In the information age, everything is going online. Things you would never expect to be based online like hailing a cab or medical advice has made the leap, and now you can count personal training among them. Many of the top personal fitness training gurus around the world have transitioned to an online platform.
They can now reach the largest possible audience and give high quality fitness advice and guidance to almost anyone and everywhere. Is an online personal trainer a good fit for you and your customers? Let’s take a look at how it works as well as its benefits and drawbacks to find out.
How Does It Work?
Unlike other kinds of online services, you don’t do online fitness instruction in real time. Can you imagine your client trying to bring a smartphone or laptop to the gym and balancing it on a dumbbell rack so they can see you? It just wouldn’t be practical, or safe for that matter.
Instead, you keep in close correspondence with your client via email, online chat or phone. You go over their fitness goals and requirements with them and tailor a workout plan for them, just like if you were at a gym. Most online trainers also provide meal plans and nutritional advice customized for their clients’ needs. It is then up to your client to follow the routine and meal plan. They can do the workouts anywhere; they usually aren’t required to go to a specific gym.
At regular intervals, you check in, and your clients report to you online. Based on this information, you adjust or update their exercise and diet plan. Most providers currently have dedicated support staff that is available 24/7 to address any concerns or questions that may arise. This may not be possible for you, but being available at least during regular hours is expected.
Furthermore, many sites have a library of fitness resources that are always available to members. These resources include things like instructional exercise videos and explanations. All you need is a video camera and a website to host your videos on.
Be aware that many of these online programs are run by famous trainers with big names; either in the fitness industry or as “celebrity trainers.” However, clients aren’t usually in personal contact with them. They make the programs and workout guidelines, but the support and implementation are typically done by their personal trainer staff. If you can show that you have completed a certified personal trainer course, clients can put a name face and qualifications to their service.
How Much Does a Personal Trainer Cost Online?
Like with all services, costs will vary for online personal trainers based on the scope and quality of services, as well as the reputation of the fitness provider. However, prices for these online personal training services are almost always lower than in-person instruction.
Clients aren’t paying for a personal trainer’s undivided attention, but you can charge less because you would be making money based on the volume of your customers. You can provide support to far more clients online than you would be able to see in a day.
It is possible for customers to pay as little as around 30$ per month for online fitness training, but this is the budget or “low-end” option. It is very affordable, but the services provided are limited, and the trainers behind them may not be the most accredited or recommended. On the other hand, some clients pay as much as $200 or more per month.
These extensive plans often include extras like Skype sessions with trainers, online bonus courses and personal support from the trainer via email. As with many subscriptions, providers offer a better monthly rate if clients pay for multiple months up front.
What are the Benefits?
Online personal training has a variety of benefits that your clients just can’t get from an in-person session. Online training picks up the slack of seeing a live trainer and addresses some of the problems many customers have with traditional methods of personal training.
You try to make yourself available to customers when you can, but they are ultimately at the mercy of your schedule, not theirs. This problem compounds when you start to get more popular, and your client list gets out of hand. The higher your demand, the less available time slots you have.
Personal training online means clients get access to advice when they want it. They get to set your own schedule and workout when they have the time. They also aren’t charged for last minute cancellations because they aren’t wasting your time. Online training is great for people without schedules that are set in stone because they have access to support when they need it, even if you aren’t available.
Personal trainers cost money, but online training services are much cheaper than traditional in-person sessions. Extras like meal plans and training videos are also usually included as added value. It’s great for the budget minded clients who still want quality.
We spoke about it before, but it bears repeating. This reduced cost is still good for you as a trainer because you would be able to guide many more clients than you would be able to fit into your schedule. The volume of clients would theoretically make up for the reduced rates.
Clients will expect to be able to do workouts from online trainers anywhere, wherever they want. Often the reason they choose online services is so as not to be tied to a particular location. You should take into account the equipment available to clients when putting together their plan.
If you own a gym or are employed by one, this may seem like a drawback, but consider the fact that you can get clients from outside your geographical location. Volume is the name of the game.
Word of Mouth
It can be difficult putting together testimonials and recommendations from in-person clients, but online personal training helps to address this. Online clients can leave reviews or testimonials on rating sites or your personal website. They can help you get the word out about your services and abilities.
What Are the Drawbacks?
Of course, the online option isn’t perfect. It lacks the personal touch of having someone with you every step of the way. Motivation is a significant driving factor for people who seek out personal training.
Online platforms attempt to hold their clients accountable remotely, but it just isn’t the same. As an online trainer, you are trying to gauge your clients’ progress, but you only have access to the information they provide you. It’s difficult to stop someone from cheating themselves from behind a computer screen.
Safety is also a big concern. You certainly aren’t going to make your clients do anything you don’t think they can handle, but you still aren’t there to adjust their form. The worst-case scenario is an injury, but you may just end up with clients practicing poor form and getting bad results. Online training resources will help with this, but they aren’t as effective as an in-person adjustment. Online training might not be the best option for beginner and novice clients.
An Attractive Option, but Perhaps Not For Everyone
Online personal training is a fantastic option for those who are looking for top shelf fitness advice at a reduced cost. People who enjoy their freedom to exercise when they want, or those who have demanding schedules will also find great benefits with online services.
As a trainer, you can enjoy a more extensive and farther-reaching clientele. However, if your client’s motivation is low, then online training may not help you hold them accountable as well as you’d like. Regardless, going online is worth looking into if you are looking to take your client base to the next level.