Where Does Personal Training take Place?
Today, thankfully there are many opportunities to get fit with a personal trainer. Personal trainers initially were only found in gym settings where a majority of them are still employed or are independent contractors. But you can also find personal trainers in just about any setting imaginable from your home to theirs, your place of work to where you live.
In a large gym setting you can expect to find personal trainers varying in experiences and specialties. A membership specialist should be able to help you best find a personal trainer to match your needs and preferences. Personal trainers have many different arrangements with fitness centers regarding their employment, rates the charge, how money is collected and so on. Typically in a gym setting, you will most likely pay for their services through the health club and deal directly with the personal trainer to schedule your sessions. In most settings, you will pay for one session, a package of sessions or a monthly rate for a set number of sessions whether you use them or not.
In Your Home
Because personal trainers realize that convenience is an important factor when it comes to getting fit, as is avoiding an intimidating gym, personal trainers make house calls. This also allows a personal trainer to start their own business without the large outlay of investment dollars for a brick and mortar building stocked with state of the art equipment. By coming to your home, you save time, however you should expect to pay a premium over the standard rate for the convenience to you and the cost to the trainer in time and expense to travel. Training in your home is of course convenient and can produce equally as good results as working out in a large gym. You do not need to make a large investment in equipment. For around one hundred dollars you can secure a fit ball, bands, a mat and some dumbbells. That’s enough to get you started and in time you may want to expand to include cardiovascular equipment and other functional training equipment such as medicine balls or balance equipment. Some of the disadvantages of working with a personal trainer in your home include distractions such as pets, children or the phone.
Small studios are the fastest growing segment of the personal training field. Because large family oriented fitness centers can be intimidating or you may simply prefer the privacy and comfort of a smaller space, personal training studios are popping up in every town USA. Again, a small studio allows the personal trainer to start out on their own without a large investment, but gives them the opportunity to provide a personalized and specialized service to clients. Small studios may only accommodate as little as one client per session, or may fit up to 3 or 4 per session. Some have small rooms for a client and a trainer and others are an open area to accommodate several trainers and clients at once. Again, you can expect equally as good results as you could get in any other location with a personal trainer, however the sense of “personal” plays a larger role when you are dealing with a smaller facility that only specializes in personal training. You may find the rates to be lower in a smaller studio as they have lower operating costs or they may be higher because of the personalized and specialized attention you receive. The drawbacks are that there may be limited availability if the studio is busy or there may not be a match between you and the trainer and there may not be others available.
Fitness began in the great outdoors, and then was brought indoors under florescent lights and put people on a revolving treadmill. Many personal trainers enjoy providing fitness programming for individuals and groups outdoors. They are most popular in warmer clients and offered seasonally in colder climates; however, you may be able to find snow shoeing classes and the like if you look hard enough. Some personal trainers offer running, cycling or aqua programs outdoors for cardiovascular exercise. You can also find fitness boot camps in just about any town. Fitness boot camps can be for women only, co-ed, for seniors or children. Boot camps incorporate strength, cardio, flexibility, agility, speed and balance and may also incorporate Pilates, martial arts or yoga. Classes like Tai Chi, strollersize and other mommy and me classes can also be found outdoors. Being outside is enjoyable as many people spend most of their time indoors. Both the benefit and the downside to exercising outdoors is the weather. The personal trainer should have a back up plan in the event of inclement weather.
