Personal Trainer Pricing Guide

Your complete guide for understanding personal training prices nationally and locally in Jacksonville, FL

One of the most common questions I get asked is “How much does Personal Training cost?” 

It’s a good question, and unless you charge a flat rate, which I don’t, it’s not always the easiest to answer.

I get asked this so much so that I decided to create a guide to help not only answer that question, but help in the decision making process for hiring a trainer. Because if hiring a Personal Trainer was simply a matter of price, then we’re all pretty much the same and surely the lower the price the better, right?

In my experience, that’s never actually the case, both with training and in life (you wouldn’t use that logic when buying a car, phone, or anything really – would you?)

 What matters most when hiring a personal trainer- at a glance

Before I get into things, I want to give you the three biggest considerations you need to look at before price should even enter into your head. They are:

1. Qualifications

2. Reputation

3. Personality/Training Approach

Quite simply this boils down to who are you hiring? We’ll dive more into this in a little bit, but keep that in mind as we talk about prices.

General Personal Training Pricing Industry-Wide Per Hour

Typically, the industry average for a Personal Trainer is between $40-70 an hour, with prices being as low as $15/hr and as high as $120+/hr. 

This is also typically the average for trainers in gyms or studios, so be aware that this is on top of a gym membership.

For private In-Home Trainers, the average is a bit higher at $60-100 an hour, with sessions easily getting closer to the $100+ side more often than not. With the advanced level of attention and care, this is generally justifiable. I say generally because again, it all comes down to who you are hiring.

Most trainers also offer a 30 minute option.

The average for these sessions range anywhere from $10-60 a session. This has been shown to be great way to get the most out of your budget as you can get more sessions in per week. Side-note: Both hour-long and half-hour sessions can be highly effective and each have their own benefits; 60-minute sessions can help cover more aspects of fitness such as flexibility and corrective exercise techniques as well as help you burn more calories per session. 30-minute sessions can be a great option for the busy professional and those limited on time.

We’re throwing around a lot of hourly and session-based figures here, but you’ll find that it might be easier to look at monthly averages.

You can expect on average to spend close to $500 a month on personal training services, with a range of $200-800+ being normal.

One of the biggest factors for overall cost is usually session frequency. Obviously, if you’re only meeting once a week you won’t be spending nearly as much on training. But how good will the results be?

If you’re going to work with a trainer and want to see great results, I recommend doing so no less than twice a week. Three times a week is the sweet spot where you get pretty much everything you need weekly in that setup as far as your weekly activity level, and more than that is a sure way to get truly awesome results.

I only recommend to clients doing the once a week option so they can still get help and direction with their goals if their budget just simply won’t allow for an extra session. And even then I try to find a way to help them. 

Think of deciding session frequency as “How much effort by myself do I want to exert and then how much do I want my trainer to push me and hold me accountable?” 

Because the less sessions you do with your trainer the more you have to do on your own, and if you’re having trouble getting yourself to do what needs to be done it may be time to look at what you’re spending on currently and seeing if you can reallocate your resources.

You do want to see change in your life, right? That’s the whole reason you’re looking for a trainer in the first place; your’e tired. Tired of the same-old same-old. Tired of not being where you want.

I’m a big proponent of “rising to the price”. What this means is if I see something that I think is financially valuable and “worth it”, I don’t look at the price tag and say “damn that’s really expensive” and move on to alternatives. I start saving or seeing what I could do to get it.

It then becomes something I want to work towards because I know it could help me or make life better.

When you get to this point, this is a good time to see if you’re spending money on things that are counterproductive to the change you want to create in your life. When it comes to health and fitness guess what the number one issue usually is?

 

Food.

 

And guess where the food usually comes from?

 

Eating out.

 

Let me drop some stats:

The average American in 2017 spent roughly between $2300-4200 a year on dining out. That’s $191-350 a month on fast-food and dining out! The average meal when dining out is MINIMUM 1000 calories, with some dishes being as much as 3000+ for the entree ALONE.

The average people usually spend on dining out per month came to $265.67 from this same study. 

 When it came to the age groups, consumers aged 35-44 spent the highest on dining out but that was only less than $100 more what those aged 45-54 spent. 

Most people also report that weight gain is increased once they reach their mid-to-late 30’s. Couple that with the change in hormones and physiology taking place as we age, I hope you can see the storm brewing from these eating and spending habits. 

 So, maybe it’s time to see if we can spend some of that hard-earned money on something that will help rather than hurt us or keep us in the same spot.

