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Online Training? Really! Does that even Work? – by Rita Jairath

Rita Jairath is an established name in the fitness industry. Here, she clears the confusion which reels your mind when it comes to online training. In this one of the most brilliant articles, she carefully analyses the merits and demerits of the process. Don’t Miss it!

Online Training? Really! Does that even Work? – by Rita Jairath

Physical fitness is not only important to stay strong and agile; it is also forms the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.

Since the nature of our work has become such that we need to restrict ourselves indoors in order to work hard and all the more so in the COVID-19 era, we have to find ways and means to keep ourselves agile, active and energetic in order to be able to live a happy and fruitful life.

Human bodies have been designed for physical activity. If we do not have it by default in our urban lifestyle, it is imperative that we make an endeavour to make it happen.

But the time and cost of commutation may take its toll on us. Especially the time cost if you live in a heavy traffic area. If that is going to increase the stress, then it might actually get counter-productive to go all the way to a gym and pay for personal training.

And since we can now shop, have meetings, watch cinema and manage our banking online, the option of online training is very much worth considering.

Online training is the most flexible, cost-effective approach to training. You will have a customised plan for you, just that it is done remotely, without being physically present along with the trainer.

It is very suitable for people who lead busy and hectic lifestyles, and are technologically savvy as well. Especially so, if you find it difficult to fit in the time to go to the gym.

While some personal trainers give training at home, there are many complexities involved in that. The cost of home visit can be exorbitant and you may not have the space and facility to train at home with a trainer in privacy. Besides, in the post COVID-19 period, there is an added risk of contracting the disease.

There are innumerable websites, fitness programs and mobile Apps on the internet and you will be spoilt for choice.

Online personal training does not have any strictly defined method or model. Each trainer has a unique way of going about it. Some trainers restrict the interaction to email and spreadsheets but no phone calls, text messages or video calls.

Some people make Skype calls to talk periodically, and are available 24x7 responding whenever you text them. It is just a matter of preference and also the time schedules and professional constraints of both the trainer as well as the client.

Some trainers have a library of video instructions too. But online training is certainly here to stay, and it is where you can come to a mutual understanding about what works for you. At the end of the day, it is the results that matter.

Online training has various options. It can be a workout app, an on-demand class streaming, custom written program. A self-guided online training course, online personnel coaching on a one-to-one basis.

Workout apps have many interactive features, varieties of workout styles and real time tracking to check your progress. It is very flexible, always accessible, but yet not personalised. It doesn’t identify your actual needs and real progress.

It is good for fitness novices who are otherwise busy and travelling all the time. But again, there is nothing to cheque your form and technique.

On demand class streaming makes you feel as if you are attending a class, like a Zumba session, but in the privacy of your home.

Yet, there is no one to check on you. The virtual classes can seem repetitive. It is only suitable for those who are highly self-motivated.

Custom Written Program: There are coaches whom you tell your needs and they will write a program for one time and then it is left upon you to follow it. The advantage is that it is personalised according to you, and you can follow it at your convenience. You just have to pay a one-time fee and then will not have to adjust your routine in accordance to anyone.

But in this too, you will have to be highly self-motivated, since there is no personal interaction or assessment. It completely depends upon you as to how you are able to make the best use of it.

Thus we can see that there are so many approaches even to online training. From innumerable websites, fitness programs, mobile applications, one-on-one training, group classes or diet and nutrition tips, there are solutions available at you’re your fingertips.

Let us consider the pros and cons of training online (from various perspectives)


Pros:  The primary reason to purchase the services of a personal trainer is that the health and fitness recommendations are tailored according to your specific needs and physical condition. You can choose from any trainer across the globe. Physical distance becomes irrelevant. You must do a little research with a few clicks to learn about their credentials, testimonials, cost, and services and also discuss the time.

Cons: - Everyone can call themselves an online coach or personal trainer these days. It is not easy to verify the genuineness of the trainer and his actual abilities.

A good way to figure that out is to do a video call for consultation before moving forward to ensure transparency in future too.


