She kicks so much booty, you’d think she was anti-pirate. (She’s very much pro-Jack Sparrow, though, so please don’t form a picket line). She’s the one who’s going to make you dig deep for all of life’s greatest offerings, which means a lot more than just diet and workouts. (We promise it even includes chocolate. Possibly strawberries with the chocolate. And we’ve learned wine can be like relaxation in a bottle… but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.)

Leia will make plans with you from the OUTSIDE-IN, training your mind as well as your body. Trust us when we say to create long lasting health and fitness you need to include things like self-care! Self-care? Is that like showering at appropriate times, not bringing work home with you, and finding clothes to wear that aren’t stained by a child’s spittle?

Well, yes, actually, but there’s so much more! Self-care means you gotta love yourself in a proactive kind of way, creating a daily routine, establishing good habits, destroying negative self-talk and learning to love what you see in the mirror!

Leia is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, Health Coach and Life Strategist. She’s what we call a triple threat. But the only one who needs to be afraid, is your insecurities…. because they’re about to get obliterated!

Leia’s passion is for helping others learn how to tap into their own unique talents and create for themselves a life they love! Isn’t it time to be living your dream life? Through nutrition, exercise, daily habits and training the mind as well as the body, Leia has watched the magic work first-hand in her own life, and now she’s been blessed to witness it in the lives of her clients.


Create the Ultimate Bikini Body

We are experts at simplifying body transformations and solving all of these issues for our clients. Problems tend to arise in one or more of the following areas.


Too often people read advanced programmes and despite never having trained before, think you need to eat nothing but chicken and broccoli and train 2 hours a day in order to lose fat. It simply isn’t the case.


You can stick to a diet and training plan for 2 weeks, but ultimately you don’t see instant results and then switch to something else or give up.


You follow your diet for 4 days a week, then fall off for 3 at the weekend and get disheartened when you don’t reach your goals.


Who should you trust? It seems “experts” don’t agree most of the time. With the latest fad promising crazy results, it seems impossible to wade through the confusing and conflicting advice out there.


You’ve seen an impressive six pack or perky glutes on Instagram and you think about signing up to their super-duper online training course. If you’ve done that and you’re happy with the service, then you can join a very small group of people.

The one-man / woman bands of online fitness are notoriously unreliable and usually all that you get is a copy and paste plan that’s fit for no one.

At UP, we really are different because we are the only International Personal Training business in the world, with our own gyms on four different continents across the globe. With us, you get the reassurance that whoever you deal with is accountable to his manager. You don’t have to hope that you get a great service, you can expect a great service.

13 best fitness apps and online training programmes

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or in a remote village with zero wifi, you’ll have noticed the explosion of the fitness industry in recent years. And not only has it grown in popularity, it’s also had a bit of a facelift.

Unlike the dark days of long-winded, cardio-focused workouts, today’s favoured exercises take the form of quick HIIT (high intensity interval training) sessions, weight training and circuits, many of which can be completed in well under an hour – some as short as 10 minutes,

No longer are we limited to forking out for costly gym memberships, as not only are there more affordable and pay-as-you-go options around, there’s also a wealth of information out there – including fitness plans, nutritional insight and expert advice – which means you needn’t even leave the house for a workout.

Thanks to social media we have direct access to top trainers and nutritionists who regularly spurt little nuggets of health-related wisdom, so we’re not only more educated on exercise and eating well, we’re also inspired to take part. But, with so many plans, guides and programmes on the market, how’s a fitness-enthusiast supposed to know which is best to invest in?

That in mind, we squatted and sweated our way through workouts from some of the best guides around, taking into consideration the duration and difficulty, the fitness level required for the exercises involved, the guidance and support provided, plus the functionality of the source (how easy the website, etc, is to navigate). Our favourites, listed below, include sessions from top trainers around the world. Some are based in the US, therefore the price is listed in dollars. This means that, although there are no additional charges for purchasing the programme, the cost may vary depending on the exchange rate at the time. It’s also worth asking what your bank charges for foreign purchases, as it may cost you a small percentage of the fee.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Fiit membership: From free,

Think Netflix, but for fitness. Fiit provides access to many of the best trainers in the country – including Adrienne Herbert, Alex Crockford and Richie Norton – for video-led workouts that can be completed in your bedroom and beyond. There are three categories to choose from – cardio, strength and rebalance, which includes yoga, pilates, mobility and breath work – and all feature sessions comprised of body weight moves, so they’re accessible to everybody.

There are hundreds of videos already available – either 25 or 40 minutes in length and varying in difficulty – and new ones drop frequently. Upgrading to a premium membership (which costs from £10 per month) provides you with a Fiit device, which allows you to live track your heart rate and calories burnt during a workout, and also provides access to unlimited classes and exclusive content. Plus, if you have more specific goals you can try out one of the new personalised training plans, which recommends specific videos along with nutritional advice to help you hit your goals.

Buy now

Zanna Van Dijk The Sculpt Guide: £35,

With a firm focus on nourishing not just the body, but the mind and soul also, The Sculpt Guide is more than a run-of-the-mill fat loss plan. Created by Zanna Van Dijk, personal trainer, blogger, social star and Adidas Global Ambassador, it aims to improve health from all angles. The 12-week fitness programme provides weighted and bodyweight workouts – which increase in complexity and difficulty as the weeks progress – and recommends that you complete four (with an optional fifth) per week of your choice depending on your circumstances.

So if, for example, you’re travelling one week, you might favour the bodyweight workouts for ease. Warmups and finishers (for the non-faint hearted among us) are also included, and rest days are compulsory. There’s advice on recovery, stress management and the importance of sleep and self-care, and an emphasis on good form. There’s no meal plan included as nutrition is outside of Zanna’s expertise, however there are recipes aplenty on her website. Available in PDF form only, it’s practical for use when working out on the go, however links are dotted throughout that direct you to video demos of the exercises on Youtube.

Buy now

GymCube Membership: From free, GymCube

A virtual take on the fitness class, GymCube is an online database of more than 600 do-at-home workout videos, plus regular sessions you can stream live (imagine, all the buzz of a group class with none of the faff beforehand). Workouts can be filtered by duration, target area, difficulty, equipment available, preferred trainer and the amount of calories you could burn, and there’s an option to follow a plan (all of which are listed under the Programmes tab) – such as the 30 day challenge – if you prefer a little guidance.

The exercise library illustrates how best to execute each move (which is handy, as some videos are fast-paced with little time for the instructor to demonstrate beforehand, so it’s worth consulting this prior to starting a workout), and there’s a wealth of information to aid in improving your diet, including weekly meal plans and healthy recipes.

It’s recommended that you follow the seven-day Kick Start programme upon signing up to determine your goals and establish your current fitness level. Upgrading to a premium membership costs as little as £5.83 per month, and allows access to additional videos plus member-only support groups.

Buy now

Scott Laidler Online Personal Training: From £195, Scott Laidler

Unlike the one-size-fits-all programmes on our list, this one is a completely bespoke option. Much like hiring a personal trainer in your local gym, top fitness coach Scott Laidler and his team will devise a plan to help you achieve your goals. There are three options available, a six-week, 12-week or 24-week plan, and each includes both a tailored fitness programme and a customised meal plan created by a nutritionist.

Once you’ve filled out a few forms, you’ll have your personal plan pop up in your inbox in a week or so. It’s up to you whether workouts include equipment or not, and you can also note any allergies, intolerances or dislikes too. The recipes provided are delicious (particularly the peanut quinoa bowl and the orange and blueberry bircher muesli). Support (via email) is available should you need a little encouragement.

Buy now

FitFusion by Jillian Michaels: From $9.99 (£11.74) per month, FitFusion

Ideal for those who favour a fitness DVD but like a little bit of variety, FitFusion is an online subscription service that allows access to a catalogue of exercise videos, ranging from cardio and strength training, yoga, boxing and pre/postnatal-focussed workouts, too. The sessions vary in length (the 10-minute Body Transformation may sound like a breeze, but it’s brutal), and while many are led by an enthusiastic – yet merciless – Jillian, others see the presence of a range of equally encouraging top trainers.

There’s no knowing how punishing a workout will be before you begin (though watch out for words such as “killer” and “extreme”, code for really, really blimmin’ hard), however modifications are often provided to increase or decrease the level of difficulty. Plans and series’ are available for those looking for more structure, such as the one-week Shred and Ripped in 30, which provide a number of workouts to perform over a certain period of time in order to alter your body composition.

If you’re new to fitness, start with the Beginner Shred. It’s low intensity, yet still sweat-inducing, and will help build strength for the more challenging workouts. Subscribe for 12 months to reduce the overall payment or purchase just one video, if you prefer. You can also download the videos for offline use.

