What to look for in an online trainer and how to choose a home workout program

Dear Rachel,

With inflation making things more expensive, I’m considering ditching my gym membership for a cheaper home workout plan. There are so many offers, what should I look for when deciding what to subscribe to? I have a set of dumbbells and resistance bands, but I don’t want to buy any more equipment. Thanks!

— Save on squats

Dear savings,

Like most people, I feel your pain right now – things are very tight and many of us are looking to save money. It’s good to hear, though, that you want to prioritize your fitness and invest in your health for less.

You absolutely can do a great workout from home, something many of us have learned during the coronavirus pandemic.

There are plenty of options, including workout program apps that update as you progress, trainers that share live workout videos you can follow, and online trainers that s ‘record personally with their clients.

It’s understandable that you might feel overwhelmed with the choice, but don’t worry. I asked personal trainer Tom Lowe what you should look for in an online home workout program — and all the red flags.

Don’t just do HIIT

I’ve seen a lot of workout routines that are just high-intensity interval training (HIIT), but Lowe said that while there’s nothing wrong with HIIT in moderation, doing it four to five days a week can put too much stress on the body.

“HIIT is great when complemented with a full-body strength training program,” he told Insider. “It should be an addition to your training to help improve your overall fitness and create a slightly higher calorie burn for one session.”

Lowe said, “Resistance training is an absolute must in any decent home workout program.”

A post shared by Tom Lowe (@tom.lowe_)

Doing HIIT without strength training can lead to injury, Lowe said, and it’s a myth that HIIT is better than other types of training when it comes to fat loss, personal trainer Luke Worthington previously said. to Insider.

“Going to a HIIT class won’t improve your body composition,” Worthington said. “It may get you exercising, but it doesn’t do anything else.”

To lose fat, you need to train and be in a slight calorie deficit, he said. It has always worked for me too.

Check Coach Credentials

When looking for a trainer or plan, make sure they’re fully qualified and not just someone with a big Instagram following, as personal trainer Liam Cavanagh once told Insider.

If it’s not clear, reach out and ask.

Ideally, you want a private group for paying members, perhaps with live workouts, plus a single plan you can follow on your own, Lowe said. Personal trainer Jordan Syatt’s Inner Circle, for example, has a strong community.

Also consider looking for a coach who offers regular check-ins, which will hold you accountable but also allow you to ask questions and provide feedback, Lowe said.

Choose a plan that has different difficulty levels and a clear way to progress

Check to see if the trainer or workout program offers multiple plans and options to make workouts easier or harder, Lowe said.

“If all you see are programs advertised as ‘six week abs’ or ‘beach body shred,’ that’s a big red flag,” he said. “These programs and names were set up as clickbait to lure you in and make a quick sale.”

Instead, look for a progressive workout plan that isn’t focused on a specific time period or aesthetic change, like a functional full-body at-home workout plan, or something with beginner, intermediate options. and advanced, Lowe said.

“These are all good signs that the programming has been well thought out and that there are progressions that allow you to realistically and safely improve over time,” he said.

Check that the equipment list also matches what you own.

Try before you buy

Take advantage of the free trials offered by some training plans before committing your time and money. You can even try a few before deciding which one you prefer.

Check reviews from real customers (not just website testimonials) and ask your friends what they use and review. If you decide to do the same, it can add an extra layer of fun, Lowe said.

If you decide you’d rather go with a workout app than an online trainer, but aren’t sure what style of workout you want to do, try one like Sweat or HWPO, which have different tracks. between which you can trade.

I train in the gym, but I’ve followed programs on both of these apps over the years – they’re well planned, have progression, and I like not having to decide what to do every workout.

It’s kind of like dating someone: scout out, think about what you really want, and don’t rush to commit.

Wishing you good luck,

Rachel

As a senior health reporter at Insider and a self-proclaimed fitness fanatic with an Association for Nutrition-certified nutrition course under her belt, Rachel Hosie is immersed in the wellness scene and here to answer all your questions. burning. Whether you’re struggling to find the motivation to go for a run, confused between lightweight and heavyweight, or not sure if you should be worried about how much sugar is in a mango, Rachel has you covered. giving you the no-frills answers and advice you need, with no fad diets in sight.

Rachel has extensive experience in the areas of fitness, nutrition and wellness, and she has top experts at her fingertips. She speaks regularly with some of the most knowledgeable and renowned personal trainers, dietitians and coaches in the world, ensuring that she is always up to date with the latest scientific facts you need to know to live your happiest and most successful life. the healthiest.

Have a question? Ask for Rachel at workingitout@insider.com or fill out this form anonymously. All questions will be posted anonymously.

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