Online Personal Training. A Very High Risk Process

So called ‘personalised ‘exercise programming sent to you on your computer by someone very often hundreds or possibly even thousands of miles away, is something commonly available these days, but the deeply negative consequences for a great many individuals should be explained.

Every single individual moves differently within their genetically endowed personal ranges of physical motion, so literally… no two people anywhere are the same. Each and every person has different strong and weak points within their uniquely personal physical capabilities/movement ranges, and at any given point in their lives, people will have small physical problems in progress beneath their daily awareness, completely regardless of how completely ok they feel they are, at a conscious level. Age differences bring in another important aspect for consideration, as do the highly significant gender physiological differences between men and women, which are extremely important for integrating into each and every aspect of all exercise prescription.

The subtle individual problems that people have can vary… from small degrees of postural conditions known as lordosis, scoliosis or kyphosis to perhaps a small degree of irregular kneecap tracking to slightly imbalanced gait/walking patterns, or slight spinal niggle/mis-alignments. The number and nature of ‘starting point’ negatives already in place within the bodies of many is truly extensive but without doubt, they need to be discovered and knowledge of them established before any exercise takes place!.

This is precisely why, pre-exercise testing is crucially important.

So people who may well already have (almost always unaware of it) one or more of these existing subtle problems, are then ‘approved’ by their distant personal trainer and given set exercises to do. The online  trainer who has not met them, has no safely realistic idea at all of their ‘in the flesh’ physical condition and personal physiology, other than perhaps a brief questionnaires ( but often none!), continues regardless, and gives them exercises to perform.

It is more than just a little possible, that such online exercise plans, will significantly escalate the person’s sub-clinical issues (something small you’re presently physically unaware of) into clinical issues (something significant, that you are very much aware of,  via pain or significant bodily discomfort) due to the technical ignorance of exercises recommended ‘blind’ on a computer screen.

Also be very much aware, that video presentations are certainly no safety or efficiency guarantee either.

Regardless of how any exercise is visually demonstrated on a screen, if certain people are not biomechanically suited for that exercise they will perform it wrongly or not exactly as it should be done; without even being aware that they’re doing so.

Such a scenario is liberally peppered with future damage possibilities, as without at least a partial biomechanical Range of Motion Test to establish beforehand the uniquely personal ‘ins and outs’ of someone’s movements, it’s actually not ‘personal’ training at all anyway, in the honest reality of the phrase.

In simple common sense…how can it be?

It will only be ‘blanket exercise’ that could be given to anyone of the same age group and general background with the same common goal. There is no credibly safe personalised knowledge of the individual’s body beforehand, so what in any way is ‘personal’ about the instruction received online?

To term it personal training is totally incorrect, as it is only supervised exercise and in addition…. just to be perfectly clear about this; without proper biomechanical testing by the trainer before any form of exercise is attempted, it is also only supervised exercise when working face to face with a trainer too… and not personal training in that situation either.

At least done in person though, a personal trainer would at least have some basic idea of very obvious postural inconsistencies that are plainly visible and hopefully be able to draw some simple conclusions, that certain exercises were blatantly incompatible with the bodies they have before them. However, with a trainer in Scotland sending off programs to a client in Cornwall, never having met them, or biomechanically pre-tested their bodies in any way, in terms of just basic fundamental safety alone, any online personal training scenario is a precarious course of action for a great many unsuspecting people.

By all means exercise and get fit and healthy with genuine personal training, but if you’re going to improve your fitness levels guided by someone online only, please get yourself physically checked out locally first as an absolute must.Always try your best to get this done by someone who is credibly qualified in Exercise/Injury Biomechanics; not someone qualified via exercise/training certification that took 12 weeks or a similarly short time to attain.

This will allow you to move forward far more confidently and work for the results you’re seeking a lot more safely, with a greater assurance that you’re far less likely to end up with a back or knee problem, because someone was advising you without remotely enough information and knowledge about how you as a unique individual, moved or responded to exercise and physical exertion.

I speak from hands on personal experience here as just last year alone, I dealt with 43 people who had ‘suffered’ very significantly from involvement with online personal training. Bear in mind that’s just the people I had contact with in the course of my own work; so imagine how many more ‘casualties’ of online personal training there must be out there!

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