Why personal training is expensive – Conflict of interest!

As a personal trainer I take you behind-the-scenes to explain why personal training is expensive to save you $1,000’s.

In my 16+ years as a personal trainer, I noted 3 reasons less than 2% of gym members hire personal trainers. new-years-gym-cartoon

*Disclaimer: Not all gyms or health clubs operate under the aggressive sales structures you will read about below. This article is for general awareness and advice.*

My video below explains how expensive personal training (fees/prices) prevents you from losing weight!

Why Personal Training is Expensive – Reason 1: 100% Commission pay structure

Many high-end health club personal trainers have NO base salary and work on 100% commission. This pay structure creates a gym culture of high-pressure personal training sales and lackluster customer service.

This is NOT a fault of the trainer; this is a fault of the for-profit fitness industry structure.

You the consumer end up paying 300% inflated prices to cover management bonuses and commission tips!

This is called conflict of interest: Your personal trainer has to sell as many products and services to maximize his or her paycheck. How does that help you improve your health?

You the gym member are stuck with 2 options:

1. Pay personal training fees to learn how to exercise.

2. Skip the personal trainer and figure out how to exercise on your own.

Why Personal Training is Expensive – Reason 2: Monthly sales goals & Financial incentives to SELL More:

At one for-profit health club I worked in (Lifetime aka LifeCRime Fitness), management incentivized personal trainers to sell more products/services to earn higher commissions: 

Gyms profit by selling you pre-packaged information. Buyer beware when facing a high-pressure sales pitch. You do NOT need training sessions, you need a workout program.
Gyms profit by selling you pre-packaged information. Buyer beware when facing a high-pressure sales pitch. You do NOT need training sessions, you need a workout program.

The more personal training sessions a personal trainer sells you, the higher their commission percentage…

This means personal trainers need to sell you MORE sessions to get a bigger paycheck! BUYER BEWARE!  

This is where the personal training package sales pressure comes into play… Everything is based off how well personal trainers can sell. (You end up with a bunch of skilled personal trainers turned corporate sales zombies by the $sales$ culture.)


For-Profit Health Club/Gym Logic

The higher the “status” the higher the paycheck commission percentage.

For example:

  • Status 1 = Sell less than $3,900/month, trainer pockets 51% of sales
  • Status 2 = Sell $3,900+/month, trainer pockets 53% of sales
  • Status 3 = Sell $5,900+/month, trainer pockets 55% of sales
  • Status 4 = Sell $7,900+/month, trainer pockets 57% of sales
  • Status 5= Sell $9,900+/month, trainer pockets 59% of sales


It appears gym management has their own interest in mind when they encourage personal trainers sell you 30+ expensive personal training sessions…. (This is not about your goals; this is about them hitting their monthly sales goals. Buyer Beware.)

When you exercise in a gym you do not need most of what personal trainers are selling. You need a workout program and easy to follow workout photos which I proudly offer for free!



Why Personal Training is Expensive – Reason 3: Hidden Prices

Maybe you notice few, if any, commercial gyms post the price of personal training.

There is a reason for this, they intentionally hide the price to make you approach a staff member for a “price quote”. This is where the fun begins…

Gyms intentionally hide the total personal training “package” price which normally amounts to $2,000-$3,500! Why? Because they coach their personal trainers to use emotion and “pain points” to lure you into purchase expensive personal training sessions. Poor personal training persuasive sales techniques will be deployed, including the following statements:

  • “It will take you 6 months to reach your weight loss goal but only 2 months with a trainer!”
  • “You could hurt yourself using the equipment if you do not have a personal trainer to guide you.”
  • “You have consistently failed to reach your goal for the past 15 years. I think you need a coach to guide you along and hold you accountable.”


Some of these techniques may be necessary for the habitually unmotivated and special populations. However, the 98% of people who do not have money to hire a personal trainer need something different. Read below to see what you need from your gym staff!

Gym Member Beware! You need a workout program, not a personal training package.

Use my exclusive workout suggestions below to exercise safely in any gym:

 You need a CLEAR plan to follow

– How many days a week can you devote to exercise? – Check your scheudule and make a plan! 

– You need to know what exercise type is best for your body and goals.

– Do you know how many of these workouts should be cardio, strength, flexibility?

– It helps to know of which pieces of equipment will work good for your goals and/or body type!

Not sure what to do? START HERE!




Disclaimer: Personal training is so expensive for many reasons: Personal training can be so expensive because the area you live has a high cost of living. Personal training is so expensive in some areas because there are fewer gyms. Personal training can be expensive because corporate greed and culture are reflected in high prices. Now that you know why personal training is so expensive you understand you can use your gym without a personal trainer!

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