The long and the short of it is yes, online personal trainers do work. But here’s the kicker, it’s not for everyone. And you need to really do your research. The first thing I would suggest is that its not always for the total beginner who needs more instructional help but don’t let that put you off as there are some amazing trainers that can train you from a distance superbly well. From online instructional videos, to online classes the options for corrections of form and making huge progress are endless.

To help you make the decision I’m going to provide you with a few questions that you need to ask yourself and then the online personal trainer before you get started.

How Experienced Are You?

Basically, are you a total beginner that wants to go down the online route due to fear of entering the gym? If this is the case then that’s totally ok but you might actually benefit from having a trainer actually there the whole time to keep you motivated and looking at you from every angle to correct your form. If you really don’t want to go into the gym setting make sure that you have checked out all the trainers in your area as you might be able to go and train in their house, train outside or train in their premises. If you still don’t want to go down the face to face route then make sure your are totally honest with your trainer about experience.

How Much Do You Want to Pay for a Personal Trainer?

A good coach will cost you anywhere between £30 and £50 per hour so in relation to this cost online training does come in a lot lower. Online training can cost anywhere between £150 and £400 depending on the coach and the level of support they offer you. But we will go into more detail on that further in the questions.

What is Your Motivation?

Do you want to lose weight, tone up, get fitter with your cardio, run a 5km? The list of goals is basically endless and very individual to you. Make sure that you have had a good think about what you want to achieve out of the training so that you get the most bang for your buck. But also, so that the trainer can really tailor the program to you. Honesty here is key.

Are There Any Good Online Personal Trainers in Your Area?

This is going back to the second question, there are some amazing trainers out there that work on a freelance basis and aren’t based in a gym. This could be a good route for you before going down the online route, especially if you can’t afford the face to face sessions. You can then also ask these coaches whether they offer online coaching along side one session a week. Some will but you don’t know unless you ask.

How Busy Are You?

What sot of personal trainer sessions do you want? 2,3,4,5 days a week. 30,45,60 minutes long. You must be honest with yourself and your potential coach about what you can actually commit to the process. Afterall even the best plan is only as good as your commitment to it.

Once you have answered all the above questions and you have made the leap into talking to some online coaches, they are going to ask you a ton of questions. But do not forget that you need to ask them questions also.

Check their education, insurance, experience and any testimonials/progress pictures that they may have. Just because they are a great coach online doesn’t actually mean they have any qualifications. This is the danger of the online coach and what has been known as the ‘instagram coach’. This is someone with no qualifications that has a large following on social media and is then selling their programs. They have no programming knowledge or ability to help you make progress and worse, you may end up injured. It is a bit of buyer beware, make sure you do your homework.

Do they personalise a plan for you or is it a cookie cutter one size fits all package? Cookie cutter programs are ok in the right setting but generally they do not last longer than 12 weeks and you have little support, particularly in the way of form through movements. Ideally you want something that is tailored to your goals. This goes back to the questions that you have asked yourself before finding the coach. What do you want to achieve in the next 4 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months and beyond?

How approachable and contactable are they? How much support do you feel you will need? Ideally, they should contact you once a week either by message or email to check in with your progress. This helps you to say any concerns you have or areas you are struggling with and then they can change the plan if needed. It will also help your coach plan the next 4/6/8 week cycle for you. Find someone who is approachable, takes an interest and cares about your progress.

How many clients do they have? If this is an online coach with upwards of 80 clients, then they will have more limited time to talk to you. Equally it can be a surprisingly good sign that they are amazing at what they do. The danger here is if they are cheaper with a lot of clients, they will be putting their prices up soon.

How much do they charge? Going back to what you are willing to pay, online coaching is often far cheaper than coaching in person, especially if you have more than one session each week. A good and standard price to pay is around £200-250. Many coaches start at £150 when they are new to online coaching, but you can bet they will not stay at that price for long!!

So, there you have it. I know this is a lot of questions, but it is also a lot of money and time that you are going to invest in the process of getting fitter, leaner and/or stronger. Asking the right questions of yourself and your potential coach will help you to work out if online coaching is right for you and to find a coach that is a good fit.  This can be the most rewarding adventure that you will embark on to get into the best shape of your life. Good luck.