Personal Training: What do you need to consider?

Picture of personal training

So, the decision to join a gym has been made, one that can take a lot of consideration and now you have to think about personal training. One of the main considerations is, do I want to part with the cash? Personal training is a cash-sensitive consideration for most of us and we think about whether we really need it or not, certainly given the many sources of help and support that are online. Although it can be expensive, some personal training can really help with the initial motivation that we often lack when trying to get in shape.

What choices and options do I have?

There are a range of options to think about when considering whether or not personal training is right for you. Such as:

Monthly bundles
This is a pretty simple, although not offered with all gym types and membership, and introductory way of engaging with personal training. There will be different options available at gyms that offer this as part of the monthly membership, from one a month to once a week with one of the in-house trainers/fitness coaches. It can be a relatively inexpensive way to start and act as a trial run before committing to any further personal training, or whether the trainer is right for you (see here for more about working with a trainer).

Regular in-house PT
This is different from a monthly bundle because it is an extra payment from your monthly or annual subscription fee. Often this is because people want to achieve a specific goal more quickly and enjoy the regular interactions that they get from personal training. The range of fees will depend on the type of gym and the relative experience of your trainer, so research these factors before making any commitment.

Visiting an external PT gym
Similar to your in-house regular personal training session, this will be at an additional cost and will be at a different location from your usual workout space. You are likely to be surrounded by trainers with a good degree of knowledge and specialist equipment to help you achieve your goals and may end up selecting this pathway if your personal trainer moves away from the gym chain that you usually visit. These sorts of gyms are not often for novices, but it depends on your goals and the type of trainer that you want to work with.

Ad-hoc sessions
These are training sessions that are booked on a less frequent basis, either to support a particular goal for a short amount of time or to re-hone your skills in the gym. This will only be a route for you if you have had and understood the benefit of regular PT, as ad-hoc sessions are usually for helping to work towards short-term goals rather than evaluating your progress over a longer period of time.

What are the benefits of working with a trainer?

I’m not a personal trainer, so I’m not promoting my services, but there certainly are benefits. I’ve had a few different trainers over the years, to get the maximum benefit, you need to find a trainer that you can work well with as this will motivate you to work harder towards achieving your goals. One of the biggest benefits of PT sessions is the knowledge that these professionals have, especially the good ones. They can really help you to understand how to get the best from your body and your workouts, something that might take a lot longer to figure out on your own. Even some PT for a short time can help to set you up with some great and long-lasting habits for working out.

Another habit is the fact that a PT will usually push you harder than you usually would which is a good thing in terms of working out, although I did not think so at first. They can also help you with some training exercises that require two people, such as the more explosive and plyometric types of training. Finally, and a combination of the above, good PTs will set you a sound programme based on your needs and it will link to your sessions with them, they will listen to your likes and dislikes when working in the gym and can select the best movements to help you develop and avoid injury. Having a google search of your local area will give you some helpful hints and tips of the services that are out there, such as here.

Are there downsides to personal training?

Apart from financial outlay, the biggest downside to having personal training is not connecting with a trainer. This cannot be highlighted enough, if you are not happy with the service and workouts that they are providing, make a change, not only will it cost you money, but you won’t get the results that you want. If you’re not getting the results, then it’s just not worth spending the money, you need to be happy with the service, irrespective of the frequency or how much you are spending. Personal training is fantastic if it really is personal and tailored to your needs, don’t accept anything less.

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