LEP Fitness


Does Online Personal Training Work?


Does Online Personal Training work?

Does Online Personal Training work

It seems like every Tom, Dick & Harry are doing online personal training nowadays! All you need is a laptop, a half decent physique and knowledge of at least 20 different exercises and your good to go! Jokes.

Online personal training has exploded over the last couple of years, mainly because it’s so easy to set up. Over heads are minimal, in fact all you need is a laptop. Even my Gran could set up an online personal training business (ok maybe that’s a little extreme but i’m sure you catch my drift!).

What I aim to do in this post is discuss the pro’s and cons of online personal training to help you decide whether you’d be a good fit. I’ll also explain what online personal training is and what to look for when hiring a coach.

Let’s dive straight in…

Online Personal Training…

The trouble with online personal training is that like all products/services there are those which are good, bad, and everything in between.

I’ve been ripped of by an online personal trainer, I was taken in by the marketing, swallowed up and spat out. I shall not name names but it sucked. I may as well have posted my money down the drain!

Truth is online personal training can be an amazing investment but it can also be a waste of money! Let’s take a look at the concept further and look at some pro’s and con’s…

Pros of Online Personal Training…

  1. Save Money – online coaching is typically less expensive compared to hiring a 1-1 personal trainer.
  2. Unlike 1-1 coaching your not limited by where you live. You can work with coaches from all over the world. Thanks to the wonderful world of technology we can communicate via Skype, e-mail, social media and various other mediums.
  3. You can get just as good results with online PT as you can with 1-1 coaching

Cons of Online Personal Training…

  1. It’s harder to build a relationship. There’s typically much less face to face interaction.
  2. You have to be more independent and disciplined. It’s down to you to follow the plans.
  3. You haven’t got a coach pushing you in the gym.

Of course there are also plenty of other positive and negatives but those are a few that came to mind.

What’s the aim of an online personal trainer?

As with all fitness products/services the aim of the game is to get results. Whether that’s fat loss, muscle building, sports performance or any other goal. It’s essential that your coach has the skills and experience needed to help you. It’s also absolutely imperative that you get along with your mentor, and are able to build a working relationship.

Different styles of online personal training…

It’s possible to workout online via Skype, similar to a one to one coaching session. This however is difficult to execute as it depends on the internet connection, size of your computer screen, and whether or not you have enough room to workout from home.

Typically and from my experience online personal training covers…

  • Workout plans – a bespoke training plan (gym or home workouts) tailored towards your goals
  • Nutritional plans – a bespoke nutritional plan
  • Check ins – the ability to communicate with your coach via e-mail with photo’s measurements, etc
  • Skype/video calls – interacting with coach

How I do online personal training with my clients…


For starters I only have 6 online clients, compared to the number of 1-1 coaching clients I have (18) that’s pretty low. I never work with more than 8 online personal training clients at a time because otherwise i’m oversubscribed.

Despite last month receiving 7 new enquiries for online coaching I didn’t take anyone on. The reason why is that most people are not ready for it. If someone wants to start online PT but they haven’t been to the gym in years and have poor habits it’s much more difficult to help them. I would always advise them to go and see a coach in person and then come back to me once they’ve been in a routine for at least 3 (ideally 6 months).

Quality not quantity…

I focus on quality with my business not quantity. Too many coaches think they can transform everyone when in reality not everybody is ready to change.

I see these online personal trainers claiming to have hundreds of clients and I think “Jesus! your plans must suck because how the hell do you provided a 5 star service to so many people!”

When I do take on online clients I like to speak with them on the phone, or Skype, I also encourage them to come and see me in person (especially if they are based in the UK). Before starting I ask them to keep me a food log and also ask for some other info.

If I don’t think they are ready I wont take them on, i’ll ask them to wait until the time is right and provide guidelines as to what they should/need to do in order to work with me in the future.

Business ethics…

I’m simply not willing to take someone’s hard earned money if I know they are not ready. I believe the best coaches are those who know who they can help and know who they want to work with. As the saying goes “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t force it to drink”. A good coach will know the people he can help and will turn down those he cannot or those who are not ready.

What to look for when hiring online personal trainers…

Always do your research. Almost anyone can put together a fancy website nowadays, don’t be fooled by the flashing lights and special offers! Take your time whilst looking.

Firstly it’s important to know exactly what you want. The more specific your goal the easier it’s going to be find a coach. If your goal is fat loss, you not going to be looking to hire a cricket coach! Once you’ve established a clear goal start to do some research.

Look on the internet, go through numerous sites, make phone calls, book in for consultations and speak with a handful of coaches. Make notes, what did you like about them, what didn’t you like? Could you see yourself working with them? What do you get for your money?

Maybe you know a friend who’s got the results you want? ask for recommendations, look for positive reviews, testimonials. and shop around.

Starting Online Personal training…

I hope you found this post helpful, if you’d like to apply for online personal training with myself please click here. Also if you have any questions relating to this post or want some free advice on hiring a personal trainer or online coach please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I want to help you.


personal training sheffield - lep fitness - personal trainer sheffield - nick screeton owner of LEP Fitness based in sheffield