Getting fit, staying fit, and keeping an active lifestyle can be hard work, no matter how much you enjoy doing it. The tried and true method is to visit a local gym, but, of course, that’s not always possible — as we’ve all learned over the past couple of years. But just because you can’t go to the gym doesn’t mean you should stop training. That’s precisely when virtual personal training services or programs come into the picture.
Available in a few different formats, some online, others through a mobile app, virtual personal training services ensure you’re getting the workouts in that you need to stay in shape. Think of them as an Alexa or Siri, only specific to fitness. What’s more, you’re interacting with real trainers most of the time and not an AI-driven virtual assistant.
How Are Virtual Personal Training Services Different?
Of course, it depends on the program and how it’s structured, but virtual personal training is all done, well, virtually. That could be done online, through streaming videos and platforms, via mobile apps, or any number of virtual experiences. Future is an excellent example of modern personal training in action — and also featured in our list below. Through the program, you’ll be assigned and connect with a real personal trainer, who gets to know you, your preferences, and your body, and then helps put together a unique fitness plan. Your workout plans are delivered to your phone, every week, and they’re made for your skill level — even beginners. Dumbbells are always recommended, but it’s okay if you don’t have weights, the trainers will help design a plan that matches your setup.
Many of the services out there work similarly, offering curated workout plans or access to fitness and health experts, virtually. We’ll explain them in a bit more detail below, but the most important thing to note is that — in whatever form they take — these are virtual-only services that you can follow from the comfort of your home, or wherever you spend most of your time. There’s no gym access required, and you don’t have to be an expert to participate.
Below, you’ll find some of the best virtual personal training services:
Our top pick, and an all-time favorite, is Future, but not just because the service is phenomenal, it’s also because of what it includes. It’s one of the most effective virtual workout programs built just for YOU. When you sign up, you are paired with your own Future coach, and you’ll receive unlimited curate workouts, daily texts with your coach, and 24/7 support.
Here’s how it works: First,you’ll answer a few questions andwith help from the Future team — they don’t just leave you to the wolves! Next, you will connect with your coach via FaceTime who will put together a training plan based on your goals, schedule, and more. Each week you’ll get guided workouts based on your plan, and you can work out as much as you want when you want. Using the Apple Watch, your coach will track your progress and refine your plan. Coaches will also celebrate milestones with you, and call out achievements, as any real coach should! You can get fit whenever or wherever you want, with complete support from real coaches, virtually. Your coach will always be there to answer questions, help you work out, provide encouragement, and much more.
Next on the list is Flexit, another personal virtual training service. Available online, you start by choosing a training plan, with options to follow single sessions or entire courses. You can also explore top trainers through the service, and connect with one that matches your workout style and goals. Then, when you’re ready, you can start a workout using whatever you have available — wine bottles, books, milk jugs, weights, you name it!
After you’re all signed up you can log in anytime through the website or mobile app — yes there’s a mobile app — and then start your workout. Sessions are scheduled beforehand, and your trainer will walk you through each workout. There are no cookie-cutter workouts and no generalized training programs. You get one-on-one training tailored to your strengths and goals.
The Virtual Personal Trainer
The name may be on the nose, but The Virtual Personal Trainer blends workouts, training, and science to create an effective program. Certified virtual trainers stay up-to-date on the latest peer-reviewed fitness and health research, incorporating the insights into regular workouts. You get one-on-one, self-guided, and weekly personal training after being matched up with a coach.
Like most virtual training programs, there’s no set schedule, and you have the opportunity to work out when you want, where you want. If you prefer to exercise with a group — like you see in exercise videos — you can work out live with your assigned group, or wait, or follow along with the recording later. A 15-minute consultation is complimentary, and during the meeting, you can see if the program is right for you, and ask questions. When you’re ready, there are follow-up assessments, and initial training sessions, before diving in headfirst.
The Perfect Workout
Designed to help you get in shape, and maintain that shape, in smaller sessions, The Perfect Workout calls for two workouts a week, just 20 minutes each session. The program utilizes slow-motion strength training to get your body fit and strong. To get started, you’ll have to book a workout time, which you can do in the company’s studio, or virtually online. There are studios located in various places around the country, but you’llto see if there’s one in your area.
For your workouts, you’ll be paired up with a certified personal trainer and they work with you one-on-one to get your exercise completed. Of course, it doesn’t work like most other services, you have to book your session in advance — it’s not really on your time.
Aptly named Franklin’s iBodyFit, this online program offers several plans to choose from, like a fat burning plan, bundle plan, and more. After selecting the plan you want, and signing up, you’ll get access to a host of virtual content. You’ll get daily workouts tailored to your plan, a personal workout calendar, weight loss or diet plans, and access to a certified personal trainer. Your assigned trainer will be there for you to answer questions and provide support when you want, and you can reach out as often as needed.
You can also access a themed workout library with detailed explanations of all exercises, so you’re never left wondering how to do something even if you’re a novice. Just sign-up, pay for the plan you want, and go — it’s that easy.
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