CPT

How Much Does a Personal Trainer Cost & Should You Hire One?

Kinsey Mahaffey
Kinsey Mahaffey
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An NASM-Certified Personal Trainer is well-equipped to design an exercise program that will help you reach your health and fitness goals in a safe and efficient manner. Anyone who is considering hiring a personal trainer might wonder: “How much does a personal trainer cost?” or, “Is hiring a personal trainer actually worth it?”

Let’s dive into the facts so that you can decide if hiring a personal trainer is the right move for you as you get ready to crush your fitness goals.

How Much Does a Personal Trainer Generally Cost?

Working with a personal trainer can cost anywhere between $25-$100+ per hour. Because rates can vary so widely from state to state, facility to facility, there’s no straightforward, one-size-fits-all answer to this question. There are several variables that will influence what you pay:

Experience of the personal trainer. As trainers gain more experience and knowledge through additional certifications and credentials, their rates will naturally increase to match what they can offer.

Location. Trainers in big cities will tend to have higher rates (due to higher cost of overhead fees, etc.), whereas less populated, rural areas may be less expensive.

Type of facility. Smaller, more private studios may charge more, whereas larger ‘big-box’ chains may have slightly lower rates to accommodate more people.

Training solo vs. training with a partner or small group. Solo sessions will always cost more because of the one-on-one attention you will receive. If you’re wanting to cut costs and don’t mind sharing your training time with 1-2 other people, then semi-private or small group training might be a good way to work with a trainer at a lower rate.

Session length. The length of a training session can range from 25-60 minutes, depending on your trainer’s availability, and your goals. As you can imagine, the longer the session, the higher the price, just like a massage.

Should You Hire a Personal Trainer?

Reasons Why You Should Hire One

There are many reasons (more than we can list!) to hire a Certified Personal Trainer to help you reach your goals. Certified Personal Trainers are qualified to help clients with a variety of goals including: weight loss, injury prevention, athletic performance, and improving overall movement for activities of daily living. Here are some additional reasons you should consider working with a personal trainer:

To get a personalized fitness plan. Instead of just randomly choosing exercises at the gym, or performing the same workout over and over, an NASM Certified Personal Trainer will use assessments along with your goals to guide their exercise programming for a plan that’s tailored to your needs.

To get in shape. This might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many times trainers hear something along the lines of “let me get in better shape first, and then I’ll come see you for some sessions”. There’s no minimum fitness requirement to work with a personal trainer!

To learn proper movement. Certified Personal Trainers can help you improve your balance, coordination, core strength, overall movement quality, and health. Additionally, they will watch to make sure your form is good while performing the exercises.

You’re not seeing results on your own. Maybe you exercise regularly and feel comfortable in the gym, but you’re not seeing the results you’d like to see. It might be time to hire a professional to help point you in the right direction.

To have accountability. Paying for a service and knowing that someone is expecting you at the gym can increase your chances of making it to your workouts!

To reduce your risk of injury. A personal trainer will choose exercises that are safe for you, and they can also show you how to perform them properly, reducing your risk of injury.

Reasons Not to Hire One?

Believe it or not, there are instances when it is better not to hire a trainer, such as:

You’re already following a specific exercise plan that you want to continue following. However, if you want guidance on how to perform the exercises properly, a personal trainer can help with that.

You have a current injury or health condition that prevents you from exercising. It’s vital that you get your doctor’s release to exercise before hiring a trainer. It’s important to note that if you have a current injury or movement limitation, there may still be some movement that you are cleared to do. Ask your doctor or physical therapist for their recommendations for exercise.

You’re not ready to commit to a regular exercise routine. Maybe your schedule is a little bit too crazy this season, or you’re just not sure that you want to commit to working out on a regular basis quite yet. These are valid reasons to hold off on hiring a trainer. It will be better for everyone if you wait until you’re ready and able to commit!

What Should You Look for in a Personal Trainer?

If you decide that hiring a personal trainer is your next step, how do you know what to look for? Here is a good place to start:

Verify Their Credentials and Expertise

You’ll want to find a trainer with an accredited certification in personal training, like NASM-CPT. You may also want to ask about their experience- have they worked with a client that had goals that are like yours? Is the trainer familiar with any health conditions or limitations that you have currently?

These are the types of questions that you can ask to verify that your trainer is equipped to help you in your fitness journey.

Ask for References

It may be helpful for you to talk with former or current clients of the trainer to find out what it’s like training with them from someone who has firsthand experience.

Make sure they’re a good fit personality-wise

It’s important to choose a trainer whose personality meshes well with yours. You’ll probably be able to tell within the first 3 conversations whether they’ll be a good fit for you, personality-wise.

The Types of Trainers You Should Consider (Not Just Personal Training!)

Personal trainers often have a niche population that they work with, or specific areas of expertise that they’ve invested extra time and resources in to become more knowledgeable. Some examples include:

• Pre/post-natal Fitness
Senior Fitness
Youth Exercise
Bodybuilding and Physique
Performance Training
Corrective Exercise
Weight Loss Specialist
Group Fitness Instructor
Group Personal Training
Stretching and Flexibility
Certified Nutrition Coach
Certified Wellness Coach

If you’re looking for specific results that fit into a category like the ones listed above, then you might search for a trainer who has additional education, training, or specialization in that area.

If you have a health and fitness goal, but you’re not quite sure how to achieve it, or you’d like some help along the way, then hiring a personal trainer will be worth every penny.

The Author

Kinsey Mahaffey

Kinsey Mahaffey

Kinsey Mahaffey, MPH, is a Houston-based fitness educator, personal trainer and health coach who developed her commitment to lifelong fitness while playing Division I volleyball. She’s passionate about helping others cultivate a healthy lifestyle and enjoys educating other fitness professionals who share this vision. She’s a Master Instructor and Master Trainer for NASM. You can follow her on LinkedIn here.