What is Virtual Personal Training & How Does it Work?

Shannon Miller

May 30, 2019

Streaming isn’t just for Netflix binging anymore. There’s a new trend hitting the personal training industry that is gaining steam by leveraging similar technology: Virtual Personal Training. Many trainers are shifting their businesses to an online format and clients are signing on – and seeing results. So how exactly does virtual personal training work and is it right for everyone?

When a client signs on to work with a trainer to work towards their fitness goals, their work together often occurs at a gym, training facility, or in a client’s personal home. Most training programs require weekly in-person sessions based on the client and trainer’s schedules, which leaves the partnerships to rely on the availability and consistent coordination of place and time.  However, many trainers have turned to streaming technology to allow more flexibility for their clients – and the opportunity to impact more people. Enter the concept of “Virtual Personal Training.”

How does Virtual Personal Training work?

Virtual Personal Training (VPT) brings the trainer and client relationship online rather than in a gym facility, and allows clients to complete workouts at their convenience instead of scheduling in-person, onsite time with a trainer. Clients can access personal training sessions with on-demand guidance through a streaming device like a computer, tablet or cellphone. Many personal trainers are shifting to this format of training to allow clients the convenience of training in their homes and on their schedule at often lower costs than traditional personal training services.

All that is required in a VPT session is broadband internet that supports streaming and/or video conferencing services, a streaming device, and space and any equipment required for the session. Clients can either complete a pre-recorded workout designed by a trainer, or be guided by a live trainer, with real-time coaching, instructions and feedback on technique. With most trainers also offering precision meal plans via email, as well as email or phone-based accountability support, the entire personal training relationship can exist in a virtual setting.

The Benefits of Virtual Personal Training

The challenges of busy schedules, joining an expensive gym or commuting to a training session at a specific time are eliminated with VPT. Clients benefit from this flexibility without sacrificing the personalized programming of traditional personal training, and can usually save money on training packages. Trainers can expand their client-base and design web-based programs available for download.

A small draw-back to VPT is the benefit of in-person training to clients who may want or need hands-on guidance or who do not have access to space or equipment. However, the benefits of VPT often outweigh the drawbacks, especially for clients who are seasoned in technique and may not always require in-person feedback – and who have their own gear at home or in their local gym.

Is Virtual Personal Training Right for You?

If you’re strapped for time during the week or have an inconsistent schedule, a virtual program may be a perfect solution. Others who might benefit include those who do not have access to a gym facility or would prefer to complete workouts in the privacy of their own home. VPT can also be beneficial for individuals located in remote areas, but who want guidance from their preferred trainer who may be located in a different part of the world. The nature of the virtual relationship provides limitless opportunities and structure for programming, regardless of time and location.

How to Find a Trainer

When it comes to finding a trainer who offers virtual programming, credentials and experience are the most significant factors to consider. Chances are you’ve seen trainers on social media who offer virtual programs, but social media platforms are not designed to regulate the personal training industry. When choosing a trainer, make sure they have a certification from a credible personal training entity, like ACE or NASM. It’s also important to consider experience and client reviews before signing onto a program. While VPT provides the possibility of choosing a trainer from anywhere in the world, it may be smart to start your initial search locally in case in-person guidance may be required.

It’s likely that the world of VPT will continue to evolve to benefit both the trainer and client. For now, it is proving to be an impactful addition to the personal training industry. Contact Composition ID to learn more about personal training and VPT, and to be connected with a trainer in your area (or virtually!).

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