Online fitness coaching scams

People, would you like to lose weight?

Don’t have the time to go to the gym? Then online fitness coaching might be for you. But beware there may be some scams going on.

man holding round black dumbells

Photo by Philbert Pembani on

According to Americans spent about $64 billion in the weight loss industry in 2014. And that number is rapidly growing. In the last year alone the FTC caught more than 80 companies making false claims. According to Smartcompany Australians spent about $6.6 billion in 2013.

These days some of the personal trainers don’t have qualifications and you could hurt yourself and then you might not have the protection. Having watched some of the Singapore Crime episodes I would love to remind you about this scam.

These scams take consumers money with the false promise of I’ll help you get fit and they don’t. Some of these websites sell illegal drugs. The online fitness industry is unregulated.

Similarly, these coaches run their wellness competitions and they always post the same posts of themselves online and never about their food or training methods. Or they repost other people’s pictures and training mottos.

Their challenges run from 8 -12 weeks and most of them promise unrealistic results. In the weight loss industry, we cannot lose weight in this short amount of time. Most people want to lose somewhere between 30kgs and 50kgs. It takes months even years to lose this weight.

How to protect yourself from this scam:

  • Check their credentials- did they do a course on Personal training? Are they registered?
  • Check the Fitness Australia site and read up on the rules of how they should behave
  • If they have a Facebook page see what other people say about them
  • Do they have an Instagram page where you can follow them and see their videos? Many good trainers are happy to post videos of their workouts so that you can get a feel for them!
  • Ask about their eating and training habits in the first consultation and don’t forget to ask for pictures of their meals.
  • Ask them what is their actual motto
  • Do try and see if you can have a face to face meeting every now and then. Ask to meet them in a gym and go with a friend or a family member for a second opinion. If you can’t see if you can Skype them with your friend or family.
  • And don’t sign up to those online challenges. Rather sign up for them in person and many gyms run challenges which are legitimate
  • Ask about their rates- if they are too cheap then chances are they are no good. $40-$50 or more is reasonable.
  • Never give them your bank details, always ask to do it as Paypal or transfer through your bank’s app.

Happy training and do drop us a comment if you have been scammed. Also remember that you can always contact your country’s scam watch or police for assistance. You can also give feedback to Facebook, Instagram and Google as well.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.