Instagram’s fitness community is filled with social media celebrities.  From Devin Physique to Bradley Martyn, there’s no shortage of ripped dudes with millions of dedicated followers.  Aside from the physique inspiration, these celebs offer videos and training tips for their followers.  And for those who are willing to shell out a few extra bucks, they offer customized training and meal plans.  There’s no doubt these guys have figured out how to transform their own bodies.  And there’s even some proof that they can help average joes get in great shape.  But should you trust an online personal trainer?  Even if he’s one of your favorite Instacelebs?

What to Look For

When you consider hiring an in-person trainer, you’re looking for a few indications of expertise.  First, you want to see proof of this trainer’s work.  The most obvious place to find this evidence?  Their own physique.  However, you’re looking beyond a body of proof.  You also search for affiliation with an established gym, a listing of certifications and personalized coaching that’s tailored to your specific needs.

Most of the Instacelebs meet the first requirement.  Their physiques are among the best in the business, and for most guys, that’s reason enough to sign up for their programs.  However, it’s tough to find any further information about their qualifications.

Personal trainers with certifications are almost always willing to list them in their profile descriptions.  They’ve invested hundreds of dollars and months of their time to finish these programs.  Common certifications include NASM and ISSA.  If you don’t see anything on the trainer’s profile or official website about certifications, enter at your own risk.

Why You Should Be Careful

A certified personal trainer has done more than test out exercises and techniques on their own bodies.  They’ve learned every detail of the body’s anatomy.  They’ve gained a true understanding of how the body functions, and they’ve met international standards around building comprehensive workout programs.  They understand what gets results.  But they also understand what can be harmful.

What works for one body could be useless or dangerous for another.  Someone who’s become an expert through trial and error knows a lot.  However, someone who’s certified has the formal education as well as the personal experience to back up their services.  When you consider the fact that this is your body and your health, are you willing to put that in the hands of a rookie or go for a trusted professional?

Think of a trainer the same way you think about a doctor.  You’d never trust a surgeon who didn’t have a license or a legitimate practice.  The advice you’ll receive from a trainer is akin to the type of info you’d receive from a physician.  Why take a gamble on someone you know so little about?

Also, keep in mind that this online trainer can’t see you.  Without an in-person consultation, it’s difficult to tailor a program to your exact needs as well as push you in the weight room when you want to give up.  

Buying an online program from a fitness celeb could work for you but why chance it when you can choose a local professional with proven results?