Fit Trend: Virtual Training

Whether you want to stay at home or go on the road, you can take your personal trainer with you.

You can virtual train anywhere, even in a small city apartment. All photos by by Ryo Gokita

You can virtual train anywhere, even in a small city apartment. All photos by Ryo Gokita

Technology allows us to connect on a level that was pretty much unimaginable even just five years ago. This new realm of connectivity opens up exciting business opportunities for trainers, fitness instructors, health coaches, and dietitians. Not only can they foster an in-person clientele locally, but they can offer their unique services to people anywhere in the world. Consumers can access workouts OnDemand, via YouTube, and on their game consoles. Unlike watching a fitness DVD, virtual training allows your instructor to modify and personalize your workout as you go.

Personal sessions

Virtual training is less-expensive than hiring a trainer to come to your home or meet you at the gym for a workout. Other perks include saving travel time and fitting in workouts on your schedule. Companies like and MyBOD offer personal training workouts for $30 to $60 a session. B. True Yoga and Yoga with Fawn offer hour-long private yoga sessions for $75 per class. If you are a member of a gym and considering hiring a personal trainer or yoga teacher, ask around to learn if any instructors offer virtual services — odds are, a few might.


Group instruction

Are you a sucker for group fitness? Organizations like DanceFIT and Wello offer monthly memberships for $80 to $99 for 10 group classes per month. On Skype and Google+, classes can include up to nine participants plus the instructor. Every person on the video call is visible (unless they disable their camera), allowing the instructor to cue participants individually.

Greater Boston’s DanceFIT Studio has three studios, one in Brookline, another in Natick, and a third “virtual” studio offered via Skype. Members are mostly moms who value not having to find and pay a sitter, or students with hectic schedules. DanceFIT client Kelly O’Keefe is a fan of virtual training. “Because I’m a city dweller, I walk or take public transit everywhere and sometimes it’s really tough to head back out in the freezing cold (or sweltering heat) after already having walked in that weather during my commute,” she says. “When Skype classes came along, not only did I not have to face the weather anymore, but I didn’t have to worry about leaving a half hour early or getting home a half hour later from classes.”

Perks for the instructor

Your trainer also saves time and money by staying home. Most one-on-one video conferencing programs are free, but group video calls might require a small monthly membership (Skype Premium is $9.99 a month). Additional costs for instructors include marketing their services and maintaining their teaching credentials.

Are you looking to connect with a virtual trainer or group fitness instructor? These Boston professionals have taken their talents online: Zumba with Maeve (virtual group fitness), Body by Monika (personal training), and Jody Grimm (health coaching).

Know of others getting in on the virtual action? Tell us in the comments!