Personal trainer, yay or nay?

hannahfkaye2021 Posts: 9 Member
edited September 2021 in Health and Weight Loss
I'm thinking about joining my local gym but I am a total newbie. I have spoken with a PT who works in a gym close to my home and we had a great chat about my goals and how she can help me, and I think it's really worth a go.

I've been a yo yo dieter for years but I'm finally finding my groove with CICO and I've already lost 22lbs myself with this and walking at lunch, but we are coming into the winter and I know I'm going to find it harder to get out and move.

The PT charges £300 a month for 8 sessions a month (2 a week) but it's a full service, so will have weekly and monthly check ups outside of the PT sessions, support with nutrition and working on strength and resistance.

I also have hip impingement on my right side, and I have a sign off from my physio to start exercising with limits and she can build my gym schedule from scratch just for me.

I feel like it's worth it, but I have had a few people raise issue with how expensive it is, and now I'm doubting myself.

Does anybody have any advice or thoughts?


  • neanderthin
    neanderthin Posts: 8,496 Member
    I'd always advocate for a trainer. The benefits are well beyond the initial thinking of cost or worth.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 26,173 Member
    edited August 2021
    My response to "I'm thinking about joining my local gym but I am a total newbie" is always "hire a PT for at least a few sessions." :)

    However, the price ($413.54) does seem high to me for an intro package. Here in the US we have a problem with PT's giving dietary advice when they are not qualified or even allowed to do so - what are her qualifications? If you are at all hesitant about her dietary qualifications you could ask her to reduce her price and leave that out. The total price might be negotiable as well.

    Also, it did not seem like she is connected with the specific gym you are planning to join. If she's not a member, that could raise your costs. Having a PT from your gym could reduce your costs. I've always been given 1-3 free sessions whenever I joined a new gym. I've also taken small group classes for very cheap or free.

    That said, if she is fabulous, she'd be totally worth it!

    I'm entitled to free massage through my health care but none of the providers are vaccinated so I am paying out of pocket for someone out of network, and he's worth it.
  • mph323
    mph323 Posts: 3,566 Member
    If it's affordable for you, I think it's an excellent idea. Up until the pandemic I worked with a personal trainer for two and a half years, and I was in amazing shape when we had to stop. I was so lucky to have her working with me since I had just joined a gym and could have been randomly assigned anyone. This trainer specialized in working with older and injury limited people, and she really pushed and inspired me while working around my shoulder injury.

    If this is a month-to-month arrangement I think you have nothing to lose by trying it out for a month :)
  • SnifterPug
    SnifterPug Posts: 746 Member
    A good trainer is worth their weight in gold. £37.50 an hour if it was just the face to face sessions is not an unreasonable rate. With ongoing check ins and advice it sounds fair to me. I'd say it's worth signing up for a month on a trial basis. You won't get a fair assessment of progress after one month, in all probability, so be prepared to sign up for another month before you decide for sure. But I wouldn't pay for 2 months up front, personally. Be sure you check what happens if you/she has to miss a session.
  • MargaretYakoda
    MargaretYakoda Posts: 1,944 Member
    If you
    1) Have a good rapport with this PT
    2) Can afford it
    3) Ask around and don’t hear anything negative or questionable about this PT

    Go for it.
  • gentle_sir_hulk
    gentle_sir_hulk Posts: 52 Member
    I have been working with personal trainers on/off over last 15 years and overall it has been a very good experience and I again work with a fantastic trainer.

    I still believe in 'You cant outrun a bad diet', so I use the trainer to get fit and strong - but I still manage my food and diet.

    As part of a trial to do youtube videos I did a short video 'How to select a trainer' - Perhaps you find it useful!

    Let me know what you think!
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,301 Member
    Outside of just being out of Marine Corps bootcamp, I was in the best shape of my life when I was working with my trainer. A good one is gold. I don't work with him much anymore in large part due to the expense, and I learned a lot working with him so as a matter of general fitness I can pretty much program my own stuff...but working with him directly pushed me past points that I would generally not push myself on my own.
  • nooshi713
    nooshi713 Posts: 4,873 Member
    edited September 2021
    I have had many personal trainers in the past but not for the last several years. I definitely feel that a trainer can push you harder in the gym than most people can push themselves, so you’re likely to get better results. Make sure they know what they are doing though.

    My experience has been trainers are mainly focused on simply getting you stronger in the gym, and not on weight loss. My past trainers didn’t even mention calories, just encouraged low carb diets which I felt horrible on. I often gained weight in the past because the training made me so hungry. I also had one trainer push me way too hard with heavy weights where I injured my back and I now have two bulging discs. I never went back.

