Working out in a virtual world

Get your own online personal trainer – he offers a realistic exercise, health and nutrition programme for those with little or no time to hit the gym.

Kelvin Garner of Pinnacle Performance says online personal training is a good option for those who can’t commit to specific times, such as women with young children. Jaime Puebla / The National
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Intimidated, body-conscious, lazy or downright afraid – the reasons for not hiring a personal trainer can outweigh those in favour of the move.

Besides the expense, coming face-to-face with someone who will blitz you mentally and physically for several months is a daunting prospect. Those who do pluck up the courage for a regular beating, complete with constructive encouragement (read: yelling), often don’t have the time or inclination to commit long-term.

But the Dubai-based fitness company Pinnacle Performance may have the answer.

Online Personal Training (PT) is a realistic exercise, health and nutrition programme for those who are shy, private or for people with little or no time to hit the gym.

“A personal trainer you’ll never meet will give you the body you’ve always wanted,” says the owner and head trainer Kelvin Garner.

Workout plans are designed specifically for each individual depending on need, time and money available, as well as the overall aim and target.

The course is 100 per cent computer-based, so you’ll never have to look your trainer in the eye and explain why you missed Monday’s session.

But, unlike a programme you Googled and downloaded for free from the internet, this one comes with consequences.

“Email, text, telephone, Skype – I will find you,” says the 26-year-old Garner with a laugh.

Depending on the programme and package, Garner offers weekly, fortnightly and monthly assessments to keep each person on track towards achieving the body of their dreams.

“I expect clients to be honest with themselves, to complete the required tasks as they are paying for my service to achieve their own personal goals. The Skype sessions do not include yelling but face-to-face coaching, discussing nutrition and going over progression in the gym,” he says.

“I make sure I have all their details. If they ignore me, I can always find them.”

Garner says clients answer a basic questionnaire that is followed by a more in-depth assessment, which enables him to create a personal plan to suit the needs and lifestyle of an individual.

Online PT at Pinnacle Performance was launched after Garner was inundated with clients from both the UAE and the rest of the world.

“I coach people from Australia, UK and New Zealand,” he says, adding that the programme is popular with office workers and housewives.

“High-demand jobs and ladies with busy schedules, due to having small children, are often unable to commit to exact times to train.”

Cheaper than a regular trainer, or seeing Garner in person in the gym, Online PT is also proving popular with those who cannot afford the Dh300 price for a 60-minute session.

“It was originally designed for people to still be able to be trained by myself when the demand got too high,” he says. “But the price is much cheaper as it’s not charged by the hour and instead charged monthly. This was very attractive for some. A few clients are with me online until I am able to find a spot for them for weekly, private sessions. Others prefer the anonymity.”

While economical and convenient, Garner warns self-motivation is still required.

“Unfortunately, the motivation will never be the same as if I was with you in the gym,” he says. “But my support via email, Skype and a closed Facebook group, which includes extra daily challenges and shared recipes ideas, is enough to keep morale high and determination in the forefront of everyone’s mind.”

• For more information about Online PT at Pinnacle Performance, visit

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