What You Should Know If You Are Considering Hiring A Personal Trainer

Basic Fit

Many people wonder whether hiring a personal trainer is worth the expense, but there is more to personal training than just working out with someone who provides extra motivation. What a number of people don’t realize is that aside from helping you get fitter and more toned, they can help you sent exercise goals, while being able to accomplish them without getting injured.

Moreover, fitness professionals and personal trainers tend to keep their clients more accountable to their exercise goals. Aside from helping create the workout plans, they are designed precisely to a particular client’s specific fitness and health needs.

A number of different exercise institutions, such as the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). After certification, most groups still require further completion of education credits, taking regular CPR-AED classes, as well as holding special insurance so that trainers can maintain their licenses and certification of which the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) is considered the best of all certifying agencies.

There are a few different personal-training certifications that a “certified personal trainer” can have, such as CSCS, which is a certified strength and conditioning specialist who specializes in resistance training for athletes. Another is CES, which is corrective exercise specialist, who focuses on imbalances and movement dysfunctions. Another is CEP, or certified exercise physiologist (CEP), who specializes on training others to analyze people’s fitness to help them maintain good health and improve it as well. As for PTs, or physical therapists, they work to help people prevent and recover from injuries that tend to limit their movement and physical activities.

According to Julie Khan, a physical therapist, doctor of physical therapy, and an advanced clinician at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, some personal trainers hold a variety of certifications dependent on their expertise and area of education.

She explains that if you decide to hire a personal trainer, “You want to make sure that your trainer has some level of education in exercise.” She also says that some other things to consider when hiring a personal trainer is location, cost, and if their schedule matches your availability as well.

With modern technology becoming even more advanced these days, virtual personal training has made it much easier to begin with a personal trainer. In fact, an article that was published in the January 2021 copy of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal, online or virtual training became the top fitness trend in 2021 as fitness clubs around the world were forced to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But regardless of whether you choose to do online training or in-person training, you’ll still need to choose one whose expertise matches your personal fitness and individual health needs.


They Create Workouts Specific to Your Personal Goals and Needs

A group of people that may benefit from having a personal trainer are those that are new to exercise, have trouble reaching their fitness goals, those that don’t know how to train for their goals, or those that have difficulty sticking to their program in the first place, explains certified personal trainer based in San Antonio, Texas, Austin Johnson, who also happens to be a national personal training manager for Gold’s Gym.

He explains that part of what you’re paying for is for having a motivational partner that helps keep you accountable. You’re also paying for their expertise in human physiology, which studies the body’s movement patterns, workout programming, proper exercise form, and how to tailor exercises to a person’s specific needs, as well as their limitations and physical abilities. Other benefits are learning how to work out safely, getting personally planned out and designed workouts for your fitness goals, as well as learning the proper forms of doing the exercises.

Johnson said, “Ask them what their plan is to help you achieve your goals. A good personal trainer should be able to give you an outline of each step in the process of getting from where you are now to where you want to be.”


They Help Those with Underlying Health Conditions or Risks A Way to Train Safely

Other great roles that personal trainers take on is their ability to lessen the possibility of injury. Khan shares that working out with a trainer means you’ll be able to meet your fitness goals without getting injured.

She shared, “If someone is injured or recovering from an injury, they should always seek guidance from someone else who has experience in exercise and rehabilitation. The DIY approach can be quite harmful and lead clients down the wrong path.”

In addition, Khan explains that many times, injuries occur when individuals follow a one-size-fits-all workout plan that’s not suited for everyone, leaving some to get injured because of wrong form. Moreover, personal trainers can also work for those that have been injured before or for those with chronic diseases that may increase injury risk.

Exercise scientists and physical therapist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, D.R. Ebner, DPT, says, “Personal trainers can play a critical role in helping people with chronic diseases and underlying medical conditions stay active and healthy.” For those with chronic health problems, exercise may also help alleviate some of their symptoms.

Johnson explains that people with chronic health conditions that cause pain, fatigue, or other adverse symptoms tend to skip exercising precisely because of these conditions. But in reality, movement and strength training may actually help clients feel better and strengthen otherwise weaker body parts. For example, someone with multiple sclerosis – who usually have a tendency to be unsteady on their feet – may benefit from a personalized training plan that helps improve balance, stability, and coordination.

