Personal Training - is it worth it?

A couple weeks ago I was searching Craig's List for jobs, and for the heck of it decided to look for personal trainers. I came across one that seemed nice and I decided to e-mail her just to find out how much she charged. Turns out she normally charges $60/hr, but because of the economy, she's now charging $30. I told her I would get back to her when I felt I could afford it.

Assuming we move into a cheaper place, I was thinking of maybe contacting her again and trying out 1 or 2 sessions per month. Do any of you have personal trainers? Do you feel they have helped you? Were they worth the money? I also have no idea whether $30 is a reasonable price for one. Anyone have any thoughts?

I know my gym has personal trainers, but I like the idea of meeting down at the beach and going for a jog and doing some yoga (she's also a yoga instructor). I NEVER get to the beach on my own! And that's really sad, because one day it might not be so close.

I also like the idea of having someone holding me accountable for my lack of exercising and my food choices. I really want to lose at least 20 pounds by September (M's mom's wedding where I get to be scrutinized by all the family members I haven't yet met!), but my weight hasn't budged since Christmas (might've even gained a couple pounds). Hoping a personal trainer might jump start the process? And then I could stop seeing her once I've got the routine down? What do you guys think?


Anonymous said...

I'd try it out for a couple of sessions and see if she's what you're looking for. I think a personal trainer is awesome for holding yourself accountable... and if you pay for something, you're more likely to keep at it.

DogAteMyFinances said...

I had great results with my trainer, and she was really pretty bad. For me, it forced me to go to the gym and use the weights and such, things I was too intimidated to do alone.

Sarah said...

The nice thing about a trainer is that they will make you push yourself if you tend to ease up.

For example, I tend to stop lifting when the burning starts. During the sessions I've had with a trainer, they've pushed me to keep going. Every time I work out with a trainer I'm sore; that's pretty rare when I work out alone.

Mentally Sane said...

I've never done a personal trainer but I have considered it for the sole purpose of having someone hold me accountable. But, the more I think on it, the more I like the idea of just showing up and doing what I'm told. I don't particularly care for the responsibility of coming up with my own routines and wondering whether or not I'm doing any good.

In terms of cost, I believe the trainers in my area charge about $60/session, an hour a session, so I don't think that $30 is unreasonable. But, I'd check and see if she would be willing to keep that rate long term if you sign up now - assuming she's what you're looking for - and doesn't just jack the rate up the moment the economy starts to turn around.

Kristy @ MYC

Saver Queen said...

I used a PT once and was disappointed. She pushed me too hard and I repeatedly injured myself. And she was a professional, working at a reputable gym!

I do, however, find it much more useful to go to a yoga studio than a gym. When it comes to yoga, personal attention definitely counts.

Sunflowers said...

I'm going to sign up for one session in a couple weeks, and then if we work well together, ask her if she'll do a further discount if I pay for a number of sessions up front.

Thanks for all the comments! :) Hopefully this will help me get off my butt.

Anonymous said...

I honestly didn't get any more out of a personal training session than I did from a good group fitness class.

I find that most trainers train everyone the same way no matter what their goals. Very few are real professionals who take the job seriously (The Biggest Loser has probably been the biggest boost to the profession EVER) - at my gym, at least half are competitive bodybuilders who just want to be paid to work out and look good. I had one who was a real pro with a degree in Exercise Science, and he still pushed me too hard - they all did. They thought I was being a fat lazy wuss when I told them we needed to stop, they pushed, I ended up in a heap on the ground with a spazzing quad.

My sister was a personal trainer in a private gym for 10 years, and she said a lot of the trainers just took their clients through a different magazine workout each week (Men's Health, Shape, Fitness, Self, etc).

I think the best way to use a trainer is to shake things up. So, like, once a month have them take you through a new program because variety is necessary for progress. It's also a good idea for when you hit a plateau, or as a reward for hitting a milestone.

Doesn't matter where you live, $30/hr is a great price. Find out her qualifications though - NASM and ACE are the biggies, but there are two other certs that also reasonably reputable. Google her - she should turn up on the "Find a Trainer" page of whatever qualifying body she did her training with, if she did any.

Sunflowers said...

@moneymatekate: She's not through my gym, I found her on Craig's List. I know she has a BA in Exercise Biology from a good school (found that out from facebook ;)) and that she was a yoga instructor. I'll ask her about qualifications!

So far, it sounds like she's all about shaking things up... we're meeting at the beach and she has a variety of exercise equipment I'm going to use. And then other times she's going to bring me to her condo's gym or we're going to do yoga.

I'm seeing her for the first time on Friday; hopefully all goes well!

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