I am considering leaving the gym to save money. What should I look for in an online fitness program or home workout coach?

Following a workout plan at home can be a great way to get in shape.Getty
  • It may be worth investing in online trainers or training plans, especially if you want to work out at home.
  • Don’t choose one that involves only HIIT or focuses on aesthetics, said personal trainer Tom Lowe.
  • Look for a program led by a qualified trainer with different levels that allows you to progress.

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 on sale, what should I look for when deciding what to subscribe to? I have a set of dumbbells and some resistance bands, but I don’t want to buy any more equipment. Thank you!

— Savings on squats

Dear savings,

I, like most people, feel your pain right now: things are tight and many of us are looking to save money. However, it’s great to hear that you want to prioritize your fitness and invest in your health at a lower cost.

You absolutely can get a great workout from home, which is something many of us learned during the coronavirus pandemic.

There are plenty of options, including training program apps that update as you go, trainers that share live training videos that you can follow, and online trainers that communicate face-to-face with their clients.

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

Don’t just do HIIT

I’ve seen a lot of training programs 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 It can put too much stress on the body.

“HIIT is great when paired with a full-body strength program,” he told Insider. “It should be an addition to your training to help improve overall fitness levels and create a slightly higher calorie burn for a 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 workouts when it comes to fat loss, personal trainer Luke Worthington previously told Insider.

“Going to a HIIT class is not going to improve your body composition,” Worthington said. “It may make you exercise, but it doesn’t do anything else.”

To lose fat, you need to do strength training and be in a slight calorie deficit, he said. This has always worked for me too.

Check trainer credentials

When looking for a trainer or plan, check to make sure they’re fully qualified and not just someone with a huge following on Instagram, as personal trainer Liam Cavanagh previously 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 unique 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 trainer who offers regular check-ins, which will hold you accountable but also allow you to ask questions and give feedback, Lowe said.

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

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

“If all you’re watching is shows advertised as ‘six-week abs’ or ‘shredded beach body,’ this is a huge red flag,” he said. “These shows and names have been set up as clickbait to lure you in and make a quick sale.”

Instead, look for a progressive training plan that doesn’t focus on a specific time period or cosmetic change, like a full-body functional home workout plan, or something with beginner, intermediate and advanced options, he said. Lowe.

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

Check that the equipment list matches what you have as well.

try before you buy

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

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

If you decide you prefer a training app over an online trainer, but aren’t sure exactly what style of training you want to do, try one like Sweat or HWPO, which have several tracks you can swap between.

I train at the gym, but I’ve followed programs on both apps over the years – they’re well planned, have progression, and I love not having to decide what to do for each workout.

It’s a bit like going on a date: explore, think about what you really want, and don’t be too quick to commit.

Wishing you all the best,


As a senior health reporter at Insider and a self-described fitness fanatic with a Nutrition Association-certified nutrition course under her belt, Rachel Hosie is immersed in the wellness scene and here to answer all your questions. hot. Whether you’re struggling to find the motivation to go for a run, confused about light and heavy weights, or not sure if you should worry about how much sugar is in a mango, Rachel is here to provide you with sensible answers and advice you need, strictly no fad diets in sight.

Rachel has a wealth of experience in fitness, nutrition and wellness, and has the best experts at her fingertips. She regularly speaks with some of the world’s most knowledgeable and renowned personal trainers, dietitians, and coaches, making sure she’s always up to date with the latest science-backed facts she needs to know to live her happiest, healthiest life.

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

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