Short answer: it depends. A virtual fitness training app will help fill in many of the gaps which may be the hole in your sinking ship, allowing you to no longer take on water and continue sailing smoothly towards your objectives. Within these are a variety of options, however, some are more all-encompassing than others.
So what exactly should I look for in an app?
In this article, I’ll break down exactly that:
- The benefits to be had
- The types to be found, and how they compare to one another
- What they offer that simply can’t be achieved on one’s own
After which we’ll take a bit of a deeper dive into the reality of what it takes to maximize one’s potential, as well as a conclusion that’ll help get you started.
Now, with all that said, let us step into the first entry on that very list:
Benefits of a Virtual Fitness Training App
When it comes to evaluating an app and what it can do for you, you have to remember: what is this app? It’s a compilation of code, running on your phone, that manages information for you. You’re the one that needs to go to the gym, you’re the one that needs to eat the right food, and you’re the one that needs to get ample rest; the app cannot do that for you. But what can it do for you?
A Fitness Mobile App Can Do The Following:
- Coordinate and structure your workouts, often providing access to a variety of premade (and subsequently cookie-cutter)
- Keep a log of your dietary habits so that you can track and properly visualize your nutrition intake, accounting for extremely important variables (calories, macros, etc.) otherwise unfeasible for most gym-goers
- Help ensure you’re getting adequate rest by advising the ideal hours you’d need to sleep, both in terms of quantity and time of day, to ensure optimum recovery.
An app provides guidance, information management, and peace of mind that all the data you need to worry about when it comes to training. This includes your weight progression on your lifts, your bodyweight progression, your PR times for your cardiovascular endeavors, your meal plans/dietary guidelines, and so on, which are all neatly and conveniently stored in an easily accessible place, allowing you to optimize this entire process and delegate it to a third party.
Now, Virtual Fitness Apps are not a “one size fits all” product. There are many kinds, for a wide variety of potential users, with an even wider array of goals., I’m going to share my opinion on the two of the most prominent and worthwhile options, comparing how they stack against each other.
Fitness Trackers vs Personalized Coaching Apps
The two most widely used forms of fitness-focused apps, given that most of the demographic in question is either an athlete with a hyper-specific need or an individual looking more so for a tool or method, to help them improve their general fitness, are:
- Fitness Trackers: Such as MyFitnessPal, HeavySet, WorkIt, FitBod, and the like. These help monitor your progress, keep tabs on your workouts, diet, rest (although typically only one of these), and so on. Sometimes they’ll even have templates you can select from within those same categories. But you have to remember, these templates weren’t built & tailored to you; they were put together for [insertAppHere]’s userbase, in an attempt to offer a greater service to their customers.
- Personalized Coaching Apps: As mentioned in the last few sentences above, some trackers offer templates for your efforts in each branch of fitness. With Personalized Coaching Apps (which themselves are more so a service rather than a tool) you are provided with programs that are not simply templates, but are as the name suggests, personalized for you by your Coach. They are specifically what you need to reach your goals in the smoothest, most seamless timeline possible. All the aforementioned aspects are also included (tracking your food, training, and rest), although these are taken care of for you rather than simply providing the means for you to track them yourself.
|Progress Logs||Provides Routines||Tailored to the individual||Allows for delegation||1-on-1 assistance|
Now, the choice between the two may seem like a bit of a no-brainer, assuming both are equally available to you, but there are still some nuances to take into account, such as:
What Do I Get Out of an Online Coach That I Can’t Get On My Own?
A question I often hear asked by those contemplating such a leap, which I’ve heard time and time again: why should I enlist such a service? What do you bring to the table to make this commitment worth it? Well, I’ll tell you.
The changes you seek to make, and the goals that you’re looking to reach, they’re no small feat. If you were just looking to drop a few pounds or to feel a little more in shape, you wouldn’t be here. But you want more than that. The inclusion of “Gain Muscle” in the very name of the article illustrates that.
