Using an Online Trainer or Not?

Hello here,

I was wondering, is an online coach / trainer interesting, did you use it, can it be helpful for beginners, is it a big waste of $$ ?

Background :

So, I tried to start Starting Strength program, (you can find the training logs). Sadly, I got sick in the process of my first part, getting a lung virus, and had to stop some weeks ago. I am just recovering now and think I would be good to go soon.

My goal is to get leaner and bigger, basically, and stronger. I have always been the scrawny kid and now I am 30 and it will be too late after to build mass.

I got quite good results, lifted more than ever, but started to get a lot of knee, back and shoulder pain. However I have an issue. Planning. And also technique. I have a job where I have to plan on a day-to-day basis. I travel a lot and can be called the day before. (Yeah it sucks but it pays the rent). Diet is also an issue.

The coach at my gym, in France, sucks. They will not coach me and I don’t like them. But it s the only gym with a squat rack in miles and I live in a flat.


I have never used a online coach/trainer and I’ve lifted for about 7years.
Looking back, in my opinion, it would really help a lot and cut short my learning curve if i had gotten a coach back then. Like you, I’ve gotten myself into all kinds of injuries for the first few years only to learn the real mindset and approach to lifting by the 4th or 5th year and am still currently learning more everyday.

Depending on your capacity to get one, I would recommend you to have someone experienced in the field to teach you and at least have you start out on the right track since you’re getting injured (meaning your technique may not be ideal).

However looking for a coach may not be an easy task, things to look out for may be that your coach actually lifts and is experienced to a large extent. There are many coaches out there with outstanding achievements and you can judge them with those achievements depending on what your goals are. ( Strength oriented you could refer to powerlifters and strongman out there; Physique wise, you may want to consider award winning body builders out there)

Online trainers can help, but it’s definitely not necessary in your case right now because you can get plenty of feedback and advice here on the forum. Something like this basic approach should work for your situation, both in setting up a basic eating routine and a simple any-3-days-a-week training plan.

How so? I get that your work schedule might be weird and constantly changing, but the food that goes in your mouth is something you have 100% control over. Spending an hour or two each week to plan makes it even easier. You could consider getting an online diet coach just to sort out your nutrition, but again it’s probably not “necessary” right now, just useful.

Thank you Chris for your answer and for the article.

To be honest I never really took care of my diet. I used to a very skinny guy, now I am a lightweight fatty or something like that. I have trouble eating correctly, end up doing microwave meals, with 2 or 3 “cheat” meals like pizza or fries + meat.

I went to a nutrionist who said I had not “too much fat” but “not enough muscle”. Even if I used to practice sports like basketball, tennis, in the past, I seem to lack at least 3 kgs of muscle, that’s what he said after a body composition analysis.

I lifted on and off in the past, built a bit of muscle, but now I feel on a downward spiral and I want to take action… I spend too much time reading articles etc…

That’s a family thing also, all the males from my family have little to no muscle, I would like to change that and I know after some time it will be much more difficult to build mass.

Lung infection is better now, and I will start again saturday, I don’t know what to do precisely and will try to figure out.

Maybe a coach was a call for help or motivation, I don’t know. I am still thinking about it.

It sounds to me like you need to stop making excuses and just do what you need to do. Not trying to be an a-hole, just calling it as I see it.

You control your diet completely, so there’s no hiding here.

You can train twice a week almost no matter what your work schedule, it just takes discipline. You can probably even manage three times.

Turn up, do the work, be consistent. If it matters enough to you to so this, you will find a way.


That’s fine. Think about it, but in the meantime… do. You started this thread on Monday morning. It’s now Friday afternoon. How have you eaten and trained in these last 5 days?


Poorly ate, not trained. Changed today. And yesterday I started to cook for the week.

I trained today / will follow on my log