9 reasons to not invest in online fitness coaches/programs.

are online coaches and fitness programs worth it?


You won’t find many sites discussing the drawbacks of online fitness programs since almost every big brand is selling their own fitness program. 

Instagram and YouTube is flooded with fitness influencers who are trying to sell you their magical body transformation program. Whether you want to lose weight or build muscular physique, you will find dozens of influencers trying to sell their “secret recipe” to your dream body. 

But the truth is, most of the influencers are under qualified to help you with transformation and prove to be a waste of money. 

Over the years, I have personally invested some of the famous programs to check their effectiveness, and most of the time, I was disappointed.

Online fitness coaching or transformation program is a multi-million dollar business across the globe and has been getting an overwhelming response from the people but are they really worth investing your hard-earned money?

Majority of online coaches and fitness programs are not worth investing money; there are dozens of problems with the online fitness coaches that no one is talking about, the majority of the fitness coaches are providing transformation programs that are designed for mass application and they are not designed for your specific needs. These fake coaches are taking no questionnaire, not providing the motivation, not checking the workout form and there is an absence of personal touch.

Today we are going to discuss the drawbacks of buying online fitness programs. 

What does an online fitness coach do?

There is a big confusion between choosing a personal trainer or paying for an online fitness coach (or transformation program) to achieve the desired fitness goals. While it seems really tempting to invest in the transformation program of your favorite fitness influencer, there are some key drawbacks to it too. 

Commonly, online fitness coaches provide workout programs and nutrition guides to help you reach the desired goal. Problem is, every individual has different needs and you can’t really expect good results with a fitness program that is created in a generalized way. On the other hand, a good personal trainer provides legitimate guidance according to your body type and other factors

There are three common types of fitness coaches: 

  1. Coaches who are legitimate and virtually training clients on a 1-1 basis. 
  2. Fitness coaches who provide virtual group classes. 
  3. Influencers who are selling their fitness program with no further feedback. 

Coaches who provide 1-1 coaching while being at a remote location are the boon to the fitness industry, the internet has given us the opportunity to train with the world’s top coaches while staying in your city, these elite coaches keep an eye on every bit of progress through webinars, they prove to work as effective as personal trainers. Even the virtual group classes are good enough to provide workout motivation.  

This article is not about those authentic coaches, this article is about the influencers and coaches who are just focused about selling packaged without really interacting with the real client. 

9 Problems with online coaches. 

One common problem that I find about the majority of transformation packages provided by fitness models and influencers, is they hardly interact with the clients, they just send you a bunch of PDF files containing the 8-12 week workout plan with a nutrition guide, that’s it!!! That’s not how the transformation is achieved. An authentic coach will never give you a generalized fitness play or meal plan (that’s the reason authentic coaches have a premium price tag too). 

Lets have a look at problems with fake online coaches.

1- Lack of questionnaire

One of the most reliable ways to predict the level of effectiveness of any workout plan is the quality of the questionnaire given before the start of the program. 

Suppose you went to a doctor and he gave you the prescription without asking any question, will he be able to accurately predict the symptoms without discussion or test reports? Some symptoms might be visible (like being overweight or skinny) but there will be some mute symptoms (like food habits) that need to be communicated. Similarly, When you train with the elite coaches, the first thing they ask for is to get your blood report done. A blood test allows them to look deep into your hormonal balances and other crucial data, then they enquire about the food habits to design a perfect transformation plan for you.

The majority of the fitness programs or body transformation programs aren’t asking detailed questions, they give you a workout routine and diet chart on the basis of very basic details.  

Only legitimate coaches will be asking you questions and taking feedback from the clients because they are really committed to achieving the goal. A legitimate coach takes feedback on a periodic basis. 

2- Lack of motivation

Motivation is what drives us to challenge our limits on a daily basis. There are try types of lifters: A) Lifting is like a drug to them B) People who are training because of the sedentary lifestyle or their doctors asked them to do so. 

First category of lifters is self-motivated and doesn’t really need any additional motivation but if you fall into the second category lifter these online body transformation programs might not be for you. 

