Jump to content
Health Discovery Network

Thoughts on Personal Trainers

Recommended Posts

Hi All,


Sooo I am debating on working with a personal trainer to kick start my fitness plan. I already have a gym membership but I have just been doing cardio. I am pretty much lost when it comes to the weight/strength training.


So my question to you fellow bcb'ers is - Is working with a personal trainer worth the $$.


If so - what do you find is the best number of times a week to work out with them?


I met with a personal trainer today and he wanted to set up 4, 30 min sessions a week. I really don't know if that is in my budget but I don't know if working with a trainer 1-2 a week is beneficial or if you really need to spend most of your workouts with them.

I am meeting with a different trainer tomorrow and then will review prices/personality/etc.


Please some advice/experience would be so helpful!!







HW: 227

New Starting Weight: 203.4

CW: 206


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites



There are two ways to look at this:


1. The main benefit of a personal trainer is that they can tailor the exercises to what you will continue to do on your own after spending the time with them. They can give you a rotation in those 4 sessions that you can just repeat on your own going forward. If you intend on doing cardio and weights on your own, this is the best path. I personally never use the weight room at my gym because I never met with a personal trainer to set up a routine and just continue from there.


2. If you take the aerobics/weights classes your gym offers, you won't need to pay extra for a personal trainer because you'll get one at the front of the class every single time for free. I am able to get my full body weight and aerobic workouts in the classes without having to worry about whether I'm doing the right rotation or the right amount of reps. They do all the planning and push me to do everything to my ability. I work *much* harder in a class than I would in the weight room by myself. I don't need to use the weight room at the gym because I take an interval (aerobics&weights) class whenever I want to lift some weights. Otherwise, I run on the TM or use the elliptical if my knees are sore.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest mom2twingems

I am a member of 24hour fitness and althought I dont life weight there or the time that I did I used their circuit like curves. Most weights are easy to use, I do remember at one time they had staff to show you how to use the machines.


The benefit of a person trainer is that they are there for you and maybe to get you motivated but I personally dont think they are worth the money. Maybe try it a time or two and deterine that for yourself.


But I bet with a little research on exercise on what body parts to do, for how long, and how many times a week you could do it for yourself, then save that money, then go shopping or find a good video that shows how to strenght train, try the library.


I think that is a good job to have, they get paid well.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would never pay for a personal trainer. I am a highly self-motivated person, I'm also someone who researches and over researches almost everything in my life and love learning.


The gym and exercise is fun for me regardless of what I'm doing and I now know enough to change things up to keep it interesting. Regardless if you get a trainer or not you want to get a trainer to teach you HOW to use the entire gym and not just WHAT exercise to do. Because unless you plan on keeping a trainer for a long time you'll run out of stuff to do because of what you don't know.


If you're brave find someone in your gym that looks like they know what they're doing. Find a good time to talk with them while you're working out and see if they are friendly. Most people will be more than happy to let you in on what they know, enjoy and how to do certain exercises.

SW: 4/2/7- 339lbs

CW: 10/1/9- 194lbs--145 lbs LOST Slideshow

Running Log

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends on why you are wanting a personal trainer...


If you NEED someone to motivate you, encourage you, and need the structure of knowing that someone is waiting for you and you HAVE to show up, then by all means, it's worth every penny.


If you are just wanting someone to show you how to do things or set up a program for you, then my advice would be to hire one for a month, get a routine down, then do it on your own.


I found the personal trainer route to be great for about a month or 2, then I felt the trainer was unnecessary.


I think 4 30 min appts a week is excessive, since u are already doing cardio on your own.


"If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane!" ~ Jimmy Buffet


SW: 169

CW: 161

GW: 140

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I split training fees with a partner.

We meet with the trainer about every 6 weeks for a new routine. We're both the type to get to the gym and workout without having to actually meet the trainer to work out.

If you don't want to spend money on a trainer, check out your local book store/library for books on weight training.

There is a program called ActivTrax available through some gyms. It is like having a personal trainer.



You can click "join now" to put in a zip code and see if there is a gym in your area with activtrax.

The trainer was my present to myself when I made lifetime with WW. At the moment, it is worth it for me. When she no longer challenges me, I'll quit using her.

So, yes, I think I'm worth the $$$.



SW: 218

CW: 180 :bcb_down 1/2 way back to the "BAD PLACE."

GW: 145


Success is a journey, not a destination, enjoy the ride.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest starbrite

excellent question , i was wondering myself last night.

