Why Personal Trainers are NOT S&C Coaches and Why It Matters
A lot of our members and potential clients ask us: “How much is a Personal Trainer and is it Worth the Money?” or “How Much is a Personal Trainer in Brisbane”?
The cost can vary from $50 to over $100 per hour.
It is however important to distinguish between the different trainers around:
Personal training is generally referred to people who have a Certificate 4 in Fitness, which only allows a trainer to conduct personal training sessions with the general population and is very limited (in theory) in the scope of practice. They generally charge for the time spent during the session.
A number of PTs use misleadingly the title of “Strength and Conditioning” (S&C) coaches.
Legit S&C Coaches are generally accredited professionals with the relevant industry body (ASCA). The above not only have generally an undergraduate degree in exercise and sport science and, to be accepted as part of the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association have to undergo a much stricter process and education-based qualification. Furthermore, they tend to have experience and work with sub-elite and elite athletes too.
So these professionals generally charge more, but also have a deeper understanding of physical training and performance, have invested in higher education!
Think about going to an Optometrist vs an Ophthalmologist. Both work on the same subject, but have different levels of understanding and scope of practice.
Is Personal Coaching Worth It?
Of course, it helps to understand what the main goals are, what is achievable in the short and long term.
A good coach will support you by helping to build a solid program and give you an overview of where it will lead you. Strength and Conditioning Coaches have also the added ability to workout long term plans to help you reach your performance-based goals, whether your play a sport, are planning a physical challenge or are getting ready for physical-based test. A good coach is able to test your physical capacity and prescribe evidence-based interventions to help improve your weaknesses and have measurable outcomes.
Some might see personal training/coaching as expensive, and without a doubt it is not for everyone.
Good coaches are a great investment in the time you spend training. We know of people who stopped ordering Uber-Eats daily and all of a sudden could afford a good gym membership as well as a weekly PT. In the end, it is all about priorities.
For those who can afford private coaching, the difference in outcomes is outstanding.
You pay for the RESULTS not for the time.
How Often Should You See a Personal Trainer?
That depends on the goal. Some people need just a weekly top-up session, as part of their weekly training routines, or they need more motivation or technical development and therefore train 2 or 3 times per week with a Coach.
Some others see their Coach once a month as a regular checkpoint and to get a new program.
How Much is a Private Coaching Session with a PT?
Depends on the duration of the session and the number of weekly sessions.
1-hour with a Personal Trainer may vary between $50 and $100 per hour.
S&C/Accredited Exercise Scientists/Exercise Physiologists generally charge not less than $100 per hour. depending on the services required. Some charge per objective, not for time.
A great alternative for those who cannot afford such fees is to split them with others, creating small groups. Small group PT classes are a new way of approaching Personal training. 2,3 or 4 people with similar goals or fitness levels join to pay less per session. A little bit like sharing an UBER.
Also, when pondering why PTs cost so much, bear in mind that coaches have invested time and money to educate themselves through University and other special courses. The good ones keep doing so year after year to stay up to date.
Furthermore, accredited coaches spend time (out of the training session) to prepare and gather all the data, take in account all the variables, then provide you with a solid program. Adding extra bits provided when something flares up, spend time researching, and last but not least, have the ability to have educated conversation with allied health professionals when something goes wrong and assist you in your return to activity.
You would be surprised by the amount of work needed to build a sound and evidence-based program.
How to Choose the Right Personal Trainer for You?
Check their education (see my points above), their experiences, their accreditations.
See if they meet your needs and match the type of coach you think you need. When you meet them, make sure you “click” within a session or two, the emotional engagement is crucial for adherence and to keep you motivated. After all you need to spend quite some time with the coach, so better be with someone you like.