How To Choose An Online Personal Trainer

Online fitness and personal training have exploded. COVID forced many gyms to close and left clients looking for alternatives to stay fit at home. 

Some individuals were looking to make use of home gyms that had grown dusty, while others were scrambling to purchase dumbbells off the internet and figure out how to make use of limited space and gear.

Most commonly, people were just trying to figure out where to start and how to stay consistent.

Choosing a coach to work with can be daunting. Where do you start?

We made a list of the Top 10 things to consider and watch for when you’re shopping for an online personal trainer.

They Have Credentials and Education

This one has to go at the top of the list: Does your coach or service have some type of credential or certification? 

Some coaches will try to convince you that their chiselled six pack or decade of experience will suffice, but you should be worried that it won’t. Having some type of fitness certification demonstrates a commitment to the craft and a desire to understand the mechanics of strength training and fitness. 

Remember, just because someone is fit themselves doesn’t mean they are qualified to make you fit. 

What do you see when you look at personal trainers websites and social media platforms? 

They Create Valuable Social Media and Blog Content

This is important for a number of reasons. First of all, great content demonstrates that they are actually working for their clients by developing media that will help them. This includes fun workout ideas; new movement demo videos; articles about sleep, supplements and recovery; and helpful suggestions to navigate busy schedules. 

Free resources are a clear indication to the client that this coach cares and is invested in creating a service that will produce long-term success for the clients. 

They Walk the Walk

You can decide how important it is to you that your trainer actually works out. But if they’re not motivated to train, how are they going to help you stay motivated? Fitness professionals should be leading from the front period. This doesn’t mean they train 24/7 and demonstrate zero work-life balance, but they should prioritize fitness if they’re asking you to.

They Have A Positive Mindset and Presence

The power of positivity is real. Find an online coach or service who celebrates all that you can do and focuses on your accomplishments. 

You should feel only good vibes when you look at their social media feeds. They frame everything with a “can do” attitude and provide you with a list of “do’s” instead of  “do nots.” 

They don’t unnecessarily discredit other coaches, services or philosophies. Instead, they spend all their time and energy on their clients. 

If a personal trainer is super preoccupied with other personal trainers – how busy can they be?

They Have A Growth Mindset

Being positive means you can embrace and accept change. 

Strength training has changed over the years, and a coach who cannot accept change will not grow. This can hurt you as a client. 

Every client is unique, and needs will vary. If a coach or service can only see it one way, they’re doing many of their clients a disservice. An online coach should not try to ram you into his or her philosophy. A good online trainer will help you find the fastest route to your goals with the space and equipment you have. That might involve Functional Fitness, bodybuilding, conditioning, HIIT, cardio, stretching and mobility work, powerlifting—whatever will help the client accomplish goals.

They Are Available and Consistent

You hired a coach to keep you accountable. They should be checking in on a regular schedule, asking questions, giving feedback, addressing barriers and celebrating wins. Online coaching isn’t about sending a workout to a client and then vanishing. 

You can find free workouts anywhere. A good online coach interacts with you often and keeps you motivated on track. In fact, accountability and encouragement are our primary services at 204 Lifestyle. The best workout is pointless if you don’t do it, so we work with you to get you moving and smiling.

Similarly, a coach’s message and methods should be consistent. They don’t try the latest thing just because it’s popular. Instead, they commit to evaluating everything, doing research and developing services that get real results.

Changes in services come from a consistent commitment to improvement and a desire to offer clients solutions that work, not fads or gimmicks.

They Use Data and Track Your Progress

Coaches should show you specific metrics that matter. This will demonstrate progress, keep you on track, and help you and the coach make adjustments to find success.

If a coach isn’t tracking actual data—training density increases, PRs, benchmarks—how are you supposed to know if you’re getting results? 

Overall, it’s important to ask a coach this question: “How will I know I’m making progress?” If the online coach can’t tell you, keep looking!

A lot of people don’t believe they can get results at home while working with an online coach. You can! Our clients consistently hit new records and improve their fitness. We know because we track everything. If someone hits a plateau, we switch things up so progress continues.

They are Compassionate

If a coach or service makes you feel like you’re a failure or uses a “no pain, no gain” approach, it’s the coach who has the problem. Not you. 

Life is fluid, and we need to be able to adapt training to stressful situations or busy work schedules. Some days you might not have time for two hours in the gym. You might not have the desire to get crushed by intensity. Your coach should recognize where you’re at and create a program that supports you, not beats you down.

Online coaching should be a high-touch service that gives you what you need every single day. It’s not a paint-by-numbers, templated service. If you’re feeling stiff, sore and unmotivated, you should be able to message the coach and get help.

They Know Their Limitations

Your coach should not diagnose injuries. They should refer you to a sports doctor or qualified therapist to assess you.

Working with a personal trainer to make positive changes to your health and fitness may impact certain health outcomes and mitigate certain risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle. 

Just remember that personal trainers aren’t medical doctors and they should work with your therapist if you need scales and modifications. 

They Inspire You

Find a coach that inspires you to do great things and strive for your goals because you admire them and they support you. This isn’t achieved by coaches shaming their clients. If you look at their social media feed and feel bad about yourself, they might not be the coach for you. 

The coach you choose might inspire you because you feel like their story is your story or because they motivate you to work outside of your comfort zone. Perhaps they have a great sense of humor and that is the connection for you.

Whoever you choose to work with should provide solid leadership and client centered support from start to finish.

Research First!

Always do your homework when you’re searching for an online personal trainer. 

If a friend refers you, ask him or her to describe the experience. What went well? Why is he or she making a recommendation? What can you expect from your online coach?

Then request to meet with or talk to the coach in advance of signing up. Book an online consultation. Take your time and make the right choice. 

The right coach will help you get results and feel good about yourself. You have goals, and you need to work with the person who will help you achieve them. You deserve results!Click here to book an appointment to talk with me about how I can help you find success!


Skate Skiing in the Dark?

We head to Mount Evergreen and ski under the stars, then plink some targets at the Lake of the Woods Gun Club.


Fill out the form below

Learn more about how joining our community can help you reach your health and fitness goals.
By providing your phone number, you agree to receive text messages from Borealis Fitness & Nutrition

Learn more about our membership options

We offer membership options starting at just $185/mo. Learn more about our pricing options by clicking the button.