Is Online Training a Better Option?

If you haven’t heard yet, online training is coming out of the woodworks to bring people like you the results they’ve always wanted; but how? In this article I will take you through all of the elements of online training that are more beneficial for you compared to hiring a personal trainer at your gym.

Before I go any further, I want to make two things clear. In no way am I putting down in-person training. Hiring a personal trainer at the gym is great. If you hire a good, approachable, knowledgeable trainer at your gym, you may have a pretty good chance of achieving your goals. All I’m saying is that there is a better, more affordable way to reach all those goals without some of the possible mishaps while training in-person. Secondly, I used to train individual clients at a club, and I enjoyed every single second of it. I know what training clients in that environment is like, so I have the experience to back up what will be said later on. Training clients in person is fun, and enjoyable, but I found a way to reach more people, change more lives, all while keeping your wallet and schedule happy, and I want to share it with you.

Moving along, let’s discuss the details of online training. This idea of training clients from a distance is relatively new in comparison to your in-person trainer at your gym. In order to further understand the concept, let’s take a look into my training business. Let’s say you have a goal in mind. Something like: “I want to have a 6-pack for my wedding”, “I want to increase my squat strength”, “I need to increase my flexibility” or “I want to shed 10 pounds of body fat.” Whatever it is, you have a goal, an idea, a vision. Rather than taking that goal to a gym, you take it to me. Forget the idea of me being your “personal trainer.” From now on, think of me as your fitness consultant. I take all of the information you have given me, as well as exercise history, limitations, etc. and create a custom plan for you that will get you to your goals. That’s online training in a nutshell.  This whole idea may seem extremely similar to the process at your health club or local gym but for many reasons, it isn’t. Moving forward, I will break the process down to help you get a solid grasp on why online training is so beneficial for you, the client.

BENEFIT #1: Online Training Allows You to Pick a Coach, Rather Than Having a Coach Pick You.

Let’s start by creating a scenario. Imagine your ultimate physique or goal that has always seemed to be a challenge, but regardless of the difficulty, you still dream of it. This is something that has been a goal of yours for a long time, but there are obstacles that seem to keep you away or, you may just have no clue on how to achieve this feat. Because online training may not even exist to you, you either read random articles from a Google search, or go to your gym to find a trainer. Before you are connected with a trainer, my guess is that the first person to speak to you about training is either someone at the front desk, or a membership/sales advisor. They listen to your needs and tell you that a trainer will be in contact with you. Not saying that is the process for all gyms, but I do know that’s how a lot of them work. Also, (and I’m not saying that this is the case all of the time, but) I’m willing to bet that over 50% of people in those positions have absolutely no clue what they’re talking about when it comes to fitness. So now we have a problem. Not only have you expressed your legitimate needs/wants/concerns with someone who may just nod their head to show that they “understand”, but you have had absolutely zero say in who you are looking for in a trainer. Doesn’t that seem odd to you? If I were investing my time and money, I would want to have the trainer of my choosing rather than have the individual with applicable specialties and the most availability give me a call. With online training, you have access to tons and tons of coaches and their bios, testimonials, experience, etc., to find the best person for you. Believe it or not, you can find a lot about a coach online and, you don’t waste any significant amount of time in the process. You can literally choose any coach in the world. How cool is that?!

BENEFIT #2 You Do You, Boo 

One of my biggest frustrations that I had when I was only doing nothing but in-person training was the 30-minute and hour-long training sessions. Why in the world does a session have to be 30 minutes or an hour?! Well, because scheduling is very, very important. Here’s the reality of in-person training: sometimes the trainer may feel like he/she is pressured to “fit a good workout in” the slot you paid for. This takes a lot of importance off of you, the client, and shifts it over to the dreaded schedule. This is a struggle a lot of trainers have or had, not just me. I bet a large majority of trainers out there would prefer to have a more loose structure, but unfortunately that doesn’t fit best with potential for “full” training schedules which puts more cash in the gym’s and trainer’s pockets. So what’s the solution? From a trainer’s perspective, having a wide-open format would be ideal but it’s pretty difficult to implement. Especially when a client calls to ask when they’ll be available and the trainer has to say “well, I’ll be done with this client in t-minus… when he gets his form down.” That could mean 10 minutes. It could mean an hour.  Not only would that damage a client’s relationship with their trainer, but it would keep the trainer from maximizing his/her business as well. Again I say, what’s the solution? As you may have guessed, online training is the solution. Online training allows clients to have access to their program 24/7. You can go to and leave from the gym whenever your heart desires. There is no pressure for you pay for 5 in-person sessions per week because your squat form needs practice. There is no pressure for you to pay hundreds to strengthen your core before you can start your fat burning program. If it takes you 30 minutes to get through your dynamic warm-up, no worries! If you want to go through stretches for 20 minutes after your workout, great! You can do so. It’s a beautiful thing because online training takes the focus off of a workout made to fill time, and puts it on giving you, the client, the well rounded training experience you deserve.

BENEFIT #3 A Lower Cost, But a Better Experience.