90% of all large corporations offer some corporate fitness benefit. That may come in the form of a credit towards a fitness center, personal trainer or in an on-site personal training studio. When a corporation has a fitness center on site, it should be staffed by a personal trainer for liability reasons. The company may provide a 100% benefit to the employee by allowing them to use the facility for free or they may subsidize it by providing a discounted membership. The personal training rates are typically reduced in a corporate setting compared to what you would find in a commercial health club. Obviously having the fitness center at your place of work provides convenience and affordability. Some may see exercising with co-workers as advantageous and enjoyable while others might not have the same preference. Personal trainers who work in corporate settings tend to have degrees for liability reasons. Many times, corporate centers are managed by larger corporate management companies rather than the company itself. The personal trainers in corporate centers are usually there full time with a salary and benefits which means they are more financially secure and likely to stay longer and service your needs. In corporate setting, there typically are contests, incentive programs, seminars and support that help you to stay motivated. The only down side might be getting sweaty during the day and not having enough time to workout and shower on a lunch break. Others may not be comfortable exercising with co-workers and others get very competitive with co-workers.
Recreation / Community centers
Places like the YMCA, YWCA and JCC’s are found around the country and are known for their family programming. They all provide personal training as well as child care and programming for everyone from infants to seniors. Personal trainers are typically qualified with at least one national certification and are priced at fair market value. There are usually a large amount of choices of equipment and amenities. Your personal trainer may use all areas of the facility for your conditioning from the gym floor to the pool to the basketball court to the outdoor grounds. Working out with a personal trainer at a community center gives you the chance for your children to grow up knowing you exercise and set a good example for them. Having your child engage in the community exercise programs while you personal train helps them to build a wonderful foundation for a lifetime of exercise. Some of the disadvantages are that they may become over crowded or may not have updated equipment, but this is not in the majority of cases. You also have to enjoy having children around you – not necessarily on the fitness floor, but they may be found in many areas around the center.
Universities have beautiful fitness centers many of which may be open to public membership. As students and faculty, the university health clubs are typically subsidized by the school and are very affordable. Universities tend to have state of the art equipment, ample parking and provide a fun atmosphere where you can likely see students training for their sports. The disadvantage is that they may be supervised by students rather than an experienced fitness professional. The sports teams may have the gym reserved for certain hours and they may close down during school breaks.
Hospital fitness centers started as rehab areas for the patients. As patients graduated from their rehab programs they were very comfortable going to the hospital for their exercise programs and they wanted to continue on there rather than go to a commercial gym. As hospitals realized the important benefits of providing a fitness outlet for their employees who worked long shifts, had poor eating habits and could use an outlet to relieve stress and re-energize, fitness and wellness centers began to be budgeted for in hospitals. Some hospitals open up their wellness centers to the community; others are for employees, patients and outpatients. You can be guaranteed that those fitness professionals supervising the wellness centers are highly qualified. Hospital wellness centers typically provide many opportunities to participate in seminars and medically supervised programs such a heart health and weight loss. A down side might that be that you could be exercising along with rehab patients which you may not find inspirational and motivational to you. The energy may not be the same as you would find in a traditional health club.
Spas / Medical Clinics / Physical Therapy
Personal trainers are also found working along side nurse care practitioners, doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors and at spas. Personal trainers are being seen as an integral part of a wellness team and compliment services provided by other allied health professionals.
On-line / Over the phone
Personal trainers are now also available virtually. An online personal trainer may or may not ever meet you in person. Ideally find a personal trainer who you can meet in person, to see if you are a match, to have the opportunity to meet in person if need be, to be assessed and to check in for fitness assessments. Once you have had a session or two with the personal trainer, you should expect to receive new workouts electronically. Some personal trainers customize the programs for you which would be ideal and others have generic programs for body parts, levels of fitness or specialty training goals. Workouts can be sent to your phone, iPod or computer. They can be accessed anywhere in the world you are. Once you have a workout from your trainer, it should be yours to keep. You can rotate exercise routines and ask your trainer for feedback. Some personal trainers will compliment online training workouts with phone coaching. The advantages are the cost and the convenience. The disadvantages are not meeting the trainer in person, not having as much accountability and relying more on self motivation.
Overall with some investigating, you can find both the personal trainer and the personal training setting that is going to best match your preferences, needs and goals. There is no excuse not to exercise when you think of all of the options to find a personal trainer near you.