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Saturday, March 25th
Forge Fitness & Nutrition Coaching was founded by Michael S. Parker, a fitness professional who has worked in the industry for nearly 20 years. This service offers custom training to clients from over 60 different countries, with a small team of certified trainers and a dietitian.
Get to know the trainers
To get more information on the coaches currently working with clients on the Forge platform, go to the About page. You'll typically see a bio, a list of credentials, and the trainer's availability - if someone's profile really stands out to you, you'll know if they're able to take on new clients like you. You may also want to go to the Appointments page and schedule a free program inquiry appointment, either with the personal trainer that you think you'd like to work with or the first available staff member.
How often do you want to talk in real time?
There are three service tiers available at Forge, and the only difference is how often you'd like to have a live video chat or phone call with your personal trainer. You'll pay $125/month for one chat/call per month, $175/month for two monthly chats/calls, or $225/month for weekly live video or phone coaching sessions. Additional video coaching sessions are available at a rate of $50/half-hour; these can be used to get real-time feedback on your exercise technique or to have a supplemental call with Forge's registered dietitian.
Lots of tools are included
Everything else is the same across all three plans: unlimited in-app messaging, custom cardio and strength training workouts based on whatever equipment you have (or bodyweight exercises if you don't have access to weights or a gym), a video library demonstrating all exercises, a meal plan written by a registered dietitian, plus badges and tracking tools in the Forge app.
Meal plans are limited
This personal training and nutrition program isn't as customized as some of its rivals. For example, the meal program only lets you choose among four meal "plan paths" : balanced, lactose-free, gluten-free, or vegetarian. So, if you're devoted to paleo or pursuing a vegan lifestyle, you might not be happy with the nutrition programming here.
Where are the newer reviews?
We weren't super impressed to see that most of the testimonials on the Forge site were 3-5 years old. It was also hard to find any external reviews validating recent experiences with this personal training platform. However, all of Forge's social media accounts were very active at the time of this review, so we're not concerned that this is an outdated resource by any means.
No contracts or cancellation fees
Although Forge doesn't offer an explicit satisfaction guarantee or refund policy, there are no cancellation fees or required minimum contracts here. Just be aware that you have to cancel recurring dues 10 days prior to your billing date by messaging your assigned coach in the app messenger. And, the company's founder encourages clients to email him directly if they're unhappy with their particular coach: he'll conduct a review and "set things right" .
Worth checking out
Forge has some strengths you might appreciate, especially the no contract billing and the ability to schedule a consultation prior to signing up. But, the pricing is a little high compared with rival services, and the nutrition end of the personal training here isn't as customized as you might get elsewhere. You might want to keep Forge in mind as a backup option if our higher-ranked personal trainer platforms don't help you find what you need.
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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