I recently joined a new gym and with that comes with the "free session with a trainer" and while the session was informative and I can see some of the benefit of having a trainer (I committed to 12 sessions), I'm not sold on the long-term commitment, which seems like it's already in the works.

Here's a bit of background, I was a classically trained dancer. Now with meniscus repairs on both knees, I'm looking to build muscle to support my fabulously hyper-flexible joints and the regular classes I was going to aren't cutting it. While I'm a quick learner, I don't know anything about the equipment at the gym or what circuits I should be doing.

How many times a week should I be having sessions with a trainer (I plan on going to the gym 5 days a week)? And perhaps most importantly, can you offer a perspective to help justify the amount of cash I might be dropping on this?



Well, of course I am going to answer that absolutely trainers are worth the hype, but I may be a bit biased because if I said no then I would be out of a job. The real answer is it all depends on what you are hoping to gain out of having a trainer.

I have been in this business for a long time and my clients all come to me for various reasons. Some are here because they, unlike you, have absolutely no idea what to do in a gym or what their body needs and therefore would be completely wasting their time if they were to try it on their own. These clients are not looking to be ripped at the beach or run their personal best in the next marathon as all they hope to accomplish is to keep their bodies from falling apart.

Other clients are high powered executives who spend all of their days telling other people what to do.  They work high stress jobs and to them an hour in a happy environment where someone else is telling them what to do is the best medicine. They can come in and trust that they are in good hands and let someone else guide them in at least one area of their lives. I have actually been told by some that I am the only person who they allow to tell them what to do.

Then there are the clients who need me to hold them accountable. They need weekly, and sometimes daily, check-ins and reminders to do what they promised themselves they would do. Although I only see them an hour or two a week, it is my job to be in their heads throughout every hour of every day to ensure that they are making the right decisions. What we do in our sessions is just a small part of making sure they are successful.

There are a lot of other types of clients out there too. I train pro athletes who need to be strong and stay injury-free throughout their season. I train people who are in the media and require me to make sure that they stay looking their best. I help people recover from injuries, get their strength back after childbirth, and reach lifelong goals. So what is important here is that you are taking what you need from working with a trainer.

To me it sounds like you want someone to help you gain your strength back. Help lead and guide you through an ass-kicking, but safe, workout. You seem highly motivated and self-disciplined so seeing a trainer more than once a week would be a waste for you. I would recommend setting up a weekly session with a highly qualified trainer. Have them put you through a workout much harder than you would do for yourself and then get them to set a few guidelines for the remaining workouts for the week. For example, when you should do cardio and what type (intensities, durations, etc.) as well as what types of strength exercises you should be doing (reps, weight, etc.). I would suggest supplementing your own workouts with a workout app, like NTC, or going to one or two classes a week (spin, HIIT, etc.). This way you can keep yourself motivated without breaking the bank.

As for what you will pay for your sessions, it all depends on the qualifications of your trainer and the gym that you are training at as that will determine whether the trainer sets the rates or the gym sets the rate.  Either way, on the low end you are looking at around $75.00 for a one hour session and up to over $100 a session. Most trainers and fitness studios will lower the price depending on how many sessions you purchase.

A little piece of advice for you is to make sure that you are always 100% satisfied with your trainer and the service that they are giving you as you are spending a lot of money for their guidance. If at any point you are unsatisfied make sure you speak up and let your trainer know so they can make changes.  Communication between the trainer and the client is important so don’t be too shy to speak up.
Good luck!

Attached - Chloe Moretz leaving a pilates class the other day.