You’ve decided to get in shape, ward off chronic illnesses, or drop a few pounds for the sake of looking and feeling better. So does that mean you need to join a gym and hire a personal trainer? What if it’s expensive? Maybe you’re wishing for a more affordable way to learn a fitness regimen and stay motivated.
That’s the idea behind virtual personal trainers. Yes, personal training can offer valuable tools, such as correction on your form, motivation, and guidance. But the cost is just too much for some people, or their schedules don’t allow for regular appointments at the gym. Virtual trainers, or coaches, can help you address all of those objectives… And yet you might never meet them in person.
So, does it work?
As with most other fitness and weight loss questions, the answer can vary from one person to the next.
What are your major obstacles to accessing the training you need? If you travel for work, or have a hectic schedule, a virtual trainer is always there when you find time to work out. This person creates a workout program that you follow when you can, and where you can. Then, you stay in touch via regular updates, and he or she answers questions and provides further tips.
If the cost keeps you from pursuing traditional personal training, you might love the price tag of a virtual trainer. You might receive approximately one month of training services for the same price you would pay for a single, in-person session.
On the other hand, there are plenty of reasons to stick with in-person coaching. For those who aren’t familiar with proper form and safe techniques, lacking an experienced trainer in real time could put you at risk of injury.
Motivation can be another issue. Some people really need to feel accountable to a real, live human being who is sitting at the gym waiting on an appointment. They also benefit from an encouraging trainer who pushes them to do their best and try just a bit harder. (You can sometimes find virtual trainers who will video chat with you during appointments, but those services tend to be the more expensive ones)
So, as with anything else, the choice comes down to weighing the “pluses” against the “minuses”. If you think a virtual trainer might help you, then go ahead and give it a try. But if in-person training, or no training is more your style, you’ll be okay. The point is to match your needs and exercise style to your investments in your program.
And as always, come see us before beginning a new exercise regimen. We can offer tips on weight loss or nutrition, if needed.