Online Trainer Academy Review | Stephen Box
Stephen Box
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Online Trainer Academy Review - How Stephen Box stopped giving nearly half his paycheck to the gym.

Online Trainer Academy - What is it and who is it for?

Jon Goodman, founder of the Online Trainer Academy (OTA), describes it this way “The Online Trainer Academy is a comprehensive certification program designed to show fitness professionals like you how to build and grow an online training business for more income and freedom in a smart and strategic way.”

I would describe it as the kick in the pants I needed to get my business organized and gain the time freedom that comes with training online.

Who is the Online Trainer Academy for?


  • Trainers who are burned out from trading hours for dollars
  • Trainers who want more time freedom to do the things they want to do
  • Trainers who are tired of insta-fit trainers and fitness marketers who don't take care of their clients properly. 

Who is the Online Trainer Academy not for?

  • Trainers who have less than a year of in-person experience.  The OTA is not a replacement for other certifications or training experience.
  • Trainers looking for gimmicks and complicated sales funnels

Check out my original post-graduation review video below or read on to hear how the OTA allowed me to leave the gym and go 100% online.

Life Before The Online Trainer Academy

In 2009, I left my job in retail management, lost 80 lbs, and became a certified fitness trainer - yes, in that order and no I don't recommend doing it that way.

I quickly realized that I had no idea how to run my own business - despite having a background in sales, management, and marketing.  It was around that time that I discovered Jon Goodman through the Personal Training Development Center.  

I signed up for his course on Facebook ads called 1K Extra.  Ultimately, after a few updates, Jon decided to close down the program.  I assume he didn't feel like it lived up to his standards.  I was pretty disappointed because we were told we'd get lifetime updates and I had just wasted over $2k ​with a different Fitness Marketing company.

It wasn't long after that Jon announced the Online Trainer Academy and told us that anyone who purchased 1K Extra would be enrolled into the OTA free of charge.  I thought, finally, someone in this industry who keeps their word and cares about providing value.

Life After The Online Trainer Academy

The OTA has really helped me grow my business in 3 ways:

  • The OTA helped me get a clear focus on who I wanted to serve and how to serve them.
  • The OTA gave me the tools I needed to get my business organized.
  • The OTA has given me the ability to stand-out as a certified online trainer.

When I first graduated, I used online training as a way to keep clients happy when I had to travel or they missed sessions.  That way I could keep getting paid.  Something funny happened though - as clients left for various reasons, they asked to still work with me online.  In January 2018, I made the decision to make the transition to a full-time online trainer so that I didn't have to give the studio 40% of my check anymore.

Since then, I've had to make several trips home for family emergencies or go out of town for conferences.  Thanks to the flexibility of online training, my clients didn't even know I was gone because I was able to run my entire business in just a couple of hours a day while traveling.

Check out my 6-month update below to see how the OTA helped me grow my business after graduation.

Would I Recommend The Online Trainer Academy?

You've probably already figured this out but the short answer is YES!!!!!

That does come with a couple of small caveats. 

  • If you are a brand new trainer, spend at least a year learning how to train clients in-person.  It will make you a much better coach in the long run.  
  • If you already have the basics in your business all set-up and you are consistently performing at a high level.  This probably won't be the right course for you.

If you have any questions that I have not answered in this review or in the links below.  Drop a comment below and I will answer it or get the answer for you.

UPDATES: See my 2018 updated review video for a sneak peak inside the Online Trainer Academy.

Other Links Of Interest

Stephen Box

Stephen Box is a Certified Fitness Trainer through the ISSA, Precision Nutrition Level 2 ProCoach, and a graduate of the Online Trainer Academy.  He has served as an expert media contributor for Men's Fitness, Men's Journal,, and The Huffington Post to name a few.  When he's not serving his clients, Stephen enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife of 20+ years and going to football games.