So you looked yourself in the mirror in December and said “enough is enough, I am going to [insert health related goal].”
January has passed, and you have only completed a few workouts, all of which had little rhyme or reason and primarily consisted of the elliptical. On top of that, you now hate salads more than anything else in the world.
You’ve hit a plateau!
You are finding yourself at a fork in the road – on the left the “keep doing what you are doing” road, and on the right is the “give up” road.
So what do you do?
Well, the mistake nearly everyone makes (and no fault of their own) is that they don’t notice there is 3rd road – “the road less traveled” where a person seeks out additional support for their health and fitness endeavors.
So, you make the decision to go down the road less traveled and seek out help, and you hit the google search. Now what?
Well I did a few google searches of my own: “personal trainer”, “workout program”, “fat loss program”, “how do I lose fat”.
I read through several pages on each of these searches, and it was all quite confusing!
Click bait articles from various magazines, all of them featured “tips” and “advice.” Yet all of the articles lacked proper citation of research articles.
The personal trainer search yielded several types of trainers, ranging from $50 per individual session to $1200 per month. Many of these trainers featured little educational background or only possess a certification that can be earned in a weekend.
So here some options you have as you decide to pursue extra resources in your quest for health:
Gym memberships range from $25 to $65 per month.
* access to machines + weights + other expensive equipment
* sometimes includes classes
* gym tour offered as a “free fitness assessment”
* no coaching or training support
Group Classes/Crossfit range from $75 to $200 per month.
* instructor to help with technique on a mass level
* group environment/community to encourage you
* classes are focused on goals but not individuals – scalability isn’t ideal
* dependent on the class and it’s schedule
Online Coaching ranges from $100 to $375 per month.
* personalized program – fitness is specific to the individual
* flexible schedule – exercise when and where you want
* requires self motivation but builds independence
* results are generally lifelong because poor habits and behaviors are remedied
Personal Training ranges from $500 to $1200+ per month.
* personalized program
* 1-on-1 support and motivation
* faster results
* dependent on the trainer and their schedule
* costly long term
There is positive benefits to all 4 of these categories and depending on your current situation, 1 of the 4 likely will be the clear best option. Here are my opinions on the type of people that align the best with each option
Gym Membership – Individuals with a tremendous amount of self motivation, and structure in their life: ie – strict work schedule, few distractions, general knowledge of exercise programs (former athletes), or those with a very tight budget.
Group Classes/Crossfit – Individuals who are confident exercising in public with others, and those who thrive in communal environments can benefit by group classes. Generally, classes are only offered in a few time blocks a day, so your schedule needs to be somewhat set in stone to execute 3-4 workouts per week. You shouldn’t need direct/1on1 support in various exercises. You must be willing to sign a contract and have a moderate monthly budget.
Online Coaching – Individuals must have a moderate amount of self motivation and willingness to learn and work hard. Those who have very busy work or family schedules will benefit from being able to exercise when and where they want. Those who have poor habits and behaviors that require gradual change over time will benefit most from Online Coaching. Those with only a moderate budget will be able to afford this as well
Personal Training – Individuals with little self motivation generally need the 1-on-1 aspects of personal training. Individuals must also be willing to fit their exercise schedule with their trainers. Once the individual completes their time with the trainer, they must have acquired the knowledge and motivation to translate the same effort to workouts performed alone. Individuals must have large budgets
Whatever decision you end up making, the choice should always include taking a step forward in your quest for health. The road in which you get there will ultimately dictate the success you create for yourself.