Buy now

Doyouyoga: from $15 (£7.41) per month,

Providing everything from power flows and pilates, to tips for great posture and assistance in progressing poses, the Doyouyoga site has a little something for every yogi there is. Videos can be filtered by style, focus, teacher, level of ability and duration, and modules – such as the Men’s 30 Day Yoga Challenge – are available for those seeking to improve their practice.

With both sweaty and soothing sessions on the menu, it’s easy to find a video to target your mood and goals. Plus, regular reminders via email and virtual badges upon completing certain challenges encourage your persistence. The speedy sub-15-minute flows are perfect for integrating into a busy life, as are the short meditation videos, which guide you through breathing exercises to help manage stress and anxiety.

Some programmes – such as The 28 Day Yoga for Beginners – are free to access, though a full subscription allows access to the entire collection, and lets you track your progress and time spent practicing, which is ideal if you have hopes of becoming a yoga teacher yourself.

Buy now

Joe Wicks, Lean In Fifteen Workouts: £4.99, Amazon

Joe Wicks, founder of the Lean in 15 franchise – famed for his toned bod and recurring use of the words “midget tree” – has released a second fitness DVD. It features nine HIIT workouts that start at beginner level, and gradually increase in intensity as you complete them. The first eight are short 15-minute sessions, while the additional ninth – or “winner’s” – workout is a 30-minute killer, though with lots of cardio and full-body moves included, even the easier workouts will leave you puffing for breath.

Exercises are mostly bodyweight moves, but dumbbells are required for workouts seven and eight. There’s no weekly plan regarding when and how often you should complete a workout, however if you own the first in the series of the Lean in 15 books (and if you don’t, you should!) you’ll find a recommended schedule in there along with quick and delicious recipes.

Set in scenic Italy, the video emphasises the versatility of the workouts, and the fact they can be completed anywhere in the world with minimal equipment. However, if you intend to train on the go, it might be wise to invest in the digital version. The DVD is ideal for those looking to increase general fitness levels, but if you’re looking for a more substantial, tailored plan, Wicks’ 90 Day Shift, Shape and Sustain plan might be more up your street.

Buy now

The Vertue Method Fitness Programme: £39.99,

With a following of over 300,000 and an endorsement by none other than David Beckham, the success of Shona Vertue’s training method speaks for itself. She promotes the equal importance of strength, flexibility and nourishment, and her new video-based programme makes her method accessible to everyone. The 12-week plan, intended to increase all-round health and improve nutrition, is detailed on her website, where – behind a pay wall – you’ll find workouts and wellbeing advice aplenty.

There are three videos for each fortnight of the programme; two that take you through workouts – 30-38 minutes in length – which should be repeated twice per week, and one yoga video that remains constant throughout the plan, but provides progressions for when needed. Exercises involve the use of simple equipment, such as kettlebells and resistance bands, but can be completed without.

A drawback is that internet is required to access the workouts, but there’s an explanation. “I didn’t make a PDF fitness guide because I wanted to be as close as I could to you while you were training,” Shona wrote recently on her Instagram profile. “The cues I give you on your form are in real time so it’s much easier to apply them rather than having to memorise them or go to the back of the PDF to read the exercise descriptions again, mid-way through your workout.”

The plan is bursting with info on improving mindset and proper form to maximise your workouts, and there’s an emphasis on moving at your own pace (Shona even advises repeating any weeks you find particularly challenging until you’re ready to proceed). Recipes are provided, along with nutrition advice, and there’s no such word as cheat, as nothing is off limits.

Buy now

Barrecore: £5 for 24-hour access or £25 for a monthly subscription, Barrecore

Recognisable for its ballet-style moves that appear deceivingly easy at first glance, Barrecore offers punishing, full-body workouts that’ll have you squealing (in pain, not excitement) through each rep. By signing up to the online subscription service you’ll gain access to 66 videos, which can be filtered by duration, equipment used (such as weights, a rolled towel or a barre/chair), ability and target area.

There’s also the option to follow a two, four or six-week programme – complete with a timetable and recommended videos – to help you achieve your goals. Workouts are led by enthusiastic trainers. Moves (and their benefits) are explained thoroughly, and include squat and push-up variations with lots of little pulses that’ll have your body parts burning, however modifications are available to reduce or increase intensity. Stretches are also incorporated at the end and throughout to release tension and increase flexibility.

If heavy weightlifting is your thing, then Barrecore probably isn’t for you. However, if you’re looking for something to make your muscles sizzle, this is it.

Buy now

Kayla Itsines The Bikini Body Guide: From £42.28, Kayla Itsines

Even if you’re unfamiliar with the fitness industry, it’s likely you’ve at least heard murmurs of Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide; world-famous for toning the physiques of its loyal “army” of fans. The 12-week plan consists of three weekly 30-minute HIIT workouts, each including two seven-minute circuits that are to be repeated twice. The goal is to see how many moves you can squeeze into each seven-minute slot.

It’s also recommended that you complete one extra cardio session per week (such as power walking or sprint training) and include some stretching, too. Basic equipment – including dumbbells, a bench, a medicine ball and a skipping rope – is required to perform a number of the moves, however most can be bought cheaply online.

There workouts will leave you feeling depleted (there’s a reason that so many participants look lean and sculpture-like in their “after shots), but if a change in body composition is what you’re looking for, this could be your golden ticket. The repetition of exercises over the weeks can begin to feel a tad monotonous, however they’re over so quickly you’ll hardly notice.

Buy now

PIIT 28 Programme: From $39 (£30.91), Blogilates

What in the world is PIIT? Well, think HIIT, but with the addition of pilates-inspired moves. The 28-day programme – originally created by award-winning fitness instructor, Cassey Ho, to keep herself moving while travelling – comprises of 11 workouts that are to be performed over six days per week. Each workout is, rather precisely, 28 minutes and 40 seconds long, and features seven simple but sweaty bodyweight moves – many including a springy element, like bunny hop variations.

The rule is 45 seconds of all-out exercise, then 15 seconds of rest, repeated four times (but not before you’ve completed the warm up, of course), and followed by a cool-down. The eBook provides diagrams of each of the moves (great if you’re on the go and your data is dwindling), plus a 28-day calendar and an Instagram challenge, where you’re encouraged to upload a photo everyday to connect with others participating.

Videos and gifs are accessible behind the membership wall on the website if you’d rather consult a screen, and the free Blogilates app will give you access to a timer. Once you’ve completed the programme, there are two others you can tackle.

Buy now

That Girl Method: £59 for 12 months, That Girl London

Founded by trainer-to-the-stars Christina Howells and activewear designer, Charli Cohen, the That Girl Method is described as being “the beginning of a lifestyle change”. The eight-week challenge is broken down into four two-week blocks, each comprising of a workout that you’ll repeat six times over the fortnight, plus two steady-state cardio sessions (walking, jogging and cycling are recommended) and two HIIT workouts, depending on your ability (HIIT isn’t introduced until week five for beginners).

The four workouts at the core (excuse the pun) of the programme are comprised of 10-12 moves using bodyweight or basic equipment (such as a resistance band or chair) that target the whole body, and increase in difficulty as the weeks go on. Gifs and short explanations demonstrate how to best execute the moves, though nowhere does it mention that – performed in a row – they’re way tougher than the girls in the gifs let on, so consider this your official warning.

While fun and relatively quick to complete, if you’re someone who likes an ever-changing exercise schedule, then – due to the workout repetition – this might not be the programme for you. But if you’re looking to bust your butt to kick-start a lifestyle switch-up, then this is the door to knock on. Nutrition advice with meal suggestions and a handful of recipes are also available, plus a couple of extra workouts for the advanced and the masochists.

Buy now

Carly Rowena Get Gorgeous Guide: From £30, Carly Rowena

Insta-famous for her enviable abs and positive demeanour, it’s no wonder Carly Rowena gets lots of questions regarding her fitness routine. Lucky for us, her 12-week plan provides everything we need – including workouts and advice on nutrition and managing stress – to improve our health, and perhaps even reveal abs of our own. Ideal for fitness newbies and the advanced alike, the eBook (also available in hard copy) allows you to choose your own level of intensity.

It encloses three different circuit workouts per week, all comprising of five to six uncomplicated moves (such as jump squats and press-ups) which can be performed with or without basic equipment, and are clearly illustrated. The workouts are relatively quick to complete, but don’t let their simplicity trick you into believing it’ll be a walk in the park. Pick the correct intensity level and you’re in for a challenge.

Participants can access the private Get Gorgeous Facebook group, where subscribers can encourage, motivate and inspire one another. Once you’ve downloaded the eBook to your laptop or phone (you can download it a total of three times), you needn’t be interrupted by any poor internet connections, so it’s ideal for travelling.

Buy now

The Verdict: Fitness apps and online training programmes

Choosing a fitness programme is very personal – what might be one person’s ideal workout will be another’s worst nightmare – so above all, it’s important that you opt for an exercise that you’ll enjoy, and that suits your lifestyle. That being said, if fun, trainer-led sessions are your thing, then – with no equipment required and a broad range of classes available – Fiit has our vote.

