Personal Trainer or expensive gym instructor?


I write this after just getting back from a workout at my local gym. It amazes me that anyone would hand over their hard-earned money for a 1 hour “supposed” Personal Training session when they are subjected to a sub-standard fitness instruction session? It has me dumbfounded and it is no wonder that the fitness and Personal Training industry is dismissed and laughed at by many.

Personal Training should be about more than just the 1 hour session. It should have evolved from a very thorough and extensive first session that drilled down on the clients’ goals, injuries, exercise history, some fitness testing or basline data and accountabilities, medical clearance for all conditions and it must serve to find out the “why” they have come to you and “why” they are wanting your help.

What I often see and did today is a trainer stroll into the session with no program card, any form of accountability and essentially a trainer walk through a client a series of exercises with little attention to detail and no sense of purpose. This is all too common. Where is the sense of urgency? The client is essentially paying between $1-$1.50 a minute. They only want to hear about your life and exploits whilst they are in the midst of training, not just standing around and gas-bagging!

If you have a Personal Trainer, I ask you this question: “Are you getting value for money?”. Does your client discuss your nutrition and go over a completed 7 day nutrition or food diary and help set strategies for the time between your next session? Does your PT set you a program (fitness, weights, core, resistance, travel, stretching) between sessions and keep you accountable via means of a diary or calendar?

We provide a yearly calendar/logbook to help our clients with accountability and behaviour change

Does your trainer have an intent and focus around where you are heading and actually monitor your progress and keep you to task? Does your trainer actually focus on you, your posture and technique when training you? The reason I say this and this is especially true for group fitness classes, and that is there are just way too many people getting injuries from poor technique and/or guidance. I have recently inherited a new client (63 years of age) that has suffered a prolapse and requires surgery and 6 weeks recovery and off work. Why? Because she was instructed to increase by 10kgs her deadlift and as a direct result there ad then suffered a prolapse and now has to endure the prehab and then rehab. Too many people think that they are saving money by selecting a cheaper trainer or subjecting themselves to bootcamps  but I ask, at what price do you put on your health?

Find a great trainer, seek testimonials, look up and research their website, use my 12 point checklist on selecting a suitable Personal Trainer (click here), join up with your partner or friend to reduce cost. Note that you only need 1 session a week to get fantastic results if you select a very good trainer that ticks all the boxes. But please, do me a favour and don’t settle for a glorified fitness instructor! It is you that will potentially pay the price with injury and/or waste your time and money and not get to where you are capable of under the right guidance!

Here are a few great links that will help you sort through and find the right trainer for you and if you have one, to see if your are getting value for money!

Is a Personal Trainer really worth it?

Does your Personal Trainer sell you supplements?

Why you must wear a heart rate monitor when Personal Training!

The 7 proven tools for long-term health and fitness results! A successful Personal Trainer’s perspective

So why do you want to lose weight? To do so can be easy with the right education and guidance

Justin Moran

Personal Trainer and Managing Director

Just In Time Personal Training

0411 798 934

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