Many people ask us ... is it better to hire a personal trainer or join a gym or health club? Well, personal training and working out alone in a gym are two very different beasts. One employs a qualified an exercise professional to work with a tailor-made one-to-one personal training programme, whilst the other means using a fitness programme prescribed by a fitness instructor at a local gym - something that can typically be the same for everyone of their clients.
Options when looking to get fit or lose weight
When deciding on the best way to get fit you're left with one of 4 choices:
- Do nothing - not the best course of action to get fit!
- Workout alone at home / outside - running, a few press ups at home etc.
- Join a local gym or health club
- Hire a personal trainer for one-to-one personal training
Whilst number 2 in our list has some merits, we will focus on the argument of whether it is better to hire a personal trainer or join a local gym or health club.
Benefits of a personal trainer
Hiring a personal trainer is a great way to get fit because the idea is that the gym literally comes to you. Personal trainers will bring a series of mobile fitness equipment to your home; from exercise stability balls, Bosu and resistance bands, to free weights and TRX body weight apparatus. A good personal trainer will have everything you need to make a substancial impact both on your fitness as well as your appearance.
Also, by hiring a personal trainer you will have the luxury of working out with a 'master of fitness' in your own home. A qualified personal trainer is someone who will improve the way you exercise to give you the best impact possible on achieving your goal, whether this is increasing muscle mass, losing weight or generally feeling better about yourself.
A good personal trainer will also vary your workouts each session, meaning that your body (and mind) will be stimulated differently during each workout. This means that one workout might concentrate solely on the core, whislt the next might be a short sharp interval session to test and improve your cardiovascular fitness. This is a great way to keep improving and starve off the boredom that can set in if you workout the same during each session.
Benefits of a gym or health club
There are many benefits of joining a local gym or health club, not least the fact that you'll have your pick of many different exercise machines and methods of workouts to choose from. We suggested that a mobile personal trainer can bring exercise equipment to your front door, allowing you to workout at home. But, of course, even the best mobile personal trainer will not be able to offer you the chance to workout using free weights, a treadmill, stationary bike, rowing machine or swimming pool in any one session.
Also, one aspect not to be over-looked when joining a gym is the social side of working out alongside like-minded people looking to get fit, lose weight or improve their health. Not only can you join a gym with a friend but joining a gym might mean you make new friends. Participating in a range of organised exercise classes, from Body Pump and Body Jam, to Spinning and Circuit Training will allow you to forge friendships with others who regularly attend the same classes as you.
The cost of a personal trainer vs a gym
There is no denying that if one was to use a personal trainer in the same way one can use a gym (i.e. going 3 to 4 times a week), the cost of a personal trainer would be very expensive. Most personal trainers cost between £20 - £40 per hour, per session, whereas a gym or health club membership typically costs £50 a month, with unlimited usage within that month.
Therefore, the use of a personal trainer, for most people, will be limited by their income and the amount they are willing to spend on their fitness. This often means that working out with a personal trainer will be limited to one or two sessions a week, whereas to really make significant gains in health and fitness you really need to exercise at least 3 times a week.
That said, exercising with a personal trainer even once a week is a good idea because they can make relevant suggestions about what to do on the days you don't see them. This might include intervals runs outside, a long bike ride, or even joing a gym to use some resistance equipment in order to improve lean muscle tissue.
Personal trainers vs gyms: Conclusion
In terms of exercise equipment and cost, a gym wins hands down. However, many people who work out at gyms do not perform exercises correctly, nor to they workout at the correct intensity or even use the correct equipment to reach their desired goal. In many occasions this means that reaching one's goal at all is nigh on impossible.
Whereas, working out regularly with a personal trainer means that each and every workout will challenge you with the correct amount of intensity, using just the right exercises in the right way, therefore allowing you to reach and exceed your target in the fastest time possible.
With that in mind, perhaps, the best course of action for someone looking to get as fitness as possible in the shortest time possible is to join a gym (or to participate in outdoor bootcamp-style exercise sessions) to exercise two to three times a week and also employ a personal trainer for at least one day a week in order to give you ideas about what do do on the days you don't engage in personal training.