Hi I’m Krissie and I’m a PT.
The exclamation I hear most when I give my pricing to prospective students here at Kirby’s Personal Training and Fitness ….HOW MUCH?!?
Last year I wrote a blog piece with the aid of my friend Jill, who had written something similar, but I feel I need to write again about why it appears to be expensive and why, in the grand scheme, it really isn’t.
Personal Training is a luxury item, that I am all too aware of. However, we live in a society where our very much taken for granted Health Service is under threat of being run into the ground from underfunding and over use. Now, we as individuals can’t do much about the underfunding bit (more’s the pity, and that’s a rant for a whole different forum) but we can make an effort to improve our own general health so that we don’t place as much demand on our wonderful NHS. We can do that by investing in our own health through enlisting the aid of a fitness professional, such as a personal trainer.
“But….the cost, Krissie, how do you justify the cost?’
Firstly, I don’t have to justify the cost of my services to anyone. But I do appreciate that it seems to be a generous outlay at face vale. So let’s break it down.
We’ll start with your sessions.
Let’s take a ballpark figure of cost (please note, this is not my actual cost, you’ll need to come and meet me and talk about how training will work for you to get the actual cost). So for example, say your monthly expenditure on PT is £350 per month (I know, huge expense right?) for three sessions per week and it’s a five week month (Obviously your actually number of sessions depends on how many a week you’d like to do, but let’s run with this as the example)…you might think ‘oh that’s 5 x 3 = 15 sessions so it’s £24 (or thereabouts) per session. That’s not so bad actually.
Your session isn’t just what you do in the hour you are with me. Oh no! As Jimmy Cricket used to say ‘ Come closer, there’s more’ (showing my age).
To get to a point where I am allowed to call myself a PT and strength and conditioning coach (and be able to cover my self with insurances incase a misfortune does happen *touches wood it never does*), I had to get qualified and that took the best part of two years – not the 6 weeks it appears to take now. And much like driving, we fitness lot learn to pass our exams and THEN we learn to actually be PTs. Add to that the continual professional development most serious PTs will undertake during the course of their career, we spend a small fortune on improving our knowledge to give YOU the best session, advice and knowledge we can. We do love our job, and we take it very seriously.
For every hour of teaching we can easily add 30-45mins of planning, adjusting, updating your programme, that we spent the best part of three days formulating, as you exceed expectation or because we’ve pitched things a little too high or hard, as well as the time we spend sorting a nutritional plan for you that is adaptable to your needs and your goals and researching any special considerations we need to take into account – such as previous back issues, surgery, osteoporosis and so on. So now your one hour at £24 is actually more akin to three hours at £24. So now we’re on around £8 per hour. Oh hang on, that’s quite a drop. In fact that’s about minimum wage. But it doesn’t end there……
Most PTs will be renting space at a gym, so will need quite a few clients to cover the rental fee and be able to pay for CPD, insurance and cover holiday and sick pay – which they often don’t get. Others, like myself, have a private studio that requires heating, lighting, insurances (on top of our indemnity and liability cover), telephone, hot water, shower facilities (if you’re able to open with one in situ and not wait a year to be able to afford the restructuring of the building to fit one in), music licences, facilities for us being able to eat between sessions, computer access (so we can see your programmes as we won’t remember them all), and let’s not forget the equipment for use in your practice. Oh yes, and holiday pay and sick pay.
That said, having a private studio brings with it a number of benefits that you don’t get in the globo gyms, not least that you aren’t sharing the space with anyone else. It’s your space for your session. There is no waiting for machines to become available, no worry about the slim young thing on the treadmill looking at you and you feeling self conscious. It’s just you and me for your hour, an hour where you have my undivided attention to ensure you don’t get injured, that your technique is as good as we can get it, that you understand what is being asked of you and the reasons why it’s in your practice.
Deborah Atkinson, an American PT who specialises for the over 50 market, makes a valid point in her video about the cost of personal training; if the cost of your PT doesn’t make you think twice about it, you may want to consider the credibility and the experience level of who is charging you.
Let’s also take into account how you are feeling about yourself. You’ve sought out the PT you want to talk to about your training because you don’t like not fitting into your clothes, you hide from the mirror as much as possible, you feel sluggish, you can’t play with the kids without feeling old and achy…the reasons are endless as to why people seek PTs out. We will take into consideration your emotional drives for wanting to get fit/lose weight/move better, on top of just the physical aesthetic. Why? Because we know that those emotional motivators are the ones that will push you. Most of us will give you email, mobile phone and social media access to us, in case you need us to answer questions, or help give perspective to an issue. There are many reasons my students get in touch with me outside of their sessions.
If you’re happy spending £100 on a weekend on alcohol, entrance to clubs, a filthy kebab (who doesn’t love one of those after a few pints huh?) and taxi home and doing that three weekends of the month only to wake up and lose a day due to the crippling hangover you’ve developed then surely improving your fitness, general health and how you feel about yourself is worth more? ….. I’ll let you think about that one.
Keep doing the three nights out a month, and soon you’ll be facing various ailments and illnesses that the NHS will be required to aid. So you’re now a ‘future burden’ on an already overstretched system, whereas you could actively improve your health and only need our amazing doctors and nurses when you genuinely need them. Up to you!
Suddenly the £350 for 15 sessions doesn’t actually seem so expensive, does it? And you don’t pay for a PT forever, as much as I’d love to train you all until I drop. A good PT should be teaching you everything they know, so you are comfortable and confident going it alone eventually. I know my students will all fly the nest at some point, but they’ll also keep in touch and come for refresher sessions when they feel the need.