You hear it every day, “This workout plan is perfect for you.”

“We guarantee you will lose weight or your money back.”

“Check out these results,” as they scroll through filtered photos where clients always have much better lighting and a better tan in the “after” photo.

There are so many people and programs claiming they can “change your life,” yet if they all actually worked, we would all be walking around with 6-pack abs and bulging biceps. The truth is, that just isn’t the case. For most, just getting started and getting active is a step in the right direction. However, if you want to get real, life-changing results, you have to find the right workout program.

Many professional trainers constantly get questions about which program I should go with. People often say, “I really want to workout, but I don’t have time to go to the gym every day.” In the 1990’s, this would have been a huge issue, the resources just weren’t there, and if you wanted to get a great workout in, you had to join a gym or go for a run.

In 2017, that’s no longer the case. Now the problem is that we have too many options that can make it nearly impossible to decipher which ones actually work. All of the programs CAN work, but the problem is, they are often too advanced for the average person just starting their fitness journey and they typically require 5-6 days per week at around two hours per workout. This is where most workout plans fail, people get very excited, do great for a week, then are exhausted. They get out of that routine for one day, then that one day turns into a week and the next thing you know, they are right back on the couch where they started.

Accountability is Key

Most online workout programs fail because they lack personal accountability. Psychologically, people are OK with letting themselves down, but if they have someone they have to check in with every day or a program that requires consistent accountability, they feel much worse letting someone else down. Here are a few ways that the right online training program can keep you accountable:

  1. Logging workouts: Having to manually fill out how many reps/sets you are doing is a clear way to track your progress
  2. Daily check-ins: I always recommend having a daily check in accountability partner, whether that’s a trainer or a friend, if you can communicate with someone on a daily basis it will keep you accountable for hitting your goals
  3. Track your progress: Progress is motivating! I often hear people say “this isn’t working” after a few weeks. If you track your photos, times, weights and reps, you can look back at where you were and see how far you have come in the process

What should I look for in an online training program?

Every person is going to be different, but there are certain things to look for when trusting a trainer or online training program.

  1. Does the person have the results that you would like to achieve? You wouldn’t take financial advice from a broke advisor. Then why would you take health/fitness advice that hasn’t been able to get results for themselves? Everyone thinks they are an expert, but if they cant show you, multiple clients, along with being able to show they can produce results for themselves, then you probably shouldn’t trust them to get results for you.
  2. Are they certified? These days, everyone that goes to the gym thinks they are a fitness trainer. Are they certified? What is their background? Do they know the science behind what they are teaching? It is important that they know exactly why they are telling you what to do. Every individual’s journey is going to be different and if the trainer always says “this is what works for me” without being able to tell you why then its time to move on to the next program.
  3. Do they have different options/programs? Not everyone is after the same goal. Some want to gain weight; some want to lose weight, some want to get lean, some just want to be healthy enough to feel good about themselves. If your online training program doesn’t have different workout options, then you are likely stuck with the results of that one program which may not be what you were looking for. Find a program with options, as you will go through different phases in your workout journey!
  4. Do they have testimonials? If a training program has produced results, they should have plenty of people knocking down the door to tell people about their results. There is no better feeling than hitting your fitness goals that once seemed impossible. When this happens, people naturally want to tell everyone who/what helped them achieve these goals. If a training program isn’t providing testimonials, then you should question that programs legitimacy.
  5. Are the accessible? When starting an online training program, you may have questions or want verification about a workout, form or just in general. It’s important that the program connects you with the expert that can answer those questions. If you are doing a workout wrong, then the program may actually do more harm than good. By asking questions, you can be confident that you are heading in the right direction. I recommend checking the program/trainers Instagram. Are they putting out daily content? Can they be reached?
  6. Do they provide meal planning? Even the best workout plan will fail if you don’t eat properly. The phrase “abs are made in the kitchen,” couldn’t be truer. If you are in the right workout program, but then eating pizza for every meal, you just won’t get the results you are looking for. A great workout program, with a bad meal plan, is like having a Lamborghini with no tires, it’s not going to work very well.

With our lives getting increasingly busier, online workout programs are becoming more popular. If you are tired of going to crowded gyms, don’t have time to go to the gym, or simply want to try something different, I certainly recommend trying an online workout program. The important part is finding the best one for you and finding one that will get the results you are looking for!

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