There are many different “tiers” of spending when it comes to exercising with a personal trainer. I have tried most of these methods for getting the most out of my workouts and I have found positives and negatives to these. At the end of the day, the method that keeps you engaged is the one that is “worth it”. This is the whole point behind intentional spending, spend on things that are working you towards a healthier life, and the journey to Financial Independence will be a happy one.
One-on-One- Cost will vary wildly
The reasons to use or not use a one on one session with a personal trainer may seem obvious. The attention that you receive and individualized program are exactly what you would be looking for when thinking of designing the perfect workout scenario. The cost that you are charged for this type of one on one connection is much higher than any of the other options available. This is the top of the spectrum on both ends and at the end of the day, this is what this article is all about. Do YOU feel that this type of one on one attention is worth the cost?
Small Group Classes/Instruction- Cost vary, much less than one on one
Small group instruction can be beneficial for someone that does not want to pay for the 1 on 1 attention, but still is not at a point that they have the self-motivation to show up every time. Typically, the cost is much less than the 1-on-1 session, but it still can be much more than someone is willing to spend ($100+/month). You will still get some individualized attention, but the program is based on the entire groups skill. A good instructor will be able to personalize within the specific workout, but it will not be the same as a 1 on 1 session. The last difference is the sense of community that is involved with group classes. You come to a workout every time as a team and you begin to make friends through the struggle that you go through. Encouragement and appreciation from your peers can make a huge difference. It may also keep you accountable for showing up since a group of people are expecting you.
Online training is something that is becoming increasingly popular in the fitness industry. This, in combination with the app based programs, make it easier to perform remote personal training than ever. The program is typically personalized to help you meet your goals and the attention to detail will vary widely with the cost of the program. Some require in person meet ups every few months, while others will never meet in person and will only create the program based off of videos of your movements. The hardest part to these types of programs is to keep motivated. Your coach should have access to your workout logs which can be some motivation, but no one is waiting for you to arrive at the gym to start a workout. Another negative would be the fact that you need to invest in a home gym or find a gym that has the equipment that you will need. You also may need to have the ability to take videos of your work out. This can be a great option for someone that is very self-motivated and is looking to take their self-created workouts to the next level.
App Based- Free-$50/month
App based workouts are seemingly everywhere today. They range from the free apps that have very basic workouts and tracking systems to the more expensive apps that have a monthly (or yearly) fee to provide a better service. These are great to keep your workouts fresh and exciting, but they lack any personalization or instruction. This may be a good idea for a beginner to help keep you motivated, but once you become more experienced, online coaching may be a better option for you. Try a free version to start and see if this is the right option for you.
Book Education- Free
This option will cost more of your time value than actual capital. You may have the interest and drive to want to teach yourself how to structure exercise programs. This is a great idea! If you have the time and willingness to learn you can perform almost any task including creating well balanced exercise programs. You can rent books from your local library for free and study up on the subject that interests you the most. This may take the most amount of time, but in the long run, you will be gaining knowledge that will help you for the rest of your life.
Wing It- Free-Cost of gym membership
This is an option that I would not recommend, but one that is often used. Going into the gym without a plan is one of the best ways to succumb to injury or burnout. This can make it difficult to see improvements made over time as well as adequately load the different body systems appropriately. If you are just starting on this journey and have no capital to invest in your health, this option is better than taking no action, but not by much. Get started by doing anything, but quickly find what you enjoy and seek out the advice of a professional as soon as you can.
I hope that this give you an idea of options that are available when thinking of investing in your health and wellness. Depending on where you are in your journey, you may be able to move up or down this scale, but I would encourage anyone to invest some capital in their health and wellness. Like long term investing, a little bit now will continue to grow and compound over years and years. Your future self will thank you. Follow along and leave comments on Instagram @moneyandimage.