I have come to realize that there is something wrong with the industry that I have such a passion for. Quality personal training has become far too expensive for the average working class American. I am a personal trainer whose clients consist of professional athletes, soccer moms, children, wounded warriors, and even older adults. My clients typically pay around one hundred dollars a session. It is very important to me that my clients achieve the results they are after based on the goal we set during our initial consultation. Frequency of training is critical to the success of any exercise program. My clients need at least three sessions a week to elicit the body composition change they desire over a twelve-week period and even more time to solidify their new lifestyle patterns to avoid regression back to the previous normal. Many of the clients that can pursue such a program are relatively wealthy and have enough time flexibility to ensure program adherence. The problem is for those that are regular working class people who desire the same type of help with their fitness goals. Some people can find less expensive training, but in most cases, it is either with a gym owner or a new trainer that will quickly realize that they are not able to make a living providing training at that price. I have been approached by many good people for training that I have not been able to help due to schedule conflicts or their inability to financial support this type of program throughout it’s necessary duration. I think there is a real problem when an industry becomes inaccessible to most the population it is here to serve. My goal is to find a way to change that in a way that allows trainers like myself to help any working-class American that desires a change while also not compromising the trainer’s ability to make a reasonable living.
First off, I need to point out that I think good personal training is well worth the price. As expensive as personal training may seem; the value a client gets from quality training far outweighs the price in the end. What value would you put of quality of life, increased confidence, and the feeling of accomplishing a difficult goal with a professional guiding, motivating and educating along the way? I didn’t even mention the development of new health habits and decreasing the risk of developing a chronic disease. I think that is worth more than a shopping spree or a few new toys. Getting fit will allow you to enjoy those other nice things much better and for much longer than you could being less fit. Certified personal trainers are taught to understand how to safely navigate a client through the scientific process of causing the body to adapt desired changes and developing habits that support an ability to maintain those changes and even shoot for new goals. Designing effective client specific programs and educating the client along the way about the significance of every activity towards their goal are hallmarks of a good trainer. Even trainers use trainers because there is nothing like having someone supporting you that understands your body and helps to hold you accountable as you push through tough spots. In a world where people are becoming more and more isolated it’s hard to pin down the value of this type of positive support accompanied with scientific know how. That’s assuming you have a good trainer of course. The value is clear for those that can afford it. Although the value is there, this type of support is nonetheless too expensive for many hard-working Americans. Let’s look a little deeper into why this is the case.
I think we can all agree that expansive technological advancements over the past fifty years played a huge role in shaping the society we live in today. The ability to automate many processes that once required massive manual labor resulted in a world where everyday people can afford to own high tech computers, entertainment systems, and vehicles that were considered luxury items for the rich and famous in the recent past. Most of us are unaware of the true reality of inflation now days because businesses are constantly finding ways to lower cost through the implementation of more efficient technology and automation processes. This keeps prices relatively low in the face of inflation, but can be abused for the sake of increasing profit margin which often leads to lower quality products for us. Greed leads to a compromised product quality; however, the effective application of technology is capable of lowering cost with minimal effect on quality if the company truly values its customers.
The personal training industry seems to have missed the technology boat for the most part in my observation. Therefore, inflation is clearly seen in the price trainers must charge clients for personal training to be a viable career. The cost of human labor cannot be hidden. The more time and effort a person puts into a task, the more compensation that is required to make up for the time and energy lost. Therefore, companies outsource labor or use people that have no other choices for employment due to unfortunate life struggles. We’ve come to a point where companies are unable to pay fair wages for labor while simultaneously keeping their prices affordable and competitive. Most trainer like myself gravitate to this career because we are passionate about health, fitness, and helping people. Quality trainers are also quality people that have options in life and will usually move on from the career before allowing their families to live in poverty. Consequently, quality trainers must charge the true cost of labor to do what they love. This is also why the turnover rate is so high in personal trainers and many time the quality is low because the trainers must spend more time focused on producing income and less time perfecting their craft and designing quality programs.
Trainers can avoid these problems if they just focus on high end clientele with plenty of time and money on their hands. That works out well for both parties involved; however, where does that leave the working-class citizen that makes up the backbone of this great country? I think they deserve access to quality personal training and I think this is where modern technology can be employed to create systems that allow everyday people the opportunity to get low cost quality personal training. It’s time that personal training steps into the technological age and connect good trainers with people who need their services but don’t have an extra $1,200 a month to invest in their health. I’ve come up with a system that allows me to extend my services to clients at a fraction of the cost I must charge for traditional sessions with very little compromise in individual attention and no compromise in the quality of programming compared with traditional clients.
I am now offering online training with the use of technology that allows me to maintain constant communication, progress tracking, and program control with clients anywhere in the country. I customize their programs based on their needs and goal, which they can access when they log into an app on their phone. I can see when a workout is completed and adjust based on feedback. My clients have access to instructional videos linked to every exercise on their program and the app will keep time during interval training during the cardio portions of their workout. The client also has the freedom to pick their workout time and place while maintaining the flexibility to make last minute changes if needed. We also track before and after photos and measurement based on their goals and schedule skype conversations when needed. Yes; the client does miss out on the comfort of having their trainer physically there during each workout encouraging them in person and cueing their form. I agree that this is the downside of online training, but I don’t think it is enough of a downside to offset the fact that their cost per session in now around $10 a session as opposed to the $100 a session paid by in-person clients. Adequate technological systems make this a win for all parties involved in my opinion. This allows me to work with many more clients than normally would be able to and removes the high price barrier that previously separated me from most deserving working class clients. In-person training is still the best option the optimum personal training experience, but thanks to technology we have a viable solution to the problem of expensive personal training for the everyday person. It takes a lot of work to create an effective system from the tools that exist, but it is a worthy investment to expand the reach of your personal training business beyond the select few. This is my opinion based on my observations, and the actions I’ve taken to present a solution. Please don’t hesitate to comment with your opinion or contact me with any questions. I am here to serve. You can find me at CoachCola.com. Until the next blog post; this is Coach Cola signing out.
I am a certified personal trainer and health coach in Jacksonville Florida that has a passion for helping people reach their fitness goals and providing affordable online training options.