When I introduce myself to new friends or acquaintances, I tell them I’m a personal trainer. And every single time, like clockwork, they associate my profession with people like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Richard Simmons. Don’t get me wrong; I love Arnold and Richard, but personal training is not well-represented by fitness celebrities.
So, what exactly is personal training?
The definition from Wikipedia is as follows,
“A personal trainer is an individual who has earned a certification that demonstrates they have achieved a level of competency for creating and delivering safe and effective exercise programs for apparently healthy individuals and groups or those with medical clearance to exercise.”
We’re advocates for better fitness programs and workouts. We have a passion for helping people improve how they build and achieve fitness goals and exercise at home or in the gym.
Do I agree with that? Of course. That is precisely what we strive for.
But let’s dig a bit deeper and look at some of the more frequent questions people ask about personal training.
What exactly does a personal trainer do?
On the surface, we run training sessions and build workouts. I’m sure you’ve seen a certified personal trainer putting a client through an exercise program at one of your local health clubs.
But on a deeper level, we try to help clients put together the health and fitness puzzle. We look for missing pieces and try to fill in the gaps where needed.
Strength training is just one piece of the personal training puzzle. And it’s an essential piece, but it’s not the only one.
Personal trainers establish goals, track progress, keep clients accountable, prevent chronic disease, build better habits, and promote physical activity.
What should I expect from a personal trainer?
First and foremost, a good personal trainer will have the proper credentials. They should have at least one personal trainer certification or a Bachelor’s degree in exercise science. For instance, our whole staff is certified in one or more certifications from Functional Range Conditioning, allowing us to offer flexibility training and strength training programs.
Exercise professionals of any kind should encourage proper form. According to ACE Fitness, one of the lead personal trainer certifications,
“Safety is the number one priority. A personal trainer should teach you the proper mechanics of each exercise to keep your body safe.”
You should feel safe and encouraged in each of your one-on-one sessions. And you should walk away from training knowing how to use new exercise equipment and understand your body and its limits.
Good personal fitness trainers will motivate you and be communicative; they should push you and check in with you weekly, if not daily.
Good trainers will track your progress, build your exercise programs, and ensure your every need is met in and out of the gym.
In essence, you should expect a lot from trainers, especially because you’ll be paying a lot more for their services.
Is it worth getting a personal trainer?
The real question is, is it worth getting a good personal trainer? The answer is, of course, yes.
Good trainers help clear the clutter so you can focus on what’s actually moving the needle. In addition, they have a passion for helping you improve any area that might need attention.
The best personal trainers will do whatever it takes to motivate, encourage, and foster your growth and progress.
If you want clarity on your goals, individualized attention, and consistent results, you need a good personal trainer. Period.
How long should I stay with a personal trainer?
That depends on your goals. We train clients for well over 16 months at Motive Training, and sometimes longer.
If you achieve your goals and can sustain your results for the long term, then you likely no longer need a personal trainer. However, you may enjoy the accountability and motivation of your trainer, so it may be worth sticking around for longer if it’s in your budget.
There’s no perfect amount of time to stay with a personal trainer. It is entirely up to you and what you want and need.
How much does personal training cost?
Personal training is very market-dependent, but the national average cost in the fitness industry is $55 per hour. However, you will find varying rates depending on where you go and what you need. For example, health clubs like Equinox are likely to charge upwards of $100 per hour, whereas the YMCA or Gold’s might be closer to that $55 range.
If you are looking for a more budget-friendly option, you can hire an online personal trainer. Online personal training is booming, which we talked about in this article. The downside of online coaching is that sometimes it’s harder to coach and cue movements (e.g., squats or push-ups). However, in our program, we encourage your clients to take videos of parts of their workouts so we can review and go over any issues they may be having.
Overall, signing up for legitimate fitness programs under the supervision and instruction of qualified exercise professionals will not be cheap. However, having a good personal trainer in your corner is invaluable.
Expect Nothing But The Best.
So, should you hire a personal trainer? I think so, but only if you’re going to work with a staff that genuinely cares and coaches you to your goals. It doesn’t matter if you hire an in-person trainer or an online personal trainer; you should expect nothing but the best service imaginable.
Don’t waste your hard-earned money working with unmotivated, hands-off trainers. Instead, find someone that holds themselves to a higher standard, as Motive Training does.
We’re here to help—online or in-person in Grand Rapids, MI, or Austin, TX— get the most out of your body and training program. So don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions or if we can help. That’s what we’re here for.
Schedule a call here, or email us directly.
Brian Murray, FRSC, FRA
Founder of Motive Training