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Wednesday, February 28th
Fitness Trainer lets you choose between live, in-person training sessions or virtual coaching - an improvement compared with the last time we reviewed the service. The company has been in business for about a decade and is part of the My Tennis Lessons brand.
Answer some questions to see available trainers
To get started, you'll answer a few questions: do you want to train in person or online? In what zip code will the personal training sessions take place? Who are the sessions for (yourself, a child, a spouse or partner)? How old is the client? You get the idea. At the end of the questions, you'll be asked to create a Fitness Trainer account - but you can always click on the "no thanks, just show me the results" button if you'd prefer.
Plenty of in-person and virtual training options
We were impressed with all of the results in the area we sampled, the suburbs of a mid-size city in the South. There were over 30 matches within a 15-mile drive of the zip code we entered. It was really easy to sort the results by best match, distance, client ratings, or by hourly price - which ranged from $34 to $102. We also liked that we could click on the "online" button if we also wanted to see what our virtual options were - it was just a little glitchy trying to get back to the in-person options once we'd selected the online results.
Lots of details to help you decide
Each personal trainer's profile gives you all the details you'd need to decide if they're a good fit for your needs. You'll see an About Me section that usually features the trainer's background and certifications/education, a What to Expect section that details a typical personal training session, a section with Client Success Stories, plus a list of specialties. You can also see where the trainer works: if they'll come to you or if they offer training at a particular location (like a gym, or a YMCA). Fitness Trainer also has a section for client reviews, but most of the trainers in our area didn't have any - more of an indication that not many clients are using this platform (or at least not leaving reviews when they do) than any reflection on the quality or experience of the trainers themselves.
When you've found a personal trainer you like, you'll book a package. Fitness Trainer requires a minimum commitment of six sessions, but you can also select packages of 12 or 20. It's worth pointing out that the rates featured on each trainer's listing are based on a 20-session package: for example, the highest-rated trainer in our selected area was shown with a starting rate of $68/hour, but that was for a package of 20. His base rate for a six-hour package was $74/hour. On a brighter note, you won't actually be charged for any package you select until you've spoken with the trainer.
Fitness Trainer still offers a satisfaction guarantee: if you're not happy after your first session with your personal trainer, you can get a full refund for it and they'll get you set up with someone you might like better. We noticed that some clients had problems after the first few sessions - the trainer ghosted them or couldn't meet the desired scheduling - but feedback seems to indicate that Fitness Trainer will work with you to get that taken care of with a refund or with applying your prepaid fees to a different trainer.
Fitness Trainer's reputation has changed a little since our last evaluation. The Better Business Bureau listing (under its affiliate brand, My Tennis Lessons) has dropped from an "A+" to a "B" , though the company still has accreditation there. There were just 14 complaints filed there over the last three years, all of which were resolved to the clients' satisfaction, so we're not sure why the BBB dinged Fitness Trainer/My Tennis Lessons' rating so much.
Good resource overall
We're happy to see some positive changes from Fitness Trainer. They've stepped up their game by providing both in-person trainers as well as virtual trainers, and they make it easy for you to see detailed information on all of them. You should be able to find the personal training you're looking for here - if you're willing and able to commit to at least six sessions to get started.
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.
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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