In the same way, clients that suffer from diabetic neuropathy should probably avoid high-impact exercises, while working to improve their nerve and vascular health. ACE-certified medical exercise specialist, Todd Galati, who’s based in San Diego shares that people with different types of arthritis may need to learn how to increase their strength and joint stability without causing more damage to their joint surfaces and cartilage.

He also explains that a variety of personal trainers can help with these other issues, saying, “Every week, most personal trainers are working with a number of clients with considerations such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis.”


How to Find Affordable Personal Trainers

Personal trainers work in a variety of companies, depending on their expertise and client requirements. While most gyms have a number of personal trainers under their employment, they make sure to put clients with trainers that are best suited to their needs. Even hospitals, rehabilitation facilities and sports medicine clinics have personal trainers on their staff to work with clients that may need them after coming from either an injury, surgery, or other types of procedures that need looking after.

Co-founder of SoHo Strength Lab in New York City, Albert Matheny, RD, CSCS, explains that a number of personal trainers have begun offering more of their online based services, explaining, “Online training has definitely increased during the pandemic.”

You may also find trainers on the NCCA-accredited certifications online on the U.S. Registry of Exercise Professionals, or through other websites such as American College of Sports Medicine or American Council on Exercise.

Personal training can be expensive, which is why researching a variety of options will be your best bet on finding someone to fit your budget. Here are a few tips to help you:


1. Look at Gym Prices

If you happen to be a member of a gym, then begin by looking at the personal trainers that belong to that gym. The gym may even offer special training rates and deals, while considering that some trainers have different prices as well. Johnson suggests to ask for the rates, and find out if your gym offers a complimentary personal-training session to see if it’s something that you like. That way you’ll know if you can commit to buying and actually attending your sessions to make it worth both your time and money.


2. Look At Different Gyms

If you don’t actually belong to a gym, or even if you do, it might be good to look around at different locations to see which ones have the best rates, especially when it comes to personal training sessions. Costs can vary widely depending on location and facility, so don’t go for the first one you find. Make sure that you keep in mind that most gyms charge extra for training over the regular gym membership fees.


3. Ask About “Off-Peak” Hours

Most gyms have times they consider “off-peak” which is when they are not full. If you’re looking to spend less, working out during these hours may actually cost less. Normally, these hours are between 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and around 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. If you have a work schedule that works around these hours, consider asking the gym if they have cheaper rates for these times.


4. Go for Programming Only

Johnson suggests, “If you are someone who has a bit of experience and understands how to use the majority of the equipment in the gym, then maybe what you need is more programming than anything else.” Another way to save is to look into booking just one session a month with the trainer, while the rest of the time you do the program on your own for the rest of the month. That way, you don’t have to pay for the trainer’s time every time you workout.


5. Try 30-Minute Sessions

Johnson also suggests going for 30-minute sessions instead of one hour. “Half-hour personal training sessions are about half the price of a full-hour session,” he says. Not only are they still effective, but you can use the other time to do warm-ups or some cardio work first, then you can spend the rest of the time working with the trainer on your specific needs or workout program, but only have to pay your trainer for the 30-minutes you spend together.


6. Look For An Independent Trainer

Some personal trainers are not exclusive to just one gym. Rather than paying your gym additional fees for their trainers and using your own may help keep costs down. Some gyms though will charge to bring an outsider into the gym if they aren’t employed there, but there are some whose costs are minimal. Meanwhile, there are other independent trainers that can work with you outside of a gym, doing house visits and training at home, which can keep costs at a minimum.


7. Ask For Small-Group Training

Sometimes training with other people can be more cost-effective since you and the other clients can split the costs of the trainer in half. Whether you have just one friend or a group of people, your trainer should still be able to offer some individualized training that works for a group, while still focusing on every group members needs. But Matheny shares that you should still consider the fact that “you’re not going to get the same personal attention. If you have injuries I wouldn’t recommend it.”


8. Search Online

Suter shares, “Online coaching is becoming much more popular because of the flexibility to do workouts at your own pace and time, as well as the fact that they cost 50 percent or less per month.”

Something else to consider are the endless fitness app options you can find online. Not only do they offer a variety of workouts, intensity levels, and trainers, they will track your progress and help you stay motivated as well. Some issues with online training is that you don’t have someone telling you whether your form is right or wrong, but it does offer flexibility while being much more cost efficient than in-person training sessions. Plus a subscription usually costs $100 or less for a whole year.