Monday, 11 November 2013

do you want a personal trainer?

I've been having weekly sessions with my personal trainer, Lesley, for about 4 months now and it's something that a lot of people ask me about so I thought I'd share my experience and answer some of my most asked questions. I don't think a personal trainer is a must have for everyone, as some people can go it alone and get great results, but I personally didn't know where to start and felt like that I needed someone there to give me a push in the right direction and to bounce off of if my motivation is running low!

My personal trainer works on behalf of my local gym, and was advertised on their website. There were a few different trainers to choose from, each with their own strengths and specialities depending on what your goals are. I like that my PT is part of my gym, as it means the equipment we use in our sessions is there for me to use when I'm working out on my own, and it has really helped make me feel comfortable in the gym. I've heard of a few personal trainers who work freelance with their own studios or converted garages, but don't have any experience with those.

Prices will obviously vary for this but I pay £20 for a 45 minute session, and can also choose to buy a block of 10 sessions for £180. I pay my £30pm gym membership on top of this, so it does add up. I do 1 session a week, so it works out at around £110 per month including my membership (for gym, swimming, steam room and sauna, fitness classes) which some of you might think is a lot but it's something I enjoy so I don't mind! You can obviously have as little or as many sessions as you want but 1 per week (and 4 sessions on my own) works out well for me, gives good results, and is something that I can afford.

YES, 100% yes! I'm not going to say that you can't lose weight and get the body you want without the help of a PT, but I doubt I would be seeing progress as quickly as I am if it wasn't for Lesley. They know how to target certain areas of your body, which exercises are more effective, and don't get me started on how much it motivates me having someone to check in with. I also feel like a sponge when I'm training with Lesley, and I'm constantly learning new exercises which give me a wider range of things to do when I'm training on my own, and mixes things up instead of sticking to the usual bike, rowing machines and treadmill combo.

One of the things I like most is that every session is different, so I don't get bored and it keeps me on my toes! I enjoy rowing the most, so we usually start off on the rowing machine with some interval training (200m rowing sprints, 30 seconds slow rowing as a rest, and repeat), sometimes using the treadmill or spin bike afterwards, before moving on to some floor exercises. I do a lot of work using kettlebells and medicine balls, squats and lunges using weighted bags or dumbbells for resistance, pushing crates with weights on top up and down the length of the gym (torture!), press-ups, pull-ups and dreaded burpees. Lesley tends to work more than one muscle at once which I think it the key to giving me quicker results - try doing ab exercises on the floor, whilst holding 2 dumbbells in your hands, and a 3rd between your feet, it burns!

I was scared on my first session too and sometimes I still get nervous about how hard I'll be pushed, but your PT will have a good idea of your fitness levels and although they will obviously push you so that you work hard (and see quick results!), it's nothing to be scared about. If something is too difficult and you're really struggling, it can be switched for a different exercise. Sometimes facing your fears is good though - when I was told I would be doing a set of 10 burpees (my most hated exercise, there's a video here - they're tough!) I felt like crying, and mid-way through I was ready to collapse, but I done them!

I hope that's answered some of the questions around personal training, although let me know if there's anything else you want to know! Hopefully I've even given some of you the push you needed to signing up for a few sessions. If it's not obvious, I really recommend getting some help from a PT - at least to kick start your training! The progress I'm seeing is amazing, and it's motivating me to keep on going!



  1. Totally with you here. I sometimes have sessions with one of the PTs in the gym, as it's all included in my membership, and when I do =I find I'm pushed a lot harder than I do when I'm on my own.

  2. Really enjoyed this post, thankyou so much for writing about it as I have been really intrigued about PTs and costs after seeing how much success you've had with yours. I'm currently a member at our local spa but I'm thinking of moving as it's quite expensive and they only have a small gym and no classes. The only other gym in close distance (within a 20 minute drive) is a David Lloyd that charge £65 for membership a month. I think I'm going to go for that but I think the personal trainer sessions are about £40 on top of that so could start getting expensive! They do lots of awesome looking classes though and I'm going to have a break from running to let my ankle heal (also the cold is really bad for my asthma in the winter) so I'd really like to focus on classes and gym sessions instead so hopefully it will work out better! Thanks for your helpful post :) xo

    Rosie | A Rosie Outlook

  3. Yay for personal trainers! I bought a set of 10 sessions before I got married - and the results were amazing. As someone who works out regularly anyway, I really needed a boost to reach my goals. My bum never looked so good :p. Also learnt some new exercises I still do today.
    Claire xx

  4. I have just been to the gym for a TNT session which is my first foray into the world of exercise ever. Paul (PT) has been giving me great diet advice and you can not beat being shown the right exercises to do and how much to do to make a difference. It enables you to do more effective exercise yourself as you can use what you learn at home as well.

  5. I've always thought about getting a personal trainer. i regret not getting one before my wedding (nothing I can do about that now its been and gone!)

    I have a gym membership but I lack motivation! I really struggle to even go regularly! Classes dont appeal to me either because I feel to self conscious that everyone else is doing better than me as Im so unfit! I do like the idea of having a PT though as someone to check up on you. Then you have to get the exercise done or face a telling off!

    Leanne @ Leanne-Marie | Beauty, fashion & lifestyle. x x