Setting Fitness Goals and A Personal Training Budget

Setting Fitness Goals and A Personal Training Budget

Personal Trainer and Client Setting Fitness Goals

Exercising with a Personal Trainer: The Complete Guide to Personal Training

Before you make any investment you should perform a comprehensive assessment of your goals.  Before you think about hiring a personal trainer and setting fitness goals you should definitely ask yourself some key questions to get a feel for your level of commitment.

Do I Really Need a Personal Trainer? Ask Yourself the Following Questions

Do I Have the Mindset Necessary for Success?

Just because you have a personal trainer does not mean you will automatically achieve your fitness goals. It takes discipline and dedication on your part just as much as hard work with your personal trainer. How bad do you want to achieve your physical fitness goals?

Personal Trainer CostCan I Truly Afford a Personal Trainer?

The primary reason for considering to hire a personal trainer is to achieve your fitness goals. Do you have the available finances to afford a trainer long enough to achieve your goals? Hiring a personal trainer is a big financial commitment. If you have trouble paying the rent and bills every month, a personal trainer is a luxury expense which will probably push your finances to the limit.

Do I Have a Positive Support Group?Support Group

It often takes even more than the help of a personal trainer and your own dedication to achieve the desired results. If the people you spend most of your time around, family and close friends go out and eat fast food, drink, bring home apple pies and Ben & Jerry’s and aren’t willing to support your goals, it may not be a wise investment to hire a personal trainer.

Setting fitness goals and accomplishing them will make you happy with your experience with a personal trainer so you should make sure your family and friends are there to help before you even look for a trainer and consider personal training.

Why am I Considering Hiring a Personal Trainer?

Do all your friends have a personal trainer and you want to fit in? Do you just have a bunch of money burning a hole in your pocket? These are the types of honest questions you should ask yourself while setting fitness goals for working with a personal trainer.

Do you really think a personal trainer can help you achieve your goals? Do you have the necessary self discipline and drive to exercise on your own and eat right?

Setting Fitness Goalsfat loss

Setting fitness goals is an integral part of exercising with a personal trainer. Your fitness goals will ultimately determine how long you need to spend with a personal trainer so it is best to try to set them before you meet with a trainer.

The good news about setting goals is your personal trainer will help you fine tune them. During the consultation and throughout your training sessions your personal trainer will keep track of your measurements, setting new fitness goals with you as you make progress.

A Picture is worth 1,000 WordsPicture of Fitness Goals

Setting fitness goals can be a difficult process especially when they must be communicated between a personal trainer and a client.

For example, if a slender woman told a personal trainer, “I want to gain some lean muscle and tone up” she may be picturing the model-like look of woman on the left while the trainer could be picturing the bodybuilder physique of the woman on the right, as they are both lean (low body fat) and toned.

If you are setting fitness goals which are related to your aesthetic appearance it is crucial to find a picture of your desired look.

It can be a picture of yourself back in the day or a fitness model from a magazine. This picture will help your trainer visualize exactly what you are looking for as far as results go.

Include Goals which Are Specific, Measurable and Obtainable

Even though at this point you likely are not familiar with all of the variables which you can control in a training program you can still get a list started with your goals. By including goals based on numbers (quantitative) and based on your perception (qualitative) you and/or your personal trainer can analyze and adjust your training program to achieve your specific measurable goals.

Here are some examples of setting qualitative & quantitative fitness goals:

Qualitative GoalsQuantitative Goals
  • Pants should fit better
  • Lose weight
  • Gain muscle
  • Get six-pack-abs
  • Lose 3 Inches on waistline in 8 weeks
  • Lose 20 lbs. in 3 weeks
  • Gain 5 lbs. of lean body mass in a month
  • Lower body fat percentage from 12% to 6%

Include Short & Long Term Goals
You should have set short and long term measurable goals to the best of your ability before you meet with a trainer. Your personal trainer will help you refine your goals during the personal training consultation. Try your best to separate the goals you can achieve in the short term (a couple weeks to a couple months) and in the long run (few months to a year).

