Personal trainers can cost a lot of money, and a bad trainer may hurt you more than help you. Deciding whether a personal trainer is worth the money comes down to two factors: how important it is to you to accomplish your fitness-related goals, and whether you can find the right trainer to help you accomplish those goals.
Know what your goals are before you hire a trainer. According to Certified Athletic Trainer Keith Scott, a personal trainer's only goal is to help you accomplish your fitness-related goals. Knowing what you want to get out of the relationship before you get started can make the cost of hiring a personal trainer worthwhile.
Find a trainer who is certified, reputable and, most importantly, one you feel comfortable with. CSCS, NASM, ACSM, ACE, ISSA, and NSCA are all organizations that certify personal trainers and have good reputations. According to Leigh Peele, NASM certified personal trainer, the way to find the right trainer is talk to various trainers until you find one that you feel comfortable with. She also suggests getting a referral as the best way to find the right trainer.
The cost of a personal trainer can start at $60 per hour. Individual sessions with the trainer may be either 30 or 60 minutes. This does not include the cost of a gym membership, which varies depending on location. You can hire a trainer to come to your home, and many trainers offer long-term packages which bring the cost down considerably.
It would be well worth your time to observe several personal trainers at work before you pick one. It would not benefit you to choose someone sight unseen only to find out that their personality clashes with yours. Ask around, ask your friends, relatives or work chums about their trainers and try to gain insight into their trainer's style. Also, speak with the trainer's other clients. Find out how many clients they have and for how long. That will indicate the quality of the trainer and if they have long-term clients who trust them with their progress.
If you find that the cost of a personal trainer is just too great, consider options that can help you lower the costs, like taking group classes or getting a friend or two to join you for semi-private sessions. Some gyms and personal training studios allow people to intern in exchange for discounted or even free sessions as well.