How Long Should I Hire a Personal Trainer?
If you’re here, you’re probably ready to take the next step in your fitness journey. You want to invest in personal coaching to speed up your results or help you meet your fitness goals. Real, lasting results take time and consistent effort, but how long do you need to hire a personal trainer initially? There’s no easy answer, but you should plan to hire a personal trainer for 3 to 6 months, as that will be enough time for your body to start showing significant gains in strength and endurance.
As a former researcher in cardiovascular medicine, I know how critical regular exercise is to your health and quality of life. Personal training services at AP Wellness include behavior modification, customized workouts, and nutritional coaching. My goal is to provide the accountability and guidance you need to meet your fitness goals.
How Long Does It Take to See Personal Training Results?
Your body will start changing within a few weeks of consistent work. Robert Newton, director of the Exercise Medicine Research Institute at Edith Cowan University, explains that your nervous system becomes better at contracting your muscles within a few weeks. It will take a few months, however, before you see gains in muscle tone. You should also plan a few months to train for a short race or athletic competition.
Here are a few factors that will affect your results and the length of your personal training commitment:
Long-term Fitness Goals
We’ve already touched on this briefly, but depending on your long-term goals and what you hope to achieve through physical training, you may need to hire a trainer for a few months, a year, or even longer. A 5k race, for example, takes about 2 months to train for, but you should plan at least 5 months for a marathon.
Or you may have multiple fitness goals, such as weight loss and muscle building. Though you can work on both at the same time, depending on where you are starting from, your trainer may recommend shedding fat before building muscle or vice versa. Sometimes asking “How long should I hire a personal trainer?” distracts from the actual goals you are trying to meet.
Personal Training Cost and Budget
If you have a strict budget for personal training or can only invest in it for a limited time, share that information with your trainer. Personal training costs can add up over time, and you might have other financial priorities. If your trainer knows that you only plan to come for a few months, they can help you set realistic expectations and prepare you to continue your fitness journey independently.
Frequency of Personal Training Sessions
If you are able to train 2-3 times per week, you will see faster results. Not all of these workouts need to be completed with your trainer, but if you need that guidance and accountability, it’s worth scheduling a few sessions per week. The more dedicated you are to consistent training, the faster you will meet your personal training goals. At that point, you can either set new goals or continue to exercise independently.
Motivation to Workout
Do you have the motivation to continue working out on your own? If you are able to hold yourself accountable, you may be able to get away with hiring a personal trainer for a short period of time to learn new exercises, improve your form, and build your knowledge of nutrition. This article by researcher Steven McClaren shows that 10 weeks of personal training can help change your attitude toward physical activity and increase the likelihood of exercising.
When Should I Stop Seeing a Personal Trainer?
If you can afford ongoing personal training and you’re happy with your results, there’s really no reason to stop seeing your personal trainer. The CDC recommends at least 2 and a half hours of physical activity per week, which should include 2 days of strengthening activities. A trainer can help progress more quickly toward specific goals and keep your workout routine fresh and creative.
Many people decide to step away from personal training after meeting their initial goals, which is okay. Just make sure that you have a continued fitness plan so that you don’t lose the progress that you worked so hard for.
If your trainer is a bad fit for you, either due to personality or lack of results, it might be time to consider a switch. Talking to your trainer about the issue is always a good first step since they may be able to change your workout routine or discuss reasons that you aren’t meeting your goals. Most trainers also understand that not all personalities are compatible and should support your decision to find a better fit.
Personal Training Services with AP Wellness
If you are ready to start your own personal training journey, contact AP Wellness today. I provide high-quality personal training services in the San Francisco area and online. As a former medical researcher, I will base my fitness recommendations on current data and create a customized exercise and meal plans tailored to your goals. Let’s get started!