Here are some examples of setting short & long-term fitness goals:

Short-Term GoalsLong-Term Goals
  • Pants should fit better
  • Lose weight
  • Gain muscle
  • Get six-pack-abs
  • Lose 3 Inches on waistline in 8 weeks
  • Lose 20 lbs. in 3 weeks
  • Gain 5 lbs. of lean body mass in a month
  • Lower body fat percentage from 12% to 6%



Buy a cheap spiral notebook and journal and brainstorm as you are setting fitness goals and jot them down. Bring the notebook in to your personal training consultation.

Out of sight out of mind. There is no point in setting fitness goals if you are just going to forget them or ignore them every day.

Again, the personal trainer will help you fine tune your fitness goals at your personal training consultation.

Know your Budget for Personal Training** PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS IMAGE **

If you are thinking about hiring a personal fitness trainer, you need to think beyond setting fitness goals. It is important to know your budget for personal training.

Knowing your budget will allow you to realistically assess your chances of achieving your goals while training with a specific personal trainer.

The bad news is the fitness goals you can accomplish with a personal trainer are directly related to your available budget. Make sure you take into account all of the following factors to assess your budget:

Factors that Influence Cost of Personal Training

Fitness Goals

After setting your short & long-term fitness goals you should get the general picture about how long it will take to achieve the them. If you want to accomplish your long-term goals working with a trainer the entire time you can do the math by multiplying the costs associated with personal training and the time it will take you to achieve your fitness goals.

Cost of Personal Training Sessions

While price often means very little about how effective a personal trainer is, it means very much to your pocketbook. Personal trainers usually sell training sessions in pre-paid packages of 10, 20 and 30 appointments for training sessions.

Setting fitness goals gives you a good idea of how much you will spend to achieve your short and long-term goals but it is not limited to the cost of personal training sessions.

How Many Training Sessions you Plan to Buy

How long do you plan to train with a trainer? Do you plan to work out with a trainer for just the introductory 10 sessions or do you plan to stick with the personal trainer until you achieve your short and long-term goals?

Corporate Gym or Private Studio

If you plan to look for a personal trainer in a corporate gym you need to be ready to pay the associated membership fees in addition to the personal trainer’s fee. If you find a personal trainer at private facilities, there is often no gym fee.

Location of the Gym

If you need to drive your SUV through heavy traffic for 45 minutes to the gym to train with your personal trainer 3 times per week, it’s going to cost you. Do the math so you know how much you’re looking to spend on transportation to and from where you workout with the personal trainer.

Your Adherence to the Exercise Program & Fitness Lifestyle

Last but not least, setting fitness goals and exercising with a personal trainer requires hard work from you in and out of the gym. If you listen to your trainer’s advice and put in the necessary exercise outside of your training sessions along with eating right, you are likely to need less time working with a personal trainer to achieve your goals. In this case, less time equals less money.

Now that You have Completed Setting Fitness Goals and Assessing your Budget it is time to being your Search for a Personal Trainer

Setting Fitness Goals & Training Budget Menu:

Guide to Personal Training

Finding a Personal Trainer

Schedule Personal Training Consultations

Exercising with a Personal Trainer

Fitness Assessment Results – Re-Assessments

More about Setting Fitness Goals

Muscle Building
If you have always been one of those people who your friends consider “too skinny” you may want to to be setting your fitness goals towards building muscle. Setting fitness goals is one thing but accomplishing them in the desired time frame is another. Set your goals with the intention of exploring your potential and breaking through barriers that were once only in your mind. Setbacks are normal when reaching towards your fitness goals so don’t give up.

About Michael Behnken

Mike Behnken is a personal trainer who holds multiple NASM certifications and a MS in Exercise Science. Mike loves fitness, travel, and photography among many other interests.

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