Are you ready for an unpopular opinion? Buckle up! You’re wasting your precious resources (time and money) on 1:1 personal training. 

…and this is coming from a certified personal trainer. But bear with me, I think you’ll find yourself agreeing by the end of the article. Fortunately, at Progressive Performance we offer a wide range of service levels to help you reach your goals – I’ll share the program about which our most successful clients use and rave to others.

1:1 Personal Training is EXPENSIVE

1:1 Personal Training

At minimum you should expect to pay $60 per hour, but some trainers will charge you upwards of $100 for an hour of their time. Most personal trainers do not own their own facility, equipment, etc. and are either renting space and equipment from a fitness facility or working directly for the gym. If your personal trainer travels to you, your trainer’s rate will most likely increase to include an/or offset travel expenses (time away from home gym facility, gas, equipment haul-in).

Reaching Your Fitness Goals is all about Consistent Frequency

Now that you know how expensive one 1:1 60 minute personal training session can be, how many times per week are you prepared to fork over the moolah to get the results you want from having a personal trainer?

You won’t see much progress, or reach your fitness goals in a very timely manner, only working out once per week. I think at bare minimum, two 45-60 minute sessions per week will scratch the surface of moving you towards weight loss, muscle development, and strength gains. Our most successful clients will train 3 to 5 times per week, with the increased frequency comes the increased rapidity of their results.

Let’s do a bit of math…

2x Personal Training sessions/wk = $120 – $200

$480 – $800 per month

3x Personal Training Sessions/wk = $180 – $300

→ $720 – $1200 per month

4x Personal Training Sessions/wk = $240 – $400

→ $960 – $1600 per month

Ouch. That’s pretty steep. Don’t misinterpret me, I am ALL ABOUT investing in your health and fitness. But, I know that there are more cost effective options available that will give you the same (or even more value)…stay tuned through to the end of this article.

Does your Personal Trainer have the cred…?
A good sign if your coach has their CSCS from the National Strength and Conditioning Association

No seriously, before paying $120 – $400 per week to someone to train you make sure that they are properly certified and credentialed. Kicking your butt for 60 minutes, making you sore and sweaty, is a job anyone off the street could do. But, that’s likely not what you’re looking for from Personal Training. A certified personal trainer will be able to design and coach you through a well-constructed and individualized workout program.

Does your personal trainer seem to follow a plan from session to session? Is he or she including exercises specifically chosen based on your injury history, goals, or specific sport? When you ask your trainer why you’re doing a particular exercise/repetition scheme/technique he or she should be able to give you a clear answer that a non-fitness professional can understand.

What you probably aren’t paying for (and definitely should be)

The majority of 1:1 Personal Training session rates are only inclusive of the trainer’s time during the workout that happens during that 60 minute session. You likely aren’t getting nutrition guidance and coaching, or weekly meals/food to support your workouts and goals included in your personal training package.

If weight loss or physique-based goals are your main motivators for hiring a personal trainer, then nutrition is a HUGE factor to seeing the number on the scale move. It doesn’t matter how much you workout, if you aren’t focusing on a mindful and healthy nutrition strategy to propel you towards your goals you may just end up spinning your wheels, getting frustrated, and giving up all together.

Nutrition is a massive topic, often misunderstood and full of myths and misconceptions. It pays to have someone in your court to guide and teach you what a healthy lifestyle looks like when it comes to food and fueling your goals.

Who Would Benefit Most from 1:1 Personal Training?

I think there about four scenarios where 1:1 Personal Training is beneficial, and worth the time and money:

  • Sport-Specific Training
  • Technique Work
  • Injury Rehabilitation & Corrective Work
  • Self-Accountability & Consistency Issues

3 out of the 4 scenarios listed above are really only necessary 1x/week for a 30 minute session if the client is already working out 2-4x per week. Having both of the trainer’s eyes on you (and your technique) will help to make improvements to certain challenging exercises so that the client can confidently perform and progress the movement on their own. Weekly technique or sport-specific training sessions are an excellent use of 1:1 time with a personal trainer.

We often suggest that clients who are coming back to the gym and exercise after an injury or surgery should do so with 1:1 personal training sessions. Clients who are noticing acute or referred pain during their training sessions would also benefit from a weekly 30 minute 1:1 session to look specifically into what could be causing painful movements, and the corrective exercises to mitigate the discomfort.

Clients who struggle with consistently working out on a weekly basis would most certainly benefit from the accountability of working with a personal trainer in 1:1 sessions. Knowing that you’re expected for an appointment keeps you beholden to your health and fitness goals, and won’t allow you to just push your training out to tomorrow, …or the weekend… or whenever you feel like you have the available time. That could be weeks, months or even years. Where will your health and fitness be at that point?

Experience Personal Training Value at a Small Group Price

Small Group Fitness

Remember how I said that there’s a better option than 1:1 personal training? It’s our main service model at Progressive Performance – Small Group Personal Training. You share the personal trainer with up to six other clients in the fitness studio. Most people actually prefer that 7:1 ratio of clients to coach as it takes the performance pressure that 1:1 training can create.

What are a few of the advantages to small group personal training? 

  • Cost effective
  • Community – ‘Gym Family’
  • Certified Trainers

Small group training allows you to share the cost of a personal trainer with up to 6 other clients, but without watering down the service and value of that trainer’s knowledge and expertise. When you save money on your session rate, that means you can increase your weekly session frequency to achieve your health and fitness goals more rapidly. You can also use the money you’ve saved to get a nutrition coach in your corner, as well as purchase the food that aligns with a healthy nutrition strategy.

If you’re someone who struggles with working out on your own, either because you’re unconfident in what you should be doing, which exercises and how many times to do them, or even just walking through the gym doors, then small group personal training is going to be the perfect fit for you. You’ll have the opportunity to get to know (and cheer on) those other clients who are sharing the session with you. 

Small Group Fitness
Working out with your gym friends even makes hard exercises more fun!

I’m sure you’ve heard the term ‘gym family’! Well, it’s absolutely a thing and one of the very best parts of PP. We like to say, ‘Come for the results, stay for the community’. Having friends or buddies at the gym will keep you accountable to actually walking through the doors every week, and I’ll bet seeing someone else push themselves motivates or inspires you to push just that little bit harder in your own workout…

One of the other big pluses of working out with other clients in your sessions? Learning techniques and tips from watching someone else move and be coached. I’m a very visual learner, so I know this has been a huge help for me as not only a strength athlete, but also as a coach too, to better understand how to use verbal cues to execute a movement better.

If Money and Time aren’t Barriers…

… then training 1:1 with a certified coach or personal trainer is going to see your technique improved, results accelerated, strength and muscle development progress, and scale goals attainable.

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