First off, here’s our latest video, called ‘How to Start’:
And here’s a couple of posts I think will help you at this time of year:
Back to the reason you’re here…
The Personal Training industry has been a bit of a joke for the past few years.
An online multiple choice exam and an hour in front of an ‘assessor’ and you’re good to go and charge people £30+ per hour for your services.
Websites don’t cost much these days and Facebook pages/groups are free so there’s not really any barriers preventing Billy Nobody from bursting onto the scene with no qualifications or experience and taking your cash off you.
I’m going to kick off with the three most obvious factors that you should consider:
Ideally, you’re going to want to work with someone who operates out of a facility that’s within 15 minutes from where you live or where you work.
Many people are willing to travel further for their ‘ideal’ gym/trainer, but the general rule of thumb is a 15-minute journey.
Anything more than that and you’ve got too easy an excuse to skip out after a hard day, a shit night’s sleep or anything else that crops up.
This is a biggie that I don’t think enough people consider.
You’ve got ‘hardcore’ gyms that’ll put the fear of God into newbies. You’ve got ‘nicey, nicey’ country club type gyms that’ll struggle to motivate someone who’s a bit more hardcore.
And you’ve got supportive facilities that cater to those who want/need a bit more attention.
These places will be best suited to those who struggle with motivation to workout on their own but will be no use for those who just want to get in and get out again without having to interact with anyone.
Your trainer will be able to push you a bit harder in the ‘nice’ gyms and he/she will also be able to hide away in a corner with you in the more hardcore gyms.
But it’s going to make the most sense to match your values with both the trainer and the gym he/she works out of.
That way you’ll feel comfortable throughout your whole training experience.
There’s a host of different gyms on offer; from the budget 24-hour gyms to health clubs to bootcamp-type facilities to Personal Training studios.
Each will have dramatically different levels of personal service, facilities and price points.
What you should weigh up is what you’re going to get for your money.
If you’re knowledgeable enough and have enough self-discipline to train on your own, then budget gyms will offer fantastic value for money. As will health clubs, if you’d like fancier changing rooms, etc.
If you’re interested in ‘classes’, the same applies as above. However, I’d add that if you’re totally new to exercise, you’ll most likely need a little more coaching and ‘TLC’ than you’ll be able to receive sitting at the back of a spin class.
If you fall into the camp of the majority you’ll likely need a bit more help, accountability and support.
In this case, you’ll probably at least consider hiring a Personal Trainer once you’ve joined the gym. If you do so, the trainer’s fees will turn your ‘budget’ membership into a more premium one.
Once you’ve established the above factors you should then dig a bit deeper before making your final decision.
There’s a lot more to consider than simply location, price and the atmosphere within a gym.
A good trainer can help you avoid all of the pitfalls the majority of people fall into when it comes to losing weight.
They’ll have been helping people like you for years (even decades) and can save you both time and money with good advice.
Here are a few more factors I feel you should consider before hiring someone:
4. Their track record
Have they got results working with people like yourself?
Do they have testimonials, before and after photos and/or positive reviews?
Check out their website and their social media channels. If they don’t have any of the above I’d recommend caution. But if they do then you can begin to dig a bit deeper.
5. Their values
Similar to my point on the gym-front, some trainers have a very hardcore approach where they only train monsters.
Others prefer to solely work with post-natal females. And some choose only to work with men over 30 who are looking to lose belly fat.
If you’re a mum with two kids under 5 you’re not most likely not going to want to work with the trainer who specialises in helping men lose belly fat.
Likewise, if you’re an overweight 42-year-old man, you’re going to steer clear of the trainer who’s focussed on helping mums.
Some trainers will also have podcasts you can listen to.
By taking some time to read, watch and listen to trainers that you deem suitable for your needs, you’ll be able to narrow the list down a lot quicker and negate your margin for error in hiring the wrong one.
6. Their actual service offering
Most trainers in commercial/budget gyms operate on a 1-to-1 basis.
This is typically the most expensive form of Personal Training, with trainers typically charging £40+ per session (or £175 per month for 1 session per week). Training 2-3x per week with a 1-to-1 trainer will run you up a monthly bill of £350-500+.
NOTE: If they’re charging less than that their either brand new to the industry, in which case you should question their track record. (I’m not saying they’re definitely going to be ‘bad’ – everyone’s got to start somewhere, but you should do your due diligence and ensure you’re not going to waste your time and money.)
Other trainers run larger group programmes with 20+ people in a session.
This’ll certainly work out cheaper per session/per month, but you’ll likely not get much (if any) coaching or support in these sessions. They’ll ‘work’ for a period of time but it’s likely you’ll either get bored or hit a plateau with your progress/results. At this point, you’ll either quit or look for something ‘better’.
Then there’s the area in the middle, in which we operate in, where up to 4 people work under one coach.
This method allows us to keep the quality of our service/training high, whilst keeping the price relatively low for Personal Training.
The lower numbers allow us to coach people in a near identical fashion to the way we used to coach our 1-to-1 clients without our members having to pay the premium prices.
We’re obviously a little biased, but we believe our structure to be the sweet spot when it comes to personalisation, accessibility and affordability in the Personal Training realm.
Blatant, join our gym plug:
Over the course of the next few weeks, we’re going to be bringing a few new faces into our Personal Training program.
Cards on the table, we’re almost at capacity in our current facility so we’re literally only bringing in a few people. (Like, seriously, bullshit marketing tactics to the side, we’ve not got much space left on the program.)
We kick everyone off with our 30 Day Trial and that gives you access to:
- Up to 3 Personal Training sessions per week with our expert team of coaches;
- Unlimited access to our group fitness classes where you can ’empty the tank’ and blow off some steam, whilst helping you recover from your last session;
- As much nutritional education, support and guidance as you need;
- Access to our private Facebook group, monthly reviews and nutrition coaching calls;
- 2 body composition scans (one at the start and one at the end) so that you can accurately track your progress;
- A full, 100%, money back guarantee if show up, do the work you don’t feel a difference.
All you have to do is click here to apply.
Oh, and if you’re still here, thirsty for more info/help, here’s a video I think you’ll quite like:
It’s a talk I gave at last year’s SFN EXPO in the SECC on how to look good naked.
Rather than it being full of ‘weight loss’ information, it’s more aimed at helping you accept yourself.