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10 Best Online Personal Trainer of 2018

Online Personal Training is an ever-growing industry, with a large variety of workouts and trainers to choose from. We looked at plan types, pricing, and reputation, to help consumers determine the best program for them.
Disclosure: We receive advertising revenue from some partners.
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Online fitness training programs are workouts and weight-loss programs for people who want to get in shape within the comfort of their own home. The programs are designed by fitness trainers or coaches for people of all shapes and sizes and different fitness goals. Many online fitness training programs offer additional services such as workout calendars, exercise video samples, merchandise, nutrition plans, and supplements, among other perks. 

From full-body workouts to exercises that target specific areas of the body, online fitness training programs allow for an accessible, flexible, and efficient workout anytime and anywhere. In addition to convenience, many online fitness training programs offer a variety of affordable monthly or annual memberships with unlimited access to training videos, as well as free trials, free consultations, and discounts.  

Most online fitness programs include muscle strengthening, weightlifting, yoga, cardio, resistance training, low impact training, and dance routines. Depending on the program, the customer can then choose between a customized exercise routine or a pre-recorded video. Also, there are also online fitness programs that offer customer support features such as fitness tracking with a complimentary mobile application, live chat, and one-on-one sessions.  

However, there are some important things to consider before starting a workout routine. First, the person should check with his or her physician to assess their current fitness level. Based on those results, they can then choose the best online workout routine. One of the downsides of online fitness training is that the trainer isn't there to supervise or ensure proper technique, which can result in serious injury. Second, if the person is not used to exercising regularly or struggles with self-motivation, online training may not be for them. With this in mind, the customer should look for the best online training program for their specific fitness and nutritional goals.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Top 10 Companies

#1
Our Partner
9.1 / 10
  • Over 400 workout programs
  • ACE certified personal trainer
  • Pre-recorded and custom workout plans
  • Free yoga and pilates classes
  • Customer support and feedback via email, text, phone, and social media
  • Personal fitness trackers and weekly check-ins
  • iBodyFit personalized diet plans and Skype personal training 
#2
Our Partner
9.0 / 10
  • Free, 30-day trial
  • Stream over 1,000 workout videos
  • Taught by expert, certified trainers
  • 20 different programs to choose from
  • Find support from their large online community
  • Workouts for every fitness level
#3
Our Partner
8.9 / 10
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • 90-day workout challenge
  • Lifetime access from all devices
  • Supportive online community
  • 216 high-quality, HD video workouts
  • Train alongside Christmas Abbott
  • Specially designed workout routines for the entire body
#4
8.7 / 10
  • Featured in Forbes, Fitness Magazine, the Wall Street Journal and more
  • Over 500 full-length workout videos to choose from, completely free
  • Craft your own program with the help of a customizable calendar
  • Browse a wide range of health and fitness articles
  • Interact with a very active, friendly online community
#5
8.7 / 10
  • Choose between 600+ individual workouts or follow a full program
  • Fitness for every level 
  • Huge online community
  • Workout in as little as 25 minutes, or as long as 1 hour+
  • Many programs include meal plans
  • Track results over time
#6
8.1 / 10
  • Book an appointment with Forge coach Michael Parker to plan your fitness journey
  • Nutritional advise and carefully designed meal plans from CDA certified coach
  • Personalized strength traning and cardiovascular programs
  • Transform your body in 90 days with premium plan
  • Watch exercises in HD video
#7
8.0 / 10
  • Join one of the world's largest online fitness communities
  • Choose from over 50 rigorously tested gym programs
  • Fitness and health articles on just about every single topic
  • Money back guarantee
#8
7.6 / 10
  • Multiple training and nutrition programs
  • Featured on Fox, NBC, ABC, and CBS, among others
  • Interactive and easy to use training environment
  • Customized workout plans
  • Group training
  • Online training programs starting at $100
  • Health and wellness coaching
#9
Our Partner
7.6 / 10
  • 30+ New classes every week
  • More than 2,500 workouts to choose from
  • Trainer-led, music-driven audio workouts
  • Filter exercises by type, duration, resistance, etc.
  • Programs for different purposes and all fitness levels
  • Choose between 16 certified and experienced trainers
#10
7.6 / 10
  • See results in as little as 30 days by following CIZE's diet and fitness program
  • Get three DVDs with six dance workouts and an abs routine
  • Professionally choreographed dances with upbeat soundtracks and original moves
  • Step-by-step routine breakdowns and two progress-tracker calendars
  • Eat Up! Meal Plan encourages healthy eating and portion control
  • 100% satisfaction 30-day money-back guarantee

