Are you thinking about hiring a personal trainer, but not sure how much it costs?
To find out, we asked personal trainers to give us an inside look at how much should you expect to pay for their services.
Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach, Full Circle Fitness | Award-Winning Author | Speaker | Fitness Entrepreneur
The price range is mostly dependent on the PT’s education, experience, and ability to get results
One of the first considerations many people have when deciding to get fit or lose weight is should I hire a personal trainer? This is usually followed quickly but how much does it cost?
The truth is there is a wide range of rates when it comes to hiring a Personal Trainer and before we discuss the rates we should also discuss some other considerations to look at which largely will determine how much you should expect to pay and many people experience “sticker shock” when they see the rates of some trainers.
A common misconception that people have is that there are regulations and requirements in place with regards to becoming a Personal Trainer. However, that is not the case at least in the United States.
There is not a single state in the U.S. that has any requirements or licensing to become a personal trainer. The fact is anyone, even someone who has absolutely no education or training can become a Personal Trainer quite literally in a matter of minutes. Simply wave your magic wand, say the magic words “I am a Personal Trainer” and poof you’re a Personal Trainer!
The sad truth is there are many of these type of “Trainers” out there who have little to no knowledge of the human body, or how to effectively and safely put together a workout program to help their clients. Often this leads to the client getting no results and giving up or worse getting injured.
Add to it while there are some reputable companies that offer quality educational program or certifications (ISSA, NASM, ACE, AFFA, ACSM and NCSA to name a few) there are just as many companies that offer “certifications” where you simply take an online test that even a monkey could pass. Thus, even having a certification doesn’t mean that a person is qualified.
What does this have to do with the cost? A lot. Simply put when it comes to the rates you can expect to pay for a personal trainer are largely dependent on their education, experience, and ability to get results.
Put another way you get what you pay for and much like a Rolls Royce or Porsche costs more than a Yugo you should expect to pay a higher rate for high quality, experienced, knowledgeable trainer.
So what is the range? Well to be fair it varies widely based on the factors already mentioned, as well as the type of training involved. Geographic area also comes in to play with rates in bigger cities such as New York or Los Angeles being higher than say a smaller city or town.
That said, I’ve seen rates as low as $10/hour and as high as $250/hour and as mentioned you largely get what you pay for. Why such a wide range?
Well at the lower end of the spectrum are the people who don’t have experience or knowledge and more often than not are desperate to get clients and hope to do so by lowering their price often to ridiculous levels. Because in many cases they don’t know what they are doing they can’t retain the clients they do get and keep dropping their rate.
On the other side are the super-premium trainers who specialize in a specific area and who have a significant amount of knowledge, expertise, and experience. For example, there are trainers who specialize in working with Post Cardiac or Cancer Patients. There are trainers who focus on those with debilitating diseases such as Cerebral Palsy or MS. And there are trainers who focus on post-injury rehabilitation and the like.
Because they are so specialized they can (and should ) charge more for their services and its’ not uncommon to see rates well above $100/hr and up.
Most people generally fall somewhere in the middle. They are looking for a Coach/Trainer who can, not just give them a workout to do, but show them how to do it safely, effectively and without spending hours in the gym. A quality trainer will also in contact with their clients outside of the gym giving them the support they need as well as the #1 reason a person hires a trainer… The accountability they need. No quality, experienced trainer is going to do that for $10/session or even $50.
For quality, experienced trainers, you should expect to pay on average somewhere between $70 and $100/hour depending on the location, their experience and their ability to get results.
Most personal trainers offer packages either on a number of sessions or weekly/monthly basis that can reduce that amount. Personally, my base rate is a minimum of $80/hour for my services both online and in person. This rate would be for someone who is generally healthy and doesn’t need a special type of training.
I also specialize in working with those with MS, Extreme Obesity (more than 200lbs to lose) and Post Cardiac Patients which requires a significant amount of time outside the training room to prepare the workouts, co-ordinate with their medical professionals and the like and in those instances my rates can go as high as $150/hour.
So as you can see there is a wide range when it comes to what to expect to pay a personal trainer and as mentioned you largely get what you pay for. To be sure there are some excellent trainers who charge lower rates (not to mention bad trainers who charge higher) but in general, rates are largely determined by the trainer’s ability to get clients and even more so to retain their clients.
As the saying goes, “if it looks too good to be true it probably isn’t.”
