Going to the gym alone vs with a PT

Going to the gym for the first time...

So, you have recently decided to start exercising… 

That’s great!

However, you are asking yourself : 

“Should I hire a personal trainer, or just go to the gym by myself?”

We will give you all the pros and cons so that you can make your own decision!

But first, let’s look at a typical PT session:

What does a personal trainer do?

Before knowing whether you should get a PT or not, let’s look at what services you can expect from your personal trainer.

At Oompf! Fitness, your trainer will take care of every aspect of your training:

  1. Cut the learning curve
  2. Create a customised program for you to reach your goals
  3. Create a nutritional plan to support your training and lifestyle
  4. Optimize your recovery
  5. Actively prevent injuries & help you recover from past injuries*
  6. Adjust your training based on your results
  7. And most importantly: push & motivate you when you’re feeling a bit lazy!


You can already see that if you had to learn about anatomy, training, periodization, injury prevention and nutrition all by yourself, there will be a steep learning curve, and you’ll lack a crucial element: experience!

Our trainers have each coached hundreds of clients, and know what works and what doesn’t. Yes there is a lot of information online about everything training-related, but that is actually an issue: a lot of it is either not accurate, not always applicable or straight up outdated!

1. Cut the learning curve

Going to the gym alone by yourself for the first time can be daunting. There are so many machines (how to even use them?), and everyone seems to know what they are doing…
A good personal trainer will show you the proper execution of movements, tell you which machines to use, how many reps you should do and will make you feel at ease at the gym!

We also have female personal trainers if that can make you feel more confident in getting started!

2. Customised program for you to reach your goals

Would you like to lose weight? Get stronger? Get better at your main sport? Train for the Spartan race? Become more flexible? Compete in bodybuilding or powerlifting? Or simply stay fit and healthy?

It’s easy to find a program online that has worked for a pro athlete, or that was published in a mainstream article… But is it really suitable for you?

Our trainers create a unique program for each of their clients, taking into account their goal, medical history, current fitness levels, lifestyle and potential weaknesses…

3. A personalized nutritional plan

Once you have a great training plan, nutrition will be the next biggest factor you can influence to get the results you are after.

However, do not worry: we never recommend the following “diet plan”:

  • Breakfast: salad
  • Lunch: salad
  • Dinner: salad

Indeed one of the most common misconceptions is that to lose weight or “eat healthy” you need to starve yourself. This couldn’t be further from the truth!
A good diet is one that is sustainable and that you can maintain in the long run, without putting in much effort into it. If you are constantly hungry, you won’t stick to it and will be back to old habits in no time… Having good macros also play a tremendous role in stopping hunger.
Also, if there are certain ingredients you do not like in the diet plan created by your trainer, he will help you find healthy alternatives.

4. Optimize your recovery

While training and eating well play a big role in getting results, recovery also plays a part. You need to know when to push, and when to rest.
Our PT have a lot of tricks to help you optimizing your recovery: sleep, stretching, deep tissue massage, training scheduling and more!

5. Injury prevention

Fitness is a long term journey, and the worst thing that can happen and stop your progress is an injury.
When training alone, we tend to not know our limits and can be tempted to ego lift and push too far. This can cause serious injury.
Another type of injury happens when lifting with improper form. If you are not executing a movement properly, it can become dangerous, even with manageable weights.

Training with a PT ensures you are doing the movements properly and with safe weights.

6. Adjust your training based on your results

When beginners start exercising, they tend to get results really fast, even if they are doing many things wrong. However, after a while, the gains do not come as easily as they used to. This is when it becomes important to follow a proper training, diet and recovery plan.
In big commercial gyms it is common to see plenty of regulars not making progress year over year.
A good personal trainer will adjust your training based on your results. If something is not working, it is easily identified and fixed or changed.

7. Motivation

And most importantly: push & motivate you when you’re feeling a bit lazy!
Motivation is usually what pushes people to sign up to a gym. However, motivation comes and goes. To make long term progress you need to have the commitment to yourself and your results.
It’s a lot more likely you’ll get results when training with a PT, and they also keep you accountable to your progress.

Pros & cons of training with a PT


You will progress faster

A lot less likely to injure yourself

Motivation: a good PT will push you even when you’re feeling lazy!

Nutritional guidance

You don’t have to worry about learning everything by yourself

Get an answer to all your questions

Training becomes more fun, as you can chat with your trainer


It requires a bigger financial commitment

If you travel a lot, it may be difficult to always come back to the same gym


At the end of the day, whether you prefer going to the gym alone or hiring a fitness coach comes down to your preference. All that matters is you become the best version of yourself!

If you want to try personal training at Oompf! Fitness, you can book your first session with us.

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