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How to Afford a Personal Trainer on a Tight Budget

You’ve heard about the benefits of personal training and decided that hiring a trainer sounds like a good plan. Then you took a look a look at the price tag! With private sessions running from $35 to $150 an hour, working with a trainer on a weekly basis may require a second mortgage! Are there affordable alternatives? There can be, with a bit of creative thinking. Here are some ideas:

  • Off Peak: Book your session on the off hours. Some gyms offer a reduced rate for training sessions in the mid to late afternoon. It can’t hurt to ask. If you have a trainer coming to your home, ask if there is a discount for non-prime time hours. Although she may be hesitant, if she does not normally get clients at that time of the day, she may be amicable to a compromise.
  • Shorter Sessions: Consider a shorter session. Do you really need a full hour? Some trainers use a cardio warm-up as part of their session. If you don’t have any issues with your heart, you can warm up on your own.
  • Semi Private: If you have a friend who is at a similar level of fitness, you can take a semi private session.
  • Small Group Sessions: Small Group sessions are a recent concept in the fitness industry. Groups of three or four people of a specific interest pay a reduced training rate and meet for a given number of sessions. While this can be an economical alternative, be sure that you will be able to make every session. Most of these programs do not allow make up classes.
  • Hire a Trainer in Training: Some trainers who are in the process of getting their certification. Many of them might be willing to train clients at a reduced rate. However, talk to them first and make sure that they are knowledgeable. If you have injuries and are looking for a post-rehab program, consider hiring a trainer who is going for a degree in Physical Therapy.
  • Do You Really Need a Super Star? Some gyms charge higher rates for instructors who they call “Master Trainers.” While these folks might be superb trainers, many are popular because of their star quality and charisma. Quite often, you can find an equally good or even better trainer at a lower rate.
  • Consider Bartering: Do you have a skill or service you can exchange for personal training?

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