Personal trainers are fitness professionals taught to deliver safe and effective workout programs. The best trainers complete certification programs with trusted organizations like the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) to work with various individuals on their fitness goals.
If you want to get healthier or improve your physique, you might consider getting a personal trainer. However, for many people, there are barriers to hiring a quality trainer — like the cost.
These days, you have several options for training, including in-person, online, and group or membership programs. It might lead you to ask, “Do I really need a personal trainer, or can I do it on my own?”
The answer depends on your unique situation and needs. That’s why we’ll cover some of the pros of hiring a trainer, the cons, and how to decide what’s best for you.
Pros of Hiring a Personal Trainer
First, let’s look at the advantages of hiring a personal trainer to get fit. Working one-on-one with a fitness professional can be the best option for some people. Here are the main reasons why:
The Accountability to Follow Through
If discipline is your biggest challenge regarding fitness, a trainer can provide the accountability you need. Some people do best when they have someone there in person telling them what to do.
Knowing that you have a workout scheduled and your trainer waiting might be just what you need to keep showing up. You’re also paying for each session, and some trainers have strict cancellation policies. When money is on the line, it can act as an additional motivator.
For some, this type of accountability is most important in the beginning. Then, as you get used to showing up, you start enjoying the workouts more and it becomes easier to exercise regularly on your own.
Of course, group classes, workout buddies, and online communities can also provide accountability in similar ways.
Individualized Plans and Goal Setting
Everyone’s body is different. If you’re new to fitness — or you have new goals — you might benefit from one-on-one support in designing the best program for you. A personal trainer can help you set realistic goals, find the best workout routines for you, and track your progress.
Workout videos are free online, but that doesn’t mean the people in them are qualified to get you results safely. A certified trainer can guide you through a well-balanced plan that targets different muscle groups based on your goals.
In-personal trainers can also point out inconsistencies — such as one leg being stronger than the other. They can incorporate these facts into your program.
Proper Form Correction
Form and technique are crucial for fitness safety. And most fitness gurus online don’t pay enough attention to this fact.
Performing an exercise with poor form can lead to serious injuries. In addition, improper technique will prevent you from getting good results from your workouts — meaning you’re wasting valuable time.
When working with a qualified trainer, you’ll learn the proper form for each exercise. A trainer can also rework your form if you’ve been doing things incorrectly. If a movement feels incorrect or you’re feeling it in the wrong muscle group, you can ask your trainer how to fix it.
A Foundation for Workout Autonomy
Ideally, a trainer will help you gain confidence in your fitness ability. That way, you’ll learn what makes up a great workout program and how to stay fit even without a trainer in front of you. Hiring a trainer upfront might help you build a foundation to do things on your own long-term.
Bonus Nutrition Advice (Sometimes)
Trainers are not dietitians. However, most trainers know how to eat for performance and fitness goals. They can provide general knowledge about how much protein and calories to eat, how to track macros, and the best foods to eat to fuel workouts.
You’ve probably heard the saying that “you can’t out-exercise a bad diet.” Others say that weight loss is 80 percent diet and only 20 percent exercise. In general, there’s truth to these statements.
Diet is crucial for losing body fat, gaining muscle, and maintaining a healthy weight. And while working with a dietitian is best, that’s another expense that not everyone can afford. If you work with a trainer who truly understands good nutrition, you can get the most bang for your buck.
Disadvantages of Hiring a Personal Trainer
As you’ve seen, working with a certified trainer has definite pros. However, a one-on-one trainer is not ideal for everyone, and the following are some reasons why.
(Thankfully, there are alternative options that we’ll get into later too.)
The Big One: Cost
The most significant barrier to personal training is cost.
The truth is, the best trainers can charge premium prices that might be out of range for most people.
And if you’re training three-plus times per week, the price adds up quickly.
How Much Does a Personal Trainer Cost?
The cost of hiring a personal trainer depends on factors like the length of your sessions, frequency of weekly workouts, location, and whether or not the trainer travels to you.
A trainer who works for a gym will also typically be more expensive since their employer gets a cut too.
The cost of personal training can be anywhere from $40 to over $100 per hour session. If the trainer travels to you, they could charge slightly more.
Plus, if you need a gym to complete your workouts, you’ll need to pay for a monthly membership there too. That can be anywhere from $10 per month at places like Planet Fitness to $199 per month at higher-end gyms.
Lack of Qualification and Experience (in Some Cases)
Not all personal trainers are the same. Anyone can offer to train people, but that doesn’t mean they’re qualified, certified, and best suited to your goals.
