Many people go to group exercise classes to achieve their fitness goals faster and motivate themselves to work out.
But if you need more accountability and guidance — and you’re willing to pay for it — personal trainers offer the next step up in support.
They’ll help you develop a nutrition and exercise plan that’s designed around your specific fitness goals and any injuries you have.
Because the sessions are one-on-one, personal trainers are able to correct your form more than a group fitness instructor who’s leading a whole class. This can help prevent you from getting injured — a big factor to consider when deciding if personal trainers are worth it.
Although personal training is an investment, it can help you get some amazing results (in one month, 6 months, and beyond), such as:
- Increased wellbeing
- Defined muscles and strength gains
- Weight loss
- Fewer injuries
- More motivation
- Better, healthier diet
Studies have even shown that you have a higher chance of achieving your fitness goals and losing weight with a personal trainer than you do on your own.
To learn more about the benefits of working with a personal trainer and the results you can expect, I spoke to a few fitness experts. Here’s what they had to say.
One of the first changes you’ll notice at the beginning of any new fitness routine is that you feel healthier both mentally and physically.
After about a month of personal training, fitness professional Matt Guffey said that you’ll “feel and move better.”
“All of my clients have stated that they at the very least notice a difference in how they feel and move which is ultimately the greatest metric when it comes to fitness,” he said.
Physical activity releases brain chemicals like endorphins, which can make you feel happier and less stressed.
You’ll also feel better about your appearance, stronger, and more confident after a good training session.
(Learn more about what to expect at your first personal training session here.)
If you’re new to fitness and don’t know how to structure your strength training routine for maximum gains, a personal trainer can help.
Going back to Guffey:
“With a trainer you should have clearly defined goals and intelligently planned programming geared toward achieving said goals, which is the major benefit qualified trainers provide…
“Without a trainer you risk overtraining certain muscle groups (often the chest, triceps and shoulders) and detraining others (most commonly the back, glutes, and hamstrings).”
Research has also shown that following a strength training program designed by a professional can get you better results.
A study in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine found that working with a personal trainer increases your chances of achieving your fitness goals by more than 30%.
Periodization, a training method many personal trainers use, can also decrease your body fat and increase your lean muscle mass and strength more than regular workouts.
After just 2 months of training 2 to 3 times per week, you should start to see “small cuts of muscle definition in the arms and back,” says personal trainer Marisella Villano.
After 3 to 6 months, your strength gains will be noticeable, and your body shape will begin to change as you gain more muscle definition and lose fat.
Villano says that her clients experience the most significant changes at the 1 year mark.
Guffey also said that his clients have a “huge improvement in strength gains” after a year of personal training.
“We have ‘gold standard’ strength markers that we’re always pushing towards and I’d say after a year of consistent training they will likely have reached one or more of those goals,” he said.
Although you won’t have your dream body after a month of sessions, you’ll definitely make progress and see some muscle definition. And if you stick with your training program, you’ll experience significant changes in your body composition and strength in 6 months to a year.
(Learn more about what results you can expect from lifting weights.)
Whether you want to get stronger or lose weight, a personal trainer can help you develop a nutrition plan that’s tailored to your specific goals.
Jodi Cagle said that personal trainers like herself can “offer nutritional guidance; even if they aren’t a certified nutritionist, they can point out which foods you should cut out of your diet, and which you should add.”
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is key if you want to get in better shape.
In one study, people who exercised for 21 weeks but didn’t change their eating habits only lost 6 pounds on average.
Experts say weight loss is 25% exercise and 75% diet. Your personal trainer can help you nail both to maximize your results.
Studies have shown that personal trainers can help you get to your goal weight faster than you could on your own.
In one study, overweight participants who worked with a health coach for 24 weeks lost an average of 9% of their body weight, with half of them losing 10% or more.
People who got paired up with a peer for support only shed 6% of their body weight, suggesting that guidance from a professional can accelerate your results.
When I asked her how much weight you can expect to lose in your first few months of training, fitness blogger and personal trainer Jenny Abouobaia told me:
“Depending on the clients starting condition I would expect them to lose 3 pounds per week in the first month which will taper off during the next 6 months.
“At 6 months they should be at their target weight and be in such a condition that they can easily handle a more advanced work out session.
“Moving on to the year, we would be targeting specific areas that are weaker and by the end of the year their tone, size, weight and condition should be beyond their initial goal.”
So if you watch what you eat and book a few personal training sessions per week, you could reach your goal weight in as little as 6 months and exceed it within a year.
Bad form is one of the most common causes of fitness injuries. A personal trainer can show you how to perform exercises properly so you don’t get hurt.
They can also help you modify exercises to work around any existing injuries you have.
Marisella Villano says:
“Good form and efficient movement (or biomechanics) will assist in injury prevention. Also, the average person does not really understand the benefits of periodization.
“All athletes train with periodization, which is a cyclical progression and regression of exercise. This is essential for optimal performance and injury prevention.”
Periodization is basically a training method that involves switching up your workout at regular intervals to challenge your body.
If you’re lifting weights, for example, your trainer might increase the number of reps you do or the amount of weight you lift after a certain period of time to help you progress and gain strength.
Periodization also incorporates rest so that you’re not overworking your body. This helps prevent injury and improves your athletic performance.
It can be tough to properly structure your workouts on your own, which is why it’s so helpful to have a personal trainer who can develop them for you.
If you’ve ever made a New Year’s resolution to exercise regularly only to fail a month later, you know how hard it is to maintain a consistent workout routine and stay motivated.
Your personal trainer can give you the support you need to achieve your fitness goals.
You’ll have someone cheering you on every step of the way, which will motivate you to keep going even when things get tough.
Going back to Abouobaia:
“When starting out or if you are going through a difficult time, having the appointment with the personal trainer will really help to keep you on track and not miss valuable workout sessions or slip off the diet plan.”
It’s especially helpful to have a trainer at the beginning of your fitness journey when you’re more likely to fall off the wagon.
It takes about eight or nine weeks for a new habit to stick. A personal trainer can hold you accountable and keep you motivated until exercise becomes an ingrained part of your routine.
Personal training sessions cost $40 to $70 on average, which is a pretty big investment considering you’ll need to go several times per week to get the best results.
But if you’re serious about achieving your fitness goals and have failed on your own in the past, having a personal trainer to motivate you may be worth the cost.
In just a few months, a personal trainer can help you lose weight, gain strength, tone up, develop a healthy diet, and more.
However, you’ll have to fully commit to the program to get results. Personal trainers can guide you in your fitness journey, but they can’t do the hard work for you.
Before you go, see more guides like this one:
Hope this helps!