Personal training. I feel like it’s something we all want to do, but can seldom afford. Sessions can be INCREDIBLY expensive and let’s face it – for me, social work ain’t paying much these days! However, there are a lot of perks to working with a personal trainer:
- Fresh workouts each week
- Instruction in proper form
- Customization to your needs
- A cheerleader when you think you can’t do one more rep
Of course, you might try out a personal trainer and find that it’s not a good fit – and that’s totally okay. You need to find someone who is going to work well with you and your workout style. If your style is rainbows and butterflies and your PT is a drill sergeant…well. Things won’t end well. If you’re not ready to commit, you can even try out just a few sessions to learn proper technique and form, which is what I’ve done in the past.
But, I digress. Back to my original point. Personal training is expensive. However, some personal trainers have taken to the internet to help people in reaching their goals. They create custom plans based on your goals, and you workout on your own. You’re also likely to send measurements and progress pictures at certain intervals as well as report back on workouts so they can make any adjustments. Pretty cool, huh?
I’ve used online trainers before. Some were good, some not so good. I am using one right now (shoutout to Caraline!) and so far I really like her. She is very reasonably priced, checks in several times a week, and has put together a doable (yet challenging – I am SORE!) workout plan for me for the next 4 weeks.
Who might online training be for?
- Those who have some experience in the gym and have a basic grasp of common exercises
- Those who have zero idea how to put together any type of strength training program to meet their goals (that would be me)
- Those who need fresh workout ideas (also me)
I am a mess in the weights area of the gym. I can do cardio until the cows come home, but throw me into the free weight section and I am like a deer in headlights – NO idea what I am doing. I looked at a ton of free plans online, but many were difficult for me so I gave up. I thought about online training because while I sort of suck at putting together a routine, I know many of the basic moves (and know how to YouTube the ones I don’t know!).
I will caution this though – always check credentials! Anyone can claim to be a personal trainer, but PT’s actually have extensive studying and exams to take in order to call themselves that. Caraline is certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). This tells me that she knows what she’s talking about and isn’t Joe Schmo slapping a program together in his basement, and that she knows HOW to put a program together.
Other things to look for in an online trainer:
- Are they asking about your goals?
- Do they shy away when you ask about their experience training people? (please note I don’t mean those who are new to the field, but those who don’t give straight answers when you ask)
- Are they asking if you have any injuries and designing a program around them?
- Are they giving too much nutritional advice? That’s a red flag for me. Guidance, absolutely – but a dietitian should really be telling you what to eat.
- Is the program designed around your current ability? Starting too strong too soon can cause injury.
I don’t think that this will necessarily be something that I stick with for the next 5 years, but I want to do this for a bit until I feel comfortable on my own. The deer in the headlights look isn’t good for me!
Share with me: have you ever used an online trainer? What did you think?