The Sculpt Guide scores points for its focus on all-round health and the option of personalising your own workout week depending on your schedule (plus its affordablility!), though if you have a particular goal in mind, consider online coaching with Scott Laidler for a bespoke plan to help you achieve it.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

Regardless of whether the world of Instagram fitspo inspires, appalls, or straight-up baffles you, IG’s become the place to see snaps of girls proudly baring their toned arms and ab cracks. Most people will tell you to follow buzzy trainers (hello, Kayla Itsines) or supermodels like Candice Swanepoel on the media app if you’re hoping to get a fitspiration hit, but the real place to see social media’s most exercise-obsessed women is on curator accounts like @fitness and @fitnessgirlsmotivation.

MORE: 101 Ways to Lose a Pound

Unlike blogger and model accounts, these pages aren’t about one specific person. Instead, they’re a shameless roundup of crazy-hot women—both celebrities and regular, nonfamous people—from around the world, a strategy that’s earned some pages millions of followers. So you can love ’em, hate ’em, or just sit there judging them, but we guarantee you won’t be able to stop staring at these utterly gratuitous fitspo accounts. Scroll through the slideshow to see 30 of the most popular.

MORE: How to Get a Bigger Butt, According to Kim Kardashian’s Trainer

1 of 30


Photo: instagram / @gyminspirationpage


Photo: instagramPhoto: instagram


Photo: instagram / @fitnessPhoto: instagram


Photo: instagram / @fitPhoto: instagram / @fitnessgirlsmotivation


Photo: instagram / @gymlooks


Photo: instagram Photo: instagram / @just_fitness_health Photo: instagram / @motivationforfitness


Photo: instagram / @fitlife.freekz

Photo: instagram


Photo: instagram / @myluxguide


Photo: instagram


Photo: instagram / @fitness.we


Photo: instagram / @fitnessgirlshott Photo: instagram / @myfitfashionguide


Photo: instagram / @bikini Photo: instagram / @fitnesspageforalll


Photo: instagram / @fitlifegirlss


Photo: instagram / @girl.workouts Photo: instagram / @fitnessamazinggirls Photo: instagram / @fitnessmotivationlifee Photo: instagram / @fitness.destinations


Photo: instagram Photo: instagram / @getfitmotivates


Photo: instagram / @myfitpost


Photo: instagram / @fitness_junkie


Photo: instagram / @getfitnessz

April 23, 2018


Over the years, women have shown that working out at the gym, lifting weights, and doing all sorts of hardcore physical activities is not just for the guys.

1. Kayla Itsines

Follow Kayla Itsines via IG handle @kayla_itsines.

With 9.4 million followers on Instagram, Kayla Itsines is one of the most popular ladies when it comes to fitness. The Australian trainer also has her own workout app called Sweat with Kayla. On her account, she shares before and after pictures of women who have taken part in her program. There’s a lot of major fitness inspiration here for anyone starting out!

(Source: Kayla Itsines IG)

2. Chin Twins

Follow the Chin Twins via IG handle @chintwins.

Sisters Kimmy and Crissy Chin love making shapes with their bodies, which is immediately noticeable through their posts. These ladies are not just yogis but also moms and dancers. They’re great inspiration for siblings or BFFs wanting to support each other in taking the road to fitness.

View this post on Instagram

“I am you and you are me. We are alone, but not alone. We are trapped by time, but also infinite. Made of flesh, but also stars.” -Matt Haig 🖤 #chintwins by @nigelbarker

A post shared by Kimmy & Crissy (@chintwins) on Apr 10, 2018 at 7:10am PDT

(Source: Chin Twins IG)

3. Massy Arias

Follow Massy Arias via IG handle @massy.arias.

Massy Arias, or MankoFit, is a health coach and personal trainer with over 2.5 million followers. Her motivational captions, healthy meal ideas and hardcore workout routines have inspired many women not just to build strength but develop mindful eating habits as well.

(Source: Massy Arias IG)

4. Emily Skye

Follow Emily Skye via IG handle @emilyskyefit.

Beauty guru and fitness coach Emily Skye has been a longstanding figure in the fitness industry as well. Her most recent posts show her journey to getting back in shape after giving birth. Aside from inspiring women in general, her posts encourage moms everywhere who struggle with shedding those postpartum pounds.

(Source: Emily Skye IG)

5. Cassey Ho

Follow Cassey Ho via IG handle @blogilates.

Cassey Ho has one of the most body-positive accounts online. She’s made it her mission to make fitness more fun and less intimidating, and her posts are a testament to this advocacy. She’s also the director of POP Pilates and posts lots of tips on her blog.

(Source: Cassey Ho IG)

Having strong, empowered ladies to look up to is a vital element in any woman’s fitness journey. After all, strong women only contribute to a brighter future, and that benefits everyone!

Who inspires your fitness goals on Instagram or in general?

Looking for more fitness motivation? Read:

  • Do You Need a Fitness Tracker? My Fitbit Charge HR Review

  • 6 Ways To Take Control Of Your Health

  • 5 Ways To Stay Motivated On A New Exercise Program

Top 25 Female Fitness Coaches To Follow in 2017

Follow Dani on:

Website: EliteFTS Author Page

Facebook: Dani Overcash

Instagram: @DaniCashDPT

Twitter: @DaniCashDPT

Amy Dix

Location: Urbandale, Iowa

Amy found her passion for fitness later in life. She calls it “adult onset athleticism”. She now works as a personal trainer in Des Moines, coaching strength training, nutrition, and healthy habits to people both in the metro area and online. She also works as a fitness writer and blogs at and is a monthly author for Jordan Syatt’s Inner Circle. Her favorite part of her job is watching her clients gain confidence and empowerment as they make progress with their fitness goals. Amy is an avid lifter, a lover of heavy deadlifts, a passionate cook, and coffee junkie. She lives in Urbandale, Iowa with her husband and three boys.

Follow Amy on:


Facebook: Amy Dix

Instagram: @amydix_foundationfitness

EDITORS BONUS ADD: Meghan Callaway

Location: Vancouver, Canada

Meghan Callaway is a highly respected personal trainer in Vancouver, Canada and has over 13 years of experience. Meghan was in a bad car accident when she was 28, and this led to 5+ years of severe body issues/dysfunctions. Going through this ordeal made Meghan appreciate her health and simply the ability to feel good more than ever, and it changed her overall mindset from one that was so focused on aesthetics, to one that is now centred around feeling healthy, happy and confident, and kicking ass, both in the gym, and in life. This is also the mindset she tries to instil in all of her clients. Meghan has an extensive athletic background and has played competitive soccer for 26 years, and also grew up playing ice hockey and baseball on boys teams.

Follow Meghan on:


Facebook: Meghan Callaway

Instagram: @MeghanCallaway

Twitter: @FitFastStrong


Perform at maximum capacity while keeping yourself injury-free. Completely FREE for you to download.

I’ve always enjoyed changing up my exercise routine—more so out of interest than boredom. With the number of exciting fitness classes (hot yoga! indoor cycling! hot yoga-indoor cycling fusion!) available, I’ve always been too tempted to try them all, rather than commit to just one workout on a regular basis.

But despite my six-day-a-week workout schedule and the advice that recommends “mixing up” your fitness routine, I never really got the results I was hoping for. Sure, I felt physically fit, but I wasn’t seeing a lot of improvements in my physique or body composition.

Trying to get flat abs? If you’ve got a dumbbell on hand, you can do some of these moves:

​ ​

After reading all about the benefits of consistent strength training, I decided to research weight-lifting programs. The goal: finding a routine that I’d stick to so I could finally achieve the results I’ve been missing. And what better place to find a workout program than Instagram?

Three “Insta-famous” trainers caught my eye not only because of their followers’ amazing results, but also their legitimate backgrounds in exercise science: Kayla Itsines of the Sweat With Kayla app, Karena & Katrina of Tone It Up, and Anna Victoria of Fit Body Guides.

Related: Want Sexy Side Abs by Summer? This Workout Will Light Up Your Obliques

I decided to try each trainer’s latest workout program for one week each to decide which one I liked best before taking the leap—and paying the money—to commit to the real deal. My main goal: Find a program that motivated me to keep up with the workouts, and hopefully, one that I’d be excited to do at least three times a week. Here’s what happened.

Week One: Sweat With Kayla

Who she is: Itsines is a 26-year-old personal trainer from Australia who’s amassed a casual 7.1 million Instagram followers.

What you can get for free: A seven-day trial of the Sweat With Kayla app.

What you can purchase: After the trial is up, your card will be charged $19.99 per month.

