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I have been tossing around the idea of hiring a trainer, and last night I was approached by a trainer at the gym. He gave me a couple of good pointers, then launched into his sales pitch (it wasn't horrible, I'm just sensitive to that kind of thing). He definitely listened to me (unlike the trainer I got for my free training session when I signed up for the gym), and I think he would be useful for really pushing myself and also learning how to use the weights so I'm not intimidated by that section of the gym any more. However, the going rate is $335 for 5 sessions (I'm in nyc) - a lot! I sort of have the money right now, but it could be used for so many other things, and I already pay $75/month for my gym membership...I'm torn.

So I was wondering what everyone's experience with trainers has been - good, bad, I'd like to hear it all, especially the part about it being worth more per hour than I earn!


Tue. Jan 24, 9:35am

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Usefull for the start.

I used a PT for about 3 months, and it worked wonders for me!. Previously I had been going to a gym on and off for about 10 years without one, just doing cardio mostly, some circuit training and NEVER venturing into the male-dominated weights area! As if you'd be allowed by them anyway!

Last year a joined a smaller gym with a personal trainer, yes it is more expensive, but I said to myself, i will make this investment in myself/my future and let me tell you, paying the money is defnitely a good motivator!

We did a little cardio and a lot of weight training. It was defnitely worth it, having someone show you how every exercise is done properly for your bodyshape & weight. He keeps an eye on your progress during the session and during the weeks of training. He motivated me, inspired me, and even got a bit cross with me. But all in all - I now have the tools to carry on on my own. I still go to the same gym, I now only pay the monthly fee, but when I need to book a session or just ask a question, he is always there for me.

The only other advise I can give is - find a personal trainer that is interested in you health and goals, and not the money your are paying them.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006, 9:55 AM

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I would suggest, if you get one, ask to see their appointment book. The one I got was very nice but she didn't have time in her schedule to fit my schedule and it really sucked. You also have to think about if the three sessions you are going to buy are going to be enough to push you into the weights section of the gym. I learned some things from my PT but I still feel intimidated to go into the weight area. Maybe you could enlist a friend to go with you to do this part?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006, 10:16 AM

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A friend and I share a personal trainer. It's great because we can encourage one another and it is only 1/2 the price. Some gyms do this but some do not so ask at the front desk. I enjoy having a trainer because I am constantly trying to impress him at how well I have done every time I go (which is only about once a week). It also helps me to keep on track and adds creativity and intensity to my workouts. I do only weignts with the trainer and cardio on my own.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006, 12:16 PM

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I got a trainer because of trade services (facials and massage). I workout with him for about 4 months. I think its a great idea. The truth is, there are not a lot of good books out there especially for women.

There is a website www.exrx.net that I found helpful.

Im split on trainers because a lot of the people Ive been with SUCKED!

Its hard to know after traning one time becuase they are trying to feel out your endurance and strength. They dont want to kill you on teh first day!

A lot of times, depending on where you work out, the trainer will also teach classes at the gym. Try out there classes. Get to know the other employees at the gym become friends with the front desk, the spin teacher, whoever...and they will be able to reccomend someone.

Look for information on your own too.

I find the sales thing very annoying too...but if you think about it, you wouldnt want to train with someone who wasnt passionate about there job. Its part of the deal.

Where do you workout? I know a great trainer at Crunch in NYC. Ill give you his info!

Sunday, February 12, 2006, 10:40 PM

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I had been tossing about the idea for a trainer for a long time. Then I decided to make the investment, which is really an investment in your health for the long term. If he seems like he listened and addressed your issues, then I think he's a good trainer. I think you'll know instinctively if you're a fit. Mine was and is. He's awesome. He's my partner in my success and it's clear that he is just as vested as I am.

The financial hit was hard for me, but I'm making progress that would never have been possible without him. I'm now even pushing myself in my cardio workouts.

Also, if you're interested in training, I would talk to him or set up a consultation by phone or in person at the gym. Be upfront about what you want, your concerns, where you are financially and what he visions as a program (time per week). Also very important would be to ask him, realistically how long would the training program be to achieve your goals - i mean in terms of months, realistically. I thought that I would hire my trainer for three months, see him twice a week, reach my goal and tell him thanks.

At 8 weeks in, I know that I have at least 9 months to go to get the results that I want. AND most importantly, I don't want to rip myself off in terms of the results I can achieve, so I'm willing to commit to the finances and make adjustments in other areas of my life (which doesn't mean more debt, I just spend less and go without some niceties). I went in at 138lbs. with 32% body fat. At six weeks, I went up to 142lbs and LOST 5% of body fat. My trainer was explaining to me that he wants to build muscle, then work on strength, then start circuit training me to work on my endurance. There is an arc to my training that I had no idea existed. I also follow his instructions and do cardio 3-4 days a week. He answers all my silly questions about food and why we do weights in a certain way. I wish I can clone him.

Lastly, talk to your gym's fitness/personal trainer manager. Explain your situation and what you're able to pay. They may surprise you with a payment plan. Make the unreasonable-seeming request....you just might get a "yes."

Friday, February 17, 2006, 1:16 PM

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Observe their style

I am considering a stint with a trainer. We have several through my gym (24 hr fitness) First I check their credentals/cerifications, but most importantly, as I go about my weight routine, I try to work next to one for awhile, just to observe their work ethic, interaction style, etc. I have finally "found" one who seems like a good fit and we haven't yet met...I will sign up when my tax refund arrives. Good suggestions everyone! Debs

Monday, February 27, 2006, 11:32 AM

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A trainer is key, especially to work through plateaus and do weight training in good form. Even professional body builders have trainers, and trainers at the gym have trainers. No kidding! I've had a trainer for the past 5 years who is certified in nutrition, and the help has been invaluable. At times I had to train out of the gym because the rates were pricey, and she trained me at home. A good trainer is very flexible and keeps you accountable. Just make sure they are VERY well qualified. Check their certifications, talk to their clients for feedback in the locker rooms, etc. If you have the money, go for it! You can only learn.
BTW, here's a tip:
Most trainers will allow you to have a free first session. That way you can get a feel for their style, etc.

Monday, February 27, 2006, 11:55 AM

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I've been lifting weights for years on my own but joined a gym a year ago and recently started working out with a PT. I watched the various trainers as they worked with other members and chose one I felt was knowledgable and would push me. It has worked out extremely well. It is $30/hour (I live in North Carolina) and I decided I would just stop ordering out lunch at work to fund it. So I'm actually eating better now that I bring something from home! She has me lifting much heavier weights than I would have on my own. I'm even bench pressing.

Monday, March 06, 2006, 7:45 PM

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