Do all health clubs run the same personal training system?

Health clubs do not have the same training systems. Then again all schools are not the same either. Depending on where you live the gyms will vary. The trainers, the equipment, the classes, the routines, everything is different. This is the beauty of trainers and fitness. There is really something for everyone. The main concern any client should have is Training Certification, regardless of the gym.

I have worked in fitness for over 17 years, martial arts/fitness/wellness and I can say the certifications are what makes the difference.

A client is only as good as the trainer they have. Being responsible for others is a major thing for me. I take care of people and my clients are all number one when we have our sessions. They feel the sincerity in the training and so their results are genuine and lasting. I was mentored by fitness experts and I took notes. I can say the NASM Certified Personal Trainers are this way, excited because we all really love fitness.

As long as you have a Certified Personal Trainer you will be ok no matter what gym you go to. A NASM trainer is a guarantee of knowledge and quality. Many of the NASM trainers have multiple certifications, this is a good thing. If you meet a trainer who likes to learn and lives fitness, great! All trainers want life to be healthy and happy for our clients regardless of the health club we work for. We also agree that a Certified Personal Trainer is the best trainer.

Jay Morgan, NASM Elite Trainer
Fitness Specialist

Personal training systems vary based on the companies or individual trainers principles, strategies, and techniques. 

It is important to identify that the trainer is qualified to identify and differentiate you as an individual, and design and effective program based on your tasks and goals. Most importantly, the trainer you choose must have coaching qualities. A good coach will look at you not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually.

All health clubs do not have the same personal training system. There is a variety of certifications available each having its own method. On top of that, individual trainers have their own style and techniques. I have found many gyms will train their trainers in certain methods that the club owner prefers. Personality is important when working closely with others, choose a trainer who will safely push you to perform your best and listen to your needs.

There is no "one" personal training program, since personal training programs are based on the individual's fitness goal, experience, and physical limitations. Also, depending on what a health club has to offer as far as fitness tools(machines, free weights, resistant bands, trx, etc.) will influence the trainer's thinking on what is the best design for a program for that client with the resources he or she has available at their disposal. Another important note is that a lot of trainers have different backgrounds in certifications, degrees, philosophy, and rapport. If a client has a specific goal, a trainer may specialize in a specific type of exercise that meets those goals. Most trainers, (if not all) like to train "outside of the box", in utilizing all components of exercise such as flexibility, core, strength, balance, reactive, and plyometric training to get the client to their exercise goal in the most quick and efficient way. Overall potential clients should always be challenged in a "multiple" of ways based on their fitness level, and never resort to the same old routine.

Troy Taylor, NASM Elite Trainer
Fitness Specialist

All health clubs have some sort of established ownership or management and that typically to one degree or another determines the quality of training available. Training is an unregulated industry and is truly an example of buyer beware. I will say though that on the whole the industry has improved and the average trainer today is quite a bit better than the average trainer that I worked with 10 years ago.

All health clubs don't run the same personal training system. I've worked at different Health Clubs and the fitness experts very also. Depending on resources (money, size, education and equipment) that the facility may have and who happens to be their main population (youth, teen, elderly, middle age adult, etc.), makes a huge difference in how the club will be run. Personal Trainers will be a large factor in a decision in choosing your Health Club. Unfortunately all Fitness Professional and Trainers are not created equal when it comes to personal training, make sure you get a certified trainer from an accredited and reputable association (NASM, ACE, ACSM, NSCA, etc.), that continues to educate (continuing education and seminars) themselves in the health and fitness field. Having the correct trainer can make or break your weight loss and strength training program. So do your research before committing to any gym.

While some trainers may have the same knowledge how they choose to implement it is an individual choice. There are likely similarities from health club to health club, but the training programs are likely to differ as the staff differs and perhaps the certifications, the ideologies, etc., may differ. Many health clubs offer complimentary consultations; inquire if this is something that is available, and see what the differences are.