Pros: Let’s rewind for a second: I tried a few of Kayla’s 28-minute workouts a couple years ago when they were all the rage. But peering at the tiny PDF-based images on my phone as I wandered around the gym wasn’t exactly working, so I gave up pretty quickly. Luckily, the app is a huge improvement. The idea is that it’s designed to do in a gym, since the workouts utilize equipment like the Smith Machine and leg press. You also need dumbbells and a little room to move around, but nothing too crazy—my apartment building gym was more than enough.

Related: ‘I Did 50 Crunches Every Day For A Month—Here’s What Happened’

The Sweat program itself is relatively simple, but you will certainly sweat. And it’s legit strength training: Since the prescribed number of reps is low (usually 10-12), you’re supposed to use heavy weights. That’s just what I was looking for as a break from the high reps/low weight or bodyweight exercises I typically do in classes. Plus, the photos of the exercises are large and easy to follow, and there were little videos you can watch to make sure you’re doing the moves right. Basically, “sweating with Kayla” made me feel like a badass who knows her way around the gym.

Cons: The seven-minute blocks can start to drag, especially after you’ve done four to five rounds by the end of the workout. Since the app doesn’t talk to you or pace you (there’s just a horn sound when the seven minutes are up), sometimes I was tempted to just take a water break until the timer ran out. Some of the moves also got a little repetitive.

Week Two: Tone It Up

Who they are: Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott, both certified trainers, founded Tone It Up, which has over 1 million followers on Instagram. Their brand has expanded beyond workout programs to lifestyle content, activewear, and nutritional products.

What you can get for free: Videos on their website and YouTube channel.

What you can purchase: You can buy the Bikini Series or Beach Babe program for access to exclusive workout videos, a personalized nutrition plan, and more. (Speed up your progress towards your weight-loss goals with Women’s Health’s Look Better Naked DVD.)

Pros: It’s easy to think these two insanely gorgeous, peppy, and toned California girls can’t possibly be that nice and bubbly in real life. But they really are, that’s why I love how K&K (as they call themselves) make sure their personalities shine through in their videos. One dreary, rainy day, after doing a workout they shot on a gorgeous California beach, I felt my mood improve as the endorphins kicked in. It was almost like I was there on the sand with them.

Related: The Best Diet for Losing Fat and Building Muscle

The other perk of the Tone It Up program was the fact they offer full-length workout videos that you can follow along with. It was nice to have a trainer coach me through the exercises, whether I was watching a video in my living room or playing it on my phone at the gym. (Wireless earphones, FTW!) This abs workout was the perfect addition to cardio day, and I also enjoyed this well-balanced upper-body workout.

Cons: Since they’re intended for all levels, some of the workouts were on the easier side, leaving me feeling a little unfulfilled. Plus, some people may find their girliness a little too, well, girly, but I personally enjoyed their positive, happy vibes.

Week Three: Anna Victoria

Who she is: Another perky fitness pro from California with over 1 million Insta-fans, Anna Victoria’s Fit Body Guides have inspired tons of success stories from her #FBGGirls. She also offers body-positive motivation and advice on her Instagram and blog. You may have seen her “two-second transformations” that show that even fitness stars get crazy bloated.

What you can get for free: You can “pay with a tweet” for a free preview of her guides, and she occasionally offers free challenges, like the #JumpstartJune challenge I signed up for. There’s also some free content on her site and YouTube channel.

What you can purchase: Her 12-week guides, which include workouts and recipes, are available online starting at $50.

Related: 5 Women Share Exactly How They Totally Transformed Their Butts

Pros: Anna Victoria’s no-gym-needed workouts were way tougher than I expected! I tried a full-body video I found online, and I did three of her #JumpstartJune challenges in one week. In the accompanying PDF, she gave great advice about strength training and explained in detail her reasoning behind the heavy (15 to 20 pound) weight suggestions. “The higher the weight, the less it will be a cardio or high-intensity workout, and the more it becomes a strength-training workout,” she explains. She also reminds us that “muscle engagement and proper form are two of the biggest keys to getting results.”

I also really liked the moves she included, which were never boring and left my core, legs, and arms on fire (think: three-way squats). Finally, I appreciate the body-positive themes that run through all of Anna Victoria’s Instagram and blog posts.

Cons: Not gonna lie: PDFs felt a little old-school. I love her personality, but you obviously don’t see that on the page. Also, some of the plyometric moves were hard on my joints — I can only do so many jump lunges, jump squats, and burpees! I think the full guides would offer more of a progression, but the preview didn’t feel quite right for my current needs.

Related: This Is the Best Exercise to Work ALL Those Core Muscles

The Verdict

Drumroll, please: I decided to go all in with… Kayla Itsines’ Sweat app! I let iTunes charge me the $19.99 per month app subscription, and I plan to stick with it for 12 weeks. It seemed like the best option for me, given the convenience of having a gym in my building. If you prefer to work out at home, Tone It Up or Anna Victoria may be a better option. But the steady, consistent strength training that the Sweat app provides feels like it’s just what my body needed—at least for now!

Locke Hughes Locke ​Hughes ​is a freelance writer, certified health coach, and believer in balance.

You know how an Instagram feed that’s full of rainbow-colored fruits and veggies can get you excited about eating something healthy? It’s kind of the same with fitness influencers. Follow badass women who post flexy selfies with captions about their workout, videos of themselves dead-lifting twice their weight, doing a freaking pull up, or nailing a yoga headstand, and you might feel more motivated to break a sweat.

Here, the Instagram queens you should be following for sweaty good vibes.

Brittne Babe, @brittnebabefitness

If you’re not a fan of the gym but want to get fit, Brittne’s grid is packed with full-body workouts you can literally do in your kitchen (because that’s where she does them too). Her gym lewks are also *chef’s kiss.*

Stephanie Sanzo, @stephaniesanzo

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Today was a good day 😍 I hit a NEW PR of 155kg / 342lb 🙏 In an ideal world I would have liked it to move a little smoother but I’ll take it !! 💯. Current Bodyweight is 54kg / 119lb

A post shared by STEPHANIE SANZO (@stephaniesanzo) on Dec 7, 2018 at 2:32am PST

Ever played with the idea of body building or power lifting? Meet your new favorite influencer. The Aussie bench presses, deadlifts, and squats hundreds of pounds and gives in-depth lifting tips for her 1.2 million followers! You gotta see it to believe it.

Linn Lowes, @linnlowes

This Swedish certified trainer gives helpful advice on strength training techniques to make the most of of your workouts. Also, the pics of Linn with her man and her dogs are the cutest ever.

Kelsey Wells, @kelseywells

Ever wonder what the hell all those machines at the gym are for? Allow Kelsey to show you what’s up. From cable stations to leg press equipment, your girl demos what you can do and how to do it via fitness videos set to fun bops.

Phyllicia, @yogi_goddess

Zen out with this yoga superstar’s snaps of inspiring handstands, crystal-infused self-care, and gorgeous acroyoga poses. Oh, and her floofy cat also does yoga with her. This is not a drill.

Katie Crewe, @katiecrewe

Whether you’ve been lifting weights forevs or you’re new to the strength game, Katie’s Insta is packed with helpful advice. Check out her daily workout videos, booty transformation pics, and healthy recipes for major inspo.

Chontel Duncan, @chontelduncan

Lifting is great and all, but sometimes you just want to punch something. Enter, Chontel. The Australian certified trainer and mom of two shares videos of her Muay Thai boxing training along with instructions to try the moves yourself. And be sure to check out her back muscles. Damn, girl.

Christmas Abbott, @ChristmasAbbott

If you have any doubts about female weightlifters’ capabilities, let Christmas show you the light: With more than 700,000 followers, the CrossFit competitor and Olympic lifter posts photos and videos of herself lifting insanely heavy shit.

Amanda Bisk, @AmandaBisk

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Learn to be gentle on yourself. Allow more room to make mistakes, to be flawed, and to be human. Failure isn’t the end result, it is part of the process. Let it encourage you to adapt, grow and get better. Without your struggles, you wouldn’t have your strength 💜 #strength #nevergiveup ab x

A post shared by Amanda Bisk (@amandabisk) on Dec 13, 2018 at 3:24am PST

This Australian goddess hasn’t racked up more than 682,000 followers for nothing. The exercise physiologist, yoga instructor, and CrossFit coach posts G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S photos of herself sweating everywhere you want to be.

Cassey Ho, @Blogilates

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A post shared by Cassey Ho (@blogilates) on Dec 10, 2018 at 12:58pm PST

Cassey Ho is a body positive certified fitness instructor and Pilates maven loved by more than 1.4 million Instagram followers. Her feed is full of graceful poses and Pilates moves interspersed with healthy foods — and adorable animals. (Because why not?)

Jeanette Jenkins, @MsJeanetteJenkins

For her 512,000-plus followers, this celebrity trainer posts motivational quotes and selfies in fun fitness clothes and body-baring outfits.

