Why You Shouldn’t Pay For A Gym Program

Recently, I have written up a couple of weight training programs for a few personal friends of mine. As usual, they offered to pay for this – which I refused. The reasoning may seem a little odd for someone trained to develop programs and train people.

The reason: You should never pay money for a program.

It seems a little odd, especially since a lot of gyms advertised how this will be a special saving you will make when you join – but the truth is, there is little value outside of time spent writing up the program that you should be paying for. Below, I will explain this stance and give you the circumstances of when there is value in paying for ‘Online Personal training’.

Programming is Relatively Simple

Despite looking quite complex, the reality is that virtually all programs are relatively simple. They are all based on principle of increasing the volume (amount of weight or number of reps) gradually over time to effect physical adaptation, as well as regularly perform cardiovascular exercise for heart health and increase over caloric deficit. You will not get anything special or dramatically different if you pay for the program with the exception of minor changes (depending on what they offer).

Programs Available for Free Online

There a plenty of effective programs available online suiting every goal including hypertrophy (muscle building) routines, to fat loss, and strength gains. You can find them in on major sites or forums for free, and many will be more effective than those you will pay for. Key strength and hypertrophy training programs include 5×5, Stronglifts, and Starting Strength.

It is Not Time Consuming

It does not take a ridiculous amount of time to develop a program for a client and is potentially the easiest part of a trainer’s role. The value of the trainer is not their program, but their ability to adapt for your learning/training style, knowledge of the philosophies, and rapport.

How About Online Personal Training?

There is value in Online Personal Training, but I believe that a lot of providers are overselling the value and the pricing is ridiculous. The value in Online Personal Training is not the program that is developed for you (which will be more personalised than one you will find online – but not significantly different), but rather the support that is offered to you during the time when you are using it.

Are they available to address any concerns in a timely manner? Are they providing information that will help you during your session? Do they go through the program with you personally to explain any issues? Are they monitoring your progress on a weekly or regular basis? These are the key questions of value when considering an Online PT.


Don’t pay for just a program. You can save your money and use it buying better food whilst you use a training program for free online. Online Personal Training can be pricey (sometimes too much so) but can provide an affordable alternative than seeing a personal trainer regularly. The value is in the support they provide you rather than the program supplied.

If you would like to discuss training, having a program developed, or even online training, feel free to contact me at mozfitaus@gmail.com.


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