(Disclaimer: I received a few weeks of Canvas Training access and personal training plans to review for this post. As always, I only discuss experiences that I love and recommend.)
About six months ago, Chicago lost one of its best trainers to an opportunity out west in Oregon. Though Betina Gozo may no longer be training clients at CrossTown Fitness or at NTC on Michigan Avenue, she still wanted to remain a part of the Chicago fitness scene after her move.
That’s when the idea of Canvas Training came to her.
“I had a lot of personal training clients in Chicago. Canvas Training was a way that I could continue training those clients online, and it also provided a way for my clients to train with me in a more affordable way,” Betina explained.
Creating an online training company comes with its own challenges, but Betina tries to keep the “personal” in personal training. She does phone consultations and video check-ins on occasion to stay connected to her clients. For her, the training needs to remain people-focused. “Getting to know clients and hear their success stories and understand what works for them is the part of training I enjoy most,” explained Betina.
In January, I got to check out Canvas Training for myself. After an initial consultation, Betina sent me my first workout to complete – which included a video check-in. I’ll admit, it was a little weird taking a video of myself working out at first (it got easier), but the feedback I received was well-worth feeling a little awkward in the moment.
After completing my initial workout, Betina used my video check-in and feedback as a benchmark and provided the next week’s workouts over e-mail (3 total). Each full-body workout included a mix of cardio and strength and took around 45 minutes to complete. I was able to do everything that was required, using what was available to me at a standard gym (I use one in my work building), and alternative moves were listed if they were needed. All exercises list suggested weight amounts (if it involves weights) along with a range of reps (e.g., 8-12) to perform during each exercise.
And let me tell you: It. Was. Difficult.
Like, sprint-and-burpee-intervals-to-finish-the-workout difficult.
I usually buy fitness classes because I know that I don’t push myself in my regular gym as much as I should, and I was skeptical that a personalized plan written on a piece of paper would change much. I was surprised to find that Betina’s training plan combined the effort level and competitiveness of classes with the ease of being able to do it on my own time at my gym.
As a writer for aSweatLife, a ClassPass fan and a runner, I consider myself someone who values fitness. And yet, at the gym, I still find myself falling into very similar lackadaisical routines. I was surprised that having a plan made such a difference, but Betina didn’t seem so shocked by my observation. “A personal training plan gives someone more direction,” she explained. “It gives you an organized thing to do – it’s easy to work out but training pushes you to progress.”
I found Canvas Training (and online personal training/coaching in general) to be very flexible. For week two, I was traveling and needed my workouts to adjust accordingly. Betina can tweak workouts based on your schedule or needs – from workouts you can do in a hotel gym to workouts that focus on specific fitness goals.
The website itself also includes other member-only exclusive content, from an exercise database (filled with videos that show exactly how 100+ workout moves should be done) to a guideline for nutrition. Betina set out to build a well-rounded website on purpose, explaining, “I want it to be full-service. Fitness is a lifestyle, so I wanted my website to be interactive and reflect that. You can create your life and body, you just need the tools to create your own success.”
Intrigued? Or just miss Betina as much as we do? You can get more details on the Canvas Training website and schedule a free 30-minute consultation to try it out yourself.