One of my favorite parts about the industry I work in is everyone can benefit from some amount of exercise. Doesn’t matter what you do for work, how old you are or where you come from, everyone needs to exercise and eat some what healthy to live a good life. And from there, there are an infinite amount fo choices on how you want to exercise and things to eat. So the absolute first question I ask all my clients is, what are you looking for / what are your health goals? This doesn’t have to be ‘I want to lose 20 pounds of fat’ or ‘get six-pack abs’. This may be you just want to exercise and feel a little better or just move easier overall. Maybe you’re just starting to hear about the benefits of strength training and you want to learn how to start. There are no bad reasons to start, just make sure they’re for you and no one else.
Next you want to think about your availability. I have a couple means of availability. First, what are your time constraints. Second, what is your economic situation? And finally, how serious do you want to dive into something? Are you single with a good income giving you the time and finical stability to take on anything? Are you a single mom with limited time and funds to spend on your own health journey? Where you’re at in life and what you can actually give to your journey is important to think about because its going to help filter the infinite possible fitness options for you.
The final thing you want to think about before starting to look at training options is what’s your initial fitness level? If you are a beginner, that’s totally okay. Actually, that’s better than okay, that’s amazing! But you might be looking for a more hands on approach than someone who’s been working out for a while. Meaning, as a beginner, you want to be mindful of jumping into something too hard, too fast. With all my beginner clients, we go slow at first, learning how to move our bodies and lift weights so we don’t get hurt. This is also good for building confidence in the weight room. If you do something outside of your fitness level, you may get frustrated or even worse, injured.
Now lets go into some of the main forms of training, and why we may pick one over the other. The three main types of training we are going to go over today are private training (1 on 1), group exercises (generally fitness classes) and online training.
- Private personal training is a training option where the client is working 1-on-1 with a personal trainer. A good trainer is going to listen to the client’s goals and help them reach those goals by programming exercises and workouts that research has shown to be successful. Anyone looking to increase their fitness level would greatly benefit from hiring a good trainer. One of the downsides to hiring a private personal trainer is that it is the most expensive option of the three. Hiring a private personal trainer can range anywhere from $50-150 per hour session, not including the membership fee to the gym itself (not all gyms require you to be a member, my gym is for private training gym only and has no memberships). 24 Hour Fitness training sessions cost $80 for 50 minutes and $45 for 25, while LA Fitness charges $40-55 per 30 minute session and they just double it for an hour (plus the membership and initial sign up fee for those gyms). A trainer I know in my area, who has his own gym, also doesn’t have any membership fee and charges $135 per hour, but he’s basically a massage therapist as well and which allows his scope of practice to be greater than the average trainer. I’m somewhere in the middle of all of that. I charge $70 per session with no membership fee.
- Group exercises can be a very cost effective way to get training. Ranging anywhere from $15-50 per class, with every style of exercise you can think of; yoga, pilates, kettlebells, boxing and everything else under the sun. It can be a very effective way to add some accountability and fun to your normal routine because of the community atmosphere. The down side to group classes is lack of specific coaching that can happen in the class. That’s not anyones fault in particular, it’s just hard for the instructor to correct everyone when they have to put their attention on the whole group. This makes group classes hard for a beginner to exercise. If you haven’t worked out before, or its been a really long time and your body doesn’t move the way it used to, you might not get the attention you need from the instructor, which again could lead to frustration and even worse, injury. The app ClassPass is a great resource for group classes because you pay a monthly rate and then you can pick from a variety of classes which allows you to keep your routine fresh. There are other places like Title Boxing or KOR that are gyms that have classes all the time and you can sign up for monthly membership where you pay for X number of classes. It can be good to go to the same gym’s classes for a while to build up a sense of community and they may help teach you more if they recognize you (just a human nature thing). KOR is a kettlebell gym here in San Diego and have packages that range from $159-320 per month for unlimited classes. CorePower, a yoga studio chain, has packages of classes monthly as well, starting at $26 for a single class and $395 per month for 20 classes, dropping the single class price to $19.75. Next month, I will be starting my own group class Hip-Hop Kettlebells out of the gym I work out of and classes will be $15 each class. Can you guess what we’ll be doing with our hour each class? 🙂
- Online coaching is another very cost affective way to get training. There are a couple types of online training options. First, there’s subscription style training where you sign up to be part of the trainer’s ‘group’ and they post weekly workouts that you can follow. These are the same workouts for everyone that pays for the subscription. Alexia Clare is an awesome online trainer with this style and it’s only $30 per month. The one down side to that is the workouts are not personalized to your goals and if you are a beginner, if the workouts are at a higher level of fitness then you are, you may end up (can you guess it by now?) frustrated or even worse, injured. Second option is to just buy a pre-written program from an online trainer. This program will be for a set amount of time, generally 4-12 weeks long, and again its the same for everyone who buys it. I’m currently doing Dr John Rusin’s program Functional Power Training which I absolutely love. It was $99 for a very comprehensive 3 month program and I’m extremely happy with the value of the program. The final option for online coaching is to work with a private online coach, 1-on-1. You will talk to your coach about your goals and depending what that coach offers, they will give you a personalized workout program, possibly nutrition coaching (varies per coach), and will allow for contact pretty regularly for accountability. This is a great option for anyone who has no trouble getting to the gym by themselves because it does require you to be your own motivator. The way I have my online coaching set up is we talk about your goals, prior workout experience and available gym equipment. Then, I send you a workout program for the month that you follow on your own time, with daily check-ins Monday through Friday for accountability and nutritional guidance. We work together to achieve all your health and fitness goals at a fraction of the cost of in-person training. One session with me in-person is $70, while 1 week of online coaching is only $75.
No matter where you are, what your initial fitness level is or available money to spend, there are training options for you. If you’re looking to switch up your routine and you’re at a decent level of fitness already, maybe group classes are your thing. If you’re a stud already but seem to have hit a plateau, maybe a private trainer, in-person or online, is the option for you. If you’re a beginner who’s just trying to figure out where the hell to start, an in-person or online private trainer is probably going to be your best bet too. If you’re a beginner can you do group classes? Absolutely! I’m just saying what might be best case scenario for you, but by no means is that set in stone.
I hope you found this dive into training options helpful! Thanks for taking the time to read this article and check out my site :). Until next time, peace!