Online Vegan Personal Training: Before You Buy [2023 Update]

If you’re looking for online vegan personal training, then this will be the most important short article you’ll read this week.

I’m a former manager of 5 fitness centers in Switzerland with 10,000 members, where I directly supervised 40 trainers. And I am an award-winning online personal trainer since 6 years – running – as well as a published author.

While working with thousands of clients in person (and hundreds of clients online), I’ve learned a few key things that you as a client need to know before investing in online personal training.

You’ll learn the pros and cons, both of personal training and online personal training. You’ll learn when to pull the proverbial trigger and go for coaching – and when better to wait.

Ready to dive in?

Alright, let’s start with the basics:

Florian Wüest, the author of this article, on the call with a fit vegan client

Online Personal Training 101

Online vegan personal training is a combination of online training and veganism (vegan diet).

Because online training is often new to a lot of clients, it makes sense to look at the basics of online training together (and yes… I’ll sprinkle a few of our testimonials in this article for some extra motivation).

Before and after online vegan fitness coaching

Is online training as effective as in-person training?

This might come as a shock from an online coach, but look: In-person training has many advantages to online training.

All else being equal, in-person training > online training. So there’s sense in looking for a “vegan coach near me”.

In fact, I believe that the closer your coach lives to you – the better.

There’s value in having a person that can ring on your doorbell and can kick your rear when you require it. The closer in proximity you are to your trainer and the better your rapport is, the better your results typically are.

So at the best case, we’d all have vegan, live-in personal trainers that are constantly looking over our shoulders, right?

The downside to personal trainers

The problem is that living – or even working – with a great personal trainer is not feasible.

Not only because that would be very, very expensive, but…

… also because it’s difficult to find the right people that truly are competent at what they do (every business owner knows how difficult it’s to find competency).

The fitness industry is a notoriously unregulated industry, so competency is even harder to find than let’s say in a lawyer, or software developer.

Competency: It matter for your results

In the below picture you see me working with clients in person:

Although I was physically close to all of my clients at that time, the results of them pale to the results we get our clients right now in the online medium.

But why?

Not all personal trainers are created equal

Although I was ‘good enough’ at my job 5 years ago – hey, it was good enough to win and award and get featured in the newspaper after all…

Award winning personal trainer

… and get myself in wonderful shape …

Vegan fitness transformation of Florian Wüest

… it was hoever not enough to predictably give a good experience to most of my clients.

While the intentions were always good, the results were not.

Competency (not intention) creates great results

This should not be a surprize:

  • Similar to how tattoo artists get good with practice…
  • Or surgeons get good with practice…

So do personal trainers. They turn from one hit wonders into a repeatable, predictable service provider.

Do it once you have a party trick. Do it many times predictably you have a system.

And once personal trainers have a system or a blueprint, well, they often transition to online training. Here’s why:

Before and after transformation

What is actually better, online training or personal training?

Here’s a fitness industry secret: Every ambitious personal trainer strives to be an online trainer.

Because online trainers tend to have more control over their own schedule and overall enjoy a higher quality of life.

As such, the natural progression of every regular personal trainer is to become an online trainer. Same as, the natural, ideal progression of an athlete is to eventually be at the Olympics.

Becoming an online coach is rather difficult. And only the most competent of trainers with the most valuable advice usually manage to make that transition.

For you as a potential client, this means that working with an online trainer is a good pre-selection strategy to make sure that you’re working with the top 20% of the professionals in the field.

Yes, the average online trainer is significantly more competent than the average personal trainer.

So while working with a professional in-person is preferable to working with a professional online – most professionals due to the nature of their competency – will only be available to work online.

Online vegan personal training testimonail

How can you find an online coach you can trust?

We’ve seen before that in general, online fitness coaches are the better choice than in-person fitness coaches.

As a person looking to achieve your fitness goals, here’s two key things I’d look out for in search for the best online fitness coach (next to the M&M clause I share below):

  1. Results, directly measured by the amount of real-life testimonials. ‘Real-life’ is the most important word here. Here’s an industry secret: The fitness industry is known to fake their testimonials, often using their ‘after’ picture as the ‘before’ one. That’s why most of our testimonials (including the one you see from Kanwarpal above), are backed up by full-length interviews. You can access them here.
  2. Alignment with core-values: Here’s where veganism would come in handy. You do want a person that you can connect with and trust. You can only do so if the core values are aligned. Look, getting in shape is a marathon – or a long boat ride. You want people in your boat that row WITH you, not against you. The best way to guarantee that is with shared values.

Before and after vegan fitness transformation

What is the difference between an online vegan personal trainer and a regular online personal trainer?

This might sound obvious, but as an omnivore, there are very little reasons to be working with an vegan personal trainer.

As a vegan, however, there are very good reasons to be working with a vegan personal trainer.

Not only will you align with core values, which will make the entire process more enjoyable, you’ll also have better expertise for your specific situation.

Here’s what I mean:

Vegan trainers can give you that extra competency for your vegan diet

Let’s face it: A vegan diet done right is difficult.

That’s why so few people do it, right?

Regular personal trainers think that a regular vegan diet is simply replacing chicken with tofu. That is not correct.

To guarantee your vegan health and fitness, your coach will need to know:

  1. How to supplement Vitamin B12 for optimal energy and performance as a vegan (they’re not created equal!). Read an article about the importance of B12 here:
  2. How to get your iodine, Vitamin D3 and Omega 3 (most vitamins/fats vegans are deficient in)
  3. How to get enough leucine as a vegan (and the role of protein in a vegan diet) for optimal muscle growth and maintenance during weight loss

I’ll write about this more in detail in the M&M clause later in this article, but generally, vegan personal trainers will combine workout knowledge AND nutritional knowledge.

The asymmetric value of nutrition

The combination of a workout program and nutrition counseling is not typical.

Normally, if you work with a personal trainer – you’d need to hire a nutritionist to get that nutrition advice (especially if your food is plant-based).

This is important to re-state: Normal personal trainers can not give you proper nutrition advice or nutrition programs.

Which is a shame, because for most people looking to lose weight, nutrition will be 80% of the results, and only 20% will be due to exercise. I outline the exact details about this in another article called How To Lose Weight On A Whole-Food Plant Based Diet’.

This is what I call the asymmetry of nutrition. For a small amount of effort you can get a disproportionate amount of results:

Because regular fitness coaching does not entail the aspect of nutrition, you get significantly less bang for your buck.

Is an online personal trainer worth it?

Whether or not an online personal trainer is worth it depends on the value in return for your investment.

Vegan personal trainer transformation

In doing so, it’s worth looking at the benefits and risk of investing in an online personal trainer.

Potential benefits:

  • Increased self-esteem and confidence
  • Increased dating success (and better family relationships), and yes, this goes for men and women
  • More energy (and better work output, which can lead to higher salary)
  • Increased longevity (10-20 years+ of extra healthspan)

Potential downsides:

  • Very minor injury risk
  • Momentary discomfort of changing one’s habits
  • Financial risk (e.g. you lose the money you spent on a trainer)

The ‘financial risk’ is often what clients are most worried about, along with not getting the results that they’re wishing to get.

This is warranted.

The 80/10/10 rule of investing in yourself

Let me again, say something shocking: As someone that has invested $50,000+ in oneself, I can assure you that not every investment in your self development will ever pay off.

I call this the ’80/10/10′ of self development. Generally, about 80% of the investmen