How We Compare Online Personal Trainer

Workout Program

50%

When talking about kinds of workout programs, it helps to keep in mind the vast amounts of programs in the market and how different they are from one another. Although two specific programs might be the same in principle—say, both are structured, live streamed programs—certain details such as a program's support features could make a noticeable difference in our final rankings. We also took the number of available programs and program types into consideration when looking at our selected companies. While some companies feature a meager number of total programs, others offer a massive catalogue of exercise and workout videos tho choose from. Additional features like meal plans and nutritional guidance were also very important when it was time to rate our companies. These kinds of features make a massive difference in how effective a program can be, since how a person exercises can be just as important as how healthy they nourish themselves. Naturally, this means companies without these programs took a big hit to their overall score, even though they might have a large selection of individual programs.

Type of Program

There are many different types of online training programs. After going through each company's available programs, we were able to categorize them under 11 distinct headings. Some of the categories we though of for single-program companies we reviewed were mutually exclusive, such as pre-recorded and live, while others overlapped. In the case of companies with a program catalogue, we checked for every category they had covered in their inventory: Customized - This means you have a degree of choice in your fitness routine. Customers might be able to choose the order of individual workouts or individual exercises. Customization can also go above and beyond, with trainers designing tailor-made workouts, based on goals and fitness levels.

Pre-Recorded - Any video-based program that is not done live through video call. Most pre-recorded programs are structured according to a calendar, which users should keep to in order to follow a specific progression in intensity or focus on specific areas.

Standalone - Standalone videos are just that, individual workouts which users pick and choose, in effect building their own program. This can be a good option for people with some prior fitness knowledge.

Structured - Structured programs are planned from start to finish, and cannot be adjusted to personal or individual needs.

Live - Live programs are broadcast to customers through video chat or streaming software. Some programs let trainers see what users are doing, which means they can give suggestions and advice on-the-spot. Live programs are usually scheduled.

Cardio - Cardiovascular training is any exercise that raises your heartbeat at least 50%. Some examples of cardio training include walking and running, high intensity interval training, swimming, and jumping rope. Cardio programs focus on moving larger muscles over a sustained period of time in order to lower blood pressure and cholesterol while improving overall endurance.

High Intensity - High intensity workouts are loaded with tough exercise routines and high energy cardio. They are not suitable for people suffering from joint pain or fatigue, and are most effective for those looking to increase muscle mass or lose weight as quickly as possible.

Dynamic or Static Strength Training - Strength training programs focus on building strength and anaerobic endurance through the use of resistance exercises. These routines can be either dynamic or static, but both generate muscular contractions that increase the size of your skeletal muscles. Dynamic training, also known as isotonic exercising, includes push-ups, bicep curls, squats, and any other exercise that moves muscles through a specific range of motion with some resistance or load involved. Static training, or isometric exercising, include exercises like planks and wall sits that work on stability and muscle mass by contracting a muscle or group of muscles. Some strength training focuses on using body weight to provide resistance, but most programs do require some equipment.

Low Intensity - Lower intensity workouts are less impactful than higher intensity ones, but are ideal for those who aren't looking for a grueling exercise routine, or are just starting out in their fitness journey. Examples of low intensity exercises include yoga, tai-chi, and walking.

Flexibility - Flexible programs offer the greatest amount of personalization, allowing customers to fine tune what their programs consist of in order to meet their body's specific needs. Companies who we mark as having flexible programs will have their personal trainer discuss with customers what they want to get out of their program, what their time and/or physical restraints are, and the resources available to them. They typically also provide a nutritionist or dietitian to go hand-in-hand with your custom exercise regime.

Interval Training - Interval training is best known as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), but lower intensity interval training sessions do exist. Interval training will have short periods of higher activity followed by smaller rest periods of lower activity, before going back to heavier exercises.