Your physique is a reflection of your lifestyle, a result of the way you carry yourself in your day to day, and the fruits of your labor, both for better and for worse. Changing one’s lifestyle is no small feat, and many underestimate what it takes to truly steer yourself in an entirely different direction. It means eating differently than you currently do, sleeping differently than you currently do, and living differently than you currently do. Such a change is no small feat, and for many, ends up being too tall a mountain to climb, not because they’re incapable, but rather because they didn’t have the right plan to traverse those metaphorical heights.
A coach is your tour guide lest you get lost in the woods, the chef that knows exactly what to do with the ingredients he’s given, the plumber who can get your system back to tip-top; and sure, you can google your way through it, and bang on the pipes yourself, but we all know how that tends to go. Knowledge, and experience; that is what a coach brings.
How an Online Coach Can Help You Finally Break That Plateau and Get You Progressing Again
Now, as nicely put as that all may have been, what are some examples of this expertise? You now know why a coach makes all the difference, but how do they do it?
Well, let’s quantify it. Put it into (somewhat arbitrary, as this is an analogy,) numbers for the sake of a more vivid description.
Let’s say that you, given that you have a job to give most of your time to, social obligations to fulfill, and hobbies/interests to partake in, as well as however many other obligations you may currently have on your plate, you may found yourself rather spread thin.
To add on top of that, not only the immediate time of training but the time investment required to inform yourself on the topic, so that you can make the right choices when it comes to exercise selection, training frequency, rest allocation, dietary management, etc.
We all have unforeseen circumstances should something arise that requires you to restructure, like a late day causing you to miss a session, hazardous weather, or any other issues, personal or otherwise, that may get in the way. One missed session, on, say, a Friday, can be a slippery slope into comfort over consistency. But not with an online coach.
A coach introduces consistency through accountability. With their expertise, a missed session can be compensated for in the next, a missed meal factored into the next day, or improvised elsewhere. It’s someone to confide in and resort to when things veer off the path. Someone whose expertise will help you avoid mistakes that, tallied up, could save you months that would’ve otherwise been squandered.
A coach is a mentor that not only ensures you’ll be doing things in the best way possible for you, but takes the load off your plate as well, making it that much easier to maintain the balance in your life while working towards being the best version of yourself.
The Raw Truth Behind Motivation, Consistency, and Accountability
This next part comes as a bit more of a hard hitter, but it’s a reality that eludes many, myself included for a time. But one that anybody looking to improve themselves needs to come to terms with.
Consistency in a field that doesn’t come to you naturally is hard.
If this were something you could just wake up one day, decided to do, and subsequently accomplish, then we wouldn’t be here, would we? For many, it’s effortless, but that’s because everyone has their strengths: some breeze through academia while struggling to make friends, while others are the prom king or queen with hardly an effort, but sweat at the thought of a test.
For the latter, improving their social skills will be as difficult as studying will be for the former.
Turning a weakness into a strength is a daunting task, and that aforementioned consistency requires motivation that does not come easy when plateaus are inevitably hit. This leads to down periods, the likes of which are not easily bounced back from without the proper accountability, which for most, especially in matters like these, is even more of a challenge without a third party to assist them.
This is the other side of what a coach brings to the table. Not just logistical guidance, but a helping hand to the end of the tunnel, from someone who’s already walked it before.
Getting Started With an Online Fitness Coach
All this can seem like an overwhelming realization and subsequent need, I know it was for me at least. Knowing just how much you’ll be missing out on without a coach compared to simply “winging it”, can make the pressure to find the right one a little much, to make sure that if you’re going to commit to this, it needs to be done correctly. Conveniently, though, you needn’t look far.
I’ve been in this business for over a decade, and have coached people from all walks of life, from athletes looking for an edge to absolute beginners still finding their footing, and I’ve got the track record of clientele to show just what kind of work we’ve accomplished together.
If you’re hesitant about taking the leap, it’s understandable; big choices like this will incite those feelings. Let me get you through them, though, and show you that, with myself as your guide, your goals will be within reach in a way they’ve never been before, ready for you to seize them. Click here to get yourself started, and we can get you hurtling towards your goals faster than ever.