After investing in four different personal trainers since I started my fitness journey (four-ish years ago), I wanted to share my experiences with personal trainers and what I think the benefits are of hiring one.
I got my first personal trainer when me and my family got our Gold’s Gym membership. I had only been to a real gym once or twice before, so it was a whole new world to me. I signed up for a trainer because I had no clue what I was doing. I would go to the gym once a week for our session and he would lead me through an hour-long work out. I liked having an in-person personal trainer to begin with to show me the basics: how to lift weights without getting injured. My sessions with my trainer were always very intense and I always felt like he did a good job at pushing me to work harder. I ultimately ended my relationship with this trainer because I felt like I had the necessary skills to workout on my own and didn’t want to dish out the money for each session. Also, I was having some knee pain after working out with him, I think I was locking out my knees. At the time I didn’t know better, but he should have instructed me not to do that to prevent injury. (approximate cost $70/session)
My second interaction with a personal trainer was when I hired my first online personal trainer. I went with an online personal trainer because they are way more affordable. The time between my in-person trainer and wanting an online trainer was spent using free resources to come up with workouts. Even though I was able to find workouts to do, I felt like I wanted to make more progress then I was currently making. I hired Nikki Blacketter after following her on Instagram and YouTube for sometime. I loved doing the workouts she posted on her Youtube channel, but like I said I wanted to make more progress so I knew hiring a coach would help with that. I hired Nikki and paid her for a twelve week workout plan, to have her determine my macro-nutrient goals, and check in once per week to adjust them/my cardio. I loved my time with Nikki, for one she was such an inspiration, I felt like she was my friend that I got to check in with her each week and have her cheer me on as I progressed. This was the first time I had some one help me with my macro-nutrients. Macro-nutrients are protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Counting macros is essentially a more detailed version of counting calories because you’re not just counting calories, your counting each macronutrient and staying within a range desired by your coach. This was also the first time I had a trainer for a set period of time and it showed my how much progress I can make when I commit to a workout/nutrition plan. I ended with Nikki after the twelve weeks to take a break from counting macros and having a rigid workout routine. (approximate cost $150)
The next time I hired a personal trainer was when I went though Katy Hearn’s challenges. I completed two Katy Hearn Challenges, which are eight week programs where you do a specific workout each day, and have check ins each week with Katy where she would adjust your macros or cardio as needed to make more progress. I loved doing Katy’s challenge because not only do you get Katy as your personal coach (another fitness inspiration of mine) you get a community of other women doing the challenge during the same time. Plus, the second challenge I got to do with my roomate/bff so that was another added bonus. I’ve found that just having a support system when it comes to working out/loosing weight is super beneficial. I love the Katy Hearn challenges, but the intensity of them isn’t something that you can necessarily continue, and it’s not feasible for me to workout six days a week for an hour and track my macros every day. (cost: $200/challenge)
Fast forward over a year and I was ready to hire a coach again. I felt like even though I was working out and eating healthy for the most part, since I graduated from college I wanted a new goal to work towards. I wanted to get back on track, get stronger, and lean out after putting on some unwanted weight. Even though I love the Katy challenges, I knew I wanted something customized for me. After looking around for a one-on-on coach, I decided to hire Brittany Lesser. I had seen one of her clients, Paige’s transformation so I reached out to Paige on social media and she said she loved working with Brittany. With Brittany I was able to specify that I only wanted to work out four days a week, what I wanted to focus on (i.e. progressive overload= getting stronger) and didn’t want to lower my calories by too much. Brittany provided me an awesome workout plan focused on building strength, and each week I looked forward to doing the workouts and increasing my weight in different lifts. I also looked forward to checking in with her each week to see what she would say. Even if I had a not so great week and wasn’t making progress Brittany would still be so positive and make me feel better after reading her response to my check in’s. To me, working out and living a healthy lifestyle isn’t all or nothing, luckily Brittany shares the same mindset. Another awesome thing about Brittany is she is so fast to respond to emails and was always happy to answer any questions I had. (cost: $285/8 weeks)
Overall I love having a personal trainer and for me the biggest benefit I get is having somebody who I need to check in with each week, which keeps me accountable. Personal trainers are definitely an investment, so if you are thinking about hiring one make sure you are willing to put in the work to make your investment is worth it. I think hiring a personal trainer at least once is great so they can show the ropes. You can learn from them so you’re able to create your own programming on your own afterwards. I’m at the point where I can create my own programming, but I don’t always have the self-discipline to get to the gym four times a week. For some reason when I don’t have somebody to stay accountable for I’m more likely to think “eh I don’t really need to go today.” I think online personal trainers are great because of how cost-effective they are. If you want to get an online trainer, you can always look up videos of the exercises to make sure you are doing them correctly. There’s a lot more I could say about the topic of personal trainers, but for now I’ll just end it here.
Warning: there are some schemey personal trainers out there, so I recommend finding a current or past client that has worked with the trainer before to make sure they’re credible.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my experiences with a personal trainer. If you have any questions, feel free to ask! Have you had a personal trainer, if so what are your thoughts on them?