Big Gyms Or Personal Training Center? A Comparison.

Some people love the hustle and bustle of a busy health club, while others prefer a less intimidating environment.  Let’s compare a couple of options for your workouts.

First let’s look at the major health clubs.  They usually have the benefit of a great deal of variety with their equipment and group classes.  I think this is a major plus, as doing the same exercises on the same equipment leads to plateaus and limited results.  The downside for many is that they may be crowded and also can be very intimidating, especially if you are self conscious about being out of shape.  Personal training is offered at most clubs, but traditionally the trainer makes a very small wage, which means you are getting a trainer with limited education and experience, as a superior trainer will not work for $18 per hour.

Next, there are many variations of the franchised fitness centers for women, such as Curves.  Fitness centers that are for women offer an inviting and non-intimidating environment. With no men allowed, who cares about the primping for the workout, so pull your hair up in a pony-tail and go! These centers are appealing for new exercisers, whom will see good results in the beginning, but because their protocols revolve around every person performing the same exact exercises, every time, long-term or better than average results will be limited as plateaus are quickly reached.  A women’s fitness center that offers a large variety of machines and free weights would be the better choice in my opinion.

Personal training centers have become a dime a dozen as of late.  When I started Sensible Fitness, over 12 years ago, there were very few centers but now they are everywhere.  A true personal training center does not offer open gym memberships, but rather only lets you workout with a trainer.   There should not be any membership fees, you only pay for time with the trainer. Generally, this is more of an intimate setting with limited people in the facility.  The downside to most personal training centers is their size.  Many are small and have very limited equipment, which means limited exercises, and limited results.  Another concern would be the “assembly line” approach that some utilize, where everybody does the same workout.  Remember it is not personal training unless the program is directly supervised and recorded by a trainer, while being customized to you, your goals, and any medical conditions or aches/pains you may have.

There truly is something for everyone when it comes to the type of facility you desire, and you can combine facilities if you want the best of both worlds.  Many of my clients belong to a major health club and go there for most workouts, but also visit Sensible Fitness once a week for the accountability and education of a trainer.   This gives you a quick glance at your options for fitness, now comes the hard part…actually making it to the facility or your choice on a consistent basis!

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