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How much should you pay for a personal trainer?

11/05/2019
How much should you pay for a personal trainer

This is something that crops up a lot when people e-mail me – “Nick, how much do you charge per session?” And “do you offer any discounts?”.

Don’t get me wrong we’re all looking to spend less, why would we pay more if we can get it for cheaper? 

I totally get this method of thinking, especially when it comes to products e.g. if Tesco sell Heinz beans for 0.60p, but Sainsburys sell them for 0.50p – you’d be better off buying them in Sainburys because it’s exactly the same product but costs less. Ok, this is a basic analogy but hopefully you catch my drift? 

However should we apply this same methodology when it comes to service based industries like personal training? 

100% NO. 

Personal training prices range from anything between £10 per session up to £250! Just like most products and services there are low cost options, high cost, and everything in between!

Managing Expectations

Of course not everybody can afford a personal trainer, for lots of people paying £40+ for a PT just isn’t feasible. Don’t worry though, you can still hire a good personal trainer for less than £40, but make-sure to do your research, and don’t base your decision on price alone. You’ve got to think about your return on investment as much as cutting back on costs. You’ve also got to manage your expectations…

For example you wouldn’t go to Mcdonalds and expect a Michelin Star meal! No, you expect to pay £5-10 for a basic meal and know exactly what you’re letting yourself in for…

Processed food, in a cardboard box, and a very basic level of service. There’s nothing wrong with going for a Mcdonalds, but don’t expect the best meal of your life!

That said if you go to a Michelin Star restaurant it’s a totally different experience. You expect to eat excellent quality food, receive a high level of service and leave feeling satisfied! Ok you have to pay more, but that’s the price you pay for high quality. 

The same can be said with personal training. 

The more you pay the better quality you are going to receive. Now of course this isn’t always the case, but 9 x out 10 you get what you pay for. 

There’s nothing wrong with hiring a personal trainer for £10 per hour but don’t expect life changing results or a 5 star service. It’s like going into Selfridges with £100 and expecting to buy a Louis Vuitton handbag!

Let’s look at some factors that determine price and give you some food for thought before investing in a personal trainer….

Factors That Determine Price 

Factors That Determine Price | personal trainers

Location 

If you live in a small town then you’re likely to pay less for a PT compared to living in an affluent area of London, such as Mayfair or Chelsea. Location plays a big part in cost, just like housing prices – in wealthier areas you can expect to pay more, and vice versa… in less affluent areas… you pay less.  

Another thing to consider is the location of where you train. Is it in a commercial gym with hundreds of people training there each day? Or is it in a private personal training facility where you have the gym equipment all to yourself? The facility is going to have a big influence on how much it’s going to cost you, with private venues costing more. 

Experience 

How many years has a personal trainer been coaching for? How many sessions have they completed? What results have they achieved with clients? Of course the more experienced somebody is and the better their results… the more they can (and should!) charge.

Top personal trainers charge a handsome rate and so they should. They value their time and have spent years in the trenches learning their trade: investing in courses, gaining qualifications, working 12 hour days 5-6 days per week for 10+ years – they know their stuff and their experience is worth paying for.  

If you hire a personal trainer who’s new to the industry you can expect to pay a lot less, and whilst they can still be a very good coach it’s important to realise there are limitations to somebody who’s just starting out in their career – the main one being experience (which only comes with time and practice). 

They say to become a master of your trade that you need 10,000 hours of practice – that means to hire a personal trainer with this level of experience…

They would need to have been a personal trainer for at least 6 years, and completed 33 sessions per week for 6 years straight (10,296 hours)…

The math…. 33 hour sessions x 52 weeks of the year x 6 years = 10,296 hours! Realistically most coaches won’t do 33 sessions per week – (it takes time to build your client base) so in many cases it could take a coach 10+ years to get 10,000 hours under their belt and become a master at their craft. Somebody with this level of coaching experience will cost more, but they will also be able to help you more, therefore giving you a much greater return on your investment.

Level of Demand 

If a personal trainer is getting 20-30+ enquires per month they are likely to put up their prices, because there’s a demand for their service. It’s like anything where there’s demand the price goes up, and vice versa. A coach who’s in high demand is a good thing – why? Because people know that they are exceptional at what they do, they have a proven track record of results and they are worth the money.

On the flip side if a personal trainer is offering discounts and free sessions it usually means the opposite… they are in need of clients. There’s nothing wrong with this and every personal trainer pretty much has to start this way, and it does attract people (because of the lower price) but please be aware that low cost can, and in many cases mean low value. 

Service 

When you stay in a Travelodge you don’t expect it to be the Ritz! lol! You expect a bed and a roof over your head, and if you’re lucky a half decent breakfast. 

Whereas if you stay in a posh hotel you expect everything to be perfect, well thought out and a beautiful experience – which you have to pay top wack for! 

A high level of service costs you more money. What you’ve got to look at is how much the company cares. High end companies think about every detail and spend time and money investing in ways to make their business even better – they don’t just serve customers… they delight them! People rave about businesses like this and recommend them to their friends. It’s incredible the lengths that some businesses go to making their service stand out. 

Again the same can be said with personal training, you could train in an old garage with some old rusty weights and pay a PT £10 per hour, or you could pay more and train in a private facility with top equipment, a nice clean gym, with towels, and extra touches to make the experience feel more special. 

There’s no right or wrong, it’s all about personal preference and what you can afford. The key is realising that there should be much more to consider when hiring a personal trainer than ‘price’ alone.

My Own Experience Of Paying Coaches…

I’m a big believer that you ‘get what you pay for’. Over the last 7 years I’ve invested thousands of pounds, paying personal trainers, business mentors and life coaches to help me on my own journey. 

I worked with a personal trainer for 6 months – who charged £180 per hour! and I’ve also worked with a business and life coach who both charged £125 per hour. Now to some people they would be like “Nick, that’s a rip off! How can you justify spending £700 per month on coaching?”. That’s an easy answer for me…

“The money I’ve spent on coaching has come back to me (and more!) thanks to the lessons I’ve learned from the coaches I’ve invested in. The money I’ve spent on my own personal development has been 100% worth it! It’s taught me lessons that I cannot but a price on. These lessons and insights have allowed me to grow as a person, both mentally and physically, enabled my business to grow. I’m also more confident/comfortable in my own skin, I can better support my family, I’m happier, and healthier – to name but just a few benefits!” 

Hiring coaches has changed my life and it’s been worth every penny! 

Final thoughts…

Price will always be a factor for lots of people and that’s totally understandable, but make-sure to consider other areas (like the ones discussed in this post) rather than basing your decision solely on cost alone.

In many circumstances it’s worth spending more on a high quality service (even if that means you have to cut back elsewhere) rather than trying to cut corners and do things cheaply. Remember you get what you pay for!

It’s definitely worth thinking about…

Thanks for reading,

Fitness business owner | Sheffield fitness trainer | Nick Screeton

Nick 🙂 

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