With the rise of telecommuting and social distancing, the fitness industry has made a great effort to pivot to virtual platforms. So, should you try online personal training or meet a trainer at the gym? This article will help you make that decision based on your preferences and lifestyle.
Online Personal Training
Online personal training is typically offered two ways:
- Live Online Training (synchronous): This involves meeting your trainer at a designated day/time on a web-based platform… such as zoom/webex/googlemeet/etc. Your trainer would guide and motivate you through a full comprehensive workout.
- Written Exercise Program: This option will provide an exercise program based on fitness level, goals, and accessible equipment. You will not meet with your trainer face-to-face, except for an initial assessment/consultation, and majority of communication is usually via email or phone.
Online Personal Training Benefits
- Time Efficient: It goes without saying that working out in your home will save you commuting time. You are able to jump into a workout whenever is convenient for you!
- Cost Efficient: Online training is typically offered at a much lower rate than in-person training.
- Comfort & Safety: Although gyms do take strong health/cleanliness precaution and mandate safety measures, if you do not feel comfortable going to a gym then online training is a great option for you!
- Great for New Exercisers: Learning new movements and starting an exercise program in the privacy of your home can be a great way to introduce fitness knowledge and skill before even stepping into a fitness center.
- Motivation: We all need a little push when it comes to fitness. Having a personal trainer will ensure you stay motivated and on-target for the full session duration.
- Accountability: Scheduling a specific day/time with your trainer nearly guarantees you will complete that workout. Having a trainer to hold you accountable has been shown to improve adherence to fitness goals.
- Exercise Creativity: Although one limitation of online personal training is limited access to equipment, your experienced personal trainer will be able to create workouts based on the tools/equipment you have at your home. Trainers can be very creative with exercise choice and variable adjustments to give you a great workout.
In-Person Personal Training
In-Person Training Benefits
- Equipment Access: Training in a fitness center provides access to virtually all the equipment needed for a well-rounded exercise program.
- Form Adjustment: Trainers can view and assess exercise and postural form better in person than online. Exercise form is extremely important for reducing risk of injury and enhancing the movement.
- Further Assessment: Although any online personal training should include an assessment, in-person training can provide further assessment tools that trainers simply cannot do online. This can include postural and movement assessments, in addition to body composition analysis and monitoring vitals.
- Exercise Progression: To continue to make progress in strength, endurance, hypertrophy, and other fitness goals, one must progress their training. Training in a fitness center provides the necessary weight and exercise modalities to properly progress a client over time.
- Engagement: If you’re the type of person who learns better in an in-person environment, you will probably do better with in-person personal training. Training in person can benefit those who are kinesthetic and/or visual learners.
There are strengths and limitations of both online and in-person personal training. When making this decision consider what best fits with your lifestyle, fitness experience, motivating factors, and learning style.
For information about Personal Training Services offered by Rutgers Recreation, visit the Personal Training page on the RU Rec Website
All questions can be sent to the Fitness & Personal Training Coordinator, Bethann Wittig, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Written By: Bethann Wittig, MPH
Rutgers Recreation Fitness & Personal Training Coordinator
RRCA Running Coach; NASM-CPT