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How Much Does a Personal Trainer Cost? 4 Influential Factors

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There are a number of benefits of working with a personal trainer, which is why beginners and more experienced individuals alike find that getting a personal trainer is a great investment in their fitness and health.

But, how much does a personal trainer cost? How much are personal training sessions when you work with an online personal trainer vs an in-person trainer? Is a personal trainer worth it?

In this article, we will discuss factors that affect how much a personal trainer costs and typical prices for personal training sessions.

We will cover the following: 

  • How Much Is A Personal Trainer? 4 Influential Factors
  • How Much Does A Personal Trainer Cost?

Let’s dive in! 

A personal trainer and his client.

How Much Is A Personal Trainer? 4 Influential Factors

If you have never worked with a personal trainer before or seen personal training prices at your local gym, the first question you likely have when trying to decide if personal training is feasible and affordable for you is, “How much is personal training?”

As with purchasing almost anything, whether a gym membership or a treadmill, a new car or a house, personal training prices vary widely depending on numerous factors.

Therefore, it is not easy to have a succinct yet accurate answer to: “How much does personal training cost?“

Here are the primary factors that will affect how much personal training costs:

#1: Type of Personal Training

Most personal training is done in person, which means that you will work one on one with a trainer on-site. However, there are also options for virtual personal training and online personal training.

The cost of personal training will vary significantly based on how the personal training services are delivered.

A personal trainer and his client.

In-Person

In terms of in-person personal training, some personal trainers are hired through the gym or fitness facility in which they work. For example, you might get a gym membership to a community YMCA or a private gym such as Planet Fitness, Equinox, or Crunch Fitness.

The gym will offer personal training packages so that members can sign up for sessions with the staff personal trainers.

Most gyms offer one free complimentary session with a personal trainer to help orient you to the equipment at the gym and to try and sell you personal training sessions based on your goals.

In-person personal training can also occur at boutique personal training studios.

For example, a personal trainer may have his or her own private gym space, such as a garage gym, or may rent out a fitness studio where they see clients in person.

A personal trainer and his client outside.

Another option is outdoor personal training.

If a personal trainer is not affiliated with a specific gym and does not have the financial means or access to opening their own private personal training studio, the trainer might meet clients outdoors in public parks or other areas for personal training workouts.

Finally, some personal trainers make home visits, which means that the trainer will come to your own home or apartment and work with you there. 

Certain gyms may also allow external personal trainers who are not on staff to come and work with paying members at the gym for a fee.

Virtual

Virtual personal training has exploded in the past several years since the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.

There are various fitness apps that offer personal trainers, such as the Future app, or a personal trainer might offer video sessions via FaceTime, Skype, etc.

A virtual personal trainer.

With these options, you will still have a scheduled appointment with your personal trainer, but the training session occurs over a video platform where the personal trainer can talk to you, view your form and technique, provide feedback, answer questions, etc. 

Virtual personal training through a video interface is relatively similar to in-person personal training in terms of the guidance that you get, except that the personal trainer is unable to physically place his or her hands on your body to offer form corrections.

Instead, the trainer will demonstrate corrections and provide audio feedback to help you fix any problems.

Online

Finally, online personal training can take a variety of forms but generally involves phone, email, text, or app communications with a personal trainer about your fitness goals, current exercise, body composition, injury history, etc. 

Then, the personal trainer will design a customized workout plan for you. You will upload or share your workout results with your online personal trainer after each session, and then the trainer will make modifications to your training routine or next workout as necessary.

A virtual personal trainer, someone doing a plank.

Each of these different options for personal training will have a significant impact on the cost of working with a personal trainer.

In general, in-person sessions are the most expensive, virtual sessions or personal training apps fall somewhere in the middle, and online personal training is the most cost-effective option.

If the personal trainer is traveling to you for home visits, there may be a travel fee associated with the personal training prices to compensate for their travel time, gas, and mileage. 

Most gym personal trainers do not determine their own fees for personal training.

Rather, the gym will have set pricing based on the length of each of your personal training sessions, the number of personal training workouts you purchase in a package, and potentially the “tear“ or experience level of the personal trainer you are working with.

Personal training at a private studio is sometimes less expensive than personal training at the gym, particularly if the personal trainer has their own studio at their home.

Someone working out with a video.

There are no overhead or rental fees for a private garage gym, for example, whereas renting out a boutique private personal training studio will be expensive for the personal trainer, so each session may cost more money for the client.

Outdoor personal training is usually the cheapest personal training that occurs in person because there are no overhead fees for renting a workout space, and the personal trainer is not receiving just a cut of the personal training costs since he or she is not working under a manager or gym.

Virtual personal training is usually less expensive than most of the options for in-person sessions.

However, there is still the same time commitment for the personal trainer to be with you for the entire session, so virtual personal training is more expensive than getting a customized training plan with feedback from an online personal trainer who is not physically or virtually present during each workout.

A person trainer and his client.

#2: Geographic Location

Another reason that it is difficult to answer the question, “How much does personal training cost?” is because the going rate for personal training sessions varies geographically across the United States as well as in other countries.

In general, personal training prices are higher in busy metropolitan areas and the US coasts (east coast and west coast) versus small towns and the middle of the county.

As with the cost of goods and services for many items, personal training in states like California or in big cities like New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, and Chicago will most likely cost more than in rural areas or smaller cities where the cost of living is lower, such as Cleveland or Pittsburgh.

Similar trends can be found in other countries.

#3: Number of Sessions

Another factor that will affect the price per session for working with a personal trainer is the number of sessions that you purchase at once.

Much like shopping in bulk, when you buy a package of 10 or more personal training sessions, you will usually get a percentage off, or a discounted price per session, relative to paying for each session or just buying three or five sessions upfront.

While it will cost more initially to buy a large package of sessions, if you have the means and you are looking to do ongoing personal training on a budget, buying a big package of sessions is a good way to get a better value and price for personal training sessions.

A personal trainer and his client outside using a TRX.

#4: Session Length

Most personal trainers offer private sessions of various lengths, ranging usually from 30 to 90 minutes. A typical personal training session is about 60 minutes.

As can be surmised, shorter personal training sessions, such as a 30-minute session, will be less expensive than our long or longer sessions, though the price per minute is usually more expensive for short workouts.

For example, a personal trainer might charge $80 for a 60-minute workout and $50 for a 30-minute workout.

When looking at the dollar-per-minute value, the hour-long session is a better deal than the shorter workouts. 

However, if you are a beginner and do not feel like you have the fitness or stamina to do a longer workout, or you would really like to work with a personal trainer but have a very tight budget, short sessions may be a workable alternative even if they are less cost-effective.

A personal trainer and his client looking at the plan.

How Much Does A Personal Trainer Cost?

As just enumerated, there are numerous factors that will affect prices for personal training sessions.

With that said, in the United States, personal training generally costs about $55-65 per session as the national average, though you may pay upwards of twice that in major metropolitan areas.

Personal training can be a great investment in your fitness and strength, whether you are a novice or competitive athlete looking to support your workout routine with individualized strength training guidance.

If you are interested in online personal training, some of our coaches here at Marathon Handbook offer online and virtual personal training sessions to help you meet your goals

Feel free to send us a message to tell us more about your needs and how we may be able to help you reach your fitness goals.

A personal trainer in a gym.
Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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