Online Health Coach Versus a Personal Trainer: What’s the Best Fit for You?

Online health coaching

You’ve decided to invest in yourself and hire a fitness professional to help you be the best version of yourself. Good for you! There’s nothing more important than our health.

But between an Online Health Coach and a Personal Trainer at a nearby gym, which option would be best for you and help you see the results you’re looking for?

In order to answer this question, you first need to determine what your goals are. Make a list of what your goals are for this program and be specific! What’s the time frame? And most importantly, WHY are these goals important to you?

Once you know what your goals are, you’re equipped to find the professional who will help you reach them.


Online Health Coaches are becoming more and more popular, and with good reason! They offer a much more flexible option which helps keeps you on track despite a busy schedule. Let’s look at the pros and cons of Online Health Coaches.


  • You can’t beat being able to workout anytime, anywhere from the comfort of your own home.
  • Your online coach should have some method of accountability built into the program, maybe texts to check-in, video chats, online food and exercise journals, etc.
  • You’ll learn discipline along the way. Yes, it’s convenient and yes, there’s accountability but that doesn’t mean you have to do it. Ultimately, you’re the one making sure you’re sticking to the program.
  • Lower price point. Typically an online coach will be less expensive than a personal trainer who you pay by the hour.


  • Feedback on form. Depending on the online program, some coaches offer video personal training but many rely on you to workout with videos they’ve recorded and given you access to. Proper correction on form can be difficult in either scenario.
  • Less personalization for special circumstances. If you’re dealing with an injury, an illness, or maybe you’re a new mom who is looking to safely exercise after baby, you really need a trainer right by your side ensuring that every exercise is personalized to you and your needs.
  • Lack of equipment. Chances are you don’t have the extensive workout equipment in your home that you will find in the gym. This can be somewhat limiting as your coach designs your program.


Now that we’ve looked at the pros and cons of online, let’s do the same for personal trainers.


Every trainer is going to offer something a little different, based on their personality, their fitness philosophy and just how well they “gel” with you. It’s a relationship and you’re counting on this person to lead you and help you achieve your fitness goals.


  • It should be designed specifically for you every single session. You should feel like your trainer has really listened to you and also cares about your success.
  • Corrective form. You’re going to be less likely to get injured when working directly with a personal trainer versus through a computer screen.
  • It’s often more motivating to be around others, be it your trainer or even the other people at the gym. Working out at home can sometimes be lonely.
  • Your workout will have more variety and be less monotonous if you have access to all the machines and gadgets that the gym has to offer.


  • You’re most likely looking at a higher price point with a personal trainer. Ask about packages or specials to see if you can get a lower rate. Or see about training with a friend. The rate for two people is usually less per person.
  • Gyms can be intimidating places and even trainers themselves can be intimidating. Working out in the comfort of your home often feels like a safer option.
  • Personality fit. It can be hard to find the right trainer who you really gel with. Are they pleasant to talk to? But not too chatty? Do they pay attention to just you during the workout? Do they make you feel accomplished and successful? Or do they have a “drill sergeant” attitude that is demoralizing? There are many factors to consider.


Hopefully this information has given you some guidance on selecting a fitness professional. Regardless of who you choose, make sure they LISTEN to you and care about you and your goals. If you don’t get a good vibe, keep looking. This is an investment in yourself and you want it to be money well spent.