The virtual fitness coach

If you’re looking for a personal fitness coach, it could be as simple as reaching for your iPod.

Need a little fitness inspiration? It could be as easy as downloading a playlist onto your MP3 player.

Audio-guided workouts are experiencing a huge surge in popularity. From traditional yoga to tribal dance to treadmill training, prepackaged workouts that you can download onto your MP3 player spice up your workout with personal instruction and great music.

To liven up your workout or discover a new way to exercise, visit the online iTunes store and click on the Nike Sport Music link. You’ll also find Sport iMixes made by other users and playlists of upbeat workout tunes from athletes such as Tom Brady and Lance Armstrong.

Another website,, allows you to create customized workouts with your choice of some of top trainers, such as fitness legend Kathy Smith. For a monthly fee of $19.99 (US) you can get up to 2 customized workouts each day.

People interested in a customized workout are asked to fill out a questionnaire indicating fitness level, types of exercise equipment available, etc. and the company’s fitness staff will then create a workout to suit your needs. In addition to having a coach speaking to you through each component of your workout, you can select music to accompany the instruction.

PodFitness audio workouts can be downloaded onto any MP3 Player.

Toronto-based trainer, Yuri Elkaim offers a series of audio-guided workouts on his website at Elkaim is a former professional soccer player, founder of Total Wellness Consulting and the strength and conditioning coach for the University of Toronto’s men’s soccer team.

“It’s definitely an up-and-coming trend. We’re at the forefront of a whole new movement, kind of like the whole ’80s fitness video era,” Elkaim told “It will hit that tipping point where it’ll just take off, considering that so many people are using MP3 players and iPods nowadays.”

His Fitter U™ workouts are based on circuit training, meaning you’ll move from one exercise to the next to enhance both cardio and strength fitness. Workouts can be done at home, at the gym or while travelling. According to the website, the cost for the full 3-phase program is $134.

The Treadmill Trainer ™ offers instruction designed for various fitness levels. Workouts last anywhere from 38 to 45 minutes. The cost for each volume is listed at $12.95.

So – no more excuses. With audio-guided workouts, finding a personal fitness trainer is as easy as a song.

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