Is a PT really worth the fee?
It sounds so luxurious – you roll out of bed and a trainer is waiting to give you a private, personal workout. No running to catch a class, no communal showers… just 100% attention on you and what you need to hone your body. Sounds like bliss. But is it really worth the premium price tag?
One of the best reasons to bite the bullet and find the money for a PT is if you’re in an exercise rut, or you know exercise won’t happen if someone isn’t holding you accountable, says Katie Gray, a trainer specialising in Pilates and HIIT. “If you’re not seeing the results you’re after and want to get the guidance and motivation on a new programme specific to you and your goals, working with a PT will help,” she explains. “Also remember that lifting weights or trying new exercises without correct technique can cause injuries. Working with a PT is going to ensure your form is on point.”
Tim Chew, who trains clients in yoga, Pilates, Barre and dance, agrees that PT can bring a new level to training. “The client gets to ask questions, raise concerns, voice what they enjoyed and as a whole, provide more instant feedback (even during the session) that they just don’t get the privilege to do within a group class,” he explains. “To be able to tailor the workout plan individually makes it invaluable – whether it’s because of injuries/conditions, convenience or perhaps also to take away the fear or discomfort of joining a larger group of strangers,” he adds.
And just the act of setting aside a “home zone” for your PT sessions has its benefits, too. “Training at home is a fantastic solution for hectic schedules, because eliminating commute time to and from the studio effectively halves the total amount of time it takes you to train,” points out Victoria Robinson, who trains clients in intensive Pilates. And there’s more, she adds: “Creating that home space gets you motivated and ready to train – and makes it more likely you will get on your mat even when your trainer is not around,” she explains. “That space creates long-lasting habits which in turn leads to results.”
But the best reason to engage a PT – and part with that hard-earned dosh – is that a PT has the specific expertise and training to create a programme tailored specifically for your body’s needs, “A good PT focuses on appropriate, smart goal setting and follow-ups to make sure the client is working on achievable goals,” explains Greg Sulzmann, who trains London-based clients when not working as senior PT for Pinewood Studios. “PTs will help clients work on the basics and build a solid and safe foundation to achieve the greater goals they’re after. A good PT is trained to create exercise progressions with cognitive, associative and autonomous tactics that continually challenge clients to get results.”
So is it worth it? That’s up to you, says Tim. Although personal training can cost upwards of £50 a session in Central London (with top trainers commanding twice that or more) it’s important to balance that perceived cost with the benefits. “People are often willing to spend on massages and all sorts of therapies which cost equally as much, if not more,” he points out.
And finally, remember that training with a PT is an investment in overall wellness, not just a specific set of sessions, according to Katie. “It’s about the value you get out of your sessions. We all spend a lot of money on things, but the most important thing is your health and happiness – and you can’t put a price on that,” explains Katie. “If you’re achieving the results, it’s probably worth it. If you’re not? Find a new trainer.”