Hopefully by now you have an idea of the cost of hiring a trainer so you can get an idea of what you should be looking to spend each month to reach your goals.

Local Personal Training Prices in Jacksonville, FL

I wanted to take this one step further when it comes to price and have a short guide for those looking for a trainer in the Jacksonville, FL area (where I am based).

Most trainers charge between $30-70 an hour in Jacksonville, and $10-50 per thirty minute session.

When doing my own research, I’ve seen $40-50 an hour is the typical independent training price per hour. In commercial gyms it can easily be $50-90.

*OPINION ALERT* As a business owner I want to reflect how I decided the prices for Alpha Omega Personal Fitness, and hopefully shed some light on why it’s important to be ok with spending a bit more on a trainer.

I find an issue with the average rate for Jacksonville.

We’ve already established the national average is $40-70, so a good middle range is $55-60 an hour. Most of the prices I saw locally tend to be on the lower side of these averages, even finding some in the $20 range.

When first deciding the prices for my in-home service, I was around the national average of about $50 an hour. I was just starting out and felt confident that was a fair price for the help I was offering and the level of service I provided. In-Home Training is offering much more than standard gym training as well, but this was when I was first starting out. To see people who have been doing this for years charging $30 a session blows my mind.

As I’ve grown not only my knowledge and expertise but my business as well, that base price has increased.

Why?

Because I’ve gotten better. My service is offering more. I have more knowledge to offer.

When looking for a trainer you’re looking for someone who has the skill and knowledge to offer the solution to your problem.

The issue I take with trainers charging less than even the national average is that it is reflective of their confidence in their skills.

It’s like Target and Walmart.

If you go to Target, you know you’re getting a higher quality product. Same thing with Publix. It’s a much better atmosphere than most other stores. Target and Publix know this and charge accordingly as it allows them to offer that kind of experience to their customers.

Walmart has strived to improve itself as of late; it’s raised the quality of its brands and products and is still very competitive with price. But there was a time when going to Walmart meant you’re getting a cheaper product that isn’t necessarily better but “does the job” simply to save money.

The experience or service at Walmart isn’t always the best either. But it’s ok- you’re not paying for that when you go there.

Which offering provided more value? Better products with a better experience or cheaper products with a less than stellar customer service?

So unfortunately, when I see very low-priced training, I can’t help but think something is missing in their service. Trainers should charge based off of the service they provide and quality of that service. And then clients should pay less when they’re not getting top notch attention.

I do this; my 1-on-1 prices are much higher than my semi-private (2-3) prices. Why? Not because I’m offering less of a service, but because my attention is now split between multiple people. So no one person gets the highest level of attention as my private sessions. So I think it’s only fair to charge less per person a session but it directly relates to the individual service I feel I am able to provide to each person in the session, not the total value of the service.

So be aware of this when doing your research. Less does not equal better or even a better deal. You know what they say; you get what you pay for.

Moving on.

But we can’t stop there- there’s still the matter of who you’re hiring. This can be all well and good that a trainer can cost a good chunk of money, but are they WORTH it? Because frankly, not all trainers are.

 

Let’s go back into the factors I mentioned at the beginning of this article, the most important considerations for hiring a trainer.

To recap they are:

1. Qualifications

2. Reputation

3. Personality/Training Approach

Let’s look at each of them in more detail. 

 

1. Qualifications.

Personal Training is an unregulated industry. You may be shocked to find this out but not every trainer you hear calling themselves a trainer is certified or qualified to be doing so.

For some, the only credential they stand on is “Look at me/my body. I know what I’m doing”.

 

I’m looking at you Instagram.

 

This is honestly the absolute worst and demonstrates no ability to help someone else reach their goals. For example, most people I work with have very little intrinsic or internal drive or motivation. They would like to change but don’t seem to get very far with their own efforts. The instagram “trainer” has usually no experience with this mindset as most are very motivated people. 

So when it comes to getting someone to build this motivation in themselves which is essential for seeing long-lasting results, it just doesn’t happen from the “look at my body” approach. For real. 

A training credential prepares the trainer to work with all kinds of people in all kinds of situations, how to work and modify around injuries, pains, or medical conditions, and to use techniques that *actually* work versus just look like they could because “wow, that looks hard”. 

I know it seems like I’m being harsh here. But I’ve had too many people come to me with injuries because they tried an approach that has no thought put into it or they saw great results initially but didn’t receive a long-term plan and ended up gaining back all the weight they lost and then some and mentally/motivationally they’re in a tougher spot than before.

So “trainers” with no certifications should be avoided at all costs, but make sure to watch out for certifications that can be gotten over a weekend or from a single seminar.

