Online Personal Training – Internet v Gym

So… you sit on your computer.  And I sit on my computer.

And I get ripped out of my mind?

Dear Reader,

I’d be mad if you WEREN’T skeptical.

Personal training online is a novel concept.  So novel, in fact, that some visitors don’t even know that I offer any kind of service.

Traditionally, personal training meant:

  • Sign up for training at a gym
  • Pay for one-on-one time with a personal trainer
  • Receive attention, instruction and feedback during your workout


1. Immediate Feedback 

This is the most valuable quality of a personal trainer.  If you are performing an exercise incorrectly, adjustments can be made on the spot.   

Improper form is arguably the most detrimental (and dangerous) mistake a trainee can make.  A good trainer can spot this immediately which will promote optimal progress and reduce the risk of injury.

Instant feedback is also relevant when learning a new exercise.  If you have never performed a squat or overhead press before, it is much easier to have live, step-by-step instruction than to attempt the move alone.

2. Motivation  

Training can get monotonous, and it’s easy to find yourself just going through the motions.  Soon, you are neglecting proper rest times, catching up on twitter between sets, and cutting out the rear-deltoid work at the end of your back day.

Hiring a trainer prevents this from happening.  You have someone pushing you and coaching you through every rep of every set thus keeping you focused and motivated.

3. Accountability

You are exhausted from a long day at work – I’ve been there – blowing past the gym in your car while driving home is tempting.  And tempting might be an understatement.

But, when you have a scheduled training session at 7pm – with a guy or gal who you respect and have developed a relationship with – you won’t blow by the gym.  It isn’t only money that has been invested; there is emotional investment made by both you and your trainer.

Hey guy, idk if you’re a marketing moron or what, but you are killing your business model right now.

Errr.  Right.  So why choose online training?

Benefits of Online Training

1. Cost

Hiring a personal trainer at a gym sets you back $50-$100+ per hour depending on the location.  At 2-3 training sessions per week…  I’ll stop there as going further would insult your ability to perform multiplication.

Online training will generally run you a fraction the cost of a traditional trainer.

2. Focus on Diet

In my experience, personal trainers in gyms do not give their client’s diet proper attention.  This doesn’t make sense because diet is such an important component of both fat loss and muscle gain, but many trainers neglect it.

I have heard this is in the spirit of client retention (slower progress means more training).  I don’t agree with this theory.

Really, I think many trainers just aren’t well researched when it comes to proper nutrition.  And obtaining your NASM or GLBT certification doesn’t make you competent.  I have met INSTRUCTORS of certification courses that are married to outdated, broscientific beliefs.

Personally, I know how to design a diet for fat loss and for muscle gain.  I’ve done it for clients, friends and myself.  And I know how to produce results.

3. Motivation

But I thought motivation was a benefit of a personal trainer in the gym?  Yeah it was – if you want to drop stacks of cash to be barked at you during your bench press.

I’d save my money and do one or all of the following:

    • Ipod shuffle + Tupac Shakur 
    • Ask for a spot, bonus: ask a guy in a tank top and you’ll get some extra hype “NOT HELPING, BRO – ALL YOU, BRO!!!”
    • Make each set a test of your will, your character. 

You may not need any of this because the intrinsic motivation you develop will be so strong.  When you look and feel leaner, bigger or healthier, you will be driven for further progress. 

4. Knowledge 

I don’t claim to be an expert.  I am still learning and will continue to learn every day of my life.  

That said, I have seen a lot of BAD trainers.  I am not a fan of trashing your competition as a means of self-promotion, and that isn’t what I’m trying to do.  I just know there are a lot of idiots training clients in various gyms.  

The model sucks.  They get a shitty hourly wage or small commission and the gym rakes 70-80%+ of the training fee.  Do you think this incentivises the best trainers to work in big box gyms?  This could be a post in itself.

The truth is, online training allows the trainer to learn at an exponential rate.  With a larger client base, the sample size of experiences to draw upon is greater.  More clients, more experience, more information.  Whether it is shuffling macros or identifying weak points early, the online trainer’s experience base adds value to the service.   


The traditional model for personal training is the best for SOME people.  It really depends on your goals and needs.  I choose to do the majority of my training online because it allows me to help more people.  But even I provide traditional, face-to-face personal training as well.

All else equal, if you get a boss trainer who knows his stuff and your personalities mesh, OBVIOUSLY it would be optimal to have him live critiquing your deadlift. Unfortunately, for many people there are factors (location, money, etc) that make this impossible.

My Services

If you want to know more about my specific services, just ask.  I am flexible and offer services based on your needs and lifestyle.

When I say “flexible”, I mean it.  I’ve had requests ranging from:

  • Diet and Training Program Design

all the way to

  • “Can we FaceTime (video chat) during my 5am leg day, so I can receive instant feedback on my squat form.”

My answer to both is, “Of course.”  I truly will meet your specific needs as a coach.

My Goal For Clients

I want to do two things:

1.  Help you achieve your goals as efficiently as possible

  • blast maximum fat in 24 days before my wedding 
  • slowly add muscle while staying lean
  • drop 50 lbs in six months

2.  Give you the knowledge to maintain your new physique without me

I want to help as many people as I can.  That means I’m not looking for life-long clients.  If you want to spray cash into infinity on a trainer, I’m not your guy.

For more information, email me at ontheregimen [at] gmail [dot] com or contact me here.

Learn More About BEING A Great Coach: 14 Steps to Become A Great Online Fitness Coach

Comments for This Entry

  • Lynn

    Have just been watching your video aimed at older people. I am a nurse so this makes so much sense to me. Do you have an understanding of the exercises - i.e. squats that put pressure on pelvic floor and are harmful for people in this age group?

    January 9, 2016 at 3:48 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Andrew Jones

    I know this is an older blog post but I've only started reading your blog ( I know, shameful). I agree completely with the fact that most gym trainers are *not* the best ones, the best ones make so much more money working privately for their clients. When I started training with my current training partner, he had a workout program supplied by the gym trainer, and I had him do it with me. After about the first 30 minutes, I asked him "Is the trainer about 5'8"?" He replied that he was. I could tell. I'm 6'1" and a large number of the exercises he'd been given would be fairly ineffective for *me* and my friend is 6'3". The trainer had completely forgotten the effect of *biomechanics*. What works for the *average* person will *not* always work well for someone who is not *average*....sigh. I went over it with him and tweaked it for long arms and legs - he actually started making gains ;)

    January 14, 2016 at 3:17 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Ruth

    I am a 70 year old woman. I have had a right knee ND a right hip replacement. I will be getting the left knee replaced this summer. I also have severe spinal stenosis and a slipped disc. The last bi-lateral lumbar injection did not help as much as previous onex. The Dr is talking surgery which I do not want. Is there anything you can do to help? I'm just not ready to give up

    March 26, 2016 at 9:36 pm | Reply to this comment

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