Is a personal trainer worth it?


Estimated Reading Time: 8 Minutes 

Investing in a personal trainer whether in person or online can be a costly intervention. If you already have access to a gym, or even some equipment at home, you may be asking ‘why spend money on a personal trainer when I could just plan my own workouts?’ This is a good question, and the cost vs benefit will vary greatly from person to person. 


Ultimately it comes down to the value you put on achieving your goals. Think about the most burning desire you have right now when it comes to health & fitness, and don't think about it as weight loss, muscle gain or more energy those are pretty stale goals, think of the desire behind the goal, more confidence, better self esteem and feeling alive when you wake up in the morning, not to mention all of the benefits for your career

One of my favourite analogies that illustrates the benefits of working with a Personal Trainer or online personal trainer is one that is also used by plumbers:

A plumber holding a wrench

A man calls a plumber to his home to solve a problem with one of his pipes. The plumber looks around and listens for about 10 minutes, and then he grabs a pipe wrench and hits a pipe three or four times in the same place. The problem is miraculously solved. The plumber then hands the man his bill, and the man is shocked to see that the invoice is for $200. The man objects, “How on earth can you charge $200 for simply banging on a pipe three or four times with a pipe wrench? I demand that you itemise this bill.” The plumber takes the invoice from the man, recalculates it, and hands it back. The invoice now reads:


Item one: Hitting the pipe with a pipe wrench–$2.00

Item two: Knowing to hit the pipe with the pipe wrench–$99

Item three: Knowing where and how to hit it–$99.

So you can see that personal training shouldn't just be valued based on an hourly rate for a training session or an online training program, but rather as the investment you are making in order to achieve your goals. 


Of course you have the ability to work out, and design your own training programs, to eat well, and apply positive lifestyle habits, but the best personal trainers, like the expert plumber will be able to decipher patterns in your lifestyle, approach to training, exercise history and preferences and create a program and approach to nutrition for you that may be able to help you achieve a long held goal, or massively reduce the amount of time it is going to take you to achieve it. 


For example what value would the individual who desperately seeks an end to restrictive cycles of dieting put on a sustainable lifestyle that could keep them at their desired weight


What value would someone trying to meet the love of their lives on a dating app put on being able to display fantastic profile pictures and the confidence that would ooze from them on their first date with a dream partner because they felt the best version of themselves? 


How much would a lifestyle focused fitness program that could restore energy levels be worth for someone who has been working themselves into the ground in order to pursue their career goals, waking up and going to bed exhausted?


How about someone who feels alone and unsupported with their goals, what price would that put on an expert personal trainer prompting them and following up on their fitness efforts? 


So you can see, value is relative you aren't paying for a personal training session when you work with a fitness coach, you are investing in the feelings or opportunities the successful completion of your fitness goals would mean for you. 


Of course there is a big caveat here....


Not all Personal Trainers are the same. Investing in the wrong personal trainer of fitness program may cost you time and money if it doesn't bear fruit. This is why you shouldn't be shopping on price alone, you have to factor in the opportunity cost. Let's say you go three months with the wrong coach and you don't get the results you are looking for, or perhaps even worse they put you on such a restrictive program that what you do achieve on the program can't be maintained....Not only would you have lost the money, you'd also have wasted the time, experienced a whole bunch of frustration and may have to then go find someone who can get you across the finish line and invest again. 


To avoid that here are a few tips to help you find the best personal trainer or fitness coach (of which there are many) 


1. Track Record


Look for a track record of the ability to get results with other people, ideally people in similar scenarios and with similar goals. Let's play with another analogy, if for some reason you had to have surgery would you want the surgeon that had successfully completed 1000 operations or one who was charging a fraction of the price, with just handful of operations under their belt? Experience counts.


Often you'll be able to hear the testimony of a personal trainer's clients in their own words, there is little better insight into how effective a potential training program is going to be than hearing how it all unfolded from someone that has been through the process. For example I have collated some video testimonials from my online personal training clients, which you can watch below.



2. Make sure they are a professional


Make sure they are qualified and are a professional personal trainer, we live in the social media age, and there are many people in fantastic shape online, often selling courses and apps whilst asking their customers to eat and train as they do, theres not necessarily anything wrong with that, but it's a different proposition to that of a career personal trainer. A professional personal trainer will be able to course correct and personalise an approach that will work for you, rather than show you something that has worked for them.


3. Have a look at who they are online


Check out your prospective personal trainer's online presence and get a feel for their ethos, professionalism and coaching style. If you are about to invest a good deal of money in your training goals you will want to ensure sure that you get on well with your coach and believe in the way they work, so watch a few of their videos and see if its going to be a good fit. 


4. Are they reachable?


Get them on the phone or meet in person and discuss your goals, let them explain their proposed strategy, intended timeframe for goal completion and of course the most important intangible, do you get the feeling that they care about you and your goals? - Availability is key, if your proposed coach is tough to get a hold of before you start working together, you'll have to make your own decision as to whether that's going to improve once you've parted with your hard earned money. 


Once you have all of this information you'll be in a great position to decide if you want to invest in working with a personal trainer to help you achieve your goals and indeed which fitness coach would be the perfect fit for you.



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