The Ugly-Truth About Personal Training: What You Need To Know Before Signing Up For Another "Workhorse-Routine" Training Package

By Alex Mok, Founder & Fitness Coach | 23rd May 2023

🕒 5-7 mins read

" I was 107kg when I met Alex and since then I have shred 25kg!"

You Don't Need Another 20-Session Package From Your Trainer Just To See Results

Personal Training really need not be THAT expensive. Now I’m not saying they’re not effective. They have their time and place. But let me ask you, do you know what exactly you are paying for?

Let’s break it down..

The average Personal Trainer charges anywhere from $75 – $150. For the sake of this example, we’ll take the average: $100.

Say your trainer recommends that you go to the gym 3 times a week. That’s 12 sessions a month.

$100 x 12 sessions = $1200/month

Now that’s excluding your gym membership, supplements and other miscellaneous expenses such as food and transport. 

Adding it all, could easily put you back about $1500 EACH MONTH just so that you can have someone help you achieve your fitness goals.

But the real question is, “Is it really worth paying that much?”

The “Personal Trainer Enchantment” Is Real

YES – It’s true!

That too coming from someone who’s been-there-done-that for the last decade as a personal trainer.

Over the last decade, I realized a pattern that kept emerging with the clients that were approaching me for coaching.

Despite coming from various work and family backgrounds, almost every individual had similar shortcomings to another, when it comes to why they haven’t been achieving their fitness goals with their previous trainers.

And no matter how different they were individually, there were 3 common grounds on which they met:

  • Their choice of workouts
  • Their nutrition plan
  • And their level of accountability

     

The success of the first was 2 largely dependent on the knowledge and experience of the personal trainers they hired previously. 

Now almost every personal trainer has to go through a proper certification process even before they can take on a client. So it’s a given that they DO possess the right amount of knowledge to bring results to a client.

However, knowing it for yourself is one thing. But being able to impart that knowledge to someone is another. (More about this later..)

The latter – “level of accountability”, however, isn’t something that can be imparted overnight. But rather cultivated through proper coaching by implementing good habits around their lifestyle, internally and externally.

Internal Factors

  • Procrastination
  • Lack of purpose
  • Fear of failure

External Factors

  • Time
  • Location
  • Work schedule
  • Other commitments

Now most trainers (not all) would rather sell you on a long-term package with them by getting you to follow a fixed set of instructions each session than to fix the problem at the root cause.

Why?  Because it’s so much easier.

I mean who would want to pay someone just to be told that they have poor accountability? (I mean at least I wouldn’t haha)

And for this reason alone clients end up falling prey to the “personal trainer enchantment” and never really break-free from the cycle of buying packages over and over again.

The Way People Train Has Completely Changed Forever - And It’s Only Here To Stay

The recent global pandemic has completely changed the way people operate their business and fitness is no different. 

As more people started to move online, there were a ton of personal trainers who were doing live zoom trainings, group classes and many other programs just so they could stay afloat.

The whole fitness community online was cluttered with noise leaving people confused with which program to choose that’ll work best for them.

Here’s a shot of me conducting my live online class (warning: not the glamorous of photos – lol)

Many tried to create the next best fitness program but as they met more challenges over the weeks, almost every other “fitness guru” that emerged during Covid-19, dropped whatever they were doing over time. 

However, there were a few programs that braved through the tough period and actually developed into a long-standing product in some personal trainer’s arsenal.

Here are some of the pros and cons of such programs that were training people remotely. 

Pros: 

  • Train on your own schedule – never have to worry about your trainer’s schedule 
  • Workout from anywhere – can train anywhere in the world. even when on a holiday with family
  • Extremely Affordable – almost a third of what you would spend with an average trainer

     

Cons:

  • Program not tailored to your needs – Not personalized and everyone following the same program
  • Can’t check your form – You never really know if you’re doing the exercises correctly
  • Not great for people with little or no self-motivation

     

Now when you weigh them out, you’d realize that training remotely with an online program made more sense and was actually better than having a personal trainer due to the ease of use but ONLY if you could fix the missing link.

So Can Online Training Bring In The Same Results As In-Person Training?

Now not many people know this but the truth is, online training can bring you THE SAME RESULTS if not BETTER than an in-person training as long as you follow the 3 “CORE” fundamentals which we call the BIG3:

The common traits of people that were getting results in my live online programs were the ones that were following the right set of workouts, the correct nutrition plan, and actually being accountable in implementing the advice given during the online coaching. 

It wasn’t rocket science. But there was a catch. (I’ll reveal this later..)

So then it occurred to me, could someone actually get results just by following the BIG3 without actually having a personal trainer right beside them?

And if so, how long should they keep to the plan in order to see the results? 

How Long Does It Take To See Real Results?

As I went back to the drawing block, I started to piece the puzzle together right from the first day of my coaching to declutter every advice and practices that I have ever implemented with my clients.

And it led me to 2 findings:

  1. The clients that were getting consistent results were the ones that followed ALL of the BIG3 “CORE” formula. The ones that were unable to get the same results within the stipulated time, only followed either one or two parts of the formula.

    The reason for this is because each “CORE” of the BIG3 is interdependent and has a key role to play in helping someone get the maximum output from their workout program

  2. And for those clients that stuck through diligently, were able to see visible results from an 8 to 12 week period.

     

So what exactly are the core fundamentals that you have to follow in order to see similar results for yourself?

Let me break it down for you..

CORE 1: Generic Workouts vs Customized workouts - Which one is better?

The common misconception that people have when browsing YouTube videos is that every workout they see can and will bring them results.

However this is far from the truth. 

What people need to realize is that by following a generic program on YouTube, chances are you will NOT get the same results as the person in the video unless of course you are able match the intensity of the workout. 

