Are Personal Trainers Worth the Money?
Some people swear by them. Others prefer to go it alone while working out. If you’ve spent any time at a gym or fitness club, you may have wondered: Is a personal trainer worth the cost?
It’s a common question, especially when people decide they want to get in shape, lose weight, build muscle or all of the above.
Yes, trainers can be expensive, with sessions often running from $50 to $100 or more per hour. But depending on your goals and situation, they can be worth the price.
The benefits of a personal trainer
Knowledge: Good personal trainers can provide a wealth of information on exercises, equipment and even diet. Most gyms offer a few free personal training sessions so new members can become familiar with equipment and machines. But if you’re a first-timer or don’t know where to start, a trainer’s continued guidance can help as you identify and work toward your goals.
Good form: Personal trainers are excellent for helping clients with proper form, which is crucial for injury prevention. With your safety and performance in mind, a trainer will tell you if you’re not using good form and then correct you.
Adjusting plans and goals: After you’ve started an exercise plan, your trainer will change the routine as you progress toward your goals. Making these changes prevents your body from adapting to the routine, which can slow your progress.
Monitoring: A trainer will track your progress with workout records, weigh-ins and measurements, including calculation of body fat percentage. If you have pre-existing issues, such as a heart condition, your trainer will factor that into your program and be vigilant so you don’t overdo it.
Accountability: This is a big one for many people. Most of us can come up with a million excuses on why we don’t make it to the gym. When you have a trainer, you’re making appointments that you’re more likely to keep – and you’re paying for them. Some gyms may charge you if you’re a no-show or cancel late.
Motivation: Your trainer will hold you accountable during your workouts, too, safely pushing you harder and further than you would go on your own.
What to look for in a trainer
A certified trainer’s knowledge, experience and personality are important. Look for a CPT credential, which can be obtained through organizations such as the National Academy of Sports Medicine, the American College of Sports Medicine or the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
A good trainer should be happy to answer any questions you have as you explore your options. Don’t hesitate to ask.
Speaking of questions, don’t forget to ask yourself if this is the right fit. Do you get along? Is this someone you want to spend time with in the gym? Be honest. After all, this is a relationship that’s key to your health and well-being.
Start off on the right foot
If you’re beginning a new exercise program, be sure to speak with your Methodist Physicians Clinic primary care provider first. Then take the time to find someone you feel comfortable with. It can be challenging, but working with a personal trainer can be an investment in your health.