Personal training: a waste of money or a sensible investment?

I regularly see members in the gym who do their training alongside a personal trainer . This monitors the execution of the movements, motivates them to complete the last repetitions and is available for all questions about fitness and nutrition. Actually a very practical matter, but with us you have to shell out 30 euros for half an hour of personal training. And that is still relatively cheap compared to other personal trainers who, at the customer’s request, come home or to any place and at any time.

Personal training is definitely more expensive than a monthly fee in the gym and yet many people are willing to bear the higher costs in favor of more effective training . But what advantages does 1: 1 training offer compared to independent training? Is it worth the investment or is personal training at all or is the whole thing actually a waste of money?

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Personal training: only for the unmotivated?

One might actually think: Why do I need personal training when I can get free training plans in the gym? So you can make an appointment with a trainer at regular intervals and, depending on your training goal, have an individual training plan created. This is not personal training because you then do the exercises all by yourself, but basically you don’t need a trainer by your side.

So is personal training only for the unmotivated, who permanently need someone by their side, who drives them, motivates them or even “forces” them to train? Well, having a fixed appointment with your personal trainer is definitely motivating. After all, it is not so easy to avoid exercising because of some flimsy excuses. However, motivation is not the only reason in favor of personal training. Because there are greater differences between training in the gym and an individual 1: 1 training.

Gym vs. Personal training

Not all training is the same. This is not primarily about the differences between fitness studio, personal training or other training methods, but rather about the individuality of each individual athlete . Depending on which goal you pursue with the training, there are different requirements that also require different concepts to ensure optimal training .

So the first question is whether you can get closer to your training goals by training in the gym or by doing more intensive individual training with a personal trainer. The main differences between the two training methods are described in more detail below.

The fitness studio is the central point of contact for those with sporty ambitions who primarily want to exercise regularly and keep fit. Whether equipment or endurance training, exercises in the free weight area or courses in groups – in the fitness studio, sport is in the foreground as a balance to the stressful everyday working life. At the same time, socializing in the group and the exchange with like-minded people are promoted.

The main difference between the gym and personal training is that the trainers in a gym are always responsible for several members at the same time. So you have to try to meet the different needs of the members equally. It is logical that the individual needs of each individual can only be addressed to a limited extent. This is expressed e.g. in fixed opening and supervision times, as well as given dates for courses.

Of course, the fitness trainers of a studio are at your side with questions and problems and also work out new training plans. However, the training itself usually takes place in personal responsibility . You can also book individual training with a personal trainer in the gym, but you have to pay extra for it.

Many people are overwhelmed by the independent training that you have to motivate yourself to do. This has nothing to do with weakness, but is a consequence of everyday stress, deadline pressure and family obligations, in which the motivation to exercise often falls by the wayside. Health and fitness are becoming increasingly important for many people, so that they would like to be more sporty, more balanced and more stress-resistant.

Often, however, the time, the desire and the motivation to get up early in the morning or late in the evening after work on the way to the gym are simply missing. Especially when you train alone and have no support from a training partner, you tend to opt for the more convenient alternative. A lot is done wrong with training, as there is often a lack of knowledge about which training leads to the desired goals. In most cases, you stick to standard exercises on the equipment and do a bit of moderate endurance training, rarely going to your performance limits or working out properly. In addition, the exercises on machines are almost always not carried out correctly. So you may train for a few weeks and then quickly lose motivation if the hoped-for effects do not set in or even physical complaints occur due to incorrect execution .

So there are two main reasons that speak against a conventional fitness studio: The time factor and the individuality of the training . Instead of having to travel long distances to the training facility, to the equipment, in the changing room or shower, the personal trainer comes to the place where you are. Whether at home, in the office, outdoors or in the hotel – the personal trainer depends entirely on the customer’s schedule. This individual appointment at practically any place and at any time leads to a high level of flexibility that no gym can compete with.

However, booking a personal trainer not only brings flexibility in terms of time and location, but also financial flexibility. Instead of being tied to a gym with long contract periods and possibly throwing money out of the window, you are guaranteed to get something for your money with personal training.

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Another essential difference is that a personal trainer works out tailor-made fitness programs that are very individually tailored to the goals and organizational conditions of the customer. Those who want to prepare for a marathon, of course, need different training than someone who works in the office and simply wants to do something for their back through regular exercise.

A personal trainer not only designs training plans, but also accompanies his customers during the training phase and looks after them in the areas of exercise, nutrition, relaxation and all health issues.

The individual training on the mutually agreed dates thus follows a holistic approach in which the personal trainer focuses on the individual customer throughout the entire time. Compared to the gym, 1: 1 training naturally leaves much more room for adapted exercises that are specifically geared to the characteristics of the person exercising. For a personal trainer, the goals and the well-being of the customer are the focus of his work. This enables the desired training effects to be achieved in the shortest possible time.

The personal trainer creates the training plan, monitors the training and often trains together with his client. The permanent training support promotes motivation, while the initial euphoria when training on your own quickly fizzles out. In such low phases, a personal trainer pays off, who drives and pushes you again and again. At the same time, the presence of the professional trainer reduces the risk of training injuries or demotivation due to overconfidence and too hard training.

In addition to flexibility, competent advice, tailor-made training units, discretion and motivational power, a personal trainer must also demonstrate empathy and constantly adapt to the individual needs of each individual customer. Comparably individual and holistic support is practically impossible in a fitness studio.