Emily Skye, @EmilySkyeFit

More than 2.4 million people follow this beautiful Australian model-turned-personal trainer, who mostly posts photos of her covetable six-pack, flexing up a storm.

Lita Lewis, @FollowtheLita

This triathlete calls herself the “Thick Fit” trainer. Her plyometric exercise videos and motivational captions keep her 498,000 followers around.

Jenelle Salazar, @GetBodiedByJ

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A walk on the beach sounds good right about now🌊

A post shared by G E T B O D I E D B Y J (@getbodiedbyj) on Dec 10, 2018 at 3:43pm PST

Upward of 701,000 people follow this fitness coach for creative exercise ideas.

Lyzabeth Lopez, @LyzabethLopez

Some 2 million followers are obsessed with this Canada-based trainer known for her hourglass workouts. She posts creative exercise ideas that you can do anywhere.

Massy Arias (aka Mankofit), @Massy.Arias

Known for her empowering captions and can-do attitude, this certified personal trainer has a massive following: 2.5 million people follow her for advice on how to properly build strength and confidence.

Charlee Atkins, @CharleeAtkins

🚨Attention INDOOR CYCLING enthusiasts🚨 Nine years on the ol’ bike taught me a thing or two 😅 Try any or all of these exercises the next time you find yourself standing in the lobby or gearing up to tap it back (these are warm-up stretches :))) 🚲💦🚲💦🚲💦 TAG ALL YOUR @soulcycle or indoor cycling buddies ⤵️

A post shared by Charlee Atkins (@charleeatkins) on Dec 13, 2018 at 3:04pm PST

Soulcycle instructor, founder of NYC-based fitness classes Le Sweat and Le Stretch, and all around positive human being Charlee Atkins shares videos of workouts, warmups, and stretches you can do at home. Let her be your Insta personal trainer.

Michelle Lewin, @Michelle_Lewin_

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Who said you can’t get abs without going to the gym?🤷🏼‍♀️ -Strong ab work out at home with the AMAZING @LewinFitnessPlatform, outfit @one0one_101 -Music @zoli_vekony

A post shared by Michelle Lewin (@michelle_lewin) on Nov 26, 2018 at 12:35pm PST

More than 13 million people follow this fitness model to see how fitness magazine cover stars (like Michelle) keep their shape. (Spoiler: It’s no walk in the park.)

Katrina and Karena, @ToneItUp

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we stayy hustlin’ #TIUteam ❤️👯‍♀️👯‍♀️ the positivity in this community is SO contagious!! Karena & I have a permanent smile going thru your pics…keep up your momentum 🙌🏼 #TIUholidayhustle

A post shared by Tone It Up (@toneitup) on Dec 6, 2018 at 9:07am PST

Cali girls Karena, a triathlete and model, and Katrina, a health science student who’d once struggled with her weight, met at the gym, eventually collaborating to launch their own fitness studio, crazy popular YouTube channel and Instagram. Their fitness account features healthy foods and workout ideas.

Rachel Brathen, @Yoga_Girl

This yoga guru hasn’t built up a following of 2 million for nothing. She posts beautiful yoga selfies and smiles with upbeat, borderline prophetic captions that just make you feel good.

Tanya Poppett, @TanyaPoppett

Fact: This Australian fitness instructor’s Insta vids are exhausting to watch — she works out hard. But because she relies on her own body weight or easy-to-access props like a pillow, set of swings, and chair, her posts provide actionable ways for you (and her 351,000 followers) to work it Tanya-style.

Lauren Fisher, @LaurenFisher

This college student and Crossfit competitor’s account has a girl-next-door feel. She toggles between silly pics and seriously impressive fitness feats. If the combo makes you want to be her BFF, you can join her more than 690,000 followers.

Brittany Dawn, @brittany_dawn_fitness

For seriously gorge Insta aesthetic and gym style inspo, tap follow on Brittany’s grid. She’ll share tips from her own workout routine, like her fave abs and booty moves, so you can steal ’em for yourself.

Natalie Uhling, @natalieuhling

The former fitness model, creator of NUFit, and certified trainer shares gorgeous photos, sage advice, and videos from the classes she teaches with her 64,000 followers.

Kayla Itsines, @Kayla_Itsines

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As per your request ladies… NO JUMPING LEG SESSION 👊💧💪 Try 15-20 reps per exercise for 3 laps!!

A post shared by KAYLA ITSINES (@kayla_itsines) on Dec 13, 2018 at 1:35pm PST

This Australian certified fitness trainer has a cult-like Instagram following of 6 million users. Her feed is full of fans who swear by her Bikini Body Guides.

Anna Victoria, @AnnaVictoria

This Italy-based fitness guru has a strength-training program of her own called The Fit Body Guides. Her 1.1-million strong following loves her body-positive instant transformations (#SoReal) almost as much as the newlywed’s throwback wedding photos (#Gorgeous).

Jen Selter, @JenSelter

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Who’s ready for a #JenSelterSquatChallenge ?! 1. Try a few of these squat variations 2. Post yourself or a friend doing it on IG story 3. Tag me in the story- I’ll be reposting 🙂 Can’t wait to see which moves you pick!! Let’s get motivated together💪 🎵On Me – Meek Mill ft. Cardi B Outfit by @aloyoga

A post shared by Jen Selter (@jenselter) on Dec 7, 2018 at 12:18pm PST

With a booty pop so famous it’s got its own hashtag (#Seltering!), this Instagram star’s incredible butt has helped her rack up a following of more than 10.4 million people.

Ana Cheri, @AnaCheri

This strong AF fitness fanatic shares snapshots taken at the gym and everywhere else she sculpts (or simply shows off) her sculpted bod.

Brittany Perille Yobe, @BrittanyPerillee

This certified fitness trainer fills her feed with proof that her I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E booty is 100 percent real. Nearly all of her posts are videos of creative exercises she uses to round out her butt at the gym.

Jessamyn Stanley, @MyNameIsJessamyn

Jessamyn’s account proves yoga is not a sport designed for certain body types. Her posts, which often involve difficult inversions, showcase her talent, while her captions spread the body-acceptance advocate’s uplifting message.

Additional reporting by Cydney Eckert, Kate Beckman, Veronica Lopez, and Kerry Justich.

Follow Elizabeth on Instagram and Twitter.

Elizabeth Narins Senior fitness and health editor Elizabeth Narins is a Brooklyn, NY-based writer and a former senior editor at, where she wrote about fitness, health, and more.

Work With An Online Fitness Coach Today

What’s The Difference Between An Online Fitness Coach And A Personal Trainer?

Having a personal trainer gives you the convenience of having someone right next to you. An in-person trainer can make form adjustments for you in real-time, and also track your exercises for you in a notebook. Working with an online personal trainer is completely different.

Working with an online personal trainer is a different service, and a completely different experience. It’s also for different people. Beginners tend to be better off working with someone in-person. More experienced gym-goers benefit more from working with a virtual fitness trainer.

  • With an online personal trainer, you can work out on your own time, instead of playing schedule tag with a trainer in person.
  • You can get the quality exercise programming with an online coach, and not need someone following you around counting your reps in your ear.
  • You can work with a more experienced coach, instead of paying top dollar for a newbie at your local gym.

To work with an online coach, you should be confident with your exercise technique. I can make some adjustments by looking at videos you send me, but I can’t teach beginners proper form through the internet.

How Can You Coach Me Through The Internet?

The goal of online fitness coaching is to help you create structure and consistency in your exercise programs. You’ll also learn how to measure and track your progress without the help of someone else. Here’s more information:

Online Fitness Coaching Software

Using Trainerize, a software for online personal trainers, I can deliver and monitor your exercise programs. You’ll have videos of every exercise in your program, and every weight, set and rep will be tracked in Trainerize.

Email Support

We’ll communicate via Email. Every week, you’ll be sent a “check-in questionnaire” that will ask you which days you’ll be going to the gym for the upcoming week. Your check-in will also ask you questions about how your previous week went. This way, I can make adjustments to your program as you need them. Every week I’ll respond to your check-in with feedback, and I’ll answer any questions you have.

Tracking Progress Pictures

Trainerize will also serve as a hub for your progress pictures. Every month you’ll take progress pictures and add them to your account. For more information, you can read my guide, how to take progress pictures.

Tracking Body Measurements

Since you won’t have someone in person to take your measurements for you, you’ll need to take them yourself. Using a tape measure to track where your body is changing will help us know if your program is working. If it’s not, we’ll have a good idea of what needs to change. Here’s my guide to taking body measurements by yourself. It’s written for weight loss, but the techniques can be used by anyone.

Online Nutrition Coaching

Nutrition coaching is offered through our Trainerize mobile app integration with My Fitness Pal. When you register for My Fitness Pal, they will calculate your daily macros. Send these numbers to me, and I will make adjustments to them based on your goals. Each month, when I track your progress I will adjust your macros, too, as needed. I do not offer meal plans.

