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Comparison of Fitness Training Efficacy of In-Person to Online Coaching on Goal Attainment for Adults
AuthorPugh, Karen L
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Certified personal trainers and online coaches create training programs that are designed to guide their clients to achieving their fitness goals. Frequently a client will not fully define what their goal(s) is, rather they use subjective terms such as “I want to lose weight” or “I would like to become more toned.” From these simple statements a qualified personal trainer or fitness coach can use motivational interviewing, which Sutton (2022) defines as a client-centered method to guide them into enhancing intrinsic motivation to change, to resolve the ambivalence of the goal statements into a clear and concise goal. Once the goal is defined, a training program can be developed. During the initial consultation, the fitness professional will collect anthropometric measurements such as scale weight, body mass index, percent body fat, height, and both waist and hip circumference data on the client. This information is used to establish a realistic timeframe for achieving the client’s goal(s) based on faithful execution of the personalized training program. This process is completed for clients who train in-person as well as for those that train via an online coaching web application. The personalized training program will contain elements of resistance, cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility and balance training. Current studies detailing the value and efficacy of a specific training technique are numerous (Afari et al., 2022; Arana et al., 2012; Bellicha et al., 2021; Corres et al., 2018; Hassannejad et al, 2017; Kim et al., 2021; McCormack et al., 2018; McIlroy et al., 2020; Meinerz et al., 2023; Stanula et al., 2015; Yu et al., 2022). Locating studies that focus on comparison of training delivery methods, such as in-person to online, are sparse. This study was created to reflect the personal experience of the primary researcher who is a certified personal training and online coach working with clients on a daily basis. The aim is to determine the efficacy of both her in-person training skills and online coaching skills and which may, in comparison, be superior. To facilitate this study, I, as primary researcher, and personal trainer/online coach, reviewed my past and current client files and identified those client records that had the necessary anthropometric data from pre- and post-training programs that would allow for some form of comparison to be made. The research method chosen for this study is quasi-experimental repeated measure design of initial recorded anthropometric measurement data for all study participants prior to executing a specific fitness training program, whether the method of delivery was in-person or online coaching. The initial anthropometric measurement data is then compared to the end of program data collected for the same variables identified for analysis. Key words: fitness training, in-person training, online coaching, body composition, body mass index, body fat analysis, bioimpedance analysis, waist-to-hip ratio