My Online Personal Training Experience

kdeer sophia stripe leggings and gray nike roshe run sneakers

Challenge Accepted.

Before we get started are there any other How I Met Your Mother fans loving this shirt? 

I couldn’t resist when I saw it at Target, and I knew it was comfy since I already own the Crunch then Brunch one (here). The tanks are definitely longer, so I ended up knotting mine as you can see above.

If you follow me somewhat consistently then you’ve heard me mention, Annie, my online trainer. And if you’re new – I’ve been training with her for the past 6 months. I spent all last spring & summer rehabbing hip issues, and once August rolled around and I was cleared to use weight with my lower body, I reached out to her. I don’t quite remember how I found her on Instagram, but I followed her for a few months before deciding to work with her. Annie stood out to me because of her mentality about health & fitness, and the fact that she was real. I wasn’t interested in working with a bikini competitor because my goal was to find a MAINTAINABLE program. I didn’t want an extreme diet, a quick fix, or to throw my hormones out of whack.

So, how does online personal training work?

I filled out a questionnaire with all my fitness and physical history, my goals, what equipment I have access to, how much time I have to dedicate to my workouts, and how many days a week I wanted to workout.

For example, right now I am lifting weights 5 days a week, have access to two separate gyms, usually workout for 45-60ish minutes and my goal is to put on muscle (and hopefully not fat haha). This is working for me for March and April, but come May I know I’ll want to be outside more, so we’re going to go down to 3-4 lifting days a week instead.

Annie and I talk about how my month is going the week before she sends me my next month’s program and I can say if I want to add something/change something (usually I just let her do her thing), then I receive an excel spreadsheet with my plan for the next month. For a visual reference – here is my squat day for March:

She lists my warm up, my main lifts, what tempos, how many sets, if I’m super setting anything, and what I need to send her a video of. I can either record it in my phone (what I usually do) or I’ve even printed the spreadsheet out and brought it to the gym before. Each day is similar to this so right now I have a Back Squat Day, Chest/Back Day, Deadlift + glute/ham accessory Day, Overhead Press Day, and a Full Body Light Strength Circuit Day.

Why spend money on personal training?

I’m very familiar and comfortable in the gym, but I knew I didn’t have the education to put together the most effective program for me, and I needed to really focus on form to avoid future hip alignment issues. I know how to do the movements, but not the most effective way to combine them, or the best order, or how many reps will get the results I’m looking for.

I love walking into the gym knowing exactly what I’m working on that day, exactly how long it will take, and having more purpose behind my workouts.

Will it be a good fit for me?

I would only recommend working with an online personal trainer if:

  • you are comfortable in a weight room
  • you have prior weight lifting experience
  • you are highly motivated & dedicated on your own
  • you can push yourself

I find that working with Annie works best with my schedule. Sometimes I work out at 6am, sometimes I squeeze in a shoulder lift before I teach spin and sometimes I workout late at 10pm. Because my schedule is full and often varies, and I have two gyms I alternate between, it is much easier for me to have the workout, know what I need to do, then fit it into my schedule accordingly. But, I still have the accountability factor because I have a certain amount of workouts to complete in a certain amount of days.

Is in-person training better?

I have done both online and in-person training. I opted to do in person training with Cami (at my local gym) for about 2 months so I could really hone in on any form problems to retrain my body to move correctly. Remember – in person training is often very expensive! But, I would recommend training with someone in person if:

  • you’re just getting into a fitness program (or back into one)
  • you need solid accountability
  • you need someone to push you
  • you have no idea how/where to start

How much does it cost?

Because I signed up to train for all of 2017 with Annie, I pay $99 per month for my workouts. If you break it down (because I love doing that) I’m getting 20 days of training from her, so $4.95 a day. You can’t take a class or drop in somewhere any cheaper than that. Plus, we text a few times a week, I send her videos, ask questions, and run nutritional information by her.

This is overwhelming, is there any easier way to start?

If you’re not feeling ready to dive headfirst into a gym or weight room I would recommend either starting with a group fitness class or an at-home program. There are so many at home programs available now you’re bound to find something you like. I personally have completed both part one and two of the Bikini Body Guide (that has blown up in popularity), and Annie offers smaller training options, like a 20 day challenge and a 6 week transformation.

I do recommend eventually working with a professional, even just for a few weeks, to make sure your form is good. This will prevent future injuries!

I completely understand that some people do not care as much about fitness as I do, and its all good. I just (kind of) learned how to put makeup on and I’m 24 years old. [we can’t care about everything] That being said, I highly recommend everyone find some sort of exercise that works for you – whether it be yoga, spinning, long walks with your dog, at home circuits, cross-fit, etc. I believe that working out is a HUGE stress reliever, and everyone should have something healthy they can turn to when life feels like its a mess. 

One last note – I finally caved and bought a pair of the K-DEER leggings I’d been eyeing for the last 8ish months. They cost more than I would normally spend on a pair of workout leggings (hello Old Navy!), but K-DEER is a small, female run business, that makes their products in the USA and some of the proceeds from leggings go directly to charity. Also – fellow fitness instructors – you can apply for a fitness instructor discount through them if you’re actively teaching (score!).

Whew – this post got a bit longer than I intended, but hopefully I gave you a better understanding of what it’s like to work with an online personal trainer. I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have so feel free to comment or email me (

Have a wonderful weekend and thanks SO much for following!

xo, Maddy


Kdeer striped sophia legging with gray Nike Roshe Sneakers
Kdeer striped sophia legging with gray Nike Roshe Sneakers and Champion Workout Tank
KDeer sweaty haute mess water bottle

^^ this K-DEER water bottle always puts a smile on my face. Even B laughed about it.

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  • Reply Tamara

    I never heard of online personal training but it makes so much sense with our busy life!


    Tamara –
    Try On Haul

    March 3, 2017 at 9:08 pm
  • Reply 2017 Goals Monthly Check In - cassidy lou

    […] training 5 days a week with Annie (virtually – more about that here). Feeling strong and confident in the gym and still loving it. Hoping to lean out a bit this […]

    May 6, 2017 at 2:35 am
  • Reply 2017 Goals Monthly Check In - cassidy lou

    […] Annie kicked my butt in May – we upped the intensity and lowered the weight in my workouts and whew, they were brutal (in a good way) […]

    June 1, 2017 at 9:57 am
  • Leave a Reply