What should I expect to pay for Personal Training?
Written by Andrew Meyer
The 6 variables that justify the costs
The most common question I am asked, before ever meeting a prospective client, is "How much do you charge?". There are many variables which make up a Trainers justification for how much they charge. These variables may be the location and/or facility they work in and also their experience, qualifications, specialisation, demand for their services, packages they offer and the content of those packages.
Before we venture more into these variables and how they stack up, you (the client) need to decide what outcome you want (short and long term goals). Also determine whether your budget is short or long term. Finally you need to establish exactly why you need a Trainer. Is it to keep you accountable, for their expertise and knowledge, for motivation or for all of these reasons? You need these answers to guide you, in order to make the correct decision on what you are willing to spend. Going cheap may help the pocket, but not give you what you need. On the other side of the coin, paying too much might be overkill or not worth it.
1. Location and/or facility they work in:
If you live or work in a city like London, you could have a price variation of £35 to £250 (sometimes more, but I cannot see how that can be justified) per training session. The boutique/upmarket facilities breed expensive Trainers, but this does not mean better. It simply means that the Trainer can charge that much because of the clientele at that facility. A Trainer that comes to your home, or trains you in the park, has less overheads and so can possibly charge less.
The lowest starting rate for a Trainer with little to no experience, is around £35 per hour (London based). If you are not concerned about the experience of the Trainer (as you may just be starting out yourself and counting the pennies), then that would suit you perfectly. I would hope that Trainers charging the higher end price (£250 per hour), have at least a couple of decades (avg.10000hrs/10 years) of experience under their belts. Every client a Trainer has ever worked with, is one step closer to you getting even better results than you expected. Therefore good experience is worth paying for.
A Trainer with an entry level qualification would be charging in the region of £35 - £50 (London based). If you are looking for a Trainer to suit your specific needs (e.g a client seeking to improve their triathlon speed will require a Trainer with a Strength & Conditioning qualification) then you should expect to pay at least £70 - £150 per session.
Injury rehab, strength and conditioning, or body transformations are some of the specialist fields for Trainers. If they have niched their business to whatever their speciality is, then this is a great indicator that they are very knowledgeable in that sector. They should of course have the correct qualifications to back it up. Expect to pay anything from £70 per session (London based) for a specialised Trainer.
5. Demand for their services:
When a Trainer is consistently busy, it probably means that they are giving their clients exactly what they need. These clients keep coming back and are possibly referring other clients to them. The higher the demand for their services, the more they can charge. So if you can find an available time which suits you both in the busy diary of such a Trainer, book in without hesitation if you can afford to. An in-demand Trainer will charge the higher end of what the Trainers at that facility are charging.
6. Packages they offer:
Like most products, the more you pay upfront, the less you pay per session. Paying upfront for a package is not just about the discount. It is about the commitment you are making to your goals. Also, this usually helps the Trainer in plotting out a training strategy. Some Trainers will only offer packages or monthly memberships, in order to ensure that your training will be set out correctly. Expect to pay for 6 or 12 week packages or a monthly membership, which usually gives a 10-20% discount on their normal rate.
So what should you be paying for a Trainer? The answer is, it depends. It depends on your preferences and needs. However, if I can say one thing, it is this: do not let price define your decision. Choose a Trainer on the basis that they are the best fit for you. Yes, financial consideration of course, but mainly how the Trainer of your choice justifies what they charge - and then backs that up with results and service.