In Trainerize, your macros will be displayed daily in your calendar. This makes it easy for us to see the composition of food you’re eating each day.

Checking Exercise Technique

To be qualified as a candidate for my online personal training program, it is assumed that you already have a fairly good sense of technique. It is impossible to teach someone form through the internet, so you’ll need to know how to do most compound lifts before applying.

However, there are some instances where you may need a form check. When this happens, record a video of yourself performing an exercise, upload it to youtube as a private video, and send me the link in your email questionnaire. You can send as many videos as you’d like each week.

Other Progress Tracking Methods

There are several other ways we can track your progress. Depending on your goals, certain methods will be more important than others. Since my online personal training business is 100% customized to your individual needs, we’ll discuss which methods best align with your individual goals. Here are the other methods you can use to track your progress.

How Do I Know Who Is The Best Online Personal Trainer For Me?

Before hiring an online trainer, you should spend some time looking at several options. Since everyone with an internet connection and a gym membership offers online coaching now, it’s easy to get “duped” by someone. Consider the following criteria before you hire someone.

Your Online Physical Trainer Should Be Flexible

When it comes to fitness coaches, online or offline, they need to be flexible to be able to build customized exercise programs that match your fitness goals. With that being said, no two exercise programs should be the same.

Your Remote Personal Trainer Should Have A Solid Form Of Communication

Communication is an extremely important part of online training. This is the major difference between a coach who delivers one-off exercise programs, and a high-end coaching service. I deliver all of my communication via email support.

I’ve found that people don’t typically need weekly skype or phone support, because all of this information can be covered via email. Those who feel like they need to have constant face-to-face communication with a coach usually do better working with a personal trainer in-person instead.

Your Online Fitness Instructor Should Have A Mobile App To Manage Your Exercise Program

Spreadsheets are cool, but mobile apps are much better. The best coaches take advantage of technology, and use it to help their clients get results. I use Trainerize, which tracks everything all under one hub. I can also generate graphs and reports to showcase progress.

What If I Want Just An Online Nutrition Coach?

At this point in time I do not offer online nutrition coaching separate from online fitness training. At some point in time I may decide to separate these services, and offer personal diet coaching, but for now they’re delivered together as an online training and nutrition program.

Do You Offer Different Online Personal Training Packages, Programs And Pricing?

No. Everyone in my program pays the same amount of money each month, and everyone gets the same amount of services for the same price. This way, it’s fair for everyone and no one feels like they’re not getting something. This is the most expensive service I offer, and it also provides the biggest “bang for your buck”. Because of this, this also isn’t a cheap service. If you want cheap online fitness coaching prices, find someone new to this industry on Instagram.

14 Steps to Become a Great Online Fitness Coach

If you’re a trainer, you have a training business. Moving some or all of that business online can be a smart move.

Becoming an online fitness coach offers three huge benefits:

  • Help more people
  • Make more money
  • Have more freedom

For many trainers, it means no more waking up at 4:30 a.m., eating lunch from a Tupperware container, or dealing with your gym’s toilet-overflow incidents. (No guarantee the toilet won’t back up at home, but at least it’s your own mess.)

But before you make the leap, there are a few things you should know—14 things, to be exact.

They’re the 14 game-changing lessons I learned during my own transition from in-person to online fitness coach. I hope they help you as much as they helped me.

READ ALSO: How to Be an Online Personal Trainer

1. Create content for your audience, not your peers

It’s tempting to target your posts and videos to your fellow fitness professionals. That’s how you learned when you were starting out, and now you want to add your own ideas and opinions to the mix.

But if your goal is to help Ricky from accounting lose fat, you need to stop debating people online about CrossFit or fasted cardio.

Because Ricky doesn’t care. Ricky just wants abs.

What will he see when he looks at your content? Will he see evidence you understand his challenges, and want to help him achieve his goals? Or will he see a trainer trying to impress his peers or score points against people he disagrees with?

Everything you write should cater to the people you want to help. Choose the subject, format, and voice with that audience in mind.

READ ALSO: How to Build an Online Following from Scratch

2. Seek mentorship and guidance

“A single conversation across the table with a wise man is better than 10 years mere study of books.” —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Several years ago, I booked a same-day, one-way plane ticket to New York City for an internship with John Romaniello, and I’ve never looked back. Roman had the career I wanted, and I set out to learn everything I could from him.

I know that’s an extreme example, but there are simpler ways to connect and learn from potential mentors.

The first step is to identify someone whose career you admire. Then you need to learn what you can before you approach them. Have they written articles or posts about how they got started? Do they have a book or product offering a step-by-step plan to achieve success?

Once you know as much as possible about their history and process, you need to figure out how to gain access. Do they offer coaching services, or run a mastermind group? If so, they’ll expect you to join.

If not, or if personal coaching is out of your price range, consider how you can be useful to the person without being a pest, a sycophant, or a weirdo. Is there a new product you can amplify with a detailed, enthusiastic review? Can you volunteer to help with a seminar, bootcamp, or some other live event? Is there a skill you can offer that complements what they do?

The worst approach is to ask for help without any history with the person. Even if the person is well-known for helping trainers on the way up in the industry, you can’t build a relationship based on your need to receive something, with no consideration of the other person’s needs or motivations.

Focus on giving, and you’ll be surprised by how much you receive.

READ ALSO: How Eight Online Personal Trainers Earn Six-Figure Salaries

3. Practice what you preach

All trainers, online and off, are judged by their looks. It sucks, and it’s not fair. Lots of perfectly qualified coaches don’t quite look the part. And lots of complete morons are shredded out of their (empty) minds.

But there’s a logic to it. When the majority of your clients have appearance-based goals, it’s natural to assume a trainer with the physique they aspire to knows how to help them achieve it.

An online trainer can win people over with charisma and empathy, and of course nothing speaks more forcefully than impressive client transformations. But it’s hard to get clients to give you a chance when there’s a disconnect between your appearance and your expertise.

Clients who want to be lean and muscular aren’t likely to hire a coach who isn’t lean and muscular. Weight loss clients won’t expect you to be shredded (and might be intimidated if you are), but they do expect you to look healthy and represent their goals.

Put in the work, and get in the best shape you can.

READ ALSO: The Busy Trainer’s Guide to Staying in Shape

4. Clear your social calendar

Be prepared to work extremely hard at the beginning of your transition from gym to internet.

Writing, shooting videos, and posting on social media takes time. And if you’re trying to build an online presence while still maintaining a full client load in the gym, you must adopt a hustler’s mindset. Other parts of your life have to become a lower priority for a while.

You can still have it all, but not yet.

The Wealthy Fit Pro’s Guide to Online Training retails for $19.99, but we bought it for you. We just ask that you pay shipping & handling. Claim your copy at

5. Bet on your strengths (part one)

Trainers ask me which social platform they should focus on, or whether they should build a video library, or if they should launch a podcast.

My answer: Let your personal strengths guide your platform of choice.

If you write well, write.

If you’re good on camera, get on YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat. If you’re a great conversationalist and a good interviewer, consider starting a podcast, or becoming a regular guest on an established show.

Do whatever allows you to present your ideas, your personality, and your value to your target audience.

6. Coach the influencers

An influencer is anyone with a following, and if you’re the person they turn to for online coaching, you have instant validation.

Think about it from the potential client’s point of view: If she sees an advertisement for your coaching, or a promoted post on social media, she probably scrolls right past it.

But if someone she knows and respects talks about you, and shows off the fantastic results from your plan, she’s immediately more interested.

But how do you find a celebrity to train?

Obviously, you aren’t likely to snag the next Brad Pitt and lean him out for Fight Club 2: More Adventures in Nihilism with Tyler and Marla.

Think smaller, and think local. An influencer doesn’t have to be world-renowned. Train the chef at a popular restaurant. Train a doctor or a nutritionist who can then refer their patients to you. Or train a CEO with a huge online presence, like I did.

Whether their audience is small and local or massive and global, influencers will bring you more attention and referrals than you could get on your own.

7. Find unique or underutilized distribution channels

Creating great content is the most important thing you can do to grow your brand as an online fitness coach. But only if the content reaches your target audience.

You can do it organically, for free, by going where others aren’t.

Test new apps, and use them natively—that is, in a way that shows a genuine interest in helping others within the platform. Don’t try to push your services on people, or get them to connect with you on your own media.

Years ago, I did that on Fitocracy. I put in dozens if not hundreds of hours simply interacting in the community. It was crucial to the early growth of my online training business.

Like I said earlier: Good things happen when you help people and ask for nothing in return.

READ ALSO: How to Find the Right Fitness Niche for You

8. Get amazing results for your clients

None of this advice means anything if you can’t deliver.

You need to help your clients become leaner, or stronger, or more muscular, or pain-free, or whatever they hired you to do.

As an online fitness coach, there’s no substitute for good results.

