The case for personal trainers
‘I started having sessions with a PT to increase my strength and stamina to run my first half marathon,’ explains Dena Read, 60, a freelance construction project manager.
‘Having achieved that, I didn’t want to give up. I felt stronger, which gave me more energy for my busy life. Working as a construction project manager means I’m often spending long days on construction sites, so I need to be fit.
‘Weekly sessions now form the core of my exercise regime. The work I do is targeted to all my needs and goals, which include training for a race, managing my weight and staying fit when injured. If you told me at 50 that I’d be much fitter at 60 I wouldn’t have believed it – but I am!’
Dave explains the advantages of training with a PT: ‘The best trainers can provide a level of accountability, support and coaching unrivalled by any other fitness service.’
Hannah agrees: ‘PTs are a great way of providing some structure to your workouts, so that you have a clear pathway to achieving your goals, as well as motivating you on days when you need an extra push.’
But, warns Linda, you have to put in the work: ‘In order for a trainer to be effective, the individual still needs to make a commitment. A trainer can only get an individual motivated if they're determined to change. If they’re unwilling to make that change, it won't be a long-term solution.’
And Dave isn’t keen on the possible dependent nature of the relationship: ‘After several months of quality personal training, even the greenest beginner doesn't 'need' personal training, so it becomes a very expensive dependency.’
He believes small group training is a good middle ground.
‘Training in a small group offers all the benefits of personalised coaching, alongside the social benefits of exercising with others, as well as resulting in significant savings,’ he explains.