Pros: Online fitness training is almost always much more affordable than personal training with physical presence. It can yield equal results while costing you much lesser, or sometimes nothing at all; especially if you are simply watching youtube videos or using a free to download app.

If you need more personalized training you must get value for money by including extra services like diet and nutrition and guidance about nuances and intricacies.

Personal training, in contrast, is exorbitant most of the time.


Pros:  With most coaches and subscription plans, services include a fully customised training program that is tailored to fit your history, goals, current state of health and lifestyle. Besides the training program tailored according to your goals, but most coaches include nutrition coaching, weekly check in 24x7 email access as well as access to a support group of other clients. Online coaches make a huge difference as they are always there to listen, give advice and allow health and fitness to play a vital role in your life.’

Cons: The coach isn’t physically present to see what you are doing in the gym if you are new to exercise. You may need to learn the form and technique clearly, so that you may not go through undue wear and tear, or an injury eventually. Also to unlearn and relearn is especially tedious. Correct form is extremely important to be able to get the maximum benefit of any exercise and make it more productive. Even the form in a simple activity like walking or running, is important with regard to starting strength, stance and angle and posture of the body.

The correct way to place your feet, move your limbs and breathing techniques and rhythm are all activities that may be difficult to correct online, and for which physical presence may be irreplaceable for competitive levels.


Pros: The actual and most relevant advantage of online fitness programme is the flexibility of being able to work out when and where you want.

These services are ideal for people who work full-time or are engaged in professions in which you need to travel a lot.

A few individuals who may not be comfortable in a gym, as they may be too conscious or have conditions like generalized anxiety, depression or fear of being judged especially if they are obese, may prefer to exercise in a safe, judgement free environment can benefit a lot from, online training.

A more comprehensive online program will offer personalised meal plans based on individual needs. But to put them into practice, completely depends on the individual staying motivated.

Cons: You may receive the best training program. But if you have a lot of work load, there may be high probability that you might leave out your training or not make an endeavour to put together what is on your meal plan.

If you have begun your fitness journey only to impress others and not to become strong and healthy then you may not have the level of self-discipline needed for getting results from online training. In that case, it is better to get one-on-one coaching from a real-life trainer.


Pros: Besides just teaching the routine mechanically, there is always someone available to support you in your doubts, ambiguities and thought process. If you are absolutely transparent with what you are doing each day, whether it is the amount of weight, you lifted, sets, and reps and so on and also what and how you ate, including the amount of sugar you consumed in the greens in your delicious kale smothies.

Since, there is accountability from you and availability of a mentor 24x7; you are bound to get results.

Cons: If you are cheating on your diet and are not keeping honest records, and also the amount of exercise weights, sets or reps, your coach will never be capable enough to keep you accountable.

So the aspect of accountability is on the client, who will have to take the responsibility about being honest, transparent and diligent, as well as interpret the instructions of the coach in the truest perspective.

Once you get the schedule and instructions from your trainer, you have to analyse and decide according to your circumstances whether you would carry out your workout routine at home or in the gym. While it undoubtedly remains at home in the COVID-19 Lockdown period, or the other days, it depends on the space equipment and privacy you have at home, commutation time to the gym, costs involved, your goals and your own disposition, likes or dislikes.

If you are a beginner, you may want a personal trainer to teach you, the form and techniques of various exercises and also gym etiquette to actually get you in flow and streamline your routine. So you may not like online training.

Some people go to the gym to just get away for a while from everything else and that helps them. They may not like home workouts at all.

If you are an elite athlete, and need to do complex drills to improve speed and agility, you may need extreme attention to detail and intricacies in which case you will need the physical presence of a personal trainer.

But if you are self-motivated, a self-learner, who loves to research on proper techniques if you like to try something new and yet be independent and are yet looking for cost-effective guidance, then online training, will be most suitable for you.

Regardless of what you choose, committing to a new and better version of yourself will be the first and foremost requirement for success. Visualise your goal and move forward with incorrigible optimism.

About The Author

Dr. Rita Jairath

Rita Jairath is an entrepreneur and one of the pioneering athletes in women's bodybuilding in India, she won the pro-card from the International Federation of Bodybuilding. she .. Read More..


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