Should I Hire a Personal Trainer?
Many people who think about getting personal training can be put off by the cost. Although regular training can be expensive, this perception of price is largely due to a lack of understanding of what personal trainers actually do – and in the long term – how much money and time they can potentially save you. Personal trainers are often seen as drill sergeants or glorified repetition counters, however a good personal trainer is worth their weight in gold for several important reasons.
EASY ACCESS TO INFORMATION
Firstly, they offer direct and easy access to the information you need to get the results you want. Learning how to structure exercise towards a specific goal, nutrition strategies and to sift through the vast amounts of often conflicting health and fitness information to figure out the ‘truth’ can take time. In fact, a good personal trainer may spend 100’s of hours per year on professional development, learning the finer details of nutrition through reading the latest science, taking courses, seminars, workshops and mentoring schemes with leading experts, in order to provide their clients with exceptional levels of service and get them the results they want… fast.
Secondly, another misconception about what trainers actually ‘do’ for their money is that their work starts the second you enter and stops the second you leave the gym. A good trainer will spend time not only planning your sessions in detail, but will also be monitoring you during training, logging every detail of your session and getting feedback from you throughout. They then use this to help design future sessions to make sure you are progressing in the way that you would like and working around any problems you might have.
Many personal trainers also offer support outside of their training hours either individually or as part of support groups. This means any questions that you might have are answered quickly, so you can have confidence you’re on the right track and to provide you with the knowledge and emotional support you require when you need it. This leads me onto the most important aspects a good trainer provides that adds serious value if opting to use a personal trainer; accountability and emotional support.
ACCOUNTABILITY & EMOTIONAL SUPPORT
It’s highly likely if you are looking for a personal trainer that even if you do know your ‘stuff’ when it comes to training and nutrition, that sometimes we have to be accountable to someone other than ourselves to stay on track. If you choose to opt for personal training this accountability comes from both the financial commitment you have to make and also the fact that you have someone that you ‘feel’ you may be letting down, especially if they invest a lot of time and energy into helping you get results.
It is easy for highly motivated people to talk about self-motivation, but many people simply struggle for a vast number of reasons and sometimes we can’t rely on our intrinsic (internal) motivation to get things done, so we have to look to our extrinsic (external) motivators to make things happen. It just so happens investing money in a service and making the most out of that service happens to be a very big motivator indeed. A good trainer checks in regularly with their clients, even outside of their time in the gym, making sure they are on track and helping them to overcome any barriers or problems they might face.
Personal training is typically available anywhere in the region of £20 to £100+ per session… but why the wide the wide range of costs? This can be related to location, as certain areas are more expensive to live, or rent gym/studio space and this can be reflected in price. The biggest reason for the gap in price is usually related to experience, qualifications and client results. As in any industry, those with a proven track record tend to charge more money, but that comes with the increased confidence that they offer an excellent service and all the extra support we have discussed here.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
However, this isn’t always the case so don’t always assume price reflects service, do your research and ask for credentials and testimonials from previous clients… you might also be lucky and find a cheaper trainer who is very good, but perhaps finding their feet in the industry.
If we consider an experienced trainer that charges around £50.00 for an hour session, you also have to consider that it might also take an hour to prepare that session, another hour after your session to look through your ‘data’ and provide you with feedback and some of that money may be going to pay their gym ‘rent’ and other costs.
On top of that they are also likely to be in contact with you several times over the course of the week, often at unsociable hours that work with you, and they may offer other services, such as helping with nutrition advice and written and video content to offer further support and useful information. When all this is considered, then you can see the hourly rate for what a good personal trainer actually gets paid starts to drop significantly.
WORTH THEIR WEIGHT IN GOLD
The truth is that a good personal trainer is worth their weight in gold; they can save you time, money and a lot of headaches as long as you are willing to uphold your side of the bargain. Like in any industry there are those that have more knowledge and experience than others and this is often reflected in the cost, but not always, so regardless of your budget don’t be afraid to contact trainers with a few questions, ask them about their experience, qualifications, the support they offer their clients and their specific areas of expertise and most importantly make sure they have a personality that will fit with you.
Also remember that a cheaper trainer may not necessarily be a worse trainer, they might just be finding their feet in the industry and building a client base. There are plenty of people with very good credentials and experience from other related sectors, who offer a great service at lower prices than you might expect and if you find one of these then make sure you take the opportunity with both hands.