Support

One of the most time-tested reasons that people commit and follow through with exercise regimes has to do with the amount of support resources at their disposal. We gave better ratings to fitness services that offered accountability features such as streaming sessions with trainers, supportive online communities, or buddy systems. This is only one part of the equation, however, as being able to address doubts and ask questions is also essential. Companies that have one-on-ones, 24/7 live chat, FAQs, articles, and blogs are excellent resources as well.

Additional Equipment

Some online training programs don't require that customers have specific equipment, but others will. Dumbbells, yoga mats, weights, benches and other gear might be necessary depending on the workout. Some programs require heavy machinery as well, like those found in gyms.

Additional Services

Detailed meal plans and advise from nutritionists or dietitians is very common in more flexible training programs where attention to the individual is key. We also considered if these plans and diets included any sort of tracking software to tell customers how they were doing.

Workout Time

We looked for the shortest and longest workout times between all a company's programs. The ranges we identified do not necessarily mean every workout will last from the minimum to maximum registered time frame.


Pricing

25%

When looking at pricing, the biggest question was whether a company worked with a monthly or yearly rate subscription method. Companies that did require customers to pay a rate make membership details easy to find, so customers know what they will be paying for, and exactly how much their new fitness regime will ultimately cost. Companies that did not work based on a subscription model--or that offered both membership and sold single workouts separately--also have their prices and other information listed. We looked at the different kinds of special offers as well—like discounts and free trials—that companies provided so that customers could be better informed before jumping into a program head first. Though many of the programs we evaluated do charge a membership fee, some are completely free of cost. 

Contract

None of the companies we reviewed actually required their customers to sign a legally binding contract of any sort. Rather, when we talk about "contracts" we are referring to the variety of subscription and membership models available. Some companies charge a monthly or yearly rate to gain access to all of their programs, while other charge for the number of sessions you can take in that time span. Some companies did not have any sort of subscription model, charging for individual workout packages instead.


Reputation

25%

We first looked at whether a company or program's trainer(s) were certified by nationally accredited associations when rating their reputation. There is a surprisingly large number of certifications for personal trainers and they vary from country to country, so we tried to be as all-inclusive as possible when considering which to include. Then, we assessed customer feedback, mainly in the form of testimonials, before-and-after pictures, and customer reviews in or outside the website. Finally, we searched for each company's BBB rating and Trust Pilot score to see if their credibility had been evaluated.

Certifications

Most personal trainer certifications are are dealt out by nationally accredited associations. However, some international associations also offer courses to get certified from any corner of the world as well. Because there are so many certifying associations out there, we had to make sure the ones we were including had actual weight and worth to them. Moreover, some personal trainers either lacked certification or made it hard to find if they had any, but had been working in the industry for years and have a good reputation. We took that into consideration as well for our final ratings.

BBB Rating

The Better Business Bureau is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to promote ethical business practices by rating businesses in accordance to their credibility and accountability. They have pages for over 400,000 businesses in North America where customers can submit complaints to. Companies can then answer these complaints, resulting in a higher overall rating. The BBB rating system work on a scale from F to A+.

Trust Pilot Rating

Trust Pilot is a Denmark-based rating platform where companies are listed so customers can review their services. Their "TrustScore" is based on customer satisfaction and rates on a scale from zero to ten.


What's important to know about Online Personal Trainer?


How long will it take before I see the results of working out?

You will likely feel the benefits of working out almost immediately. Within a week, you’ll notice improvements in your cardiovascular endurance and experience increased stamina. Physical changes could become noticeable in about four weeks. Since many variables influence when exercise begins to yield results, the rate and degree of these changes will vary from person to person.

What is an online fitness trainer?

Online personal trainers are people who hold degrees or certifications in physical training and offer their services over the internet. They understand the importance of physical fitness and can help you improve your overall health through targeted exercises. Online trainers typically assess your physical condition, review your fitness goals, and create a personalized regimen to help you achieve your goals through the use of online tools. An excellent online personal trainer should be able to keep you motivated and guide you towards your fitness goals safely and effectively.

Do I need to follow a dietary program in addition to the exercise?

