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Online personal training courses offer an affordable, flexible, and effective alternative to face-to-face personal trainers. The key difference between the two is that an online personal trainer is not usually physically present when a person is working out.

Instead, online training first usually involves a person filling out a questionnaire about their current fitness levels and fitness goals. An online personal trainer will then tailor a workout program and sometimes a nutrition plan to suit the person’s needs.

Read on to learn more about how online personal training works. This article also provides a list of online personal trainers to consider.

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Each personal training course or program will have specific instructions. However, most provide tailored workouts and nutritional plans that aim to meet a person’s goals.

This means an online personal trainer can create a range of programs for muscle gain, weight loss, fitness, and competitive bodybuilding.

Often, an online personal trainer will tailor a workout plan to suit the client’s goals and access to equipment. This means that they may provide exercises for individuals to perform at home without the need for specialist gym equipment or exercises.

There is a lack of scientific research specifically exploring the benefits of online personal training programs.

However, a 2016 review of the benefits that personal trainers can provide generally suggests they can help with:

  • improving strength
  • improving exercise intensity
  • improving people’s adherence to workout plans
  • creating a positive effect in people’s attitudes to exercising

Other research also suggests individuals engaging in online fitness can experience additional benefits.

For example, a recent study found that a low-intensity exercise program effectively increased strength and muscle mass. It also decreased blood pressure and arterial stiffness, markers for cardiovascular health. There was no difference in results whether the training involved online sessions with Zoom or direct supervision.

If a person receives an exercise plan but does not know how to perform a certain exercise, they risk injuring themselves.

Also, because payment is usually upfront, there is a chance that the individual may pay the online personal trainer and not receive their program. They could also experience an unsatisfactory service.

Some other potential risks of using an online personal trainer include not knowing their qualifications and the personal trainer failing to carry out a preexercise screening. This may make a plan difficult for people to complete.

Many online personal training programs are available to buy. Below, we list five options that people may wish to try.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Ultimate Performance Fitness

For flexible timing

Ultimate Performance Fitness provides online personal training sessions, nutritional advice, and individualized supplement protocols.

It can tailor a program to suit a person’s goals and workout locations, whether at home or the gym.

With this service, people can also book virtual one-to-one sessions with their personal trainer. This can be at any time and anywhere in the world with an internet connection.

Ultimate Performance Fitness uses a “maximum results, minimum time” model. A person gives a timeline of when they would like to complete their goals, and the trainers work to help them achieve them within this period.

A person can choose from the following payment options:

Months of sessionsPricePrice for each subsequent month


For a digital coach

Freeletics is an app that features an artificial intelligence (AI) coach that uses algorithms to tailor a step-by-step program for a person’s fitness level. These programs are adaptable for beginners or experienced athletes.

Although a person cannot speak with a human trainer, they can schedule their training sessions at any time of day. The sessions can be in any location, with or without equipment. An individual can also adapt their preferences according to the length of their workout and whether they are indoors or outdoors.

The digital coach can also provide nutritional advice.

Some features within the app are free to use. However, if a person wants to use a personal coach, they can pay either quarterly, twice a year, or annually.

To purchase an AI coach, which incorporates both training and nutrition plans, it costs:

  • $49.99 for 3 months
  • $82.99 for 6 months
  • $114.99 for a year

Your Online Body Transformation

For a tailored nutrition and training plan

Personal trainer Adam Henson owns Your Online Body Transformation. He has over 10 years’ experience in researching and learning fat loss and muscle-building methods. Adam bases his tailored programs on what equipment a person owns.

There are two package options, both of which require a minimum 3-month sign-up period.

Although his company does not offer one-to-one coaching, it provides videos to ensure a person’s lifting technique is appropriate. An individual completes these sessions in their own time.

The online transformation package contains a tailored nutrition plan and training program, with monthly updates.

The Online Transformation Plus package contains everything in the online transformation package, which includes weekly Skype calls from Adam, a recipe book, and meal plans.

However, its website does not list the prices for these plans.

Ronan Personal Training

For a 4-week training program

James Ronan is a former bodybuilding competitor and qualified nutritionist.

His service will assign a coach to a person. Clients receive a personalized plan from their coach, but they will not engage in one-to-one sessions. This is so they can complete the sessions in their own time.

This program offers:

  • a welcome pack, including a calorie counter, physical activity awareness questionnaire, and a guide to calculate macronutrient ranges
  • one 15-minute FaceTime, Zoom, or Google Meet consultation
  • a 4-week bespoke training plan using equipment a person has available
  • video demonstrations of exercises
  • weekly email check-ins with a dedicated coach

The company currently only offers online coaching for 4 weeks, which costs approximately $175.

Much research supports the benefits of exercise. For example, an older systematic review of the long-term health benefits of physical activity notes it can lower the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. A 2018 review also concluded that exercise is effective in preventing and treating many chronic conditions.

Some other health benefits of physical activity include helping people “feel better, function better, and sleep better.” The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans advise that adults perform at least 150–300 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75–150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week.

It also advises that adults perform muscle-strengthening activities involving all major muscle groups on 2 or more days each week.

People may also consider exercising with a personal trainer in person. Some personal trainers may offer both face-to-face and virtual appointments.

However, a person does not need a personal trainer to begin their fitness journey. In fact, there are several alternatives they may wish to consider, including:

  • Online workout classes: As working from home becomes increasingly popular, so do online workout classes. These workouts may include yoga, general fitness, weight-loss classes, strength training, or high-energy workouts. Some smart exercise equipment also provides online workout classes as part of the package.
  • Workout apps: Fitness apps are a suitable way for a person to keep track of their fitness. Many apps can record goals, steps, and calories burned. They can also monitor a person’s fitness progress.
  • Online fitness communities: These online forums can provide a platform for people to communicate and share tips and information. Some workout apps could also incorporate these communities.
  • Online instructional videos: Many online instructional videos provide a person with workouts and exercises in their own time.
  • Going to the gym with someone with fitness experience: A person may benefit from attending gym classes with a friend or family member who has knowledge or expertise in fitness. They can provide helpful hints and tips for a person to make the most of their workouts.
  • Home workouts: There are many pieces of gym equipment available to buy for the home. A person can research suitable workouts for them and purchase an appropriate training machine for the home for a convenient way to exercise. Companies that provide home workout equipment include Peloton, Tempo, Obé Fitness, and NordicTrack.

Learn more about working out at home.

Online personal trainers are similar to face-to-face personal trainers. The key difference is that an online personal trainer is not usually physically present when a person is exercising. Instead, they provide workout plans, nutrition plans, and virtual advice to help individuals meet their fitness goals.

A person may wish to try an online personal trainer if they prefer not to exercise at the gym, are interested in a new workout program, or would rather not work face-to-face with a personal trainer.