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Online Personal Training Costs VS Face-to-Face - Is Virtual Training Better

Online Personal Training Costs VS Face-to-Face

August 2, 2021


If you’ve been looking into hiring a personal trainer, but the high costs and lack of time are still holding you back, you are not alone. Many of us nowadays are trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle and build good habits… But, getting healthy shouldn’t be so hard, and especially not on your wallet. With rates going from $50 to $150 PER SESSION, a personal trainer has long been a luxury that most people cannot afford. 

So, what if personal training could be as simple as reaching for your phone and as affordable as a cup of coffee a day? Online personal training is here to save the day. Whether you use this alternative as a safe way of getting started or you stick to it long term, having an expert’s guidance and support guarantees you get the best value for your money.

You are about to learn everything you need to know about online personal training; from costs to types of training programs and how to find the right trainer for you. Let’s dig into it:

What Is The Cost of Online Fitness Training?

Online fitness training is, without a doubt, one of the most effective and affordable ways of exercising. For starters, you can forget about the high subscription rates and monthly fees at the gym because this option will allow you to train anywhere you’d like. Depending on where you are in your fitness journey, there are many options for you to choose from, offering different results and adjusting to different budgets. The cost of online training can vary widely depending on which type of program you choose. It starts with free generic training or diet plans that you can find by doing a little research online, and it goes up to personalized, 1-on-1 online coaching that can go up to $150 for a live 1-hour workout session. When if comes to a fitness routine, making the right decision will save you time and money.

The different ways of training online:

When making a decision, you always want to make sure to understand what are the different options you have and know their benefits or drawbacks. Here’s some information on training variants and costs to help you choose wisely:

Online training programs

This type of workout program has been around long before the internet. When you could buy VHS or DVDs from different fitness channels and follow home workout sessions in your living room. Well, online training programs follow the same path, except now, most of them are for free. By doing a little bit of research online you can find strength, weight loss, cardio or even bodybuilding trainings that often follow daily or weekly programs. As I said before, these tend to be very inexpensive (or free of cost), mainly because they are not personalized and do not offer any follow up or coaching. Often times, you will come across “one-fits-all” training programs that can work for some as an addition to a current routine but are not the most effective in delivering results because they will not be adapted to your fitness needs and will not track any progress.

Class streaming on-demand

If you are looking to take the class or studio experience home, on-demand streaming services are here to do just that for you. You can find yoga classes, spinning, Zumba, and instantly access a great live experience by watching an instructor in real time performing the exercises. Find them from $5 per class for boxing to $99 a month for Yoga classes, and even some free on-demand class offerings on YouTube. The downside? These exercises will not be customized, and there isn’t a way for the instructor to correct your form or give you direct feedback, which makes it a much less effective way of working out unless you already have some kind of experience in the chosen type of training. Also, because you will have to be following a live class, sometimes you may push yourself to finish the exercise along with the trainer which may cause an injury if you don’t have any personal guidance.

Workout apps

Fitness apps are becoming more and more popular every time. With more than half of all smartphone users having a health or fitness app downloaded at one or another time. A workout app will offer a variety of options. Many of them include programs with assessments to build up your profile and create more personalized plans, others just feature pre-recorded workouts. An app like this can start as low as $20 a month, offering some workout plans and even meal plans based on your selected goals, but can go up to a monthly $150 giving you access to certified personal trainers with in-app weekly or daily interactions. In the end, you get what you pay for.

1-on-1 Online Personal Trainer

This is considered to be the most cost-effective and flexible approach to training, and just like in personal training, you can choose a coach that fits your needs. Each trainer has their own methods and unique style of work. For example, some trainers may use only spreadsheets or email but no access to video calls, while others take advantage of the latest software to include video calls and even live 1-on-1 workout sessions. This is where the costs start increasing. If you hire an independent online trainer that provides workouts through live sessions, you will most likely pay as much as an in-person trainer, because of course, they will have to set that time apart to be with you during the training. Anywhere between $50 and $150 per session, with the added benefit of coaching regardless of your location and without the need of a gym subscription. Other trainers prefer to offer their services through fitness platforms and apps as an alternative to a gym subscription, which significantly lowers the prices because basically, you only pay for the app subscription.

If you are serious about getting fit, nothing can beat 1-on-1 personal training. But why go for a virtual trainer instead of an in-person? Read more on the advantages:

Online Personal Training Vs Face-to-Face – Cost Of A Virtual Personal Trainer

As with everything else, both have their pros and cons. There are a ton of benefits to online personal training. In fact, here are some reasons why it should be the go-to option.


