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Friday, February 23rd
Trainerize offers an interesting hybrid of choose-your-own-personal-trainer and a mobile app used by every professional in their database. This app lets you stay connected with your trainer, get your meal plans and workouts wherever you are, and sync your wearable device (like Fitbit or Apple Watch) so that your trainer can see the actual data behind your progress (or lack of it... *ahem*).
Lots of trainers
Your first step is to find a trainer. Don't get overwhelmed when you click that button and get a list of a bunch of options: it defaults to "popular trainers" near your current location, but you can click on both dropdowns to indicate if there's a specific workout style you want (like yoga or pre-/post-natal training) or any other zip code you prefer.
No clear sign-up process
It's hard figuring out how to sign up with coaches on the Trainerize platform. For one thing, it's not consistent across the coaching profiles. For example, the very first personal trainer that came up as we browsed the desktop version of Trainerize had links to her Instagram and Facebook profiles, while the second had no contact information at all. There was no obvious way to sign up for personal training with either person directly through the Trainerize site: you'd have to do some hunting to find their phone number or some other contact information in order to reach out - and by then, are you even using the Trainerize platform anymore? Sometimes, in the About section of a personal trainer's profile, you'll find a link to that information - but not always.
Great when it works - but glitches are common
Trainerize gets high marks - a 4.9-out of 5 stars average across nearly 18,000 reviews on the Apple App Store and 4.5 out of 5 stars across 5,000 ratings on the Google Play store at the time of this evaluation. When this app works properly, it's pretty fantastic. However, more recent reviews described glitches that rendered Trainerize almost unusable: phones getting bogged down while the app is in use, workouts not tracked, constant crashing requiring regular reinstallation of the app (which still doesn't fix the issue), you get the idea.
Good but not great
We really wanted to like Trainerize. Maybe the experience is different if you take a leap of faith and go right to downloading the app instead of browsing coaches on your laptop first. Unfortunately, the user experience was too aggravating through the browser to make anyone want to use the app. You could use this site as a resource to find trainers near you - the results were pretty robust in several geographic areas we entered - and reach out to them on your own. Maybe they can explain how Trainerize would be incorporated in their services. But, as a standalone platform for connecting with personal trainers and getting started with sessions, Trainerize can't compete with the higher-ranked rivals in our review.
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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