Often these programs are cheaper compared to a personal trainer. But is it worth the money?Wouldn't it be wiser to hire a personal trainer instead? In this article we are looking at the Pros and Cons of Online Fitness Programs vs Personal Training.
Why do you start with fitness?
- Loose bodyweight
- Better looks
- Getting stronger
- Recover from health issues
- Get better in their own sports
There are many reasons why someone wants to start lifting weights. And usually the first step is to get a membership at a local gym. Some gyms will provide you with a training program for several weeks, but other gyms might not and you will be at your own. So how do you get the knowledge what to do? Either you get it online or you hire a personal trainer.
So which way is better? What are the pros and cons?
Benefits of Online Fitness Videos
- Inexpensive. Compared to hiring a personal trainer online programs are much cheaper.
- 24 h accessable
- Fast feedback. If you have questions you usually get a fast reply on online platforms
- Flexibility. You decide when you want to do the workout
- Interesting: Usually interesting choice of exercises with variations over time.
- Choice of exercises. You choose what kind of workout or exercises you like.
Cons with Online Fitness Videos
- Generalised training, not very specific targeting your own goals (One shoe fits all approach)
- Only good for short time. Often these programs are designed for a couple weeks, to reach specific goals. But you can't and you shouldn't do these programs all year round. They are not designed for that.
- Mainly cardio/strength oriented exercises with high intensity and high volume.
- No assessment of your current fitness level, It's harder to do a good assessment online, so often they are limited and not very useful
- No form correction. No one will tell you if you do the exercises correctly or not - risk of injury
- Purely self motivated. Yes a ready made program can be very motivating at the beginning. But it's hard to keep motivated for a longer time. It can be hard to finish the program by yourself.
Benefits of a Personal Trainer
- Form/technique correction. A personal trainer will show you proper techniques and will spot and correct your exercises to avoid injuries.
- Specific, goal oriented exercises. A personal trainer will set goals with you which are realistic and possible. Often these goals have to be broken down to mini goals in order to achieve the main goal.
- On site motivator. A lot of people have difficulty to continue an exercise when they feel tired or sore. A personal trainer will help you to get through these hard times.
- Immediate feedback. A personal trainer can give you immediate feedback on your form and can correct it at once.
- Efficiency. A personal trainer can adjust a training program on site, and give you an effective workout according your daily situation and health status.
Cons with having a Personal Trainer
- More expensive than online programs
- Fixed time. You need to book a specific date and time ahead.
- Not every personal trainer suits your specific goals. Not every trainer has the same kind of training. So you have to find out first if he/she can help you with your goals.
For complex and more difficult exercises I most definitely prefer someone who can spot me and correct my technique. Of course this comes with a certain price. But a good technique can safe you from injuries on the way. So I see it as a good investment.
On the other side I use once or twice a year an online program, mainly to challenge myself and get out of my comfort zone. Often this programs are high intensity, high volume exercises and not suitable for a year around training. Most programs last between 6 - 12 weeks. And if you continue to train the same way after the program is officially finished, you most likely increase the risk of injury due to overuse.
Also I recommend online programs more for people who have already some experience with strength training and a basic fitness level.