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      January 23, 2020

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Thumbtack vs Fitness Trainer

Best Personal Trainers

To help you find the Best Personal Trainers, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Thumbtack and Fitness Trainer.

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Where can you find the best Personal Trainers? Do you just walk up to the most ripped guy at the gym and ask who he works with? Or go with the ones on staff at your local gym, even though you've never really felt a good connection with them? Good news: there's a much more effective way to get the guidance and expertise you need to make progress with your health and fitness goals.

Today you can use the web to either work with an online personal trainer, or find the perfect local fit for your personality and training needs. Whether you choose a fully-online personal trainer, or a local professional, depends on your situation. Is it important to have someone at your side, guiding you through each exercise and giving you face-to-face accountability? Or, does your schedule make it so that you need a personal training solution that is completely portable, with flexible sessions and on-the-go availability? Your answers to those questions will influence which type of personal trainer you choose.

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Best Reviews

2020

Personal Trainer Reviews

4 stars
Thumbtack

THUMBTACK

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Cost:

Depends on the personal trainer you hire

Thumbtack is a referral service for professionals across a variety of industries, mostly in the home repair/improvement fields. They also include Personal Trainers in their available services, and we were pleased to see that there were more than 100 in our suburban area.

Start by choosing Personal Trainers as the service you're looking for and then enter your zip code. You'll get a list of people in your location, and you can further sort your results by where you prefer to work out: Trainer's gym or private studio, public outdoors location, your home or apartment gym, or a location recommended by the trainer. You can also indicate if you're training alone or in a pair (with a friend, significant other, etc.). Then, choose your preference: female trainer, male trainer, or no preference.

Even if you don't indicate your preferences and just go directly to the list of personal trainers in your area, you'll still be asked those questions when you find one you like and click the button to check for availability, so be thinking about what your answers would be. You have to enter your email address in order to find out the person's availability - so expect to be contacted directly if you take that step.

What we love about using Thumbtack for finding a personal trainer:

  • Photos! You can see exactly what your prospective trainer looks like, and they're usually decent shots.
  • Lots of info available before submitting your personal information. In your list of results, you'll see those photos, an estimated hourly cost per session, number of reviews from previous clients, number of hires directly through Thumbtack, a blurb from their profile, and some have extra indicators showing how long they've been in the industry, if they respond quickly to inquiries, and so on.
    Then, when you select View Profile, you can get a lot more: links to their social media pages, introductions from the trainer(s), whether or not they've been background checked, typical availability hours, photos and even videos of their training in action, detailed customer reviews, and any specialties the trainer can help with (e.g. people with back problems, athletes training for an event, and so on).
    We think that Thumbtack does an amazing job of letting prospective clients get to know the trainers before making contact. For example, in the top profile in our area, we were able to see answers to "What is your typical process for working with a new customer?" and "What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?" and see exactly what we could expect.
  • Free to use. You don't have to sign up for an account to use Thumbtack, so there are no membership fees, nothing to pay in advance, no contracts. That's a big plus! You choose the contractor you want and pay them the rate they've advertised, with no long-term commitments required by Thumbtack.

What we think Thumbtack could improve:

  • Sorting the results by distance from the entered zip code. When we pulled up our list of possible contractors, there was no way to tell where they were located. We did a little research by looking at some of their social media accounts, and the first two on our list were 30-45 minutes from our location. Especially if you're looking for a trainer that works out of their own studio/gym, you'll want to know upfront if they're close enough for you to want to drive there before reaching out to them.
  • Ability to pay through the platform/app. To really increase the convenience level, Thumbtack could make it possible for customers to pay their personal trainers right through the app or online portal.

Overall, Thumbtack was a very pleasant surprise! People looking to match up with a personal trainer in their area should be able to find a great range of professionals for hire, and with so much information available upfront, there's no risk involved in using the service to "shop around". And, as a company with an "A" grade and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, Thumbtack shows that it's a name to trust when choosing a personal trainer. This is our top choice as a referral service specifically for in-person, local personal training options.

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3.5 stars
Fitness Trainer

FITNESS TRAINER

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Cost:

Varies depending on the personal trainer you select

FitnessTrainer is a referral service that connects you with local personal trainers near you. As part of the MyTennisLessons family of online referral services, this company has an excellent "A+" grade as an accredited business with the BBB.