I have both been a member of and worked at a few different clubs and there are a variety of different training styles. I think that there has to be because each trainer has a different training style and people have different reasons for wanting a trainer. If health clubs do not conform to the needs of the members then they will go out of business.

Chris Thomae , NASM Elite Trainer
Administration Specialist

Each health club that hires or staff's personal trainers may run their personal training program differently than the next club across town. Some clubs focus more on the one-to-one private session experience where you and the trainer spend time consulting on the program that is best for your needs. However, other clubs focus more on the growing trend of personal training in small groups. Working with a personal trainer in a small group setting can provide some unique training experiences and offer reduced rates. Although, you will most likely be exercising with three or more other people during the same session and will have to give up some of the private coaching during a one-to-one session.

Unless you are joining a Planet Fitness, it will be hard to find any health club that does not offer some type of personal training experience...regardless if it is a local family-run gym or a larger chain. Remember, all health clubs have to run a business too. So, how that club runs its business model will largely determine how the run and set the rates for their personal training programs.

Most health clubs that offer personal training services will also offer a complimentary session for their members to meet with a personal trainer. This "No-cost to you" session should allow you an opportunity to meet with your trainer first before you decide to buy training with them. Regardless of which health club you belong to, make sure you get along with your trainer and like their personality before you decide to train. The trainer may be the brightest individual in the industry. However, if you don't get along with them then the relationship is not going to work out. Second, DO NOT hire a trainer unless they are certified by a reputable provider (i.e. NASM, ACE, ACSM, NSCA, etc. - these representing the top certifying bodies in the industry). Trainers with these credentials are trained to possess the scientific and best practices knowledge to handle everyday training situations and job responsibilities.

Rates and service package offerings will vary greatly between clubs. Choose the option and the trainer that is right for you based on your fitness needs and your budget.

Personal Training programs are going to vary from trainer to trainer just as their certifications will, even within the same gym. It is important that you have a good rapport with the trainer you choose no matter what the program is. You will not stay committed to a program designed by someone whom you do not connect with and I am a firm believer that although a trainer might be really good, he or she may not be a match for everyone who walks in the door.

Dr. Mike Clark, DPT
Fitness Specialist

Ask for a certified personal trainer from NASM. NASM certified personal trainers utilize the Optimum Performance Training System which is an evidence-based training system. This is the same system that is utilized for the exercise programs inside of the move it and lose it app

Typically personal training systems can vary from gym to gym, and sometimes it is necessary to shop around to find the best fit for you. Important considerations include rates for training, equipment offered at the gym and the different personal trainers available to you. Make sure the personal trainer you choose is knowledgeable about your particular fitness goal and that they are accredited by one of the major certification agencies such as NASM, ACE, ACSM or NSCA.

All gyms vary greatly in the personal training programs.  Unfortuantely most gyms will bring in less credited trainers because their cost of paying their trainers is going to be less.  In order to attract the best talent you have to pay talent appropriately.  Most gyms nowadays do not pay their trainers well or put their trainers in a good position to succeed so they are going to attrack trainers who are new or are less accredited.

In my opinion a gym should aquire good talent by holding their trainers to a certain standard, pay them appropriately, treat them appropriately, give proper incentives and put them in better positions to succeed with ideas to offer lower costs to members and make more money for the trainer.

In gyms I have run we required NASM certifications of all our trainers and offered both private and semi-private training.  Our training was consistent and all members got the same training philosophy, same terminology and our members saw great results, were confident in the training and our trainers did extremely well.

This is how it should be but sadly it is not how it is in most gyms.  Seek out a gym that requires to be part of a team atmosphere and have good to great certifications.

Training systems will vary depending on the place you go like a big box gym or a private studio. Most places will vary in services like rates, types of programs and what is included in training sessions. The best thing to is shop around for the services you are particularly looking for.

Training systems will vary widely between health clubs. Some gyms customize their training offerings based on the amenities contained within the club. Other gyms prefer to use traditional training methods or devise their own training systems. Ask the fitness manager of the club you attend to explain their personal training services, styles, and techniques.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.