I had a personal training session yesterday, complementary one time session, as part of my membership. and i loved it, absolutely loved it!

i am the type of person who only uses the elliptical at the gym or step class, so i was surprsied that i could actually get through the routine of lunges and squats and workouts with dumbbells and medicine balls that the instructor gave me. i feel dumb ignoring those routines in magazines and articles online, thinking i didn't have the grace for it.


i was debating getting a trainer, but for me it is just far too pricey. I just feel silly paying $$ around $50-60 for ONE HOUR with a person. really, now. I mean their knowledge is worthwhile and will make a difference but, i just don't think i can afford this at this time in my life.


my plan is to- take the routine i learnt from him, and practice it practice it on my own, at the gym.


now that i know i am able to do squats and bicep curls, and lunges, I am more open to the websites with different ideas. and i can pick and choose-for free.


www.self.com is an excellent resource. it has videos, routines, meal plans, all for free. and it's magazine is like a pocket guide to losing weight and being happier, stress free, etc.

i am going to take some routines with dumbbells out of that actually, and use that as well.


if you can ask for a complimentary session from your gym, that would be ideal. you can ask questions, get an idea of a routine, and go from there.


my gym offers 4 sessions of thirty minutes each for a certain amount of money. i was considering purchasing those, and learning four more different routines.



if you can find a friend or even google a personal trainer, it would definitley be cheaper.

all you really need is some different routines, and how to perform em. i think that it might be necessary to do certain muscles on certain days, blah blah. but as long as you end up at a gym, you work out, you sweat, you burn-its all good!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have never worked with weights before, then I recommend you get an orientation, at the least. I'm surprised your gym membership didn't come with an introductory Personal Training session. Most do. You do NOT need a Personal Trainer to show you how to use the machines. (I'm not a big fan of machines, though). You DO need a Personal Trainer if you have any old injuries, joint problems, or the like that need special attention.


As for whether to hire a Personal Trainer to design a program for you, that really depends, as PadreC says, on how confident you are to learn, on your own, what to do.


A terrific book for beginners is "The New Rules of Lifting for Women," by Lou Schuler. You can probably find it in your local library, and it has everything you need to know to start lifting weights, including pre-designed workouts.


As a Personal Trainer myself, I can vouch for the program designs as being effective and well-balanced.


Or, like some others have said, hire a trainer for a couple of sessions to teach you what to do, and then go from there.


You do NOT need 4 sessions a week, though! I would recommend either:

a) Two sessions total - once a week - first one as a "walk-through" the program, second as a follow up to make sure you are doing the exercises properly




b) Three to Four sessions, total - twice a week - same as before, but in the second two, ask for/observe how the trainer "progresses" you to heavier weights and/or more reps and/or harder variations of an exercise.


One final note:


If you do decide to hire a trainer, ask him/her to design a free-weight/bodyweight program for you. You can learn the machines on your own. Free-weights are a little trickier for beginners, and it helps to have someone watch you at first. You may as well get the most for your money....


I hope this helps,




PS At my gym (a small, personal-training only facility), most of our clients come twice a week, some once a week. That's plenty - especially if you are working out on your own in-between.

ACE-certified Personal Trainer

& WW Lifetime Member



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to see a personal trainer 2x a week for 30 minutes. It was money well spent for me because I was able to get ideas on new things to do, and she shook things up every single visit. I made a lot of good progress and she was very helpful and encouraging, especially since I have mobility issues and she was able to come up with ideas for how to work about my physical issues. What I did was to do my aerobic warm-up on my own before the 30 minutes, and did my stretching on my own afterward, that way I had a full 30 minutes of weight work. I saw other trainers there that would book someone for an hour, then put them on a treadmill for 30 minutes and they'd be chatting on the phone while the client worked out. I don't need to be on the clock for cardio work.


If you do decide to go with a trainer, ask if it's only with the one trainer or if you can change trainers too. Every trainer is different in demeanor, and what works for one won't work for another. I didn't need a drill sargent yelling at me that I could do something when I knew I couldn't. I also didn't need someone that knew less about the machines and weights than I did (I had that happen once - I had to show the trainer that the technique she suggested was not correct according to the picture on the machine).

* Sue *

High weight: 295 (8/06)

WW re-start weight: 285.2 (10/21/08)

Current weight/goal:




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest starbrite

well within a day my stance has changed .


i was planning on learning the routine and doing it for myself. but two things happened over night. 1) i found a trainer for $20 /hour with no contract 2)i realized i can't afford to wait any longer to lose weight, i need results , i can't afford to be lazy about this again.


I am in chicago,il, and found a trainer for $20/hour with a home gym. I am going to him tomorrow for the first time and will see how it goes. I might just go to him once or twice get a routine down, if the connection is not that good or the routine is not. if i do not like continuing with him, i will take the session as a fitness faq= get to know how to use different pieces of equipment, write down the names of what were doing , research them online, download the videos on that particular exercise move. then for one week, practice that.

perhaps after that, i can make up my own things.


if the vibe is great, i have a blast, than i will ask if there is a discount i can get if i purchase more sessions with him. maybe i can do my warmup/cool down on my own and i can pay for half the price for half the session. or maybe there is a deal.


In my case it will be about $200 spent. that is pricey, but i know that hopefully within a month or two i see the results, i learn about being healthy and eating right. I live on my own, and i know that money will be spent on fast food, and maybe some clothes that won't fit me after a week or two fo fast food anywyas, so i might as well invest it into this.


i suggest you research this if you are really set. a lot of gyms offer a free session for you to see . maybe find cheaper trainers on craigslist.com (thats where i found him). look for student trainers, maybe work with a buddy and get a discount. you can also find somen who wants training, have them workout with your trainer on different days. you go to your first session, she goes to her first session alone. you meet together, teach eachother the routines, and work out together for a week. then you repeat the second week. this way-you will be getting 2 workout sessions for the price of one, an instant workout partner.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In Now

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.