The Value of Personal Training

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The value of Personal Training is priceless. For those of you who have never purchased the service of Personal Training, or have never had a great personal trainer, then you may have a hard time grasping this concept.

In doing business as a personal trainer, I often have people question the cost of my services. At Iron Body Studios, my co-owner Eric Gahan and I do not offer bargains, we offer results and safe and effective training backed up by years of formal education, training and experience. In addition, we are professionals, which in the fitness industry can be hard to find.

Contrary to what some people may think, there is a lot of thought that goes into determining the cost for our services. As professionals, we weigh out the market value, our experience, our training, any overhead costs, and what we do above and beyond the services that our clients are paying for in order to determine the costs for our services. Perhaps I am revealing too much information here, but my point is that the cost for our services is not just an arbitrary number.

  • The average cost of a cup of coffee at Starbucks is upwards of $4.00 to $5.00. When you go to pay for your Starbucks coffee do you negotiate the price with the Barista? No, I am sure you do not, because that is what it costs and there is reasoning behind it.
  • When you have to procure Legal Services do you question the Attorney as why he or she charges hundreds of dollars per hour? No, I am sure you do not, because that is what it costs based upon the attorney’s years of education and experience and there is reasoning behind it.
  • When you check out at Whole Foods to pay for your groceries do you try to negotiate the cost of your groceries with the cashier? No you do not, because that is what it costs and there is reasoning behind it.
  • When you pay your tab at a restaurant or a bar do you negotiate the cost of your tab with the server or the bartender? No, I am sure you do not, because that is what it costs and there is reasoning behind it.

So why is it acceptable to question the cost for personal training services?

Recently my co-owner (and boyfriend) Eric Gahan was in Bed Bath & Beyond and had an exchange with the cashier. This exchange was as follows:

Cashier: “Hi, Ohhh Iron Body Studios, What’s that?” (she asks Eric as she is looking at Eric’s Iron Body beanie hat)

Eric:  “Iron Body Studios is the kettlebell, TRX and personal training facility I co-own.”

Cashier:  “Oh, that sounds expensive!  What is the cheapest thing you offer?”

Eric: “The cheapest thing we offer? Really? You want to ask me about a bargain for your body? Your body is all that you really own in this world!”

Cashier: Smiles and says…. “you’re right…..Do you offer classes?”

Eric: “We do, here is my card.  Contact us to schedule a free class and introduce you to the kettlbell and our classes!”

Cashier: “Thank you!”

Why on earth would you want a bargain for your body? You were blessed with one body for the rest of your life. Wouldn’t you want to spend every penny keeping it healthy, fit, functional, and making it last a lifetime? A GOOD lifetime? A lifetime, not in a hospital bed, not plagued by diabetes, heart diseases or injuries? Well, good, consistent personal training helps to prevent all of this.

take care of your body quote

Recently, one of my clients who is a Cardiologist and drives four hours round trip from Laconia, New Hampshire to train with me were discussing her profession as a Cardiologist. During this exchange I stated that she saves lives for a living. In response, she told me that SHE doesn’t save lives, but rather that she prolongs the sick because people come to her when it’s too late; but that I, as a Personal Trainer, save lives. This was our exchange:

Me to my client, “… You save lives for a living…”

My Client: “No Artemis, what YOU do is save lives for a living. You don’t sell gimmicks or bullsh*t, you teach people how to live healthy lives & not get to the point that they need to see a cardiologist. The world needs more people like you who do what you do.”

Her appreciation for what I do for a living touched me tremendously as many people don’t realize this fact. Many people think that there is no formal education or training behind what we do and that as personal trainers all we do is “workout all day”. When in fact, scheduling time for our own personal training sessions is time that is some of the hardest to find because, if you are a good personal trainer you are truly taking care of your clients from within their sessions to beyond and you are performing administrative tasks that keep a business running.

With personal training, you get what you pay for. If you seek a bargain trainer, you will get bargain personal training and perhaps an injury to boot. This is what you can look forward to with bargain personal training:

  • A trainer who is consistently late.
  • A trainer who may no-show on you.
  • A trainer who consistently cancels or reschedules your appointment.
  • A trainer who will literally sit down while you train and just waive his/her hand to give you directions.
  • A trainer who will chew gum while he/she trains you.
  • A trainer who will constantly be checking his/her phone during your training session and perhaps even respond to emails and text messages during your paid hour.

To emphasize the aforementioned bullets, I would like to briefly summarize a training session that I witnessed between another trainer and this trainer’s client:

True Story: Client walks into a training session exclaiming “I feel so fat!!”, trainer orders client to get on the treadmill. Client informs trainer that she is going to start going to Weight Watchers. Trainer provides zero sound advice or discussion to help her with her “diet” dilemma and instead proceeds to type away on her phone.

