Want to save on personal training? Why not swap your face-to-face personal trainer with an online personal trainer? Angela Tufvesson investigates.

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Cost saving:

Around $170 a week (based on three $70 sessions)

Why you should make it happen:

Personalised fitness training offers a wealth of benefits but comes at a price. If you’re after one-on-one coaching minus the hefty price tag, online personal training is a cheaper option that can offer loads more flexibility.

Your PT still puts together assessments and schedules, but instead of regular sessions, you’re in charge of managing your workouts. Most online services offer regular phone, email or Skype time with a qualified PT. There is also the option of increased flexibility to work out where (outside, at home, in the gym) and when you like.

“Online programs are normally very low in cost due to the easy accessibility of them and there are so many available now on the internet for every fitness level,” says PT Tracy Gott. Online company Ideal Bodies Online provides a structured, fully personalised exercise and nutrition program for $37.25 a week as part of the 12-week Body Makeover program, which managing director Sue Heintze says makes staying in shape accessible.

“Why should looking and feeling great be limited to those who can afford a personal trainer charging $50 to $100 for a single session?” Heintze says, adding that the program includes lifetime membership to an online community and motivational library.

Exercise physiologist Merendi Leverett says the benefits vary depending on which program you choose, but just as with traditional in-person training, online coaching offers improvements in cardiovascular fitness, flexibility and strength.

Watch out for:

Beware the motivation monster without a PT by your side – look for a program with a community, such as Ideal Bodies Online. Otherwise, ask your trainer for tips to combat low motivation and ensure you’ve got clear goals.

Are you a tech junkie? Here's our top 12 iPhone apps for weight loss. Want to lose weight? Use our handy online calculator to find out your BMI and ideal weight, then choose a workout plan.

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