If you are looking to improve your personal fitness without the constraints of meeting someone in person, an online trainer or coach may be exactly the perfect fit for you. We tell you all about the best online personal trainers that can help you achieve your goals.
Prior to delving into the search for the best online personal trainer, it bears mention that some individuals prefer a hybrid program. In these systems, the athlete will meet with their coach once a week, then receive the rest of their workouts virtually.
Rebecca M: Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Rebecca met with her coach and trainer once each week. During face to face time they can work on new lifts or unfamiliar techniques. The rest of Rebecca’s training has taken place virtually. Since the pandemic forced the closure of non-essential businesses, she has received all of her workouts online.
Daphne Matalene, a coach in New York City, does in-person coaching for most of her athletes. The pandemic forced that all to go virtual, which has been quite an adjustment for Coach Matalene. Although she sees herself continuing to do some virtual coaching, she stated that many of her clients need (or want) the accountability of small group or one-on-one coaching in order to reach their goals. She does say that a few athletes would elect to meet just once a week and do the rest of the workouts on their own. Find Daphne on Instagram!
The Best Online Personal Trainer for Running
If you’re following RunnerClick, it is likely you are a runner. Although some athletes prefer in-person training, others find that meeting with a coach does not meet with their busy schedule. Juggling work and family commitments with fitness goals can get confusing. Enter: finding the best online personal trainer to save the day!
An online coach can offer the best of both worlds. You will have the structure of organized, set workouts without needing to fit a meeting into your schedule.
Linda Reilly is an endurance athlete who was looking for an edge. Self-coached for many years, she was training for a 100-mile ultramarathon and realized she needed assistance balancing strength training and running. She reached out to a fellow runner who suggested Reilly find a running coach. Enter Layton Duer. Duer has a history of coaching, both running and swimming. A retired prosecutor, Duer is no stranger to pounding out stress on the pavement or in the gym. Reilly has found that Duer’s approach is an excellent fit for her. Duer writes her workouts weekly and the two communicate frequently about how things are going.
There are a couple of types of coaches specific to running. Some coaches offer a plan to help an athlete get to a particular goal race. The athlete pays a set amount of money for a plan, typically 12-18 weeks of workouts, to help them get to a goal in the shape they are desiring. This athlete just isn’t happy with pulling a random plan off the internet and wants some coach involvement, but also does not need nor require discussion or support from the coach. They might email to ask a question or two but typically this athlete just grabs the plan and goes on their own.
Other athletes want more feedback and desire their plan to be tweaked week by week. Their coaches send a week by week schedule for athletes to complete. There are programs where coaches can plug in workouts and athletes can report back important information. A speed workout might include times, how the athlete feels, weather, etc. These athletes typically are looking for some personalized feedback. The athlete and coach may talk either by phone, text or email periodically to see how things are going. Sometimes there is a specific conversation as to how much contact the athlete desires because time is money.
Sarah Wiliarty states that you need to find a coach who not only can meet your athletic needs, but also meshes with you as an athlete. She hunted for a coach who could create a plan for her to help her reach her goals. Namely to run faster and qualify for Boston. However, she also wanted someone with the knowledge to explain the science behind each workout. In addition, she desired a coach who was willing to have frequent conversations about the workouts and running in general. A canned plan to get her from point A to point B would not make her happy. Her coach, Mark Sekelsky of Final Surge, puts out YouTube videos giving running advice. For example, this video on Running Economy. For practical running advice, you can subscribe to his channel!
Lastly, there are athletes who desire much more support. These individuals want to discuss most workouts. They want to submit times, splits, and how they feel on any given work and they desire feedback. This individual isn’t needy so much as they desire feedback and are willing to pay for additional time and attention from their coach.
Nicole Berzins: Berzins has worked with an online coach off and on for about a year. Predominantly it is for running, but her coach does write her whole plan including cross-training and light strength training. She likes the platform used by her coach (Final Surge) and prefers to get her workouts one week at a time. When asked why she responded, “Because if I get it one week at a time I can’t freak out about what is coming up!”. Berzins says she likes the accountability of having a coach. She also enjoys having a coach going week by week in case she chooses to throw an additional race into her schedule, or makes some other modification. Having a coach personalizing her plan works for her. Berzins coach Claudia Biester has a social media following at Beaster Mode Running.
Andy Aubin of Silver Fox Running has offered online coaching since 2017. Aubin uses VDOTO2 to deliver workouts, as it is the proprietary system provided by the Jack Daniels running program. Aubin has 15 ongoing athletes who prefer the support of frequent communication, as well as providing training plans for 30 athletes. Aubin comments that although he feels he sees excellent progress and growth in his athletes, the pandemic has left many runners feeling a bit lost. Find Coach Aubin of Silver Fox on his Instagram.
The Best Online Personal Trainer for Weight Training
Some athletes use online or virtual personal trainers or weights coaches. Although it is reportedly helpful if you are familiar with lifting prior to beginning, technology makes anything possible.
Sarah Wiliarty was working out with a personal training once a week prior to Covid-19. Now her trainer sends her workouts and coaches her form virtually. She said it is surprisingly effective. He can see her on his screen and offer corrections and encouragement.
Maisey Ann uses an online strength and conditioning coach, and also works with her on nutrition. She found her trainer on social media and liked what she saw between posts and athletes sharing their experiences. Maisey reports big gains in the gym and also in nutrition since following @fitnika101 on Instagram!
One Size Fits All?
When hunting for the best online personal trainer or coach, you really do need to find someone who fits your personality and needs. Believe it or not, it’s not a one size fits all business. While some people can find a simple plan online, follow it, and see improvement, many people eventually hit a standstill and feel they need an edge.
If you’re looking for someone to support your goals, whether they are running, strength, general conditioning, or nutrition-related, likely you can find someone to do so. Finding an online personal trainer is not as difficult than you might think!