Personal training: What to look out for

There are many personal trainers, but how do you find a good trainer who also has the technical competence to develop suitable training concepts. Since the professional title of personal trainer is not protected, anyone can in principle call themselves that. It is all the more important to expose the black sheep.

The best way to do this is to check qualification . You should not be afraid to ask in advance what training the trainer has completed, to have them shown and, if necessary, to google for the trainer. There are many meaningful training courses that make a good personal trainer. These range from a degree in sports science, advanced training to become a fitness trainer and, last but not least, many years of experience in the field of sports.

Due to the relatively high hourly prices, which vary between 30 and 150 euros, it is advisable when selecting a suitable trainer to provide information about references and basic qualifications and compare the offers. As a rule, however, personal trainers score in terms of competence and qualification, as they have many years of experience and practice in the fitness area and are experts in several areas.

Most personal trainers are self-employed, but, as mentioned at the beginning, there are also personal training offers in fitness studios. Whether employed trainers in the fitness studio have comparable extensive experience as qualified personal trainers cannot be generalized. What is certain, however, is that a personal trainer deals much more intensively with his customers and that individual support and responding to personal needs are in the foreground.

This not only ensures highly efficient training , but also ensures continuous adaptation and optimization of the training.

Run of a personal training

If you have decided on a personal trainer , you can benefit from the time and location flexibility of this individual training right at the first meeting. Because an experienced personal trainer offers his services at different locations, depending on where the customer wants to train. This can be at home, in the woods, in the office or in a gym. Some trainers even accompany the trainee to their vacation spot on request. In addition to the location, you can also choose the time of the training. The personal trainer adapts to the customer’s schedule. This can lead to unusual training times in the very early morning or late evening.

Another advantage of personal training: The purchase of expensive equipment extra for the training the customer is spared. Because the personal trainer usually brings all the equipment required for training to the desired training location. If you make an appointment to train in a gym, the necessary equipment is already available there.

To create an individual training concept, the personal trainer first needs information about wishes and goals of the trainee , according to which he then aligns the content of the training. These can e.g. Weight reduction, body toning, muscle building or stress reduction. A detailed consultation is the be-all and end-all before any training and should be non-binding.

After the trainer and the customer have decided to work out together, the next step is a fitness check. This gives the personal trainer information about the health status of the trainee. If there are health restrictions , you should mention them in the preliminary discussion and then coordinate the training with your doctor if necessary.

Based on the results of the fitness check and taking into account the individual training goals of the customer, the personal trainer creates an individual training plan . The aim of such a plan should always be to bring body, soul and spirit (again) into harmony and to pursue a holistic approach. Such a training concept is characterized by the harmony of the three pillars exercise, nutrition and relaxation, since all three factors are always directly related. In addition to an efficient training plan, a balanced nutrition plan should also be part of the training program, as well as sufficient regeneration phases. This is the only way to achieve optimal and effective training success.

Since personal trainers focus exclusively on the goals, needs and the schedule of their customers, the entire training is highly individual and flexible . A good personal trainer knows how to motivate, offers everything from a single source and also gives helpful tips on how to do the training without his supervision.

You should always feel that you are in good hands with a personal trainer, have fun with your training and feel the good feeling of physical activity.

Advantages of personal training at a glance

  • High flexibility: You determine the time and place of the training yourself
  • Fewer excuses thanks to fixed appointments with the trainer
  • 1: 1 training: Realization of personal wishes and goals
  • Competent support by a highly qualified, discreet and professional specialist
  • All areas from a single source: Exercise, nutrition and relaxation
  • Savings: No need to buy training equipment
  • Financial security: No long contract periods like in conventional fitness studios
  • More individuality: Specific training plan creation and individual support
  • Neither under- nor overstrain: Training in the individual training area
  • More self-motivation through joint training with a consistent personal trainer
  • Less risk of injury through constant training support and immediate correction
  • Up to the optimum: Optimal training planning and constant training plan optimization
  • Faster progress: Noticeable and highly efficient results thanks to goal- and success-oriented training


Personal training has long ceased to be a luxury that only the rich or celebrities can afford. Instead, individual one-to-one training has arrived not only in the gym, but also in the living room at home.

Although the costs for personal training are significantly higher than the fees in the fitness studios, many see this as a worthwhile investment in their own health and personal well-being. This does not have to mean that training in a conventional gym is less effective, but it does require a lot more self-motivation and perseverance.

Everyday stress, tight deadlines and everyday obligations can quickly lead to the fact that one is no longer able to generate the necessary motivation for regular training. You quickly get into a negative spiral made up of a lack of exercise, unhealthy diet, obesity, physical complaints and a lack of wellbeing.

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Before you get caught deeper and deeper in this spiral and can no longer find out on your own, it makes sense to invest in a personal trainer. But even healthy and normal-weight people who rely on flexibility and individuality in their training are in the best of hands with a personal trainer. Training together with a competent specialist is easier for many than training alone. The holistic training concept promotes health and fitness through more exercise, a healthier diet and increased relaxation ability. You learn to deal better with stress, to relax and recharge your batteries in order to be fit for everyday tasks at work, in the family or in your free time.

Thanks to the individual support from the personal trainer , training successes are more effective and visible more quickly. A fit body not only increases motivation, it also contributes to a better quality of life and joie de vivre. You just feel fit again in your body, benefit from a healthier lifestyle and make sport an indispensable part of life. If a personal trainer achieves this goal, they have done a good job.

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