A couple of side notes:
- The average career expectancy of a personal trainer is 1-2 years and I personally think that may be a bit high. I’d put it at less than a year in the 9-12 months range. Why? Most commonly because the hours suck (we work 5-10am and 3-9pm usually)
- Most people experience sticker shock when it comes to hiring a trainer. They have become used to the $10/month rate to join a gym and often equate that with the cost of a personal trainer. They have a very hard time differentiating between a gym membership (essentially renting to use the equipment) and a personal trainer (getting coached etc) There isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t get an inquiry from someone expecting the rates to be much lower than they are and I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had someone say to me something along the lines of: “But I can get a gym membership for $10/month”. My usual response is something along the lines of Yes Sir/Maam you can but all that membership gives you is access to the gym to use the equipment. Even at those gyms you have to pay extra to engage the services of a trainer and often the trainers at those big box gyms have little to no experience and you may not keep that trainer for along as the turn over rate is so high.
Personal Trainer and Nutritionist, Truism Fitness
The price depends on varying factors
A personal trainer can cost you anywhere from $30 to $150 per hour depending on varying factors.
When personal trainers set their hourly rate they take into consideration how much their clients expect to pay based on the rates in their city. A perfect example is people in Manhattan wouldn’t think twice to pay $120 per hour, but if you tried to charge that in the Bronx they would laugh at you.
Personal training is a luxury item like massages, manicures, and pedicures, or getting your hair done. Since these items are not a necessity they are the first to go if the economy starts to hurt. This is why it’s important to have a pulse on the economy and modify your pricing during harder economic times or adding more services while keeping your price the same.
Your target population differs from your local neighborhood in that different types of clientele will have different interests. For example, the pricing structure for a client building muscle will differ from an extreme weight-loss client. Understanding the prices your target audience expects to pay and that ar attainable will be crucial to your ability to foster sales.
How much it costs to train you
There are generally 3 things that factor into the costs of a personal trainer they are travel time, gym fees and equipment costs. If you want your trainer to come to your home or a facility of your choosing you should expect to pay more. The gyms that your trainer works at will generally charge the trainer to use their facility.
Bachelor’s in Exercise Science | Certified Personal Trainer | Fitness Instructor
Credentials and experience play a large role with personal trainers
Well, I feel the best way to answer this question is by saying, there are so many factors that play into the cost of a personal trainer.
First and foremost is where you live! You bet that NYC and LA personal trainers will cost a heck of a lot more than a personal trainer in Rochester, NY.
Secondly, what are the personal trainer’s credentials? Have they been training professional athletes and celebrities? Do they have a certification or do they have an actual college degree in exercise science or something related?
Credentials and experience play a large role with personal trainers. New trainers cannot charge as much as a trainer who has been in the industry for a decade with tons of positive testimonials from clients.
Thirdly, what do you want to get out of your personal trainer? If you’re looking for someone to give you new ideas and you see them once or twice a week then that will obviously cost less. But if you’re looking for a complete body overhaul with weight loss, nutrition and need more one on one attention that yes that will cost more.
Or if you’re an athlete and you’re looking to improve your game and need specific evaluations and specialized exercises and programs to enhance certain moves and movements then yes that will cost more money.
Lastly, the best way to judge how much personal trainers cost is by asking yourself how much a personal trainer means to you meeting your goals. If you’ve realized that you need help in this area of fitness/exercise and you want to hire someone to help you, how much help do you need? How committed are you to start this new healthy lifestyle?
This is not meant to be discouraging this is laying out all the facts for anyone wondering what a professional personal trainer takes into consideration when making their prices. On average a personal trainer could range from $60-$150 an hour.
Professional personal trainers put a lot of time, dedication and knowledge into the programs they create for their clients. So if you’re not getting what you want from your trainer go find a better one!
Lisa Choquette, LCPC
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Certified Mental Health Professional, and Certified Fitness Trainer | Owner of Vibrant Mind Therapeutics
The price per personal training session could vary depending on the frequency and duration of the program
This works for both the club and the client because fitness goals require commitment. There is no quick fix to get in shape. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Creating new healthy habits is the way to go and this requires a commitment to the routine.
Here is an example of a cost breakdown from when I worked at a club:
- $20/session for 3 sessions weekly X 12 months
- $25/session for 2 sessions weekly X 12 months
- $30/sessions for 1 session weekly X 12 months
Shorter contracts were about an additional $5/session and did not go less than 3 months.
