In-Person Trainer vs. Online Coach: Which One Should You Choose?

As a busy dad, you most likely find it challenging to carve out time for your health and fitness. 

With all of your responsibilities taking your time, exercise usually doesn’t make the cut. 

This is where the decision between hiring an in-person trainer or an online coach becomes crucial.

I’ve been coaching clients both in person and online since 2016. I’ve had lots of clients have success working with me 1-on-1, and also others who thrive more being coached online. 

In this article, I’ll break down the benefits of both experiences, letting you decide which approach is best for you. 

One of the primary advantages of online coaching is the flexibility it offers. 

Unlike traditional in-person training, which requires aligning schedules and traveling to a gym, online coaching allows you to access personalized fitness and nutrition plans from anywhere, at any time. 

This level of convenience is invaluable for you, as you need to fit your health goals around your family and work commitments.


Personal training can often be a costly investment, especially when seeking quality guidance. 

An hour-long session ranges typically from $80-$100.

So if you met three times per week, you’d be spending over $1000 a month.

In contrast, online coaching presents a more budget-friendly alternative. 

With lower overhead costs, online coaches can provide their services at a more affordable price point, typically between $300-$600 a month, making it a more accessible option for you.

Comprehensive Support

Online coaching offers a more holistic approach than traditional personal training.

 A competent online coach will tailor a program that encompasses both fitness and nutrition, ensuring that you’re not only exercising effectively but also fueling your body with proper nutrition.

This comprehensive support is essential for sustainable weight loss and overall health.

Accountability and Motivation

Maintaining motivation can be challenging when balancing work and family life. 

Online coaches understand this and provide regular check-ins and progress tracking to keep you accountable. 

You can receive similar support working with a trainer face-to-face, but only when you’re there. 

For many, the gym can be an intimidating environment. 

Working out in the comfort of your own home, guided by an online coach, eliminates this barrier. 

It allows you to focus on your workout without feeling self-conscious, which can be particularly appealing if you’re new to exercise or returning after a long break.

Although you can still complete your workouts at the gym if you would like, you don’t have to, which helps you save time going to and from the gym and money paying for a gym membership.

Customization and Personalization

Each individual is unique, and so are their fitness and nutrition needs. 

Online coaches recognize this and create customized programs that are specifically tailored to your goals, preferences, and lifestyle. 

This personalized approach ensures that you’re not wasting time on generic workouts or diets that don’t suit your body or your goals.

Again, you can still have a custom training program with an in-person trainer, but the majority of the focus will be on exercise and strength training, not weight loss or nutrition. 

Long-Term Education

A key aspect of online coaching is education. 

Coaches don’t just tell you what to do; they explain why you’re doing it and how it benefits you. 

This educational approach empowers you with the knowledge and skills to maintain your health and fitness long after your coaching program has ended. 

When working in person, you still get to keep the workouts that your trainer created for you. Still, there most likely weren’t many, if any, supplemental educational materials to help you maintain and build off of your progress. 

Final Thoughts

While both in-person and online coaching offers numerous benefits, it’s essential to choose the right coach. 

Look for someone with a proven track record, relevant qualifications, and a coaching style that resonates with you. 

A good coach should be able to provide testimonials from satisfied clients and be willing to answer any questions you have before you commit.

Both options can help you see results, but it’s up to you to decide what’s best for you and your family.

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