As the session goes on the trainer does not put the client through a safe and effective training session but rather sits on the floor cross legged and plays with her hair as she talks about her wedding planning with her client while her client is laying prone over a stability ball, literally just laying there, not doing anything.

Now I shall continue with what you will get with “bargain personal training”:

  • A trainer who will give you directions for a particular exercise and then run off to use the restroom during your session while you try to decipher what the heck it is that you are suppose to be doing.
  • A trainer who lacks cleanly, professional attire.
  • A trainer who does not maintain his/her certifications.
  • A trainer who does not stay up to date on the latest literature in the industry.
  • A trainer who does not take time to truly plan out your program for both your short term and long term goals but rather thinks up a “workout” on the fly.
  • A trainer who just wants to make the sale regardless of who you are, what you want and if you both are actually a good fit for one another.
  • Your trainer subjects you to unsafe training practices. For example, I witnessed these two separate incidents, both true stories:

True Story Number 1: There was this one trainer who I used to watch repeatedly have her clients do push ups, or at least attempt to. They were more like the 80’s dance move from the movie “Can’t Buy Me Love”. (As a side note, Eric and I actually refer to these as “Can’t Buy Me Love” Push-ups).

She didn’t take her clients through proper progressions to learn how to do a push-up safely and effectively. Rather she ordered her clients to get down and do sets of 15 push-ups at a time when they couldn’t even do one properly. One time I witnessed her place a 45lb plate on one of her male clients back for his push ups when he was not able to do a safe and effective body weight push-up.

True Story Number 2: I once witnessed a trainer, in the same session, say the following things to his client,

Trainer said to Client: “You know what?? I just got an idea! THIS is what we’re going to do!”

During this same training session, for one of the exercises that the trainer was having his client do, he said to his client: “I am just going to put this mat under you in case you crash and burn while doing this so you have something to fall on…” To me, this meant two things, 1) the trainer did not have the confidence that the client could perform the exercise that he asked his client to do and 2) that the trainer was having the client engage in an exercise that was not safe. Note to potential clients, you shouldn’t need cushioning to crash and burn on; training with your trainer is not skydiving.

Now I shall continue with what you will get with “bargain personal training”:

  • Your trainer does not actually practice what he/she preaches. e.g. eats Doritos, Donuts and McDonalds and teaches kettlebell classes but will declare that kettlebells aren’t really his/her thing. For example, If you walk in to take a Kettlebell class and your Kettlebell Instructor, who is about to take you through a Kettlebell training session says to you, “Kettlebells aren’t really “my thing”, I don’t even train with them myself…” then perhaps you should leave the class and go find yourself a Kettlebell Instructor who actually works with the tool daily, multiple times a day and maybe even lives and breathes the tool so that you are learning from someone who actually has knowledgeable “experience”… (btw, this is a TRUE Story, scary, but yes, true…)

I could go on and on here, but I think you get my point.

I will re-state something that I said at the beginning of this post:

At Iron Body Studios, my co-owner Eric Gahan and I do not offer bargains, we offer results and safe and effective training backed up by years of formal education, training and experience. In addition, we are professionals, which in the fitness industry can be hard to find.

Our clients appreciate this, if I may quote one of our clients Melinda R. as an example of this appreciation:

“I just want to point out how grateful I am that Artemis Scantalides and Eric Gahan are so professional. Over the years and at a variety of gyms, I have observed things OTHER trainers do DURING a one-on-one training sessions with clients. You won’t believe it… here are some things I have seen… – show up late
- make a phone call
- do their own stretching
- go to the bathroom
- fill their own water bottle
- talk to other people nearby (other clients or other trainers)
- check email (and then discuss the email with a client)
- walk away for any of these other things so they are NOT watching the client
- touch the client (not spotting and not demonstrating a particular muscle or anything like that)
- watch someone else working out who is NOT the client. 

Artemis and Eric, thank you for NOT being one of those trainers!”

So, in closing, choose Personal Training because you have one precious body that you need to last a healthy lifetime; with this choose a Higher Standard, NOT a bargain for your body.

If you’re still teetering on if the value for personal training services is really worth the cost, think about whether your fitness, your health and your body are invaluable to you. If it’s that important to you, you will find a way to put aside the money and find the time for personal training, whether it’s to cut back on your daily Starbucks, eating lunch and/or dinner out multiple times per week, long weekend trips multiple times per month, cutting back on weekend ski trips, shopping sprees, weekend nights wasting money on bar tabs, or saving money by canceling the cleaning service and cleaning your own house. If it’s that important to you, you will find a way, if it’s not, then you will find an excuse.

(I know I have used this picture quote before, but I shall use it again…)


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