Get started by entering your zip code, to see who's available in your area. Or, get more specific by answering a few questions about your age, when you would like to train, and your fitness goals. We like that FitnessTrainer lets you sort through the personal trainers in your results list according to several criteria:

  • Best Match
  • Distance
  • Ratings
  • Lowest Price
  • Highest Price
  • Goal (Weight Loss, Endurance Training, Pre/Post-Natal, etc.)
  • Preferred Trainer Gender

Compared with other services offering local personal trainer referrals, this is a definite advantage for FitnessTrainer. In our metro area (a mid-range larger city), we found more than 20 people within 10 miles or less of our suburban location.

We like the amount of information provided to prospective clients who are looking for a personal trainer. For example, just on our results page, we were able to see profile photos (some more professional than others!), the trainers' specialties like bodybuilding or athletic performance, number of years as a personal trainer, and their usual hourly rate. Where we live, the hourly rate ranged from a bargain $22/hour up to $100/hour.

Clicking on an individual profile, the information you'll find depends on what the trainer has provided. Usually, you'll be able to see buttons for scheduling and messaging, more "About Me" kinds of details, what to expect when training with him or her, client success stories (sometimes with before and after photos), and a map showing any training location (e.g. home gym/studio) and service range.

We spotted a pop-up when visiting FitnessTrainer that offered 10% off our first training package if we entered our email. There was also a promo at the top of the site advertising a 12% discount sitewide. The site also says you get a discount as the number of sessions you book in advance increases.

There are a few things to keep in mind when using FitnessTrainer that differ from some of the other referral services we evaluated. First, you have to make a 4-hour minimum commitment when selecting one of their personal trainers. The good news is that the company has a 100% money-back guarantee if you're not happy after the first session. Or, if you get a few sessions in with a trainer and feel like you need something (or someone) different, you can't get a refund but your prepaid amount can be switched over to a new personal trainer of your choice.

That also means that you'll pay your trainer directly through FitnessTrainer, either with a credit card or PayPal. You'll be billed once you've spoken with the personal trainer you select and confirmed your training details. Any cancellations have to be done at least 24 hours in advance.

If you'd like to do your training with other people, you can save on your trainer's hourly rate. Each person that you add to a session is an extra $10, so you can split the costs and have fun with a friend (or two or three…) at the same time.

We also didn't see nearly as many personal trainer reviews as we found on FitnessTrainer's biggest competitor site. In fact, in our list of results, there were only 4 trainers in our first 20 that had any client reviews, and no trainer had more than 7 reviews entered. That makes it really hard for prospective customers to know that they're getting a trainer with successful experiences, and might be an indicator that many personal trainers are getting more clients through other platforms.

So, in a nutshell: FitnessTrainer is a solid option for finding a local personal trainer to work with you on your fitness goals, and their online portal has some nice features for sorting the possibilities by location or price. But, if you prefer not to make a 4-hour minimum commitment or if you want to pay your personal trainer directly, this service isn't your ideal fit.

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Continued from above

Working with an in-person trainer gives you some advantages. You can choose a professional that has worked with other clients in your area and who may have access to local fitness facilities for your sessions together. Especially for beginners who are just learning how to safely and effectively use free weights or body weight exercises, it's reassuring to know that each rep will be done with the proper form, making injury less likely.

On the other hand, the range of possibilities when working with online personal trainers is incredible. You tend to get more for your money, scheduling at your convenience, and more support outside of your actual live training sessions. Plus, if you regularly travel for work but want to maintain your wellness routine, no problem - you can still do your session via video chat on your phone, and your trainer will give you a workout that doesn't require any extra equipment.

Whichever type of personal trainer you prefer, there are several criteria to keep in mind when making your selection. Here are some things to consider:

  • Cost. Prices vary widely, from as little as $3.99/month to $200+ per month. Is the personal trainer affordable, keeping in mind any extra costs you might have (e.g. gym membership, equipment to have on hand at home, etc.)
  • Personalization. Will you get guidance that is tailored specifically to you, your dietary needs, and your level of fitness? Or is the instruction more generic?
  • Reputation. What do other customers say about the personal trainers who work with the company or who are included in the referral database? Are people generally satisfied with the value they get for their money? Is the company rated by the BBB or any other industry experts?
  • Satisfaction Guarantee/Refund Policy. If you work with the personal trainer and wind up feeling like it's not the right fit, can you get your money back?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Personal Trainers available today. We hope these reviews give you all the help you need to find the perfect fitness expert for your goals!

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