Personal training can be a confusing industry to navigate.
It ranges in scope from fitness gurus charging thousands to sculpt actors and celebrities into shape, to workout-buddies-for-hire in branded polo shirts at your local gym.
Is PT a must-have investment in your fitness routine, or a frivolous waste of money?
We’re here to shed some light on the topic and help you gauge whether or not personal training might be a fit for your needs.
With a largely unregulated pricing structure, costs vary substantially within the PT world.
Outside of big cities, trainers in high street gyms typically charge £30-50 per hour and work in 30-minute increments.
In London and other major metropolitan areas, this can rise to £50-75.
Independent PTs who train clients at home, in parks or at private facilities can charge £150+ per hour.
Trainers vary in experience and service level also, so make sure to check what you’re getting for your money. Being thrown into an off-the-peg fitness routine is a big difference from working with a PT who designs a plan around your personal needs.
The easiest way in is often to pay for a tester session and take things from there.
Personal training is not for everyone. Plenty of people work hard under their own steam and achieve great results. Additionally, there’s an abundance of information available elsewhere, with everything from FitBits to gym apps and YouTube tutorials helping solo gym-goers stay on track.
With that said, there are some situations where PT is a great solution and can prove a worthwhile investment.
Consider a personal trainer if
You struggle with motivation
Working with a personal trainer locks you into a schedule, as well as committing your hard-earned money to scheduled sessions. If you’re the kind of person who always finds life getting in the way of making time for the gym, then locking in a routine in the form of PT can be a great solution.
Another common reason people lost motivation to exercise is lack of variety. A good PT will keep your program varied and stimulating, meaning it’s not the same old drudge on a treadmill every time.
Lastly, you’re not only committed to your PT just because you’ve paid. Their work is based around achieving set goals, so you’re bound together by accountability not only to complete the sessions but to actually get the results you wanted from the start.
You lack technique
Many aerobic and weight machines are fairly straightforward and user-friendly, but there are areas of the gym where an expert guide can be very beneficial. Technical exercises with free weights such as the squat or deadlift need be done correctly to get the best results and avoid injury, and equipment such as kettlebells require a little more guidance.
As well as teaching you correct form with new exercises, PT’s can also help you to analyse your current form, which can be a big help to anyone experiencing mysterious aches and twinges from their routines.
You’re not getting results
Despite all the effort and expense, it’s surprisingly common for people to lose interest in the gym because they fail to see the results they’re hoping for.
This can be down to a variety of factors, many of which PT can help with.
Personal trainers push their clients within safe boundaries, often coaxing them to intensify their routines more than they would on their own.
They can also bring much-needed variety, adding new exercises or structures to stale routines which have ceased to shock the body and produce change.
You want a comprehensive program
Achieving results in the gym is down to much more than just putting in the work. It’s about a combination of factors including rest, mobility, diet and more.
There’s nothing more frustrating than working hard in the gym only to feel you’re not progressing week on week.
PT’s can help diagnose this, working on potential issues in areas such as flexibility and nutrition.
For those new to the world of gym and exercise, or those looking to take their performance to another level, adding sessions with a PT can help bring together these different elements and produce an effective overall approach to fitness.