What’s So Great About Online Coaching?
Updated: Feb 12
With a sharp rise in technology capabilities, alongside the growth of the fitness industry and social media, there are a WHOLE LOT of options when it comes to fitness guidance. Workout subscription services, workout and fitness apps, social media influencers, online coaching and programming, in-person personal training, and good ol’ fashioned fitness class, yoga, or gym memberships. Whew! What do all these options mean for you and your goals? How do you decide the best choice for you? Why would someone consider an electronic option over in-person service? This article will examine pros and cons of online coaching vs. in-person personal training.
Benefits of online programming and coaching include affordability, flexibility, and accessibility. An entire month of 1:1 online coaching costs the same as two to three single hour personal training sessions. Instead of only a couple of workouts, online coaching delivers a full month of workouts, plus the accountability and guidance that come with having a personal trainer.
Online coaching also allows flexibility with your workout schedule. Client and trainer schedules must coordinate with in-person training, often rendering consistent scheduling difficult. Last minute conflicts may cause client cancellations, sessions which are typically still charged to the client. With online coaching, workouts are completed on the client’s own time. Time commitment with a trainer is limited to weekly check-ins.
Finally, online coaching allows clients to choose their trainer from qualified providers around the world. Coaches and trainers that specialize in your interest area are plentiful online, allowing you to find a trainer who is the best fit for your needs. For athletes who are experienced and comfortable with their abilities, online coaching or customized remote programming are great options to find specialized coaches to guide specific fitness or sport goals.
While there are many pros, online coaching and programming may also have downsides. Anyone can get online and say they are a qualified trainer, or use their social media following or fit body to sell “expert” coaching. To avoid being taken advantage of, do your research and make sure anyone selling you online programming or coaching has the education, experience, and/or client results to back up their offers.
Online coaching is not going to provide an equal level of guidance to in-person coaching. While online coaches can provide exercise video examples, offer client workout video analysis, and explain technique through email or on the phone, face-to-face coaching is quicker, clearer, and more direct. If you have a tough time figuring out exercise technique, don’t have much body awareness, or aren’t great at understanding verbal directions, online coaching may not be the best fit.
All in all, in-person coaching and online coaching both have their merits. Several variables affect why one option may be better than another. Take an honest look at your training background and knowledge, along with your personal fitness goals and budget, before deciding whether customized programming, online coaching, or in-person training is right for you.
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