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Online Personal Training vs Face to Face

The personal training landscape is evolving faster than ever due to the fast rate at which technology is changing the way we go about our daily lives. As a personal trainer, If you’re not careful you’ll be left behind.

16 years ago when I first became a personal trainer there was a lot more you had to do to get the sought after title within the gym. Prior to becoming a trainer you did your time behind the desk, supervising and cleaning the gym floor. Once you had the experience and credentials then you could start training clients. It is very different now, go do your 2-4 week course and you’re good to go. Not necessarily a bad thing, it gets more people into the industry which in turn gets more of the population moving and a basic education on living a healthier lifestyle.

Back then there was probably a bit more money in it also for a face to face training session, these days people snarl at having to pay $35/hr which after expenses leaves you with about $15/hr. A small percentage of trainers can command double this rate but this is generally due to specialising in particular areas, experience and location. Try and charge that at my gym and you’ll go broke. Face to face is still alive and well but it is highly competitive due to industry saturation and the online personal training world.

Why is someone going to pay me $50/hr three times per week which equates to $600/month when they can spend less than that for an ongoing online coach that you check-in with on a regular basis, get program and nutrition updates and feedback on progress. All you have to do is follow the program. Not sure how to do an exercise, youtube or a instructional video from your coach will usually do the trick.

There are risks with taking the online personal training direction, there is a high possibility you’ll be getting a generic training program and nutritional plan, it can be hard at times to get information on the chosen trainer such as credentials and experience and for the average person a really impressive Instagram profile is hard to scroll past, especially when the booty or abs are in your face with a crazy deal offering an 8 week challenge for $89.

There are way more upsides than downsides to the online option:

  • Much cheaper
  • You get way more for your money
  • No need to fit into the time frames of a face to face PT session
  • Very convenient for busy life styles
  • Video chat on various platforms makes it easy to still chat to your coach
  • Programs are updated via email, text, apps and online portals
  • It does remove the “lack of time” excuse
  • Bring you program up on your phone at your 24hr gym at 2 O’clock in the morning if you want.
  • Want to try something different, get on board with a different trainer.

Again, be careful with who you choose. Do your research, read reviews, ask questions and remember, you get what you pay for. Go cheap, get generic.