    If you can afford it, and find one you trust then go for it but if your goal is weight loss, then calories in are still the main thing that matters, IMO.
  • WailingDusk
    WailingDusk Posts: 58 Member
    If you can afford a personal trainer for a few months at least, do it. You will learn so much, and it's added accountability and motivation, especially if you have the right personal trainer for you. I've been doing it for 3 days a week for 3 months, and it's really been an amazing experience. I'd never had a PT before, nor had I actually gone to a gym for more than a few months in the past. When I got my vaccine in May I decided to get a membership and personal training for the first time.
  • I2k4
    I2k4 Posts: 177 Member
    The Mind Pump crew posted a quick guide last year:

    They make the point that it's worth checking out their time and trouble working with other gym clients first. (Also recently did a podcast on how to tell you've picked a lemon.)
  • sheahughes
    sheahughes Posts: 131 Member
    I was lucky enough to receive free training from a PT and free access to the local mine-site's gym as part of the mine's "giving back to the community" program for a couple years. I really found having one session a week was 1) someone to push me when I might struggle to finish a set
    2) someone to talk to about concerns about my body - "my ankles do this when I run, can we do something about that?"
    3) he showed me how to lift safely, how to increase my weights when needed, how to work around injuries and when to take a break.
    4) it was someone who I wasn't "accountable" to, but who might tell me that the "reasons" I had for not doing my "prescribed" workouts were excuses and poor ones at that
    5) having the appointment with him got me out of the house and gave me something to look forward to, even if it was an "ugh, I have PT tonight" feeling
    6) I always, ALWAYS came away from his sessions feeling improvement some where, whether I ran faster/further, squatted deeper, lifted heavier, did more reps, learnt a new technique or machine - I always came away in a better mood and with more self confidence

    If you can afford it, and it isn't a "lock in" contact (you can cancel any time) and you have the time to do the scheduled sessions - go for it. You won't know you need it/like it/want it, until you try it.
  • rhtexasgal
    rhtexasgal Posts: 571 Member
    Investing in myself and working with a personal trainer for several years was worth it. Invest at least a few months as by that time, you should have a good understanding of proper use of all equipment at the gym and proper form of exercises that you can carry with you once you decide to go solo. My biggest thing was boredom so my trainer always had multiple ways to achieve a goal so we rarely repeated the same routine.

    I will never forget using a piece of equipment in the gym while my trainer stepped away for a moment. Some muscle head decided he wanted to try and tell me that I was doing it wrong when my trainer stepped back in schooled him. My trainer was a former contest winning body builder. He and I only clashed on nutrition but I have to admit, when I brought him evidence that proved him wrong, he change his training materials!
  • Indee19
    Indee19 Posts: 47 Member
    Lots of great comments here. The two biggest benefits I got out of working with a trainer were motivation on those days I didn't feel like showing up and the assurance that I was using correct form when lifting weights. Well worth it. Have fun!
  • Thank you for all your lovely comments. My first session is tomorrow and I am really looking forward to it, and after all these replies, I really feel like I'm making the right choice for me right now! My PT seems really nice and has already sent me an email of what to expect at my first session. I can't wait!
  • krjohnson1292
    krjohnson1292 Posts: 36 Member
    I’ve always been on the fence about personal trainers as I’m more of a self-educator.

    If you are a self-starter and can follow basic laws of nutrition and fitness, I say save your money. If you need the accountability, guidance, structure and nurturing go for a personal trainer.
  • springlering62
    springlering62 Posts: 5,722 Member
    I’ve always been on the fence about personal trainers as I’m more of a self-educator.

    If you are a self-starter and can follow basic laws of nutrition and fitness, I say save your money. If you need the accountability, guidance, structure and nurturing go for a personal trainer.

    It may work for some, but no others.

    Early on, I surreptitiously tried one of the self training programs, out of curiosity and, tbh, hoping for faster results.

    My trainer caught me at it, asked me what I was doing, and then told me I was going to hurt myself with my bad form, and that she’s seen it over and over, and basically that I either did it properly in her gym, or not at all.

    She wasn’t being a beyotch, she was truly concerned that I was doing things correctly so I wouldn’t hurt myself. As usual, she was right.

    I’m her only training client (she wasn’t taking clients and took me for a lark), but she treats everyone in the gym the same way. She’ll call anyone out for incorrect form, and then just as loudly scream encouragement for someone attempting a PR. (And she knows everyone’s PRs by heart.)

    Looking at photos or videos of training programs just doesn’t work for me. One reason is that, in my head, the highest, grandest, biggest motion should obviously return the largest results, right?

    But she’s shown me that smaller, more focused movements are actually better, and alternates weeks between higher reps and fewer but very slow reps with pauses.

    I would have not have understood that- or being me- would have skipped reading about last that part, lol. Those are the workouts that kick my butt.

    I’m fortunate I can afford a trainer. If you can’t do it on an extended basis, try to save enough to at least get a few sessions with one to learn the basics.

    Or see if you can partner with or shadow someone who is more experienced. Buy em lunch or offer them keto bombs, bake them a cake, treat them to a neck pad or gloves or something.

    But for me, if I self trained, there’s so danged much equipment in gyms and so many effective ways to use each one, I’d never know about all the opportunities to change things up, and would be in a rut almost immediately.

    I mean there’s one machine (I suck at names it might be the multi station or something like that) that I swear the thing has fifty different handles, five or six different stations and each has multiple heights for different purposes, you can sit on it backwards or forwards, and of course, there’s multiple weights. My eyes roll around like marbles when I get on that thing. Soooo much choice. I find all that very intimidating.

    OTOH many people here self train very effectively. @KickassAmazon76 , @DancingMoosie and some of the others on this thread are pretty damn amazing: