Do I need a personal trainer if I already go to the gym?


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If you have already invested in a gym membership, you might think that you won’t benefit from working with a personal trainer or indeed an online personal trainer. You already have access to all of the equipment, why would you add the additional expense of a coach on top of this?


Well if you are starting out on your fitness journey, struggling to stay consistent or feel frustrated with guesswork an excellent personal trainer might be exactly what you need to get everything you can out of your gym membership. 


Think of the gym as an ongoing cost for access to equipment, but personal training as hiring an expert to help you find the best route to your goal. For this reason, once you have your answers or have achieved your goals, you will no longer need fitness coaching, but as a result of having invested in it when you most needed it, you are then set to get more out of your gym membership every month moving forward having successfully formed your fitness efforts as a consistent habit


Before we discuss the benefits of working with a personal trainer, it's important to state that it is perfectly feasible that you achieve your fitness goals alone, many have and there is an abundance of great information out there and many great fitness coaches dedicated to getting that information out to as many people as possible, in fact that is one of the things I'm trying to achieve with my podcast and youtube channel.


The downside is that learning everything on your own takes time, and most capable coaches are going to have spent thousands of hours in study and also leaning what works in practice with the accumulated skill and insight that comes from working with hundreds of different people. Put it this way, theoretically you could learn how to fix your own car, all the info is right there online, but if I for one would prefer to pay an experienced mechanic, to save me the time and for the peace of mind.


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7 Benefits Of Working With A Personal Trainer




Having delivered over 10,000 personal training sessions in person, and having delivered results for thousands of people with my online personal training service, I can categorically say that accountability is the number one benefit of hiring a personal trainer. Often just knowing that someone else is looking out for your results and will be following up with you about how you are implementing a training program is enough to make the difference between getting results or not. Having a direct line to a skilled trainer can be an invaluable resource when you need to be sure you're doing the right things. Personal trainers can use coaching calls, check-ins and of course physical appointments to ensure you know that someone else is as invested in you achieving your goals as you are.




In addition to accountability, a great coach or fitness trainer is going to be able to help motivate you to keep going when you feel discouraged or like you are losing momentum, there will be little an experienced trainer won't have seen before so they'll know exactly how to help you get right back on course when your encounter challenges. 




Although you may be able to go to a gym and put together your own training plan that works your muscles and helps to get your sweat on, you may not be approaching your workouts in the most efficient way, which costs you time and frustration. Whilst it's always good to be exercising regularly, not all workout programs are equal, knowing whats going to work for you, when, why and for how long are all answers you can completely outsource to your fitness coach. 


A good personal trainer will be able to review your goals and circumstances and put together a workout plan that helps you to take the most linear route to your goals, allowing you to make the maximum progress from the time that you spend in the gym. Remember just because something works for someone else, it doesn't mean it's going to be the right fit for you. This ability to adapt to the individual is one of the main differentiators between working with a professional coach versus working with someone that is asking you to train and eat like they do. 


Best Practice: 


As with any pursuit, you will get make the most out of your training if you learn the basics first. A personal trainer will be able to introduce you to the importance of tracking your workouts, maintaining progressive overload in strength training and using contrasting training protocols to keep your body adapting to workouts, amongst others, allowing you to build a strong foundation that you can continue to build upon.


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Options For Personal Training: 

There are a number of different options for how best to select and work with a personal trainer. I've written an article here that might help you find a good personal trainer that would be a good fit for you. 


In Person:


The classic personal training relationship is the in person training session where you book a time with a personal trainer and you both arrive at the gym for a one on one appointment, generally for an hour long workout session. The advantage here is the physical element of the training session and the added accountability factor of actually letting someone down if you don't show up. Of course, the cost of in personal training sessions is going to add up very quickly, particularly if you plan to do all of your training sessions together. Another potential downside of in person training sessions is that the level of support you get from the coach may be largely limited to the training sessions themselves, and as we all know it's the times when you aren't in the gym where lifestyle mistakes are made. Of course this won't always be the case so it's worth discussing the level of support you will receive before signing up with a coach. 


Group Training:


Often in more boutique gym settings you will be able to access group sessions with a great personal trainer, which will spread out the cost a little more favourably than one on one coaching. The potential disadvantage here though is the lack of one on one connection that you may garner in the traditional setup, which may make it. difficult for them to keep on top of our progress, especially if you purchase a membership where the actual trainers delivering the sessions can change. 


Online Personal Training: 


The rise of online fitness coaches has transformed the fitness industry in recent years, creating many specialist online personal training services and encouraging many in person trainers to offer auxiliary online fitness coaching, sometimes calling this virtual personal training. The major benefits of working with an online personal trainer are the flexibility and additional accountability the technology provides. 


By delivering a workout program and meal plan that can be followed in your own time, and on your own schedule you are able to adapt to having a busy schedule without worrying about missing training sessions, essentially as long as you are able to get the get the workouts in at some point that's all that counts. 


Online personal training programs also benefit from a fantastic level of accountability because unlike the training session model, an online coach is literally monitoring the activities, comments and instant messages of their clients all day long, so having that direct line to your online fitness coach is essentially like having them in your pocket, whenever you need a hit of motivation, a question answered or need to check your form on an exercise, you can get in touch right away. 


One of the other advantages of doing personal training online, is that rather than single workouts, your personal trainer will deliver your whole workout program, lifestyle habits that can support your goals and in many cases a full meal plan.  Of course choosing the right fit in an online coach is just as important as it is in person. You can learn more about the best online personal trainers on this list from the institute of personal trainers here


Ultimately, working with a personal trainer could be exactly what you need to get the most out of the work you are putting into the gym, as with anything in life, you just need to make sure that you find the right fit for you.