READ ALSO: A Trainer’s Guide to Building Muscle

9. Coach friends and family for free

It doesn’t have to be friends and family, and it doesn’t have to be free. It could be steeply discounted online coaching to people you interact with online. Whoever it is, and however you know them, giving away your services provides two huge benefits:

1. You learn faster by doing

As Jonathan Goodman says, online coaching isn’t just personal training done differently. It requires different skills and practices. But you can’t develop those skills or practices without clients. Offering free or cheap coaching will give you the experience you need to accelerate your development.

2. You can showcase the results

Your clients are your portfolio. If they get great results, you’ll have visual proof. If they love working with you, they’ll be happy to share their stories. The combination will help you land future clients—the kind that pay you.

Take the financial hit now, if you can. It will pay off later.

READ ALSO: Personal Trainer Salary Survey: Who Earns the Most?

10. Master your craft

If the proliferation of Instagram trainers annoys you, or makes you cynical about the state of online fitness, I get it. But the truth is, the cream rises to the top.

Sure, abs are an easy way to land a few short-term clients. But for building long-term brand equity, and financial security, nothing beats word-of-mouth referrals. You don’t get those unless you’re good.

Read books, attend seminars, and interact with people smarter than you. Constantly learn better ways to serve your clients and improve their results. That’s what will set you apart.

READ ALSO: The Best Advanced and Specialized Personal Training Certifications

11. Bet on your strengths (part two)

Want a better snatch? Or a faster 5K?

That’s awesome! But you won’t get those things by training with me.

I get inquiries all the time from people whose goals aren’t in my wheelhouse. Sometimes I’d really like to work with the person, but I don’t take them on as a client. It would be unfair to them, and ensure future headaches for me.

No matter how tempting it is to take on anyone who applies, especially when you’re starting out, you need to be honest with yourself. Recognize who can achieve the best results under your watch, and who would be better served by a different coach.

Do it for the client’s sake, and your own.

12. Trust your gut

I once coached a woman who claimed to burn up to 1,000 additional calories a day from breastfeeding. She was sure she needed at least 2,500 calories per day.

My gut told me this was way too much food for a sedentary woman with 98 pounds of lean mass. But because I was afraid to lose her as a client, I didn’t tell her what I thought.

Can you guess how it worked out? That’s right: After four weeks with no progress, I lost her anyway.

Take it from me: When your gut tries to tell you something, listen.

READ ALSO: How to Tell a Client to Cut the Crap

13. Practice extreme empathy

Even the most perfectly designed, optimally periodized, exquisitely calibrated training program will never change a life. But you know what will? Really, truly caring about your client.

A personal or professional setback will sap a client’s focus and motivation. If you’re training in person, you’ll notice their lackluster workouts, and the scale will tell you they’re backsliding on their diet. If you ask what’s going on, the client isn’t likely to air out the problems on a crowded gym floor.

But an online client may be more comfortable opening up in texts, emails, or calls from the comfort of home.

When you pay attention and care, you might just change a life.

14. Be insanely honest

Don’t tell clients you’re giving them personal access and full support if you’re really sending them to a 1,000-person Facebook group, where their questions will be answered by your newly hired assistant coach.

It’s easy to cash-grab with dishonest marketing and empty promises. It may even work for a year or two. But sooner or later, it catches up to you, ruining your reputation and the value of your brand.

If you want to make it in the long run, you need to be honest.

Final thought: Online fitness coaching isn’t for everybody

I know dozens of trainers who coach clients online. They don’t all love it. Some prefer traditional, hands-on personal training, and that’s awesome.

My purpose isn’t to convince you that online training is better. It’s not. Just because it works for me doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for you. Nor are the two types of training mutually exclusive. Lots of trainers do some of each, and get the best of both worlds.

But if you do want to make the transition to online training, these 14 lessons will help you get started the right way, and I hope they help you avoid some of the mistakes I made.

Launch Your Online Personal Training Career Today!

Have more freedom. Make more money. Help more people.

The Wealthy Fit Pro’s Guide to Online Training is the gateway for trainers and gym owners looking to break out of the grind of long hours and unpredictable income.
Let Jonathan Goodman show you …

  • The foundational skills successful online trainers develop (pg. 3)
  • How to price and package your services to get what you’re worth (pg. 67)
  • The tech you need to deliver world-class results — it’s simpler than you think (pg. 103)
  • Insider secrets for getting and keeping your ideal clients (pg. 109)
  • The truth about marketing your online business (pg. 125)
  • And much, much more!

If you’re ready to take the next step in your personal training career, or know someone who is, you won’t find a more authoritative or comprehensive resource.

Order the paperback today and get the audiobook and ebook versions FREE (a $40 value). Ready to start? Just click here: The Wealthy Fit Pro’s Guide to Online Training

The Author

Mike Vacanti is a certified personal trainer, writer, and Gary Vaynerchuk’s former coach. You can find more of his work on his blog or his YouTube Channel.

Fastest Way to Lose Weight: Top 50 Online Solutions For Your Best Results!

#6. Jillian Michaels

A well-known name in the fitness and weight-loss industry, Jillian Michaels has been helping people for more than 20 years reach the best shape of their lives. Through several mediums—television, books, online media, etc.—her various programs have been the catalyst of change for countless people.

#7. Fat-Burning Man

Internationally acclaimed Abel James, the “Fat-Burning Man,” has experienced the same issues that many North Americans face today. However, after ditching the advice of doctors and diving into research, he has made a new life for himself. He desires to help others achieve the same goals through food, activity, and life.

#8. Live Love Fitness

Mary Jane is a certified health counselor and fitness coach that has experienced the same roller coaster of life just as you have. Her passion is to help you find both health and happiness, preventing issues instead of trying to remedy them through prescriptions.

#9. Ireene Siniakis

Ireene Siniakis is not only a personal food, weight loss, and health coach, she has also held a corporate career for over 25 years. She has a passion for helping those in the business world to lose weight, eat healthier, and achieve even the loftiest fitness goals.

#10. Lisa Carpenter

Lisa Carpenter is a self-proclaimed “nutritional ninja.” She empowers women by helping them recognize which foods will and won’t make them feel great. Women will find confidence and contentment with their food choices as they work with Lisa.

#11. Born Fitness

Heralded as the king of health and fitness, Adam Bornstein is a top fitness expert, committed to providing clients only with entirely accurate information and tips. He prides himself on content, programs, and people that are real. Whether you are starting out, or you want to take your fitness to the next level, Born Fitness is the real deal.

#12. TNT Nutrition

TNT Nutrition, owned by Shelby McDaniel and team, is an all-in-one program. They will be your nutritionist, mentor, and coach. Everyone on the team has extensive education and professional experience. Thus, your health will be in excellent hands.

#13. Josef Rakich Fitness

Josef Rakich is the creator of the 12 Week Body Transformation. By becoming a JRF client, you receive a coach who is hands-on by personalizing monthly meal plans, workout plans, extreme ab exercises, cardio routines, along with much more. Mr. Rakich is extremely confident in his program for good reason as several people have completely transformed their bodies and lives.

#14. Sohee Fit

Sohee Lee is a walking success story. Her views on training, nutrition, and other fitness related topics challenge contemporary approaches. And they work. Through her no-nonsense attitude and a love of weight-lifting and food, she has become incredibly fit; and there is no doubt she can help you too.

#15. Chris Powell

From the documentary show “Extreme Weight Loss,” Chris Powell has helped people lose insane amounts of weight. He has changed lives through his knowledge, expertise, and books. Alongside his books, Chris offers several resources that are fantastic investments.

#16. Losing Coach

Shelley Johnson, the founder of Losing Coach, knows firsthand what it is like to want to lose weight, and accomplish the task. Her focus is to help women achieve the bodies they have dreamed of through 7 unique principles. Shelley also encourages a mind over matter philosophy to instill the confidence many women need.

#17. Jennifer Powter

Jennifer Powter believes that losing weight is all about “becoming conscious about how we look at food and how we nourish our bodies.” That’s why she focuses on helping clients adjust their mindset when it comes to eating and making daily lifestyle choices – she knows that healthier behaviours will follow healthier thoughts.

#18. Hitch Fit

Micah and Diana LaCerte co-founded Hitch Fit to inspire people to achieve dramatic transformations. They offer an online fitness program that is completely personalized. Clients receive nutrition plans, customized workout routines, and 24/7 online support from either Micah or Diana directly. They also offer lifestyle tips to ensure your transformation is lifelong.

#19. Joshua Zitting Fit

Joshua Zitting is an online fitness professional dedicated to helping people shred pounds in only eight weeks. Not only does he help clients shred fat, but his program also offers methods to replace the fat with muscle. Zitting provides clients with all the resources and tools needed to get fit.

#20. Scott Laidler

Scott Laidler is a professional online personal trainer with an impressive clientele: Paralympians, military personnel, and celebrities. He is ready to help you as well with his comprehensive, customizable fitness plan that fits your body. He and his team conduct in-depth analysis and are committed to catering towards your unique body type.