What you do want to look at is trainers who have a certification that is NCCA accredited and nationally recognized. These certifying bodies give college-level education and prepare trainers with cutting edge and scientifically proven techniques to help a wide variety of people. Many have advanced specializations for dealing with very specific types of training.

For a shortlist of certs to look for, the following are industry leaders:

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

American Council on Exercise (ACE)

American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

Athletics & Fitness Association of America (AFAA)

National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association (NESTA)

International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)

National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

There’s many more but as far as this list is concerned, these are most likely what you’ll see or hear of most when searching for Certified Trainers. Some trainers don’t have certifications but a college degree. Typically this will look like a Bachelors in Kinesiology or Exercise Science which is also a great option to look for in a trainer.

2. Reputation

This is a fairly simple and straightforward section:

Look at reviews.

Check to see 1) they actually have some and 2) they’re actually good. Unless they’re a new trainer just starting out, they should have some reviews on the major review sites (Google, Facebook, Yelp, etc.) and you should be able to get a basic idea of what their clients think of their services.

Take a look at any before and after pictures if they have some to show. Keep in mind these are not guarantees for what you may be able to accomplish as the pictures are representative of the effort the client put in in following their trainer’s instruction. In other words; it’s dependent on you to see similar or better results.

What you’re wanting to see when reading reviews and looking at pictures is the following:

-Does this seem real? Make sure the reviews you’re reading are from locals and seem legit. If they all sound the same that’s a red flag. What did they like? What did they feel could be better but the trainer made up for in another way? Those are more authentic than the “everything’s great” reviews. Be sure to make sure pictures don’t look photoshopped or stolen. Cues to look for are curvatures that affect the background such as the door or wall seems to bend around the body. Side-note: Many clients value their privacy and elect to not have their faces shown on before and afters (many of mine fall into this category). A simple reverse image search can help to ensure the validity of the pictures and that they weren’t taken from another site.

Are there any bad reviews? How did the trainer handle it? Bad reviews are a fact of life, and not necessarily reflective of the actual service. What’s most important is how the trainer handles the situation. Did they get flustered and angry in their response? Did they handle it professionally and offer to rectify the situation? We can all tell when something doesn’t add up in either the reviewers post or the response it gets from the business. Use your judgement and use it as an opportunity to further size up the business you’re checking out.

-What do people rave about? This is something that will go into the next section a bit, but this is an excellent opportunity to see what the trainer may excel at. Maybe it’s his coaching style or her empathy towards the client. Really read these and see what resonated with former clients and see if anything sticks out to you for someone you would want to work with personally.

3. Personality/ Training Approach

The final aspect of your search that I would emphasize is the training approach. We all know Jillian Michaels. We all know she’s tough. She yells.

She can be kind of scary.

But she’s great at what she does.

The point is, do you want that day in and day out or even 2 or 3 days a week? If so, there’s nothing wrong with that, but keep in mind how your trainer typically runs their sessions and make sure to ask this. If you like the drill sergeant approach, find one that does and does it well!

It all depends on your preference and personality. There’s a lot of insecurity that comes with wanting to lose weight and get in shape; it takes guts to ask for help and acknowledgement that there’s something that you’re struggling with on your own.

When that’s the case it may help to have someone who focuses on compassion in their coaching and pushing when necessary. Some people respond to this better than others. You’ll want to take time to feel out your trainer and make sure you’re a good fit. Most of the time trainers will offer a complimentary consultation or training session to allow for this. Take them up on it! Not only will you find out if they’re the one for you but at the very least you’ll get some valuable direction on what to do for your goals.

I hope this article sheds some light on not only pricing for personal trainers in the industry but also locally to Jacksonville, Fl and helps you find the right trainer for you and your goals.

If you have any questions about anything related to health and fitness, or even would like to ask some questions about hiring a trainer (doesn’t have to be me :)) feel free to reach out by filling out the contact form. I’m happy to help in any way I can!

If you are looking for help with your fitness goals, I wouldn’t want you to pass up on my 3 day Trial for In-Home Personal Training.

For $99, you get a consultation, two 30 minute training sessions, your nutrition goals setup, and a workout you get to keep that you can do anywhere. There’s no pressure to sign-up, just a desire to see if training with us is the right fit for you! Give us a call or check it out here.

Sources: 

https://www.statista.com/statistics/937352/eating-out-average-spend-by-age-us/ 

https://www.theptdc.com/top-personal-training-certifications-united-states

https://lessons.com/costs/personal-trainer-cost

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