Why are personal trainers so expensive?

When you search personal trainer near me in Birmingham, you will find hundreds of professionals charging anywhere from £15 up to £150 per hour which can be expensive. Why, then, are personal trainers so expensive, you may ask. This blog will answer that question and, hopefully, help find the right personal trainer for you at a reasonable price.

Is it worth spending money on a personal trainer?

Firstly, is it worth even spending money at all on a personal trainer? Well, it depends. You should weigh your needs and goals with your budget and the availability of PTs and gyms around you before making that decision. But only you will know the answer. All we can do is share our expertise to help you make an informed decision.

With that in mind, carry on reading to decide if it is worth spending money on a personal trainer or not.

Start by asking yourself why you want to hire a personal trainer

What is your motivation, what do you want to achieve and what do you need help with? The answer to these questions will help you look for the best personal trainer for you.

I’ve done a checklist and included a list of the best-reviewed personal trainers in Birmingham that can help you. Do have a look at that article and let us know if you have any questions by emailing us at admin@theresethealthgroup.com. We’re always happy to help.

Here’s a checklist that will help you assess whether a personal trainer is for you:

✔️Have you read the reviews on their website and social media, and aligned the results of their previous clients with what you want to achieve?

✔️Do their reviews indicate they can motivate their clients who are struggling?

✔️Are your goals similar to that of previous clients they have worked with? If they have only ever coached bodybuilding and you are looking to strengthen your body and begin long-distance running, they may not be the best fit for you. 

✔️Do their website and social media show they work in your area? If you have a particular gym in mind you would like the sessions to be in, are they permitted to work there? Personal trainers are not usually allowed to work in any gym they choose to without prior approval from the gym manager.

✔️If you are thinking about sessions in your home, do they provide this service? Do you have the necessary equipment? You don’t need a fully kitted-out gym, but some equipment always helps to keep things fun and interesting.

What is the usual price of a personal trainer?

In Birmingham, a personal trainer can cost as little as £15 per hour and as much as £60 per hour, depending on their qualifications and experience. In London, that top range could go all the way up to £150 per hour. This should include a training plan, regularly reviewed and updated. 

You also need to account for the gym subscription which is often not included in that price. A gym subscription can range between £15.99 + joining fee per month and upwards of £80 + joining fee per month depending on what gym and package you choose. Be wary of any personal trainer who tries to charge you extra for a training plan; it should be part of the service.

So, usually, you will have to pay a personal trainer:

  • Their hourly rate – probably once or twice a month, depending on how independently you can work. 
  • Monthly gym subscription plus an initial joining fee

If you account for transport, new clothes and changes in diet, this can quickly add up so be mindful of your budget before committing. 

In many ways, personal trainers are, unfortunately, a luxury. But don’t despair, you have plenty of alternatives if you want to exercise on a budget or for free. 

What if I cannot afford a personal trainer?

One option if you realise you cannot afford a personal trainer is to get workouts online and do them either at home or the gym.

Additionally, there are many free activities which are great to build community, spending quality time outdoors and improving your overall mental as well as physical health. We have already written about the power of exercise when you are struggling with depression or anxiety so keep in mind that it is always best to exercise for health and purpose more than just looking good. 

In Birmingham, for example, there are many running groups such as the Cannon Hill Parkrun every Saturday or you can always go cycling or walking along the canal. Not to mention the numerous house chores that can help you reach the NHS recommended weekly 150 hours of physical activity.

Do you legally need qualifications to be a personal trainer?

Personal training is not a profession protected by law but there is a general consensus amongst gyms to require at least a Level 3 qualification in personal training from a recognized training provider. 

Typically, gyms also require personal trainers to be registered with organisations such as REPs and CIMSPA. Though not comprehensive, these certifications and accreditations are the best indications we currently have that a PT has the knowledge, skills, and professionalism to provide safe and effective exercise programs.

Higher qualifications will, of course, have an impact on the PT’s hourly rate. If you have a particular need, you can look for professionals with Level 4 courses such as strength and conditioning or lower back pain, for example. Some professionals can complement those with training in nutrition or even mental health (e.g. first aid mental health, NLP or counselling). The more qualifications, however, the higher the price for a PT. 

What I would advise is that you use that checklist above to make sure you like their overall approach rather than hyper-focusing on qualifications. People often underestimate the value of a matching personality, a similar worldview and good listening skills in a personal trainer. Normally, if a personal trainer really cares about their clients, they will be naturally inclined to keep on learning, upskilling and working hard to help you. So, though qualifications can be important, they are not everything.

Quite often, you will come across Sports Injury graduates providing personal training services. Sports injury degrees usually cover injury and recovery quite well and, to me, seem a bit closer to physiotherapy than personal training. Therefore, if your professional has a Sports Injury degree, it is good to enquire about what other qualifications and experience they have in strength and conditioning, weight loss, etc. 

Be very clear on your motivations and goals before making radical changes

Do you want to lose weight because of Instagram or are you looking for lifestyle changes? Sometimes people will set out to build the perfect body when there are actually other underlying issues related to their mental health or life satisfaction. 

Having seen numerous people break down during a PT session, I advise you to take the time to really reflect on your life, your mental health, your plan and goals. Magic happens when we slow down and reflect. This is why we created the RESET model which includes therapy, physical activity and mindfulness to help people make holistic and long-term changes in their lives.

Before hiring a PT and buying the whole gear, reflect on what is driving you. Your motivation is what really matters and the first step to sustainable, long-term change. 

As I’ve written before, most people coming to the gym wanting to look like an Instagram influencer tend to quickly drop away, whereas those wanting to get in better shape to play football with their children tend to stick around.

When determining your goals, remember that the best goals are linked to your long-term happiness rather than immediate satisfaction. What I mean by that is, you can certainly aim for losing weight, as long as that makes sense given your body shape, age, lifestyle, health, family history and eating habits. If, for example, the best moments you have with your romantic partner are cooking or eating out together over a nice wine, it is unlikely that you will be keen to cut that off forever. 

Therefore, maybe consider reducing your alcohol intake, observe your portion sizes or how much fat you are ingesting. It’s best to take smaller steps that last, instead of radical ones that don’t. You might as well be realistic about your goals rather than quickly lose weight just to gain it all over again after a few months. Whatever your goal is, try and make it achievable, otherwise, you can lose motivation.

Alex Broadbent is RESET’s co-founder and co-director, a semi-professional athlete and a Strength and Conditioning Coach with over 30 years of experience.

Related articles

Many men struggle with conventional talking therapy, often finding it challenging to open up about their feelings. This discomfort can

Mental health diagnoses often come with a range of challenges, from misdiagnosis to the stigma attached to certain labels. These

Ever considered leaving social media? A year ago, I took the plunge, deleting all social media apps from my phone

This blog discusses the current research investigating the impact of traumatic experiences, the effects of unresolved trauma on the mind

Why are personal trainers so expensive?