Personal Training (and Getting Real Results) in the 21st Century – Making it Affordable and Staying Motivated

woman and man using TRX in cross fit gym
Group personal training is a more cost effective way to get one-on-one attention when working out

In “Personal Training (and Getting Real Results) in the 21st Century – The Basics” we outlined some of the inherent challenges one faces when trying to achieve real results with personal training alone.  Today we will take a closer look at the benefits of adding current technologies to help make the most of your personal training and exercise programs.

One way to view fitness technologies is that they become a virtual “workout buddy”.  For most of us, we tend to get more work done when we become accountable to someone else.  Although we are accountable to our personal trainer when we are working one-on-one it can be easy to not give 100%, do one less repetition, or not comply with our exercise and/or nutrition program the other days we aren’t with the trainer.

Fitness technologies serve several functions.  They can:

  1. Be a “virtual” personal trainer and comprehensive fitness library.
  2. Hold you accountable to the program outlined to reach your goals.
  3. Quantify your results and track progress as you continue with your program.
  4. Provide solid nutrition and weight management guidance and tracking tools (which is not an area of expertise for most personal trainers).

Let’s look at the list outlined in Part I in more detail to see how technology can be you best “workout buddy” (in addition to personal training) to successfully achieve your health and fitness goals.

More Affordable

The cost of personal training varies widely depending on the experience of the trainer, their certifications and their areas of specialization.  On average (rough estimate) personal training is about $60/hour. To schedule one training session per week for a month, that’s a $240 investment.

There are several mobile apps available that are inexpensive and provide a large library of exercises, workout programs and full exercise videos.  Although a mobile app most certainly doesn’t take the place of having one-on-one training with a certified personal trainer, they can provide valuable information that will compliment what you learn from a personal trainer.  This includes information on hundreds of exercises (showing proper form), exercise progressions for specific fitness goals, and guidance for exercising on your own.

By taking advantage of inexpensive fitness and exercise mobile apps you could potentially decrease the frequency of one-on-one personal training sessions, yet still get good results.  For example, you can use your personal training sessions to master form and technique and then use the exercises and programs offered by the mobile apps in between your personal training workouts.  Your personal trainer provides education and motivation (when you really need it) yet you can maintain a consistent workout schedule for the long term.

Fitness and exercise mobile apps that I would suggest include:

  • Pocket PT (i.e. Dumbbells, TRX Suspension Training, Swiss Ball, Kettlebells)
  • Jillian Michaels Slim-Down Solution
  • Nike+ GPS

Keeping You Motivated

Motivation, when it comes to adhering to any exercise program, is extremely important.  Most people would agree that exercise is not fun, it’s hard work and you don’t see visible results for at least 8 weeks (your friends won’t notice until 12 weeks).  That’s one of the primary reasons why people pay for personal training.

Working with a personal trainer helps us recognize our goal and holds us accountable to the work that needs to be done to reach that goal.  They are there to keep us on track, give us encouragement when we need that extra “push”, and make sure we recognize our incremental achievements throughout the process.

Unfortunately, reaching a health and fitness goal is a full-time commitment that also includes the majority of hours during the week that is not you’re your personal trainer.  If you schedule three training sessions per week (totaling three hours) with your personal trainer that means there are another 165 hours where you are vulnerable to falling off the program and sabotaging your success.  Luckily, technology never sleeps and can work for you 24/7!!

A few fitness and goal setting mobile apps that are good ones to check out include:

  • Calorie Tracker – LIVESTRONG.COM
  • Gym Buddy

In the next segment, we will discuss more ways technology can play a key role in complimenting your personal training efforts to keep you on track to reaching your health and fitness goals.


  1. actually I’ve been going to a gym for more than a year and I’ve gained about 17 pounds.. I was so skinny before.. after the first 5-6 months I did see a difference but lately I haven’t seen much difference and I’m confused about the weights I use now.. maybe I should wait longer to have results? I’ve got an eating plan that I got from the gym and I’m not using any proteins, amino acids etc. but maybe I should start using them.. I mean I have the muscles but I want bigger ones like this guy. Do you have suggestions?

    1. Congratulations on your success with your exercise program so far! Gaining 17 pounds of muscle is a significant accomplishment as the body needs to work very hard to build and maintain that type of muscle growth. The human body will naturally hit a “plateau” because our bodies are very efficient (and like to use as little energy as possible if it can). As your body gains more muscle mass, your body then requires more energy to survive. It will resist adding more muscle UNLESS you challenge it enough to force it to change. When you are starting out your body changes easily because it is starting from the bottom. As your body changes and becomes stronger the amount of improvement that you can achieve is a much smaller margin the closer you get to your upper limit. So … the more you improve, the harder it will be to see improvement with the same workout programs.
      The addition of protein and amino acid supplements might help but I believe that adapting your workout program (sets, reps and exercise volume) will provide greater results in a faster amount of time. Review the “Workouts for Dummies” series for more information on how to design an effective program that meets your goals.

  2. I’d like to ask u something. Is it nasescery to use amino acids, proteins etc. Can I increase muscle size without using them? Also, about the weights. Should it be heavy or light? Or something between? I asked some people and some say heavy, some say not heavy not light something between so I’m confused…