With fitness moving online, it’s never been easier to become an online personal trainer. But with so many services promising to help people slim down and tone up, which are the best? And what can you, as a personal trainer, learn from these superstars?
Check out this curated rundown of ten of the best online personal trainers and how they became so popular.
1. Scott Laidler
Scott Laidler is one of the most popular online training platforms currently on the web. Its success stems from the fact that it’s not a cookie-cutter product. Clients don’t just get the same service as everyone else, but something that is tailored to them instead.
Just like a face to face personal trainer, Scott adjusts programs, nutrition advice, and intensity according to a person’s goals. The service comes with three options:
With each offering clients the opportunity to get in shape within a set time frame. Clients fill out a bunch of forms on the website, and then it generates a personal plan for them customized around their needs.
What Scott is Doing Right
What's interesting about Scott Laidler is the degree of detail that it offers. You can specify dietary needs, dislikes, and the equipment you want to include. The result is a carefully crafted plan that incorporates both personal preferences and overall goals.
Regular personal trainers can learn a lot from the success of Scott Laidler. First, training plans must be easy to generate. The more you can devise strategies that help your clients, the better.
Second, Scott Laidler does a great job of making meals healthy AND enjoyable. Clients don’t have to make endless Tupperwares of chicken and brown rice.
Finally, clients get to choose which equipment they avoid, helping to make workouts more enjoyable.
2. Adrian Collins
Not all clients want huge muscles and ripped abs. Some want to improve their posture. Here’s where Adrian Collins excels. His combination of Pilates and stretching movements help clients restore healthy balance and symmetry in their bodies, correcting any existing issues from spending long days sitting at desks.
What Adrian is Doing Right
The main offering on the site, The Social Butterfly Program is both face to face and online. Instead of making online training seem like a separate service, it's integrated nicely into the service.
Adrian Collins’ approach is essential in today’s culture of office work and sedentary lifestyles. People know that they need to work on their posture, but don’t know how. They’re keen, therefore, for online personal trainers who can show them what to do and restore balance to their physiques.
3. Joe Wicks
Joe Wicks wants to make working out more sensitive to the fact that people don’t always have a lot of time on their hands. His “Lean in 15” franchise is a workout plan that promises people toned physiques with just fifteen minutes of exercise per day.
It sounds like a gimmick, but it’s not. The Lean In 15 is based on some pretty sound research around high-intensity interval training and, as you might expect, isn’t a walk in the park. Plus, if clients want to push themselves harder, there are 30 and 60-minute routines too.
What Joe is Doing Right?
People want short, sharp sessions that don’t take big chunks out of their day and promise results. Joe offers what people think they need and brings them in to the fitness industry.
Getting to grips with yoga can be a challenge for a lot of people, but Doyouyoga is on a mission to make it more accessible. The online fitness app's 14 Day Yoga Body Challenge attempts to help people gain flexibility, posture, and balance in their physiques. It’s also a great tool that enables stressed-out workers to unwind after a long day at the office (usually hunched over their desks on some awful office chair).
Just as with Joe Wicks, Doyouyoga offers a 15-minute option for those low on time, enabling adherents to get their yoga fix in the time that it takes to have a shower.
What Doyouyoga is Doing Right?
What’s interesting about Doyouyoga is the focus. Again, it’s not about using physical movement for fitness, but for personal wellbeing. That attracts a certain type of client. Personal trainers who can market their ability to counteract anxiety through exercise would do well.
5. Gordon Greenhorn
Gordon Greenhorn takes a quantified approach to personal training. The former bodybuilder believes in tracking every metric, including things like calories consumed per day and muscle mass gained per week. He hopes that by providing his clients with detailed feedback on their routines, he can fuel the fires of motivation and keep people on track.
Customers pay upfront per month and then, in return, get access to progress-tracking spreadsheets, training, and nutritional advice.