Whether or not you need to follow a dietary regimen in addition to exercising will depend on the training program you enroll in, as well as your fitness goals and the length and intensity of the program's exercise routines. However, most services of this kind do suggest making dietary changes such as taking supplements and excluding processed foods from your diet.

If weight loss is among your fitness goals, you may have to make substantial lifestyle changes, especially with regard to nutrition. That doesn't necessarily mean that you should eat less, but limit your intake of fast, processed, and sodium-rich foods. If your fitness program incorporated strenuous exercises, you might also need to increase your carb and protein intake.

What is the best workout routine for weight loss/weight management?

Workout routines for weight loss or weight management should include cardiovascular exercises with high-intensity intervals, resistance training, and a personalized diet plan. Although the details of your exercise regime of choice are equally relevant, the type of workout you opt for should depend on your interests and the physical activities you feel comfortable doing.

Cardiovascular training helps strengthen your heart and lungs, which improves your overall endurance. Interval training alternates periods of high and low-intensity physical activity to help you burn more calories than you would while exercising at a steady pace. Strength or resistance training centers around strengthening core muscles and developing muscle mass; the larger the muscle, the more calories your body will need to keep up with the rate at which it is synthesizing muscle proteins. Again, nutritional changes don’t necessarily mean cutting down calories but making healthier dietary choices.

What kinds of exercises do online fitness programs include?

Online fitness programs include a variety of exercises aimed at helping you reach your particular health and physical fitness goals. Some activities are tailored to the participants' constitution, endurance level, and areas for improvement. You can find anything from meditation and yoga to low and high-impact cardiovascular, dance, and strength training workouts. Whatever your fitness goals, there is an online program that meets your needs.

What are the benefits of structured workout programs?

Structured workout programs offer a host of benefits to improve your overall health, help you lose weight, and reach your physical fitness goals. Because these types of programs are tailored to the needs and limitations of each participant, they are consistent, goal-oriented, and offer the right balance of activity and rest. Since they require you follow a fixed schedule, these programs also promote discipline and may help you adhere to your workout plan more closely. The best feature of structured workout programs is that they are goal oriented, so the type of exercises and the order in which you do them are specifically selected to help you burn more calories and target areas of improvement.

What types of online fitness programs are there?

Online fitness programs include personal training, workout templates, nutrition or dietary plans, and health and wellness programs. To select the best online fitness program for your needs, you first have to assess your fitness goals and determine how close you are to achieving them. With an online personal training program, you get the benefit of a one-on-one trainer who can customize a workout regime based on your needs and goals. Workout templates, on the other hand, have you follow a pre-established set of exercises that target specific areas or muscle groups. A dietary plan can teach you how to make better nutritional choices and maximize the benefits of your workouts. Finally, health and wellness programs encompass both nutritional guidance and an exercise regime.

Should you workout when you’re sore?

Yes, fitness experts recommend you work out even if you're sore, as long as you don't work out the same muscles you've recently exercised. If you worked on your abdominals through core strengthening exercises, for example, give those muscles a break for a couple of days to allow for tissue repair and work on other muscle groups in your back, arms, or legs. Since physical activity promotes blood circulation, which in turn reduces soreness, doing a recovery workout or warming up and doing part of your routine at a slower pace could be a great way to find relief when you're experiencing muscle soreness. Another great way to alleviate pain and muscle tightness after a workout is to practice a self-myofascial release technique (SMR) like foam rolling, which can help reduce inflammation and increase blood circulation to overworked muscles.

How does HIIT work?

HIIT or High-Intensity Interval Training works by getting your heart rate up through intense and quick bursts of exercise followed by short periods of recovery. These intervals increase the rate at which your body uses oxygen, thereby revving up your metabolism. Depending on the type and duration of the HIIT session, your body can keep burning calories for up 48 hours.



Best Overall
Our Partner
9.1 / 10
  • Over 400 workout programs
  • ACE certified personal trainer
  • Pre-recorded and custom workout plans
  • Free yoga and pilates classes
  • Customer support and feedback via email, text, phone, and social media
  • Personal fitness trackers and weekly check-ins
  • iBodyFit personalized diet plans and Skype personal training