I am a new blogger and blossoming social media flower. I blog about my fitness journey through my sessions with my personal trainer, to see what goes on from the perspective of the client (me) and my trainer. We also share the things we love, whether it’s fitness and nutrition tips, random quotes or clips or something funny or awesome we thought readers might enjoy. I also work for Canada’s largest fitness company, GoodLife Fitness. I travel across Canada opening brand new locations and spreading the fitness dream. I am also a certified fitness and cycling instructor with over 10 years of experience teaching in the fitness industry. In addition to being passionate about fitness, I also love fashion and DIY projects. I also like to…laugh. love. hug. eat dessert. drink wine. travel. be me.
The question I most often get these days is: “How do you afford working with a personal trainer?” So I thought I would put together my official (and by official I really mean unofficial) guide to how to afford personal training. If you are reading this blog, hopefully you have some level of interest in either health, fitness, nutrition, exercise or personal training.
Those of you who know me, know that I am by no means wealthy. It was only in the last year that I really made the decision to work with a personal trainer. I was fed up with doing the same thing in the gym and not getting quite the results I was looking for. It also doesn’t help that each year I get a little older and it gets a little harder to see those results. My job here isn’t to convince you to work with a trainer-quite the opposite. When and if the time is right for you, you will KNOW. My purpose here to provide you with “A Regular Gals Guide to Afford Personal Training”.
Think about exactly what your fitness goals are. What is the reason you go to the gym or are thinking about going to the gym? Lose weight? How much? Trim inches? How many? Be specific.
How long have you had this goal for? Whether it’s 10 years or 10 days, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is how important is it to you that you achieve it? If you use a scale of 1-10, 1 being that it isn’t important at all and a 10 being it’s 100% important and it’s all you think about. Where do you fall? How important is achieving your goal to you? If you answered less than 8/10, then to be honest you probably aren’t quite ready to make a change, but you can keep reading anyways.
Are you an 8/10 or higher?
Then ask yourself these three questions. If you answer YES to one or more of the following questions, you might be in the market for a personal trainer.
Do you lack the resources and knowledge to successfully make a lasting change?
Is there anything preventing you from changing?
Do you have triggers that exist to prompt a return to a former behaviour?
If you answered NO-then you should already be on your way!
It should be noted here that there is so much research and info that I could provide about changing behaviour, however I want to keep this simple.
Next, make a list of all of items you purchased in the last 30 days that were WANTS as opposed to NEEDS. For example, needs are things like groceries, rent/mortgage, car/insurance payment etc. Whereas wants are things like alcohol, cigarettes, McDonalds or eating out, yet another pair of shoes, Starbucks etc. Some of you may be surprised on how many items are on this list.
Please don’t do this exercise from memory. Log into your online banking or review a recent statement to make this as accurate as possible.
So you have the list of all of your wants? Good. Now total it up. This number will obviously be different for everyone and may slightly vary month to month. If you had an exceptionally spendy (yes spendy) month last month and you spent way more money than you normally would, pick another month.
Now you have the number, it may $50 or it may be $1000+ it depends who you are and how many wants you have. Now cross off the wants that you are not willing to give up. For example, you know that you go for pizza every Friday night with friends after work-cross that one off, because you can’t get rid of everything, but maybe keep the other two times that you order pizza. Remember, you will have to give some things up (sorry) to make this work. At the same time though, the biggest mistake you can make when you are implementing any change, but especially a lifestyle change is trying to do too much too soon. Giving up everything you love to eat, buy and the activities you enjoy is not something you can keep up long term. You are setting yourself up to fail-so please be realistic. Remember that you ranked yourself and 8/10 or higher-you want to do this, badly. You just need to figure out how.
You are now left with a list of wants that you have decided to get rid of. Total them up. This is the amount that you could EASILY afford to spend each month on personal training.
Each person will have a different number. If this number is less than about $300-$400. you need to go back and add a few more wants onto that list that you can eliminate.
Otherwise, here are some other tips that you can use to free up some extra money each month:
1. Changing your cable or cell phone package (do you really need ALL of those channels?)
2. Bundling together your insurance (auto, home, life etc)
3. Bundling together your cable, internet, cell phone (if you call your provider you can find out if they offer any promotions you can take advantage of)
4. Plan out your grocery shopping (plan meals and ensure you go to the grocery store with a plan-this will save you TONS and is so much healthier)
5. check out websites like groupon.com or livingsocial.com to score some deals on the things you aren’t willing to give up (i.e. restaurants, activities etc) because you still want to have a life, maybe you can just do these things more cost effectively
6. Make coffee at home and buy a cool travel mug from Starbucks to use so you still feel special or pool together with your co-workers and buy a coffee machine for the office to eliminate “coffee runs”
7. Make going out for dinner a treat not a regular occurrence. It should be special and something you look forward to. In order for this to work, you need to have food in your house to prepare lunches and dinners on a more regular basis.
8. Organize a clothing swap/exchange with your friends to freshen up your wardrobe instead of regularly shopping for new clothes. Don’t say “Ew”. This is a legit idea. Chances are, you have friends that have the same style or fashion sense and wear similar sizes. Get your all of your friends involved. Then you can all donate the extra unwanted clothes afterwards, its win-win!
Now that you have an idea of how much you have to spend, you need to commit to keeping that amount available every month. When you go to talk to a personal trainer, THIS is the amount you can comfortably spend each month. Any reputable gym or personal training business will offer payment plans. Your trainer can work with this dollar amount to help you come up with a plan that fits into YOUR budget.
Once you have decided what you want WRITE IT DOWN so you do not forget the commitments you made to yourself. Share them with you friends and family, and even your trainer so everyone can help you stay on track financially.
If you want to pay for the entire package up front, you can begin to save this predetermined budgeted amount each month until you have enough saved to pay in full. I would still recommend meeting with a trainer in advance to figure out how much your personal training package will cost.
You will need to make the commitment to work with a trainer at LEAST 2 times/week for about 6 months, which works out to about 50 sessions. If that seems like a lot to you-it is. But it’s worth it.
Personal Trainers are not magicians or miracle workers. Anything worth doing, takes time. Lots of time. In general personal trainers charge anywhere from $40-$100/hour, depending on their experience, certifications, where they work, how many sessions you buy etc. Choosing the right personal trainer is a whole other ball game and you should spend some time researching your options. The best single piece of advice I can give for picking the right personal trainer is asking for a referral from someone you know (maybe a friend or family member or someone at your gym that you know that works with a trainer).
Now we haven’t even scratched the surface here. You could have a vacation, school or family reunion, special event or an injury that will give you that little extra push you need to find some extra money in your budget. However, I wanted this guide to be for Joe every day to hopefully help fit personal training into your lifestyle.
What I don’t want is for you to give up everything and move back in with your parents to work with a trainer, what I do want is when the time is right for you to take a long, hard look at your personal finances and see where you can reallocate money to put towards your health and fitness goals. It’s money well spent and as Cybill Shepherd used to say on those L’Oreal Preference commercials “You’re worth it”.
That’s it. That is basically how I did it. It was honestly pretty easy. The only thing is…you have to want it.