If you’re looking at any type of fitness assistance — whether a one-on-one trainer or online program — always do your research. Find out who’s writing your programs and what their background is. Ask around to see if you know anyone who’s worked with them, and look at online reviews.
A trainer or program might seem appealing if affordable, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get your money’s worth. If you’re going to invest in a trainer, make sure they know what they’re talking about.
Many training programs require equipment that you can only access at a gym. Unless you have a gym in your home or apartment complex, that means paying for a gym membership or expensive equipment too.
Plus, in-person training requires some travel, which takes time and money. In a world full of at-home workout options, in-person training can be inaccessible for many people.
How to Get the Best of Both Worlds
A good personal trainer can certainly help you get fit and work towards your fitness goals. However, it’s not an ideal option for everyone.
Gorilla Bow All-Access gives you direct access to:
- Live and on-demand workouts created by certified personal trainers
- 24/7 access to a library of classes for all fitness levels, from beginners to gym junkies
- Health, wellness, and nutrition advice to guide your journey
- Exclusive offers and members-only product promotions
You get everything you need for a successful workout program — but at a fraction of personal trainer pricing.
Instead of paying at least $40 per session (adding up to $480-plus per month if you train at least three days per week), you can pay $14.99 per month — or $149.99 for an entire year — without having to leave your house.
You can also work out anywhere you want, even while traveling. Just sign in to the app, choose your workout, and pick up your Bow.
While personal training is best for some, our online membership is for everyone. And we aim to combine the benefits of training for a much better price. Find out how it works for you — try it FREE for a week here.
Alternatives to Hiring a One-on-One Personal Trainer
Of course, personal training isn’t the only option for getting fit. Here are some other options that offer more accessibility and affordability.
Some personal trainers have branched out beyond in-person sessions. That means you can hire them even if you live in a different city or across the country. They might hold sessions over video calls, providing suggestions and virtual check-ins.
An online personal trainer can make it easier to meet up for workouts and get fit anywhere. Some trainers will also offer group pricing where you pay a monthly rate for tailored workouts and check-ins.
However, virtual trainers might cost the same as an in-person trainer — and some can charge even more.
Group Gym Classes
If you want the accountability of a personal trainer, group classes might work well for you. These classes are often provided on the same day and time each week, and you still get attention from a trainer (although not as personalized as one-on-one).
The downside of gym glasses are still often the cost, though. They can be pricey unless they’re already included in a membership price. Then, you must pay for the membership to continue attending the classes.
If you want an entirely free option for at-home workouts, social media is another option. Several fitness influencers have enormous YouTube channels where they post workouts free of charge. You can search by workout types, muscle groups, and workout length.
The problem with free workouts is that you have little quality control. Just because a YouTuber looks great and has professionally-shot videos doesn’t mean they’re qualified to create workouts for everyone. Proceed with caution, especially when it comes to using the correct form for movements or following a complete workout program.
This same advice applies to free online communities, ebooks, blogs, and other information you can find on the world wide web. Anyone can present themselves as an expert, but that doesn’t mean they are one. Be sure to check out each person’s qualifications, and turn to professionals when you have questions.
Online Paid Memberships
Monthly memberships to online workout websites or apps provide accessible, cost-effective alternatives to personal training. If the workouts are written and led by certified personal trainers, you get the benefit of a group class for an often much lower price.
Most online memberships allow you to do a free trial to see if you like it. You can try some of the workouts and make sure you enjoy the platform. That’s why we offer a free trial for All-Access, where you can access all types of expert-led workouts, nutritional advice, and more.
So, Do You Really Need a Personal Trainer to Lose Weight or Gain Muscle?
A personal trainer is not necessarily needed to meet your fitness goals, whether that’s losing weight, building lean muscle, improving your physical endurance, or just getting healthier overall.
However, many people do need help improving their current fitness routines. If you have questions about how to structure your exercises and nutrition, turning to experts is the best option. While a trainer is one option, there are other ways to access professional workouts and advice.
Don’t be afraid to try a few options to find what’s suitable for your situation. Like most new changes in life, fitness often requires trial and error. A personal trainer can help you build a foundation, but so can a well-structured online program.
Try a Trusted Alternative to Personal Training
Ultimately, you have to find what works best for you. If you can and want to afford a trainer, go for it — that could be an ideal route for you. However, if you want a more cost-effective and flexible option, online memberships, virtual trainers, or other web-based alternatives make better health and fitness more accessible to everyone.
At Gorilla Bow, we believe in trusting the experts and working out smarter. That’s why our online membership uses certified trained-led workouts that you can do anywhere. The Gorilla Bow is an all-in-one system allowing you to get full-body workouts in any location.