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Online Personal Training vs Face-to-Face Personal Training

Updated: Mar 12

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The COVID-19 pandemic brought about significant shifts in the landscape of personal training. Many personal trainers were forced to adapt and adjust their approaches, while some, unfortunately, saw a substantial decline in their business and livelihood. Those who successfully adapted to the changing circumstances moved their sessions online, enabling them to maintain their relationships with clients and support them during this challenging period.

As the world gradually returned to normality, numerous trainers have opted to continue offering remote services in addition to traditional face-to-face sessions. I, for one, appreciate the flexibility that this approach offers, benefiting both me and my clients. Interestingly, a portion of clients who initially transitioned to online-only sessions during the pandemic have chosen to stick with this format.

This situation begs the question of which training method is better suited to individual needs. Below, I offer my perspective on this matter. To discover how aFitness Personal Training can help you with your exercise needs, book a free consultation.


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Face-to-Face Personal Training

Human connection

The interpersonal relationship between trainer and client plays a big part in some peoples success (or failure) when working with a trainer. Most people prefer physically having a trainer with them when exercising and feel they are pushed more in a session this way. On the flip-side, however, online sessions sometimes move quicker than face-to-face sessions which means you get more work done.

Either way, the rapport built between client and trainer determines the flow and quality of the session. Training both online and/or in-person will build this rapport and lead to productive and challenging workouts.

Attention to detail

As a personal trainer, when I am training someone I am always looking at form and quality of movement. As the client performs an exercise I am free to move around and observe the movement from many different angles. The simple dynamic of remote training makes this more challenging, though a good trainer will still be conscious of movement quality and should be able to effectively coach via video call.

Equipment and exercise selection

Training in person with a personal trainer in a gym/studio means you have access to a wide selection of exercise equipment. Even if you train at home or outdoors with a trainer your trainer would normally provide a decent selection of equipment to exercise with. With that being said, you can still have a fantastic, effective workout using your own bodyweight and minimal, inexpensive equipment.


Personal trainers hold you accountable for your fitness and nutrition decisions. It is easier to lie to a screen or cancel an online session compared to having to face your trainer in person and explain why you don't feel like training or why you have strayed from your healthy eating plan. Knowing there is someone physically there pushing you helps to keep you on track.


I offer one to one Personal Training in Hampstead and Kensington in London.

If you would like to find out more, you can either book a free consultation or fill in our questionnaire to get a personalised plan of action.


A man performing a push up at home

Online Personal Training


Most online training sessions vary from 30-60 minutes - the added convenience from the personal trainer's side of being able to deliver a session anywhere there is an internet connection means a 30-minute session becomes more viable. This, coupled with the ability to train from home and, therefore, reducing transit time to zero, means you can squeeze in a session when you only have 30 minutes free. That's only 2% of your entire day!


This is an obvious one, online training is usually cheaper than face-to-face training. This cost advantage arises from the fact that trainers don't need to account for expenses like travel costs and the time involved in moving between sessions, resulting in a generally lower session fee.


Not everyone feels comfortable or confident in a gym or outdoor space with people watching. Training in the comfort of your own home means you can exercise confidently and comfortably.

There is an argument, however, for separating your exercise environment to your home environment. By having to go to, and come back from, a different location marks the beginning and end of a focused block of time dedicated to exercise.


Performing an exercise with limited cues and input from your trainer means you have to concentrate more on the movement itself. This helps to build control and can make you more aware of your body and how it moves. This is doubly important when it comes to exercises involving the core and glute muscles as increased control and awareness can help to reduce the risk of back pain - a common ailment for many people.


Online coaching is available all over the UK.

If you would like to find out more, you can either book a free consultation or fill in our questionnaire to get a personalised plan.


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Whatever your reasons for looking to the help of a personal trainer may be, either online training or face-to-face training will help you achieve your health and fitness goals. When deciding between the two weighing up the benefits against your concerns is an important step to take.

If cost is an issue then online training, or a combination of both, can prove to be viable means to working with a professional. If you would like a more complete experience with a wider range of exercise options and added support, then face-to-face training is the answer.

Either way, hiring a Personal Trainer can help you to safely and effectively reach your health and fitness goals in a shorter time-frame than if you were alone.

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John Maitland is a personal trainer with over 15 years of experience. He has worked alongside a wide range of leading CEO's, entrepreneurs and medical professionals. John is a keen athlete and holds a black belt in Shaolin Kung fu. A fan of the great outdoors, he can often be found exploring the British countryside and mountains...or breaking pine boards with his fingers.

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