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Thumbtack vs Forge

Wednesday, February 8th

2023 Personal Trainer Reviews

Thumbtack Review 5 Star Rating

Thumbtack

5 Star Rating
  • Free-to-use database of personal trainers (mostly virtual)
  • Easy to see reviews and hire history
  • No prepaid sessions required
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Thumbtack isn't just for hiring home repair professionals. You can use this service to find both in-person and virtual personal training too, with no minimum required minimum training sessions and no subscription. Thumbtack makes it super-easy to see trainers' reviews and hire history, certifications, rates per session and much more, and there's no cost to reach out to any trainer you're interested in working with. Trainers are available for either in-person sessions or virtual sessions. Thumbtack is an excellent, free-to-use resource to start connecting with a professional to help you on your wellness journey.

Forge Review 3.5 Star Rating

Forge

3.5 Star Rating
  • Nutrition and fitness coaching
  • Pricing ranges from $125 to $225 per month
  • 1-4 live video/phone calls with your trainer each month
  • Programming delivered via mobile app
  • No cancellation fees or contracts
  • Schedule a free program inquiry appointment if desired

Forge is a smaller personal training and nutrition service, compared with some competitors in our review. You'll get your choice of four diet plans plus personalized workouts, and you'll get 1-4 live video/call coaching sessions each month in addition to the programming delivered via app. There's no commitment or contract here, but expect to spend between $125-$225 per month. This isn't the most robust personal trainer platform we've found, but Forge's loyal following would tell you to give it a look to see if it works for you.

Where Can You Find the Best Personal Trainers Online?

All of us have reached some point in our lives where we thought "Something needs to change and I need to get healthier." Right? For many of us, our next thought leads us to ask about personal training: we need specific advice for how, exactly, to get healthier - because, let's face it, winging it hasn't really been working so far.

Whether you're looking for someone who can meet with you in person and get you stretching and sweating, or you need the convenience of virtual sessions that you can do at home or at your local gym, you'll have no problem finding personal training online. Especially after the pandemic, today's top fitness professionals are marketing their services on the internet - which is a huge win for you.

The Best Personal Trainers Compare Personal Trainers Compare Personal Trainer Reviews What are the best Personal Trainers Best Personal Trainer Reviews

Personal Trainer FAQ

A personal trainer works with clients to design plans for exercise, nutrition and/or flexibility goals. While anyone can say that they're a personal trainer, certain certifications can demonstrate that they've put in the work to learn best practices for working with clients effectively and safely. Look for a personal trainer with certification(s) from NASM, ACE, ISSA, NFPT, or ACSM, which are widely recognized as experts in the industry.
That will depend on you. What are your goals? What is your current level of fitness/experience? Most experts recommend meeting with a trainer for 1-2 sessions a week for up to 6 weeks, especially if you're a beginner. But, if you are fairly comfortable with working out - you know how to do various exercises with good form and just need someone to give you a structured plan - you might be able to cut that timeframe down.
Yes and no. If your trainer is also certified within the nutrition field, he or she can prescribe meal plans. However, most personal trainers don't have dual certifications and can only make nutrition suggestions based on gym performance or weight loss/muscle gain efforts - like recommending that you count macros, get enough rest and water, and when to time your meals based on your exercise schedule. If you want a day-to-day schedule of what to eat, you'll need to work with a nutritionist in addition to your personal trainer in most cases.
If you have a gym membership, there are probably options for working one-on-one with a trainer on staff there - but that might not be the best way to get a personal trainer that's well-suited to your personality, needs and goals. We recommend using an online personal trainer site, either to find highly-recommended professionals in your area or to choose a virtual program you can use at your convenience.
Absolutely! While you'll lose the advantage of having someone right next to you in the gym, you gain plenty of perks. Virtual personal training is often much less expensive than an in-person format, and you get much more customized workout plans. This is a great option if you're working out at home or need options you can take on the road with you.
Yes. There's a growing network of personal trainers who specialize in providing in-home workouts. Even if you choose an online personal trainer, you can tell them what equipment you have at home if any, and they'll design a plan that incorporates whatever you have available. There are plenty of exercises that can be done simply with your own bodyweight!
That depends on many different factors. If you choose an in-person trainer, you can expect hourly rates anywhere from $20 to $100+, while online/virtual personal training is typically $200/month or less. For face-to-face personal training, rates are impacted by the experience level of the trainer you choose and your geographic area as well.
Sometimes. It's more common to find free trials, satisfaction guarantees and refund policies when you choose an online personal training platform. In-person trainers usually charge as you go; you wouldn't get money back for training sessions that already happened, but you wouldn't have to pay for future sessions if you were unhappy with the service. And, of course, no personal trainer is going to guarantee specific results - since what you do the other 23 hours of the day is going to have a big impact on your success, beyond what you accomplish in your personal training sessions.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

When you're looking for a personal trainer, you're not relying on word-of-mouth referrals from your neighborhood walking club or the fitness fanatics you see on Instagram. Instead, you can browse at your own time and pace from a wide range of coaches and trainers until you find a great match.

So, should you choose a local personal trainer or a virtual one? The real question is, what's going to work for your schedule and keep you motivated? Not everyone wants to be face-to-face with their fitness coach, but it can help with accountability if you know you're going to have to see him or her on the regular. Some virtual options offer that same benefit via live coaching calls, without the inconvenience of having to drive somewhere to meet up.

Another dimension to consider is how comprehensive you want your personal training to be. Are you looking strictly for workout help - like knowing how much to lift and how often, mixing cardio with strength training, increasing your mobility - or do you want a nutrition component added too?

Finally, how much of a commitment are you willing to make? Some personal training systems have a minimum requirement of four or six sessions, which could cost you $125 or much more. Other platforms give you a refund after 30 days if you're not satisfied, a free one-month trial, or simply let you pay as you go with no contracts. You decide if having a requirement will keep you motivated or if you prefer greater flexibility.

What else should you keep in mind as you look at personal training options? Here are a few factors that could influence your decision:

  • Cost. This is probably one of the most obvious factors. What can you afford to spend to get the personal training you want? Most personal trainers charge at least $30/session; the more comprehensive programs can be $150+ per month.
  • Customization. Do you just want a one-size-fits-all plan to follow, or do you want a certified fitness professional to create a plan tailored to your current health and fitness levels, dietary preferences, and so on?
  • Availability. While most personal training options online let you start whenever you like, some require you to apply first and may put you on a waitlist to start receiving coaching.
  • Reputation. Have other people had good experiences with the personal trainers on the platform? Are there ratings and reviews you can browse as you choose a particular coach? Have clients gotten good customer service from the platform, if applicable?

To help you make progress on your health and wellness journey, Top Consumer Reviews has researched and ranked the most popular online resources for connecting with a personal trainer. Here's to a stronger, healthier you!

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