There’s been many an article addressing a new internet phenomena, the ‘online fitness coach’. You’ve seen them. They post tons of videos of them working out, sometimes one of a client, but normally just themselves. You’re not really sure what their qualifications are, except that they have lots of muscles, super impressive workout videos and obviously a ton of time on their hands. They promise personalized workout programs, meal plans, constant online support, weight loss, muscle gains and your own pet unicorn. Seems like an amazing idea! You can get great results, half the cost, no inconvenient scheduling, and no making small talk during your working.
Now, before anyone gets offended, there are exceptions to the rule, but…they are few and far between. Finding a good, well educated, current, attentive trainer is hard in person, let alone finding someone worth paying for that you actually aren’t ever meeting.
I find many trainers you see on social media have little to no credentials for being a coach besides an 8pack and a supplement sponsorship. I will always give credit where credit is due, but something many people don’t understand, is that training yourself is very different than training other people. If you don’t know how their body moves, then how can you possibly tell them what to do? If their knees are collapsing towards their midline every single walking lunge you tell them to do and no one corrects them, then it is a matter of time before they start feeling pain. There’s so many things my clients do to ‘cheat’ as they’re training, that if I wasn’t there to correct, they would do repetitively. If that is the case, they could go do that without paying me.
There are times when giving programs for use on their own is acceptable. Personally, I would only do this if I’d already trained the client for awhile to ensure I knew they were comfortable with the movements. But wouldn’t you want to give them new, challenging movements? How do you do this without knowing if they can master the movement?
I know I may seem like a bit of a traditionalist, but there is a reason trainers get results and it’s not usually just the program on the paper. You wouldn’t watch a home video to try to fix your car engine. So trust a professional with your body. You only have one to work with.