With technology today I think an online coach could work provided a few things happen.
First taking video of yourself lifting and showing your form then sending it to them (via online, email, youtube, whatever) they can critque your form, post repsonses and even post videos/mail videos/etc.
Since you wont have someone in the gym right there pushing yourself you’ll have to be more dedicated and have that intensity. Sure the trainer will need to stay on top of you every day via email or phone (however you two communicate) but alot falls on you.
Lastly you’re paying for a service. This training service, while still from one of the best, isn’t as good as it could be if you were in their gym or they were in yours. As such i’d expect a rate which matches something that is considered worth what your getting. A good workout program can be developed by a good trainer. One custom fitted is sometimes harder, but again a good trainer should be able to do this. The best (which these guys claim to be or are known for being) will provide you with some great, tried and proven programs fitted for you. Does it matter if their not at the gym with you? If not pay away for a great service. If so… then talk about the price with them. I find most people are willing to negotiate some if you can give reasons why you think X is to high but your willing to spend Y on it.
Good luck in whatever you decide to do.[/quote]
You bring up some good points. In my opinion, a coach provides three major things to a trainee: (1) Motivation, (2) technique coaching, and (3) programming.
I think motivation will not be much of a problem for me even without a coach on hand. My personality is such that when there is something I want, I will do whatever it takes to make it happen. Sure it would be nice to have people to pump me up on the few occasions that I am dragging ass, but on the whole this will not be a big loss.
Really, my biggest concern is, as you say, with exercise technique. I am generally pretty good at getting this right, but it would be ideal to have a trainer on hand. I think your idea of filming things is a good one. If I do this, I will definitely have to invest in a good camera that takes video.
Programming is something that, for the most part, can be effectively done long distance. The only small concern is that a coach can only program based on information that I provide. I’m afraid that I might not convey something important to him because I may think it is very significant. He would know what to look for, but I might have no idea.
In the end, I am heavily leaning towards trying it out. If it sucks, I can always end it.