Get in Shape for 65% Less
What I'll be sharing with you in my column this week is going to upset a lot of personal trainers. I'm going to tell you how to manipulate the system, so you can cut the cost of using a personal trainer by over 50%. It's not about working out less. It's about scheduling the right type of workout, at the right times.
Let's start with an important fact. You're going to have to workout more than 3 or 4 sessions.
Imagine walking into a dance class and telling the instructor, "I'd like to learn how to dance in 3 sessions, can you do that for me?" The obvious answer is no. But that doesn't stop people from calling up a personal trainer and expecting to get miraculous results in a week.
The first time you meet with a trainer, you're not going to be working out. That initial meeting is (or should be) dedicated to paperwork and questions. That’s the time where a trainer should be learning about your needs, goals, abilities and limitations. Only after learning about you can a trainer design an appropriate workout program. Most of the time trainers will give you that consultation free.
Once you're ready to start training, here's how to schedule things so you only pay for the essentials, while still getting the full benefit.
Step One: Find a trainer that understands how to conduct half-hour sessions. The majority of people can get an effective and rigorous workout in 30 minutes, but you've got to get a trainer who understands how to build an appropriate program for that time frame. In the past, trainers only booked hour-long appointments, but much of that time was spent preparing for the actual work. Trainers who regularly book 30-minute sessions know how to get you through in a way that's both efficient and challenging.
Step Two: Have your trainer instruct you on a warm-up for your particular situation. Once you know what that warm-up is, you should do that on your own time, before your workout. You don't need to pay a trainer to stand over you while you get ready.
Step Three: Have your trainer build an appropriate cardio program and then get to it. You might take part in a session while they explain the details of specific machines, or even a session or two for more complex aerobic workouts, but after that, you should be able to do it on your own. A trainer doesn't have to watch every time you step on a treadmill, stair stepper or bike. Schedule your cardio workouts on two or three of your off days, perhaps Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Step Four: Ask for a workout that includes a session or two with a trainer, and a session or two you can complete on your own. For example, you might workout on Tuesday and Thursday with a trainer, but then take a third workout and do it on your own Saturday. Your trainer should give you a workout sheet with the exercises so you can fill them out. (Use the trainers at WeBeFit and we build you a digital workout that you can track on your smartphone. It includes videos of all the exercises and even tracks your previous workouts and personal bests!)
When you're done, bring the sheet back (or simply track your workout with our software) to your trainer and make any notes of things you didn't understand. That kind of program is best for people who spent a few sessions learning appropriate movements, but that can happen in as little as 6-12 sessions.
So let's break down what you'll get done and how much you'll save.
You workout 5 or 6 days a week. Tuesday and Thursday you'll use a trainer, but because you're warming up for 15 minutes on your own, you're getting a 45-minute workout for the price of a 30-minute session.
On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you'll come in to do the cardio program your trainer outlined. If you do a program called intervals, you'll be in and out of the gym in less than 45 minutes and have an intense fat-burning workout completed.
On Saturday you'll take the workout your trainer built and follow that on your own. It'll typically take longer without guidance, but you should still be able to finish within an hour.
All totaled, you'll have worked out for 5 or 6 days, an average of 45 minutes each day, while only having to pay a trainer for two 30-minute sessions. You get the advantage of expert advice without having to pay for hours of time.
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CAUTION: Check with your doctor before
beginning any diet or exercise program.