Ah, yes virtual training for fitness, a new age phenomenon ushered into the fitness mainstream’s consciousness all thanks to the big C…
Like it or not, virtual training is a dominating force in the fitness industry today and only seems to be growing.
Is virtual training good for you and your goals? What are the pros and cons? These are just some of the common questions that follow the notion of virtual training in fitness. So today we’ll explore this topic in more depth.
An Introduction To Virtual Training
We’ve all heard the term ‘virtual training’, but what does it really mean in terms of fitness? In this section, I’ll be covering the introductory questions you may have surrounding the topic.
What Is Virtual Training?
The term ‘virtual training’ refers to a type of instructional/informative activity that is performed using interactive technology. This technology allows you to take part remotely.
How Common Is Virtual Training?
During Covid-19, virtual training within fitness was the dominant force when compared to the traditional in-person practice. However, since the restrictions have lifted people have returned to in-person fitness instruction.
But, the number of people involved in some type of fitness via virtual training appears to still be the dominant force.
What’s The Future Of Virtual Training?
As mentioned previously, virtual training for fitness is at an all-time high, that won’t be declining any time soon. In fact, it will only rise as interactive technology improves with functionality. An example of this would be organisations pushing for better fitness within the virtual reality scape, such as the ‘Virtual Reality Institute Of Health & Exercise‘ for example.
Types Of Virtual Training
The term ‘virtual training’ covers many avenues of practice. But, in terms of fitness, there are 3 main types of virtual training, As can be seen below…
Direct Virtual Training – Personal Training
To begin with and with probably the most obvious type of virtual training for fitness is that of personal or direct virtual training. If you’re a beginner, it may be worthwhile for you to get a personal trainer as there are many notable benefits.
What does this entail?
This generally would be a type of personal training where the communication between trainer and trainee is on a 1-1 basis.
An Example Of Direct Virtual Training
An example of direct virtual training for fitness would be virtual personal training. This is the case as the relationship is 1-1 based.
Partially Direct Virtual Training
The second type of virtual training regarding fitness is that of a partially direct relationship dynamic between the trainer and trainee.
What Does This Entail?
This type of virtual training could be within a virtual group setting, where the attention of the instructor is split between the trainees.
An Example Of Partially Direct Virtual Training
A great example of this type of virtual training that is currently popular is that of Peloton. Peloton allows its users to engage and compete with other users under 1 instructor that acts as the leader/informational guide of the session.
Indirect Virtual Training
Last but not least is that of indirect virtual training in a fitness setting. This is the most used out of the 3. Heck, you’re doing it now!
What Does This Entail?
Indirect virtual training refers to a type of virtual training in which the relationship dynamic between trainer and trainee is not on a personal or ‘direct’ level.
An Example Of Indirect Virtual Training
There are probably an infinite amount of examples. This is true as it refers to any type of virtual training you undertake with the loose guidance, but not direct supervision of a trainer. A relevant example would be that of following one of our workout programs, the ‘V taper Program‘ for example.
The Good & The Bad Of Virtual Training For Fitness
Virtual training is an excellent way to stay fit, it’s cheap, accessible and fast. But, there are also downsides that should be considered before fully committing to only virtual training…
Generally, virtual training in any of the 3 forms will be cheaper. Personal training and virtual group classes will come with a cost of course. However, excluding the equipment, the cost of participation will be a fraction of the cost of the physical alternative.
All 3 types of virtual training are more accessible than their traditional counterpart. The fact that it’s virtual allows for you to take part wherever you are in the world, as long as you have an internet connection. Which is crazy to think about.
Another pro is the speed of the sessions. The benefit of it being virtual allows for you to take travel and other time-restricting factors out of the equation. You only perform the session when you’re ready to.
The main issue with virtual training in a fitness setting is that of limited accountability. It differs greatly depending on which of the 3 aspects of virtual training you undertake of course. However, as a rule of thumb, your trainer will hold you to a higher level of accountability in person.
Once again it depends on which of the 3 you’re doing, but a lot of virtual information and programs can be cookie-cutter Esq. Meaning that it’s not as targeted towards you and your specific needs, that an in-person session could achieve.
A big part of fitness is of enjoying the social aspect of training. Even if it’s 1-1 training with a PT, there’s a certain bond you attain when you physically train with other people. This feeling can be hard to generate in a virtual setting.
Summary – Is It Right For You?
So, we’ve gone over a brief explanation of virtual training in a fitness setting. Also, the 3 types of virtual training and the pros and cons of virtual training.
So, is it right for you? That’s something you’ll have to decipher yourself. I believe that a hybrid model is the most optimal way to move forward in today’s day and age.
However, it’s important to find the right balance for you. If you prefer the social aspect of training, then in-person training is the way to go. If you’d rather get in and out, at a lower cost then virtual training may be the favourable route.
It all depends on you. But most importantly, have fun and continue the push for a fitter life! All the best.