What Gordon is Doing Right
Greenhorn’s approach to food is refreshing. He encourages his clients to find recipes that serve both their goals and their tastebuds. Salad is not on the menu.
This laid-back attitude might not sit well with many personal trainers, but it’s allowed Greenhorn to amass a considerable following. Finding ways to boost flavor without sacrificing nutritional quality is an art, but not impossible.
6. James Ronan
James Ronan likes to run a tight ship. His goal is to take his client’s bodies and utterly transform them with a combination of diet and exercise.
By comparing a client’s body before and after working with them, you can show the value that you’re creating. Tighter waists, slimmer legs, and more muscular arms - it should all be there in the photos.
What James is Doing Right
Clients have to take a “before” photo of their bodies before the program starts, providing a baseline for the current state of their bodies. Then at the end of the 12-week program, they take the “after” photo for comparison. Ronan says that it’s a surefire way to show people the progress that they can make when they stay focused, helping them to remain motivated even when things get tough.
7. Lee Boyce
Believe it or not, a lot of the science of fitness and nutrition is pretty much settled. There are just a lot of loud voices out there who make it seem as if it isn’t. Lee Boyce is sick and tired of the nonsense and “bro-science” that permeates the fitness industry. Unlike many of his peers, he sticks to the facts.
Boyce has appeared in both the Huffington Post and Men’s Health. He offers an 8-week program, one-on-one, and limits the clients he chooses.
What Lee is Doing Right
What’s interesting about this approach is the exclusivity. People on the Boyce program feel as if they’re part of something rare and special, encouraging them to make the most of it. Personal trainers, therefore, can do the same, limiting availability for their programs and creating a sense of privilege.
8. Nick Mitchell
Nick Mitchell, a London-based personal trainer, set up the Ultimate Performance Fitness to offer clients online training over the internet. Based in Marbella, Mitchell and his associates provide in-depth guidance on workouts and nutrition for a fixed monthly fee.
What Nick is Doing Right
The problem with a lot of online instructors, Mitchell says, is that they automate their services to keep prices down. He doesn’t. Instead, he does what all personal trainers should do: offer bespoke nutritional, supplemental, and training advice for each client.
9. Kayla Itsines
Kayla Itsines is a personal trainer who takes a no-nonsense approach to get the perfect bikini body. If clients want the results, they must work hard.
The online program is relatively cost-effective and based on HIIT and other high-intensity techniques. It lasts for twelve weeks, and by the end of it, clients are supposed to feel confident hitting the beach wearing very little.
What Kayla is Doing Right
The beautiful thing about the program is the simplicity. There’s no need for an entire gym’s worth of equipment. Participants can do most of the exercises with a pair of dumbbells, skipping rope and medicine ball. There’s some stretching involved too, but that’s about it.
The takeaway for personal trainers, therefore, is to keep workouts as simple as possible. Most people working out at home don’t have access to an entire gym’s worth of equipment. Plus, it shows that the most straightforward moves are just as effective and getting a lean physique as the most complex, especially for beginners.
It turns out that the current gym culture is hurting both men and women. Men are taught that the way to get the physique that they want is grunt under the squat rack for months on end. Women, on the other hand, spend hours on the cross-trainer and doing yoga. Neither, however, generate the desired progress.
Barrecore is trying to change that. Instead of pigeonholing people into stereotypical activities, it focuses on the movements that the body is biologically-inclined to perform, minus the cultural imperatives.
Online trainers instruct people in a variety of strength, balance, and speed programs through an online app, all in the comfort of their own home.
What Barrecore is Doing Right
What’s interesting is the company’s holistic approach to performance. No movement is off the table if it serves to help the client build their physiques. Thus, Privatebarre teaches regular personal trainers that there’s nothing wrong with experimenting with new movements. In fact, it’s to be encouraged.
Who's The Best Online Personal Trainer?
I've added who I think are great based on what I see in the industry but I'd be curious who you think are some of the best online personal trainers out there? Let me know in the comments.
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