The average cost of an at home personal trainer or in-person, depending on their expertise and frequency of workouts, ranges between $50-$170 per session/hour. Most of the times you will have to train in a gym or fitness center which means you also have to add the price of the monthly membership, which on average will be from $40-$60 per month, plus subscription. On the other hand, you can find great online training services pricing between $50 to $150 per month, some of which will actually offer the same guidance and customized services that you would get from a face-to-face personal trainer. This makes it the most cost-effective option for many clients.


Trying to book a face-to-face session with a personal trainer can become a hassle. The most popular times will often be booked up first -typically just before and after working hours. A virtual workout application allows you to exercise at any time of the day, according to your schedule, you no longer have to call up your coach and ask if they’re free (which probably they won’t anyways). Plus, you can take your trainings outside of the gym. Maybe start a new home fitness routine or continue to exercise even during your travels. All this with the confidence that you’re following a program designed ideally for your body.


Taking advantage of today’s digital world, you have easy access to your workouts and communication with your personal trainer. Unlike in-person training, it doesn’t matter where your trainer is located, you can reach out and obtain the advice or guidance you need, literally, from anywhere in the world. For this reason, many trainers have actually moved on their services to an online platform, some of them even offering 24-hour support for clients. Whether at home or on-the-go, on your phone, laptop or tablet, checking progress as well as having interactions on a daily basis couldn’t be easier. Having someone cheering you on makes it less likely for you to give up.


If you are just starting to exercise, you aren’t sure of what kind of exercises you like or maybe you just feel intimidated by walking into a new environment. Strangely, people feel like they need to “get fit” before joining a gym, and often there is a fear of being judged by others. While it’s clear that this shouldn’t be happening, and you should never feel insecure when stepping into a workout facility, these insecurities sometimes come from within ourselves, they are just in our head. Of course, this needs to be addressed, but training from home using online platforms is a great way to get started without feeling uncomfortable or judged. Home workouts are effective with the right guidance. On the other hand, if you just don’t like dealing with crowds and prefer having your own space for exercise, online training will give you just that. A comfortable, private alternative to personal training.

Expert Advice

You want to find the right personal trainer, a certified professional that can give you the best value for your money. It does not matter their location, when hiring their services online, you will have a wider range of experts to choose from. Typically, fitness apps will have some of the most qualified and experienced trainers that allow you to browse through their reviews and areas of expertise to see the different types of clients they have worked with before you make a decision. You can pick between an athletic trainer vs a personal trainer. With this technology you will be given the opportunity to train with some of the finest athletes in the world… and they don’t even have to live in the same city as you.

So you can see now how personal training is becoming more and more accessible and practical. But along with this comes another challenge; Once you’ve decided to invest in an online personal trainer, how do you choose the right one among so many options out there?

Finding your best fit

There’s nothing worse than following a fitness plan for 6+ months (and spending thousands of dollars on it), only to step on the scale and find out you haven’t made any progress. The difference between making a good investment in your fitness success and simply throwing your money out the window is knowing how to choose the right personal trainer who will help you set your fitness goals straight and achieve them. Keep these considerations in mind when selecting a personal trainer:


A personal trainer must be certified in their own area of expertise. Accredited organizations like The American Council on Exercise (ACE) or the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) provide the necessary certifications through an exam to ensure the trainer has met certain standards of competence and professionalism, and has been evaluated by a trustworthy organization.


A trainer who has been in the business for a while has most likely tested and improved his or her process for providing guidance and help you get the most out of your workout routines. Some trainers may have college degrees in fields like physical fitness or nutrition which would also indicate a higher level of expertise even on newly-certified coaches. If you are pregnant or have a certain medical condition, you should also look for someone who has experience in these areas and can help you exercise safely.

Your own goals

One of the first questions to ask yourself when hiring a personal trainer is if they match up with your goals. Of course, this means you need to pick your goals in the first place as this can determine the type of trainer you are looking for. Are you trying to lose 20 pounds? 200 pounds? Become a powerlifter? or you just want to feel better and get in shape? All personal trainers will be willing to work in your desired areas and help you adjust your goals to be achievable, but let’s be honest, a powerlifting coach may not be the best fit if you want to train for your first 5k.


Once you have a trainer you can consider working with, the next step should be an in-depth conversation. Having an actual live interaction with the person before you start training with them is a must for you to make sure you fit together. Look to see if you can connect on a personal level and trust your instincts on this first interaction. Just by talking to the trainer you can get a feel for his or her style and see if it works for you. This can make or break your experience with personal trainers.


Before you begin your hunt, think about your budget. The costs can change drastically from one personal trainer to the other depending on certifications, how many sessions you want to have per week, and if they specialize in certain areas of fitness. The cost also varies depending on what kind of interaction they offer (live workout sessions, video recording, daily interactions or in-app communication). Keep in mind, an expensive trainer doesn’t always mean better quality and vice-versa.


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