|Go virtual! Finding an online personal
Physical supervision provides another benefit not
common to all online programs: visual guidance. That is, the trainer
shows you how to do the exercises; you copy the moves and find out
right then and there if you are moving correctly.
Without direct supervision, you'll have to rely on
instructive aids provided by the trainer, such as online videos,
animations and audio instruction. Consider how you learn best and
sign up for the personal training program that best suits your learning
If you learn visually, you might enjoy sites such
which offer video clips of particular exercises. On Michaelgeorge.com,
360-degree animations show how to perform exercises. If you learn
by listening, you might like the phone-and-e-mail coaching style
of McMillian's FitbyFone program or the iPod-ready workout routines
provided by Podfitness.com,
which lets subscribers download routines set to the music of their
choice right onto their iPods. Your preferred learning method should
determine which online program you join.
Then consider your schedule. If you have an unusual
schedule, an online personal trainer may suit you better because
you can access workout routines around the clock, as well as help
features such as chat sessions and online videos. LiveHealthier.com
for instance, offers real-time chat sessions with personal trainers
and registered dieticians and allows clients to e-mail questions,
which are answered within 24 hours. In real life, as LiveHealthier
CEO Mary Moslander points out, you might have to hold your question
until the next meeting.
Of course, it goes without saying that online training
means you don't have to leave home. You don't have to dress up,
burn gas or drive around looking for a parking spot at the gym.
But it's worth noting that not every in-person personal trainer
is weighted to the gym. For instance, Tryner will meet her clients
at their workplaces if a gym is available, at home, outdoors or
in her studio. So if you desire a trainer you can meet, see if he
or she can work in places other than a gym -- and skip the pricey
If you can, request a trial subscription for any of
the online memberships. That will give you enough time to experiment
with a program. After all, the wrong fit makes for a workout routine
you won't enjoy -- and will likely stop down the road.