ChatGPT is used like a personal trainer, creating workouts


While millions of users experience ChatGPT, some people are turning to the AI ​​chatbot for training advice, and what they say is an affordable alternative to a personal trainer. But some trainers say they can’t be replaced so easily, and that getting training advice from a chatbot could have unexpected consequences.

The use of AI for nutrition and health advice is already under scrutiny. The National Eating Disorders Association’s Tessa chatbot was disabled after users said they gave them weight-loss advice, NBC News reported this month. Some medical experts have warned that AI chatbots shouldn’t replace consulting with real-life health professionals. But that hasn’t stopped some users from trusting the chatbot with their fitness and health goals.

Since ChatGPT went viral late last year, concern about AI taking the place of human jobs has proliferated across multiple industries, whether AI is replacing Hollywood screenwriters or HR job recruiters . For many people replacing their personal trainers with AI, it’s a matter of cost savings. Free training plans. In THIS economy?! one user wrote in the caption of his TikTok video about making ChatGPT his new personal trainer. TikTok’s AI-powered workout videos have received hundreds of thousands of views on the platform.

Nicholas Gunning, 32, a former personal trainer living in Texas, is documenting a 30-day ChatGPT workout trial on his Chirping YouTube account and channel. ChatGPT is very cheap in the sense that all you need is your internet connection or your cell phone, she said.


Human personal trainers can be expensive depending on their experience and location. Nimble Fitness, a New York City gym, charges $120 to $350 per session with one of its 13 personal trainers, according to co-owner Daniel Lucas. Jill Goodtree, a certified personal trainer in New York City, said her fee ranges from $130 to $170 per session.

Denver-based Sidharath Chhatani, 31, said using AI for personal training is cheaper for him than hiring a personal trainer. He spends just under $100 a year on his subscriptions to the AI-powered workout apps Aaptiv and Fitbod, two of the top five most downloaded AI fitness apps globally over the past year, according to Sensor Tower, a market intelligence company. A single personal training session would cost Chhatani at least $80, he said.

Chatani is using ChatGPT for the next eight months to train for her first marathon. ChatGPT’s weekly workout plans include a 40 minute lower body workout and a half hour yoga session. I’ve never run a marathon, which is why it’s easier to do it this way. Have a robot do it for you, Chhatani said.

Chhatani and Gunning say that ChatGPT can provide the same versatility that a human trainer can provide. For example, ChatGPT changes Chhatani’s training schedule when he tells the bot that he is traveling. Gunning asks ChatGPT for exercises targeting a specific muscle. He gives me the workout, he gives me instructions on how to do that specific (workout), exactly what a coach would do, he said.

But personal trainers who spoke to NBC News warned that using ChatGPT as a trainer could leave a lot to be desired, or worse, be dangerous.

Goodtree found some flaws when she asked OpenAI’s generative chatbot to write her an upper body workout for hypertrophy or muscle growth. The chatbot recommended three sets of upper-body exercises, such as push-ups and bicep curls, which Goodtree says aren’t enough for most people to build muscle mass.

Goodtree also noted that ChatGPT is unable to assess form, a crucial skill for personal training. ChatGPT can’t keep you safe, she said.


Free isn’t always better, especially when it comes to your health, your well-being, your well-being. You have only one body, Goodtree said.

Daniel Lucas, a personal trainer of 25 years, said there were many gaps in a training plan generated by ChatGPT. NBC News asked Lucas to review a workout plan created by ChatGPT that was shared on Reddit.

ChatGPT lacks specificity, Lucas said. ChatGPT included five to 10 minutes of stretching to cool off after each session, but didn’t specify which muscle to stretch. Lucas warned that stretching the wrong muscle could weaken it. Thursday’s workout involved eight to 12 reps of planks, but Lucas said planks should be measured by set tempo rather than reps.

Despite the online talk of replacing trainers with AI, some personal trainers were optimistic, rather than fearful, about the future role of AI in their careers and in the fitness industry at large.

Lucas said AI-generated workout plans could encourage more Americans to exercise. If anything, including AI, can get people to start moving and understand the major difference between exercise and training and actually make it a part of their lives, that’s a good thing, he said.

Thomas McGee, 32, an online fitness and nutrition coach, said personal trainers too could incorporate generative AI into their business models. I think it’s an exciting time, he said. What I’m trying to figure out is how to leverage this technological shift, which I think is amazing, but help drive that to give my clients personalized plans?

McGee launched a free AI workout generator, which he’s been working on for the past three months, via AI app builder He explained on TikTok, where he has 54,000 followers, that users who answer a pre-set list of questions, including age, gender and weight, can receive a personalized weekly workout plan that includes sets, reps and meal plan suggestions. She said she recommends the AI ​​app to customers who are only interested in a workout plan.


What I’ve found is that many people use it and then don’t get the results they want. And then they come back to me and say, Hey, I need some more help. That’s where they usually end up working with me, McGee said.

However, personal trainers have cautioned against relying solely on generative AI for fitness recommendations. Goodtree said ChatGPT users should take what it says at face value. Like all the responses I’ve received, it always says to consult a doctor or certified professional before engaging in any fitness activity. She said she refers her clients to a registered dietitian for nutrition plans. But many users ask ChatGPT for nutritional advice along with their workout plans.

Personal trainers including Goodtree and McGee have pointed out another limitation of AI personal trainers that users like Chhatani and Gunning have also said are missing from ChatGPT: a lack of human connection.

There is no substitute for human contact and human energy, Lucas said. In every interaction with a human being, you are giving or receiving energy. And this doesn’t happen through artificial intelligence.

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