Should You Hire A Personal Trainer?

by fitness journalist

Should You Hire A Personal Trainer?

September and January tend to be some of the busiest times for those in the Fitness Industry, as people return to a more structured lifestyle that makes health and fitness goals more realistic and attainable. I wanted to write this post to help those curious about working with a Personal Trainer understand if now is the right time, and if so what would be the best type of commitment.

You first need to ask yourself:

  • Are you willing to, and can you, commit about 5 hours per week to exercise?
  • Are you currently in a financial situation that will allow you to afford at least $200/month for 3 months or more?
  • Do you have support from those within your social circle? (can/will your significant other/other influential person in your life be supportive by: helping you get regular good sleep, respect your time to go exercise, encourage you to eat home-made meals and not eat out, help you decrease alcohol intake, etc.)

If your answer to either any of the above questions is iffy, or a un-confident maybe/yes, then you might want to reconsider waiting until a better time when you can commit whole-heartedly. The reason I say that is all too often people get excited to start working with a Trainer to then end up having to stop/put things on pause. This ends ups being a poor use of time and money, and can be very frustrating.

Here are some reasons you should see a Personal Trainer:

  • You don’t know what to do in the gym and need to learn how to do the exercises properly, effectively, and safely.
  • You have an exercise-related goal that you don’t know how to achieve, or are unsure of, in the most efficient way, eg. weight loss, muscle gain, etc.
  • You don’t want to invest the time in understanding what and how to reach your goal(s) – however they might change along the way. You want to trust the expert, have someone else control that part of your life and simply show up; allowing you to save that mental work for other aspects of your life.
  • You lack the motivation and need an accountability partner – and also possibly someone to make the workouts enjoyable.
  • You have a history of not being able to reach your goal.
  • You have a challenging goal that you don’t think you can do by yourself. This could be a big weight loss goal, or an upcoming event that you really need to be pushed for (eg. Marathon).

How Many Times Per Week Should You Train With a Trainer?

The answer will be different for everyone based on different factors, to new a few: knowledge and level of competence with various exercises, self-motivation, accountability, and budget. I’m going to attempt to group people into different “groups” based on clients that I’ve worked with in the past and what’s worked best for them – or what initially didn’t work and what we changed to to make it work.

Group 1: Three (3) or more times a week

If you’re in group 1, one of the below might describe you:

  • You’ve never stepped foot into a gym before and: 1. you have no idea what you’re doing, and you likely have 30+ lbs. to lose.
  • You aren’t new to the gym, but don’t have someone else – like a gym buddy – to keep you accountable. You also likely have a lofty goal that is important for you to reach (eg. 30+ lbs. to lose).
  • Time is something you value and you want to “outsource” your health and fitness goals, while also having someone keep you accountable and motivated. Further, you may be very busy and need that time blocked off and to be paying someone in order to follow through and commit to it – otherwise friends and family will “take up” that time.

For the most part, those in Group 1 need more commitment to a trainer – at least initially. Those in this “group” likely have a lot to learn and history would suggest that they have a hard time achieving their goal by themselves, the extra time working with a trainer will help push them to that goal.

Group 2: Twice (2) per week

  • You need someone to help you commit to a weekly minimum to ensure you’re getting adequate exercise
  • You are one of the descriptions in Group 1 but 3 sessions or more is too often for time/scheduling/financial reasons.

Group 3: Once (1) per week

  • You seek more independence in the gym, but also value the accountability, motivation, and personal aspect of In-Person Training.

People in Group 3 do well with our Hybrid Training approach of training with us Online outside of seeing us In-Person.

Group 4: Once to twice a month

  • Like those in Group 3, you like doing things by yourself but still want some on-going guidance. More than anything you value feedback from what you’re doing and like the In-Person component for that reason, to help tweak things that might be “off” or not feeling quite right.

The above was not meant to be an exhaustive description of who fits within the above groups, as always there will be exceptions to the norm. You need to find out what works best for you, and that might not always be optimal at that given time – and that’s ok.

I’ll end be saying:

  1. Make sure you’re ready to start working with a Personal Trainer
  2. Do your research when considering hiring a Personal Trainer and find one that works for you. Sometimes you might be around your trainer more than most of your friends, and some family members, so the experience needs to be comfortable and enjoyable.

If I’ve sparked your interest in training with a Personal Trainer, we’d be happy to help #shamelessplug. Fill out this Interest form and we’ll contact you.

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