To save, look for specials, which often occur seasonally. For example, you might be able to get 20 sessions for $20 each to use as you wish. This would be a great deal especially if you are already exercising, but want to change up your routine and challenge yourself. It’s also a great way to test drive personal training.
If you are hiring a personal trainer at a club, remember that the trainer might only be getting 50% of what you pay. You may be able to save money by hiring a private personal trainer, or partnering up for small group training sessions and splitting the cost.
Remember that if you take this route you should find partners with similar goals and take note of possible limitations. Your trainer will go over these factors with you during the initial assessment. The price of personal training is a wonderful investment in yourself and in the long run can save you a fortune if it’s done right!
Yoga Instructor and a mat Pilates Teacher, Kelly Bryant Wellness
The price varies a lot depending on the market
The cost of a personal trainer (or private yoga instructor, which I am), varies a lot depending on the market. In general, you should expect private training to cost about as much as a massage in your area.
I live in a small city and charge $60-90 per session. That range depends on the client’s level of commitment. The larger the package they book, the lower the price per session. My most popular package is 4 sessions for $72.50 each.
Keep in mind that when it comes to private yoga or mat Pilates (or any workout that doesn’t require equipment), it may actually be less expensive to work with someone in your own home versus at a gym or studio. Because the studio takes a cut (sometimes as much as 50%), I much prefer to train in someone’s home and charge less than they would pay the gym. I also offer digital training at the same price.
Writer for Exercise.com | Founder, Iron Fit Performance
On average, an hour of personal training ranges from $40 to $70
Before we delve into the costs of personal training services, it’s important to go over the services provided by them. To begin, personal trainers have likely invested time and money into becoming certified in different realms of fitness. Many trainers today have actually gone through college courses to build on their expertise.
When you hire a trainer, you are hiring someone to: hold you accountable to show up consistently, to build a program centered around your specific goals, to deliver that program in a way that keeps you motivated and encouraged, and to track all of your progressions throughout the life of the program.
In addition, a personal trainer will show you proper technique and form of movements, keep you injury-free, and motivate you past the point where you would usually stop on your own.
On average, an hour of personal training ranges from $40 to $70. This price is dependent upon your length of session, the number of sessions purchased, location of session, and the trainer’s expertise.
Trainers commonly offer 30, 45, or 60-minute sessions. These sessions can take place several times per week, once per week, or can be a one-time event as well.
Purchasing sessions in larger packages (such as 12 or 24 sessions) provide opportunities for discounts. Multiple sessions per week can be more advantageous for one to reach their goals faster and helps to create consistency in one’s schedule.
Costs may be higher if a trainer has to travel to a client’s home for private sessions. However, many fitness studios have trainers on staff along with a multitude of equipment available which may lessen the cost of each session.
A trainer’s expertise may increase costs as well. Highly certified trainers may command a higher hourly rate, but it’s worth the cost. Especially if you fall into a special population group – pre/post-natal, rehabilitation and/or geriatric. Many trainers need additional certifications to be able to train these populations and therefore, have a higher cost associated with it.
In order to save money on a personal trainer, you could:
- Book multiple sessions at one time. This will give you a package discount and you’ll be motivated to stay with the program.
- Consider small group sessions where you can split the cost with a few other people and pay less per session.
- Implement personal training once per week and then supplement your sessions with your own exercises on other days.
Personal Trainer | Movement Coach and Content Creator at HERO Movement
The price point depends on the location, the experience of the trainer, and the client’s goals
I’ve been a PT for several years now, working both in-person and with online clients. I started off working with the general population before specializing in functional movement and mobility.
Here’s what I’ve discovered over the years:
The price point of hiring a PT can vary quite considerably depending on a number of factors, including the location, the experience of the trainer, and the client’s goals.
At the more affordable end of the spectrum, we have Personal Trainers with less than a year’s experience, operating in a lower-income area. The client isn’t chasing a complex goal or after complex programming – they’re more than likely aiming to improve general fitness or alter their body composition.
In this scenario, we’d typically expect the PT to charge around $30-40 per session.
At the opposite end of the scale, we have specialist PTs with several years of experience, perhaps even operating in a higher-income area or targetting a more affluent clientele.
The clients are likely looking for specific goals that require a deeper skillset, such as an executive looking to maximize their physical and mental performance, or an athlete trying to rehab an injury.
Here the cost can vary widely, from $90 a session up to several hundred dollars (sometimes even into four figures).
The bottom line: The cost of hiring a PT can vary quite considerably, and usually depends on the experience of the trainer, the needs of the client, and the location.