Now that you’ve joined or rejoined the gym (it’s January after all), why not hire a personal trainer? That’s what I’ve been saying to my husband, who finally made good on his intentions to get back in shape by signing on at a local health club. With someone to be accountable to at least once a week, he’s more apt to not poop out or lose interest in fitness by mid-February, like many January gym joiners do.
But at roughly $40 to $100 per hour, which can seem especially steep after the holidays, personal trainers aren’t cheap. Fortunately, there’s a more affordable option that sounds like even more fun: Semi-personal training. According to IDEA Health & Fitness Association, 84 percent of personal trainers surveyed offered their services in a group setting, with three to five clients a time, with each person paying just $15 to $20 per hour.
Of course, this sort of training isn’t one-on-one. The trainer won’t be able to give you as much personal attention or even modify your workout every time. The upside? You’re likely to get a level of support, encouragement, and inspiration from your fellow exercisers that can be more motivating than exercising alone. It may just the ticket to keep you coming back for more. I love group exercises but heck, I’m thinking about signing up for group personal training sessions too.
When you’re shopping for a semi-personal trainer, check for candidates at your local health club or visit the American Council on Exercise at acefitness.org and get references from the trainer’s customers. Ask about the trainer’s qualifications, education, certifications, and experience. Do a gut check too. You should feel comfortable with him/her. The trainer should also have experience training someone your age and fitness level.
Get the lowdown on your fitness buddies if you don’t know them. Ideally, they should share your fitness level and your exercise goals. If you’ve got three or four fitness-minded friends, consider forming your own semi-personal training group and finding a certified trainer who can best meet your group’s goals and expectations.