Personal Training: The Real Deal

I will be the FIRST one to admit:IMG_0183

Personal training is expensive….

For the TRAINER.

…..if you are one who goes by the book.

Behind counting and walking around in cute clothes barking orders (yes, I have been referred to that way), comes a slew of responsibility, time and money.  I keep my certification current (fee) which requires continuing education credits (workshops, certifications, travel, food, hotels, rental cars, time spent reading, writing, submitting tests, etc.).  I also keep liability insurance (more money), own a lot of my own equipment so I can keep my training fresh (more money) and I buy IMG_0215personalized Christmas cards. 🙂 But, seriously, when you train at a facility, you pay money to train there (fees), you do all of your own paperwork, billing, scheduling and you may have to purchase software that costs money for that (fee) and then you end up owning money to the IRS because if you’re like me and was audited TWICE in EIGHTEEN MONTHS with your small time business and told your expenses weren’t legitimate then the little bit you made, you had to pay THEM.

So, yes, personal training IS expensive.  I have been called crazy more than once.  The truth is I could very well train “under the table.” I could charge minimal amounts of money, not let the facility know I was training, not keep up my certification, not be insured and make people really SORE (because that’s how you know it’s working, right?) and then everyone’s happy.

Until someone gets hurt.  Or realizes that results go far beyond fitting into a bikini for summer.

Because when I train, it’s REALLY personal.

IMG_0149We live in a world where we all want “it” and we want it FAST.  The question I always get asked is if I can guarantee results and how many training sessions a person will need before they can get into a size “x.” The truth is I cannot guarantee anything (and I have said this before) unless someone hires me 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  I could kill a person an hour a day for seven days and they could kill their results by eating at the Pizza Hut for two hours a day every day and going to happy hour afterwards.  And results depend on what condition a person arrives to me in and how hard they are willing to work.  There is NO WAY I could work a former college athlete who has only been out of school six months the way I would work a former college athlete who has been out of school thirty years.  Personal training is about establishing a relationship first.

I know A LOT of things about my clients and it’s not because they IMG_0251filled it out on their intake form.  I know their strengths.  I know what exercises they hate.  I know their injuries; physical and mental.  I know what situations cause them stress.  I know when to push.  I know when to back off.  I know when to send an extra email or text.  I know when to add weight.  I know when we need to do extra cardio.  I know when to suggest.  I know when to shut up.  I know their struggles.  This doesn’t come from counting.  This comes from genuine support, accountability, learning to interact with people not your own ego, understanding basic training knowledge with some creativity thrown in there (I can rock a push up 100 ways but it’s still a push up) and being understanding.  Everyone doesn’t need to do burpees.  Everyone doesn’t need to be “beast mode” all of the time.  Everyone doesn’t need you to push them “physically” as far as they can go starting with the first session.  People need the space to grow so they can learn to push mentally.  And then the physical comes.

People are quick to make the decision about personal training based on price.  The truth is if my life depended on it (and, a lot of times, the people who reach out to me are in that situation) there isn’t a dollar amount that could keep me from connecting with someone who could help me sort thiIMG_0206ngs out.  But I think there is such a misconception about, not just me as a trainer (because I am more than just a personal trainer, not just by certifications but by heart) but about personal trainers in general and we are discredited for what we do because there are so many people out there devaluing what we work so hard to keep professional.  We make it look easy because we’ve found our groove but for every trainer you see (at least in the gym where I work), we know our stuff.  We value our clients and their time.  We don’t balloon prices for the sake of making our services out of reach to the common person.  I, personally, have trained LOTS of people for free and have scholarship slots available for EVERY PROGRAM I have ever had.  But until a person really sees value in something for themselves, money is just an excuse to not the face the real issue:

It’s not thaIMG_0214t important.  It’s not of value.

And people leave training all of the time and say they’ll do it on their own because they miss the “connection” of personal training.  They aren’t willing to do the work in between sessions.  They aren’t willing to tap into the resources of the trainer, seeing them as just the “help” or the “dumb jock” who can’t possibly know what they are really going through in the “real life” and how could they make it to the gym and get cardio done when stuff is happening around them?  But we have lives too.  And we’ve been there too.  And a lot of us choose this profession because we believe in helping people find solutions to make it work for THEIR life.  But people quit before the relationship hits that groove because, well, they learned how to use the squat press on their own and that’s all they need.  And it isn’t.  It really isn’t.

What costs have you taken on to change your life?  And would you be willing to make the investment (gym membership, personal training, boot camp) if it meant an upgrade in the quality of your life? Evaluate your wants and your willingness this week and see if your dollars line up.

Photo Aug 13, 8 44 09 PM

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Speedform Apollo

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