Having a trainer in a gym can be a great bonus if you’re stepping into the gym for the very first time, or a very experienced athlete training to improve the first two steps of your 40-yard dash. For the rest of the population (a lot of us), online training is an option that can keep your bank account full, while getting a better experience from your coach. To fully understand what I mean, let’s first discuss the price differentials between in-person and online training.

If you’re looking for 1-on-1 training in a gym, odds are the trainer is either an employee of the gym, or contracted out and pays the gym a fee for using the equipment. In our scenario from earlier in this article, you get matched up with a trainer and you begin scheduling sessions. Your next step (if they are an employee of a club) is to pay them for the services they are offering you. If the club employs them, there is a very strong chance that the gym pays for the insurance for the trainers AND takes a big cut out of the sessions you’re paying for. My intention here isn’t to bash clubs for taking a part of the trainer’s hourly rate. I get it, they’re offering tons of equipment and insurance to the team of trainers that they have. But from a client perspective (your perspective) it’s not a win.

Let’s be honest, don’t you pay the gym enough per month? I won’t get into details but you would be astonished at the percentage gyms take from their trainer’s hourly rates. If your coach is putting in hours and hours to create a program for the gym and the kitchen, shouldn’t a large majority, if not all of your investment to be going to them? My clients feel that way, and I’m sure most of you do too. No client that I’ve met is ok giving their club more and more money. It’s something to think about. But that’s the beauty of having your own fitness consultant; they get rewarded for the program they create and the results they give you. No additional cash is going down the drain. If you do not quite understand the difference yet, no worries. Let me lay it out in numbers for you. Let’s take an average cost for an hour-long personal training session. Say $60 for example. The $60 that you are paying the gym and the trainer only counts for one single session. And that trainer only gets paid when you’re in the gym, so he/she may feel inclined to get on your case to train more often. In comparison, a $100 monthly rate can get you a full month of exercise and nutrition design customized for you. Nowadays you can barely get 3 full-hour sessions with a repetitive workout “routine” for that cost.

At this point you may be thinking that personal trainers give workouts to their clients to do while they’re not training them. And they do. For the sake of making sure we’re on the same page, let me put you in the life of a 1-on-1 in-person trainer real quick (again, I have a pass to say this because I used to only operate this way). Anyway, you are now a trainer. The only way to be financially successful is to have a full schedule, correct? Yes. Plus if the gym employs you, you need a REALLY full schedule because they may take a good chuck of the hourly cost. So you work your butt off sun up and sun down to fill your schedule. You eventually get to the point of training clients ten hours per day, and you’re doing pretty well for yourself. But there’s a kicker. Working ten hours per day, finding time to workout, and finding time to sleep doesn’t give much time for anything else. Do you see what I mean? A successful trainer may not be so successful because their life is being sucked away by their schedule, and their growth, knowledge, and application hinders because… It takes A TON OF TIME to put together the best possible plan for one client alone. Since they don’t have the time to do that for 40+ clients, the quality of the service goes down. I do not believe that any trainer can put the BEST POSSIBLE PLAN together for every client they have when they are that busy. Most busy in-person trainers can only hold full schedules and a life if they use some cookie cutters. Before you know it, you are doing the same weekly workouts that your trainer’s other 39 clients are doing. The amount of time, money, and emotion the client (you), put towards achieving a goal is far more important than filling a schedule. Training people like you online is a huge win-win for the both of us. I can give my all to make sure you reach new peaks while saving you time, effort, and a boat load of money.

BENEFIT #4 – Empower Yourself

I’ll keep this one short, since you may understand the gist of things so far. Based on my experience as well as other trainers I have been around, 1-on-1 personal training has the potential to baby you. I’m not saying this is the case all of the time, but I’ve seen it happen too often. You might come into the gym not knowing what to do, so you purchase sessions and meet with a trainer a few times per week. Next thing you know, you’ve been spending $500+ per month only for sessions because your trainer hasn’t given you the opportunity to go out on your own. On the other side of the coin, receiving a plan from a coach online who is willing to offer you check-ins, accountability, progress reports etc., allows you to have access to someone who cares and is knowledgeable, but at the same time, you are in a position where you can absorb all of the things you are learning, rather than letting it go in one ear and out the other, since you’ll see your trainer two days from now anyway. The goal is not only to get you fit; it is to empower you to become a better well-rounded individual.  

Wrapping It Up

I’ve discussed a lot of things in this article. It’s a lot to take in. If you haven’t heard anything yet, hear this: In-person training is great. I love the idea of physically being there to push my clients further or fine-tune their form. Group classes are great. Having a community that is centered around the same goals you have is special. We all have things that fit our personal needs. But, if you’re looking to achieve goals, save yourself a bunch of money, and get the best attention from your trainer that’s possible without paying your gym triple the amount of your monthly membership, online training is a perfect fit. It allows you to grow as an individual on your own time. Your needs/wants/interests come first, and that’s the way it should always be.

If you have any questions regarding online training and how it may fit into your life, contact me via email ( as I would love to help anyway I can. For more information on online coaching as well as tips, motivation, and inspiration, “LIKE” my Facebook page (poehlmannfitness) and follow me on instagram (@poehlmann_fitness).

Really, thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I appreciate and value the fact that you took time out of your day to read about my thoughts and ideas. Come back soon to find another good read!