#21. Dangerously Fit

Daniel Clay is an Australian personal trainer and has facilitated incredible success for his clients spanning several years. Clay creates personalized nutrition plans that are easy to follow, workouts tailored to any fitness level, and replicable six-week programs that help anyone get fit. His program also offers the secrets of losing pounds and keeping them off for life.

#22. Lean Muscle Project

Chris Muir and Justin Fauci co-founded Lean Muscle Project, a program dedicated to making clients proud of the bodies they build. They offer a 12-week program where people see constant progress with one-on-one muscle-building training, personalized fitness plans, and online 24/7 support and motivation from both trainers.

#23. Xenios Fitness

Xenios Charalambous is a personal trainer and fitness model. His 12-week transformation program is all-inclusive with customizable nutrition plans, workout programs tailored to your goals, and support including Skype consultations for an extra personalized touch.

#24. GetCommandoFit

Commando Steve is a fitness trainer and coach. This 12-week program is extremely involved, offering weekly updates to your workout routines—which requires no equipment—and nutrition plans. Lifestyle tips such as detoxing your pantry and preparing your body for training will ingrain a health into your life and mind.

#25. Fit Father Project

At 10 years old, Anthony Balduzzi lost his father to cancer. It was at that young age that he decided three things: He wouldn’t suffer the same fate as his father, he would take care of his mother and younger brother, and he’d figure out a way to help other dads stay healthy. That’s what the Fit Father Project is all about.

#26. Michele the Trainer

Michele is a lifestyle weight loss coach, dedicated to getting you moving, motivated, and improving your mindset. Clients receive one-on-one coaching with Michele on a weekly basis for twelve weeks, but she is always available via email for questions. Working with Michele online saves time, provides convenience, and the comfort of training at home.

#27. David Kingsbury

David Kingsbury is on another level of personal trainers. His bountiful experience in training some of the world’s elite makes him an excellent choice for anyone looking to get in shape. His programs offer maximum flexibility for busy schedules along with consistent support and motivation to reach your weight loss goals.

#28. Real Energy Food

Karen Wojciechowski is a holistic nutritionist who specializes in helping clients develop natural energy by eating the right real foods. She’s shown time and time again that improvements in energy lead to an increased ability to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.

#29. David King Fitness

David King is challenging the traditional weight loss dogma of our modern age. With his Food Rehab online program, he is revolutionizing the way people think of unhealthy eating. King gets down to the cause of bad eating while helping you eat right, exercise appropriately for your body, and giving you some rules to live by to maintain your changes for life.

#30. Kirk DeWindt Personal Training

Kirk DeWindt is a personal trainer that wants you to “Find your Fit.” Kirk understands that you have a busy life; thus, he bases your customized fitness plan on your schedule. He takes your food preferences into account when building your nutrition plan and creates workouts tailored to achieving your goals.

#31. Julie Lohre

Julie Lohre is a personal trainer that works specifically with women. She is dedicated to helping women lose significant amounts of weight and achieve their “FITBODY.” She guides clients rep-by-rep with their personalized workout routines, provides a complete nutritional plan, and helps them set specific attainable goals.

#32. Earn That Body!

Kim Eagle is the weight loss coach behind Earn That Body! The eight-week fitness/nutrition program is designed to help people lose weight and switch to healthy lifestyles. Kim strives to provide a fun, yet challenging atmosphere to bring about the best results.

#33. TheFitBlog

Christel Oerum is a fitness professional who can relate to health struggles since she lives with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes doesn’t stop her, and she knows nothing can stop you either. She believes in the power of goal setting and working towards them with personalized workout routines and nutrition plans. She performs weekly assessments to make sure you continue to head in the right direction.

#34. Steve Maxwell Strength & Conditioning

Steve Maxwell has been in the fitness business for more than forty years. He understands the value of individualized fitness programs and person-to-person communication. Steve can create a routine for you with almost any kind of equipment and has the confidence you will see the results you’ve been looking for.

#35. Tina Reale Yoga

Tina Reale is a yoga instructor whose focus is to make you a happier and healthier person. She offers an eight-week fitness challenge with several cardio and strength training workouts. She also provides a community page for group support along with direct email responses to help clients move forward towards their goals.

#36. Betty Rocker

Bree Argetsinger, better known as “The Betty Rocker,” is the queen of fitness challenges that help clients from all over the world get in shape and shed weight. Not only does she deliver great workouts that are easy to follow at home, but she also provides simple, healthy meals that lead to body transformation.

#37. He And She Eat Clean

Scott and Whitney are the fitness couple behind He and She Eat Clean. They offer several programs for weight loss and eating right, one of them being a 12-week online Transformation program that is designed to help shed the pounds while building a healthy body. You’ll learn how to eat clean and get the most of out of your workouts.

#38. Weight Loss Mind Coaching

Victoria Morrison is a weight loss coach committed to aiding women in their journey to become healthy, happy people. Victoria coaches the mind and offers engaging homework between one-on-one sessions that educates clients about fitness. She also helps you set goals and talks through the limitations you have believed, preventing you from attaining the body you dream of.

#39. BMFIT

Bradley Martyn is a man who truly lives the fitness life. He takes the time to create an individualized fitness program consisting of bulking meal plans, fat loss approaches, and much more. Bradley is available for direct contact to answer all of your questions and is dedicated to seeing you achieve your goals.

#40. Traci D. Mitchell

Traci Mitchell is a personal trainer and nutrition coach, experienced in helping people for more than a decade. She offers online Skype check-ins and several packages that are sure to fit any individual. Traci is dedicated to analyzing your body and creating the best plan for your body to achieve the goals you have set ideally.

#41. Devin Alexander

Devin Alexander is a celebrity chef that has written several books and offers numerous recipes to help people get started right on their weight loss journeys. She also provides one-on-one coaching to clients Skyping her weekly while keeping them accountable by having them report to her daily. She delivers homework to those working with her to keep them on track and the path to lasting weight loss.

#42. Stefanie Senior RD

Stefanie Senior is a Canadian registered dietician who specializes in several areas, including weight loss counseling. Stefanie takes the time to understand who you are, then creates a personalized plan full of excellent nutritional value. Clients receive follow-up in between sessions and can choose to add personal fitness routines to their program.

#43. Real Weight Loss For Real Women

Cookie Rosenblum is a weight loss coach with over twenty years of experience. Her method transforms the lives of women from the inside out. Each of her three packages incorporates this mindset through varying approaches to help women at any stage of life attain their dream bodies.

#44. On The Regimen

On The Regimen’s founder is Mike Vacanti, once a man climbing the corporate ladder, but when he began strength training and acquired proper nutrition, it changed his life. He wants to do the same thing for his clients through his thorough and motivational online coaching program. Mike takes the time to know you and customizes all the resources you’ll need from fitness routines, nutrition plans, and supplements.

#45. Karina Inkster: Healthy Living Academy

Karina Inkster is a vegan health and fitness coach who is offering a friendly “kick in the butt” to help you get your body in shape. Karina provides you with her vast knowledge of plant-based nutrition plans, personalized monthly fitness programs, and one-on-one counseling time to set goals and keep you motivated.

#46. Bach Performance

Eric Bach is a no-nonsense personal trainer who went through the same journey many others have. He bases his programs on the basics: accountability with sticking to the workout plan, creating a healthy eating lifestyle, and motivating you to succeed.

#47. High Performance Personal Training

Jason Kozma, former Mr. America, is a training giant who has been in the business for over 30 years. His online personal training course will help people lose weight build muscle and more through exceptional training techniques and nutrition plans. Get ready to break through plateaus and watch the results rapidly appear.

#48. Russ Howe PTI

Russ Howe is a personal trainer who has helped people from all walks of life achieve fit, healthy bodies. Russ is known as a tough coach with no room for nonsense, and his clients’ results speak to the effectiveness of his methods. A free membership unlocks endless workouts, official Russ Howe routines, loads of fitness and nutrition research, along with much more.

#49. Mary Jane Detroyer

Mary Jane is a registered dietician and personal trainer with over 20 years of experience in helping people lose weight. Her online services consist of goal setting, helping you understand the underlying issues behind overeating or emotional eating, and giving you practical advice to get the body you want.

#50. LWR Fitness

Lucy Windham-Read is a personal whose experience spans more than 20 years. Her four-week programs have seen drastic results, with customized five-day eating plans, workout routines, and more. Lucy spends considerable time getting to know you and becomes your teammate throughout the process.

Have Another Coach to Nominate?

We listened to readers like you when compiling this list of weight-loss coaches who have the best track record for success. But, there are likely other fantastic weight-loss programs out there that we missed.

If you know of another awesome weight-loss coach who can help people get real, lasting results, please tell us in the comments section below!

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