exercise experiences and personal likes and dislikes. Based on all of this they then work out a plan to get you from A to B in a safe and effective way. Developing a training plan is a small part of this process. Accountability, motivation and support are what most people require alongside this. These are all things a good personal trainer can deliver remotely, and they will have systems in place to streamline the process.

So for example, my online personal training clients have access to resources such as my video exercise library which they can refer to between online sessions.

What are the main differences between face to face and online personal training?

Online personal training may be delivered in a variety of different ways such as online video conferencing, fitness apps, fitness software, and a website member’s area. You’ll normally need a laptop, computer or mobile phone to access your personal trainer and any resources they produce.

You may need to carry out some fitness tests, and tasks such as measurements, following instructions from your trainer. With face to face to face clients a trainer will normally do these things for you.

In face to face training a trainer can help with hands on correction of technique, as well as assisting in exercises, such as stretching or where a spotter is required. Whilst an online trainer can’t physically assist you in this way, they will instead use very clear verbal communication and cues, as well as give demonstrations as needed.

Editor’s note: During the current pandemic trainers must maintain a 2 metre distance from clients. Currently trainers are unable to offer hands on assisted stretches or correction of technique.

Will I need to buy equipment?

Depending on what your health and fitness goals are you may not need to purchase equipment for home use. It’s perfectly possible to improve your cardiovascular fitness, get stronger, and work on your flexibility and mobility, using body-weight alone. However, investing is a few key pieces for home training will extend the range of exercises you’re able to do at home.  Affordability, storage space required, and your specific goals will influence what, if any, pieces of equipment you purchase. An exercise mat and a couple of resistance bands or sets of dumbbells would be a great place to start though.

How much space will I need?

You don’t need a huge amount of space to exercise safely at home but it’s worth making some simple preparations in advance. Clear a space about the size of a large exercise mat as a minimum, leave some space around it if possible. Make sure there’s nothing you could trip over, like loose electrical cables or a rug. Check there are no objects on nearby tables or surfaces that could be knocked off. Think about ceiling height, an eaves room for example might restrict overhead work. You may also want to check the rooms’ ventilation and turn radiators off if necessary and open any windows.

Does it cost the same as face to face training?

Online training fees may be comparable to face to face training, if this is conducted one to one. However, you may save the time it would normally take for you to get to and from a venue, and you could make savings in terms of the cost to travel. It’s worth understanding that the fees involved don’t just reflect the time you are engaged in the session, but often include programme planning and reviews, access to resources you trainer has created, and ongoing support via email or text messaging.

How are online sessions delivered?

Practical coaching sessions are normally delivered via video conferencing. Both you and your instructor will need to be able to see and hear each other. A bigger screen is easier to watch so where possible you might want to use a laptop with a built in camera, or an iPad.

What are the advantages of online training?

The biggest advantage of online training is the convenience! There are many reasons why people prefer online training including those with childcare issues, where lack of suitable transport makes it harder to travel, wanting greater privacy than a public gym or space can offer, for those who are very busy, time poor and struggle to fit exercise into their schedule, and the flexibility to work with a trainer from anywhere in the world.

Although gyms have been able to reopen in England recently, with many precautions in place to reduce the risk of virus transmission, training at home offers a suitable alternative for those who remain anxious about using public spaces.

How do I find the right trainer for me?

Finding the right online trainer is no different than finding the right in person trainer. The best approach is to find a trainer who works with people like you. So if you’re a runner and want to find a trainer who can support you improve your running pace, or help you rehabilitate from a running injury, then someone who specialises in working with runners would be ideal for you like my fitpro friend Kim If you have a specific medical condition, and are worried that exercise could make your condition worse, it makes sense to seek out someone who is experienced and qualified in working with clients who have your condition. Mary Huckle another fitpro friend, secondary breast cancer thriver, teaches a wonderful Pilates for Cancer Class

And if you’re a midlife woman who fears 50 is the start of a slippery slope to old age, and instead wants your 50’s to feel fit and fabulous, then I’m your woman. I help women get strong at any age and understand the specific health issues that we need to be mindful of pre and post menopause. You can email me here to find out more about my online services.

Is online personal training here to stay?

Online training has been around for a while but has definitely boomed since the start of the pandemic. Gym and leisure facility closures and lockdowns across the United Kingdom led many people to seek out other ways to exercise. Although gyms have now reopened the convenience of training from your own home remains an attractive option to many. Online personal training will continue to thrive and adapt, helping more people access fitness coaching and advice with the click of a button.