Once you buy their program there is no further communication to keep you motivated, I have seen people buying a fitness program but couldn’t stay regular with the training.  

3- Lack of proper guidance

A trainer’s job is not just to provide the workout but also to help the client with proper implementation. 

When you join a group sessions, bootcamp or live sessions, instructors keep an eye on your form and technique. 

I have personally subscribed to the online yoga classes, animal flow classes, even HIIT fat burning sessions. The biggest drawback is the lack of proper guidance, your online trainer is not watching if you are doing things correctly.

Sometime it’s hard to cope up with the speed of the instructor which drops the motivation level and makes the workout even harder.  

Read more: 21 Reasons To Hire A Personal Trainer

4- Lack of nutrition guidance

Your body won’t change until you fix your nutrition and every individual has different nutritional needs.

Even the biggest on demand fitness platforms are providing the generalized meal plan that is not enough to experience optimum results. 

If you have already subscribed to any such services, I personally advise you to consult with a local nutritionist to help you provide the best diet plan according to your body goals. 

5- Limited personal discussion

Hiring a personal trainer is not just limited to workout selection and diet guide, he also helps you understand the basic concepts of bodybuilding and the body’s biomechanics. Good personal training is a valuable resource that can never be exchanged with any virtual bodybuilding course. 

Anyone who has trained with good personal training can relate to this. 

6- Absence of proper form and techniques

Suppose you subscribed to an on-demand yoga, pilate, fat burning, bodybuilding program. Their instructor definitely demonstrated a perfect form and technique but there is no one to tell you if you are following a proper form too or if your body is in alignment too. 

Some of the premium fitness apps also allow the clients to record video while training but their Online fitness coaches are incapable of giving real-time feedback which makes it really difficult to follow. Another big drawback of paying an online trainer is they provide you the workout routine but are not available to challenge the limits

7- Absence of Custom workout

Some people have weak shoulders, others have weak lower back, it’s important to have a workout plan that is designed for your personal needs. 

Most of the cheap workout programs provided with online personal trainers or influencers are designed for mass application, which means the instructions are not for your specific needs. 

In bodybuilding, there is nothing like “one solution fits all. ”Every individual has different nutritional requirements, has different genetics, and has different goals. 

8- Injuries

Blindly following a bodybuilding program may lead to injuries, why? 

  • The trainer is not there to check if you are using proper form and technique 
  • Every person has different strength levels, progression levels and tolerance to stress. 

Basically you are following a routine that is not designed for your individual needs. 

9- Lack of personal touch

So your online trainer doesn’t know you personally, he doesn’t know your strengths, he is unaware of your weak points, how can you expect to get the best possible results? 

Every person has different recovery rates, cardiovascular health, agility and strength levels. Most of the on demand training videos lack personal touch that is not worth spending your money for. 

Read more: 21 Reasons To Hire A Personal Trainer

Let’s discuss the benefits too

THere are some benefits that can not be neglected. 

  • It’s always flexible to work with the online training platforms, whether you subscribe to an on-demand fitness channel or buy a fitness program, you can schedule the training session as per your convenience.
  • Online personal trainers or programs are relatively cheaper than hiring a personal trainer since they are handling hundreds or thousands of clients simultaneously. You can get a bodybuilding or fat loss program from a top trainer at a cost of under $100. 
  • If you have enough workout experience and need a program for only guidance then these programs have the capability to deliver drastic results too. 


Online fitness coach vs hiring a personal trainer.

If you have enough budget then its always suggested to train with a personal trainer, he is a right person to make you aware of basic bodybuilding and nutrition concepts. 

But if you are short of budget and have zero training experience then its better to have an online fitness coach instead of having nothing.

Can personal trainers give meal plans?

Some coaches are certified nutritionists and some are not but most of them have enough knowledge and personal experience to guide you through your fitness journey. 

What are the best online fitness programs?

There are many online fitness programs available, some provides ondemand training videos and other provide a detailed guidance, here is a list of some top selling fitness programs. 

  • Beachbody on demand
  • Daily Burn.
  • Peloton Digital
  • Alo Moves (for yoga)
  • SWEAT by Kayla Itsines.
  • Tone It Up Fitness 

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