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Reboot your body

For many reasons, some people are reluctant to exercise at a gym. There is now a viable alternative, and that's to take up an online fitness training course. ZDNet Australia examines a leading online fitness alternative.

Not everyone wants to join a gym to get fit.

Some people get embarrassed about training and exercising while other people are watching, while others simply lack the motivation that's required to enrol in regular gym sessions.

Whatever the reason, there is now a viable alternative, and that's to take up an online fitness training course. These programs are not only ideal for people living in the country where there are no gyms or big equipment, but also for city people who just can't fit visits to a gym into their busy lives.

They also appeal to people who can't have personal contact with fitness trainers due to the high costs associated with traditional gym programs, have difficulties with arranging transport, or who lead lives that are constantly being interrupted by business travel.

In this article, ZD Net Australia interviews Dean Piazza, owner of the GetFit.com.au Web site, an online personal training service (http://www.getfit.com.au), to find out more about the sorts of fitness training programs that he runs. Established in 1996 with a team of 6 personal trainers, GetFit.com.au has been responsible for revolutionising the relationship between fitness trainers and clients.

Piazza knows about what it takes to get fit, and then to maintain that fitness. A professional member of the Fitness Institute Australia, he is currently the expert trainer for Channel 9's Good Medicine Web site and Cleo magazine's Web site. He was the recipient of the Fitness NSW Fitness Instructor of the Year award in 2000 and winner of the Australian Micro Business Award in 2001. A former triathlete with over 40 wins and international titles, Piazza readily acknowledges the importance of setting and working towards goals.

What exactly is involved in an online training fitness program?

The programs are personalised to the individual so every program is different, depending on goals, equipment and time available, training history and medical history.

What sort of people are attracted to a training program like this?

People who don't like sweaty crowded gyms, or are time-poor, or prefer the privacy when dealing with a personal trainer.

How does a person stay motivated?

E-mail contact is unlimited and weekly contact is the minimum to help them stay on track and committed to completing the program.

What sort of equipment is needed?

No equipment is needed , just your own body and the desire to achieve!

How are results recorded and measured?

Results are e-mailed to me weekly and can be recorded in a diary by the client, although most people don't like measurements, preferring to judge success by clothes fit, mirror and friends' comments.

How do you work out the training requirements for each individual?

It is based on time and equipment available, the goals they have outlined, and how many days they can train each week. Their medical and training history must also be taken into account.

How effective is this type of program, compared to a conventional gym membership?

It is very effective as it allows people to ask questions at any time without feeling inadequate. There is no ''gym attitude''. And I am only an e-mail away at any time of the day for support, motivation or just to say hello! My programs can work in conjunction with a gym membership, or be based on the clients equipment which is available to them at home.

What sort of feedback have you had from people?

The site is over 4 years old now and the feedback has exceeded my expectations. It has been very successful, and most of my work comes from word of mouth. You can see a selection of success stories on the site (http://www.getfit.com.au/success.shtml - the feedback from one satisfied client states that her body shape has changed completely and that she now feels great!)

As a result of this site, I have just written a book called GETFIT Smart Fitness Solutions which will be available in newsagents from September. The book comes with a 12 week training diary. A review of the new book can be found on the GetFit.com.au site at the following address: http://www.getfit.com.au/html/image_gallery.html

Finally, and most importantly, what sort of costs are involved?

A six week program is AU$129 , a 12 week program is $199 and a 6 month membership is $250.

For more details about achieving fitness over the Web in this way, click the 'Online Fitness Training" link that has been set up on the home page of the GetFit.com.au site. And whether or not you decide to enrol in a fitness program from GetFit.com.au, you can still sign up for the site's free "Get Fit" and "Lose Weight Now" e-mail newsletters.

Tony Stevenson is the author of the two best selling Internet books, "The Australian Guide to the Internet" and "The Australian Guide to Online Business".

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