And there are 3 factors that affect this:

Since they are catering to a mass-market, generic programs tend to have a “one size fits all” intensity which often makes your workout less progressive causing you to plateau after some time.

As compared to a customized program, where your workouts are dynamic and built with gradual intensity to ensure you see results CONSISTENTLY over the weeks.

And for this reason alone you would realize that whoever downloads a workout app or enrolls in a fitness program usually tend to fall off after a period of time when they do not see results.

If you are anything like my clients whom I used to train before, they are constantly facing a plate-full with their schedule and family needs. Which means the amount of time they spend in the gym has to be maximized to the fullest potential

And that is why I personally recommend a training-style called “German Body Composition” for anyone who only has 45 mins a day to spare for their workout

Now I’m not going to go into the technical details of this form of exercise but what it essentially does is that it compacts a series of exercises with short active rest periods within a 45 min window.

No two combinations of exercises are similar and are strategically arranged to accelerate the fat burning process for each client giving them the best “bang for the buck”.

Onto the second “CORE”: Nutrition

CORE 2: 7-day Calorie Deficit Window - The Secret Hack In Nutrition

With the rise of content creators and the way they hype things on social media, it’s easy for anyone to fall for different diets that are trending such as keto diets, intermittent fasting, etc…

Truth is every diet works. There is no one diet that is better than the other as they all have their individual purpose to help people achieve different goals.

It’s all about choosing a diet that compliments your lifestyle & training and actually sticking to it.

To eliminate the buzz and guesswork out of it, I always encourage my clients to follow the 7-day calorie deficit window. This is perfect for anyone who is always out and are unable to prep their meals beforehand.

Unlike the usual mundane nutrition guidelines that most trainers will give you – which is eating within the calorie count daily,  the 7-day calorie deficit window is a more flexible method that allows you to vary your calorie intake daily. 

Which means you are able to eat whatever you want as long as you stay within the calorie count for the week.. 

Here’s a visual representation of how this works:

Say you are supposed to consume 2000 calories daily. 

The usual method will require you to hit that count everyday.

However, when you follow the 7-day calorie deficit window, you are able to reduce the intake on some days if you’re saving up the calories for the weekend.

This is ideal for anyone who wants to eat out with your family or colleagues without worrying too much about how much they’re consuming daily.  All you have to note is that you stay within the calorie count for the week. That’s it!

Keeping the nutrition aspect simple ensures that you are able to follow through each time and not be detrimental to the progress that you’re making in the gym.

Onto the last “CORE”: Accountability

CORE 3: Choosing The Right Coach - How To Make Accountability Work For You To Ensure You Are Making Progress Consistently

There are 3 aspects when it comes to the accountability of the BIG3:

  1. Individual Accountability

    The tricky part about coaching is that you need to find someone who takes careful consideration in understanding your lifestyle and needs to the fullest. Not only should the coaching be firm and hold you accountable for your actions, they should also be able to educate you along the way to ensure you stay on track with your intended progress.

    Most personal trainers are afraid to say certain things as they feel that they may lose you as a client. However, this can be counterproductive when trying to help you reach your fitness goals.

    You would rather have these hard conversations now and achieve your dream body than to feel good about yourself thinking that you’re making progress when you’re actually not.

  2. Community Support

    Being part of a community can be a great catalyst for long-term change if done right and here’s why:

    We are all humans and we can get lazy or busy at times which makes it easy for us to fall off track. A community with like-minded individuals often helps as it gives you the “kick in the butt” every once in a while when you need it.

    With 1-on-1 training, no doubt you get superior attention during the period of coaching in the gym, however once you leave, the accountability factor falls onto you to ensure that you are progressing towards your goal. 

    With online coaching however, you have the same superior attention with your own dedicated trainer even after the gym, as well as a community where you can share your progress, which can inspire others to push harder, or get inspired when you’re feeling low. It makes you feel safe and included knowing that you’re not alone in your journey.

  3. After-gym support

    Now most coaches are able to get decent results over a period of time but if you’re looking at a 12-week timeframe, it is
    crucial that all 3 “CORE”s of the BIG3 are aligned to ensure that you hit your fitness goals.

    Oftentimes, the problem with most 1-on-1 trainers is that you are not the only client they have. And it’s just the way it is, as the more clients they take the better their livelihood. 

    This could also mean that after you leave the gym, the attention and care is spread out to the other clients. So in the event you have questions regarding your nutrition or workouts, it is common to leave out important information that could be a “game-changer’ for you or sometimes even get confused with the progress of another client. 

    So being able to have a coach who is also accountable in and out of the gym makes a whole difference. 

Online Coaching Is The New Way Of Training - Break-Free From Buying Packages Over And Over Again

When you put all of the fundamentals of the BIG3 together, you’ll realize that you will have everything you need to achieve the same results without spending a fortune on personal trainers. 

All it takes is the right amount of knowledge, the right set of instructions to follow and a like-minded community to pull you through with your goals. 

If you want break-free from the cycle of buying packages over and over again, and are ready to commit to making the change for a better body and more confident you..

..you can check out a program I’ve created (for those who are looking to lose weight), called the No B.S Transformation Program that is currently helping individuals cut 8-15kg off their bodyweight all while making them independent by educating the science behind the training, in just 12 weeks. 

If you’re interested, click on the link below to find out more.

No B.S Transformation Program

P.s 
I hope you have found some value in the content I have written above. Should you have any questions regarding your fitness (doesn’t matter if you enroll into the program or not), feel free to hit me up.

You can email me at: alexmok@alexmokfitness.com

See you on another post soon!

– Alex Mok

Ready to take on the 12-week No BS Transformation Program?