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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.
Thursday, February 9th
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.
Born Fitness is a highly customized personal training platform that offers concierge-level fitness and nutrition advice. It is one of the most personalized options on the market, but as a result, there is often a waitlist to join: if you are interested in becoming a client, you may have to wait up to 48 hours to find out if you have been accepted. As a client, you'll get customized meal plans and workout routines that address your needs and goals, including accommodations for special diets and physical limitations. Born Fitness offers comprehensive guidance, planning, and feedback to help you achieve your fitness goals.
Fitness Trainer is a solid place to start if you want all of the options at your fingertips, from in-person trainers to virtual-only coaches. You can preview a lot of information about each trainer before you commit to one. You'll have to book at least six sessions, but you can get a refund if you're not happy with your first personal training session. Overall, Fitness Trainer is a very good choice..
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.
At first glance, Trainerize looks like an amazing way to choose a personal trainer near any location you choose, who will use the platform app to sync with your wearables, deliver workouts and meal plans, and help you get healthier and stronger. There are a lot of fans of the Trainerize app - when it works properly, which definitely isn't a given. Our experience with this service was frustrating at best. We recommend using the Trainerize website to find several trainers you like, then reach out to them directly to find out how they incorporate the app into the services they offer.
Fyt, formerly known as Find Your Trainer, can connect you with personal trainers locally or online. Unlike some of its rivals, Fyt lets you schedule your first session right away using the online calendar, but you shouldn't be charged for your package of 4, 12, or 24 sessions until you've had an intro call with the trainer. Fyt's database isn't as robust as many comparable services, and while the trainers themselves are first-rate, customer service at Fyt leaves a lot of room for improvement.
Transform isn't really dedicated to the kind of personal training most people are searching for, like regular interactions with coaches who will give you specific feedback on your workouts and nutrition. Instead, you'll mostly get workouts and meal plans that you'll combine in whatever way appeals to you. Doesn't sound like much, but it only costs $14.99/month (or less than $40/quarter) and you can try it free for a week.
Trainiac used to be our most recommended platform for online personal training. However, the service was acquired by Gympass in late 2021: unless you have access to that employee perk AND an iPhone, you won't be able to work with a personal trainer here. If you meet both of those criteria, Trainiac could be an option to try, but most people will need to go with one of the more widely accessible, higher-ranked personal trainer services in our review.
Wrkout could be the best thing to hit the personal training industry in a long time - but this service just isn't there yet. The platform is currently geared primarily towards signing up new coaches and helping them connect with new clients, but not telling those prospective clients what to expect once they're matched with a trainer. Wrkout has potential - we love that they're developing studios where their coaches can deliver in-person and virtual sessions - but we found it an aggravating service to use as an everyday consumer.
Future is a relatively new option for personal training. If you're already an iOs user, you should be able to connect with this platform's resources easily; features are still being rolled out for Android and for non-Apple Watch wearables. This service focuses strictly on delivering workouts, not nutrition, but you'll pay monthly fees comparable to other more well-rounded services. Although we appreciate that Future has a risk-free one month trial and an easy way to choose a personal trainer, concerns about injuries from poorly-customized workout plans are just one reason Future lands at the bottom of our list.
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:
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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