Is a Personal Trainer Worth it for Weight Loss? The Research Says “Yes!”

Is a Personal Trainer Worth it for Weight Loss? The Research Says “Yes!”

When it comes to the point where you are dedicated to making a lifestyle change, you may have asked yourself “Is a personal trainer worth it?” Perhaps you’re frustrated because previous diets and workout regimens aren’t working . . . and now you are thinking about alternate solutions. 

My name is Brennen Elboeck. I am the president and founder of Personal Trainers at Home and I have been a personal trainer for years now. I could go on to list the benefits of why personal training is worth it throughout this article from my experience only, but I won’t! 

If I’m being completely transparent, I don’t want you to feel like I’m trying to sell you on anything here. That’s why I will instead be sharing what has been found in research and use this to support my findings through my experience as a personal trainer and leader to many other personal trainers. This way you will have the honest facts to make the decision for yourself!

I’m fed up with the amount of sales copy in the fitness industry that puts the readers best interest aside in order to make a quick buck! Often times as a trainer, I actually have to right the wrongs of misinformation with my clients to restore a healthy mindset towards their health and fitness goals. 

This is usually in the form of misinformation relating to nutrition or working out, but nonetheless misinformation is out there and that is not our goal here at Personal Trainers at Home. 


Why Hire a Personal Trainer?


You may be wondering if your reason for thinking about hiring a personal trainer makes a personal trainer worth it. After all, it will be an investment of your time and money. 

One study conducted (1) found that the two main reasons women hire a personal trainer is:

  1. Frustration in failing to achieve fitness goals
  2. Motivation to start and continue a fitness routine

Based on my industry experience as a trainer, the number one motive my team and I see is the need for accountability/motivation. This also doesn’t seem to change much depending on gender. 

Of course there are other benefits to personal training too such as our expertise which comes in the form of workout programming, nutritional guidance, learning proper form, and more specifics which I won’t monotonously list. These benefits perfectly fit the first reason listed from the study above though.

Interestingly too, research has actually shown that working with a personal trainer is likely to change your attitude towards physical activity. 

A study conducted by McClaran, S.R. in 2003 looked at a group of 129 volunteers (men and women) to see how their attitudes changed towards physical activity after a 10-week personal training program. 

The stages of the transtheoretical model were used to determine if the volunteers attitudes towards fitness changed. 

If you’re not familiar, the stages of the transtheoretical model looks as follows:


Of the 129 clients, 27 were already in the highest stage and didn’t move down over the course of the study. Of the remaining 102 volunteers, 61 moved up one stage, 13 moved up two stages, 27 stayed in the same stage, and one moved down a stage. 

Overall, the biggest motives behind getting a personal trainer is the unseen benefit of motivation and accountability and/or expertise. 


Does Personal Training Work? 

Does personal training work?

To begin, working out is always a good thing. Wouldn’t you agree? In that sense, personal training is worth it and always works considering all the benefits listed above. Surely though, you have a specific goal that you want to know could be met by hiring a personal trainer. 

I do confidently believe we help our clients achieve better results than if they had exercised on their own. 

There is evidence to support this too. Mazzetti et al. (2000) found that power output, one rep maximums, training loads, and fat free mass increased significantly in men under a trainers supervision compared to an unsupervised group of men. Both groups were even given the same weight training routine. 

Eaton C.B. et al. (2016) carried out another interesting study that compared two groups of obese patients. This time the group was 79% women and 16% minorities. One group received standard intervention, and the other, received enhanced intervention. Both groups worked with registered dietitians trained as lifestyle counselors (no personal training was done in this study) and received supportive materials on a consistent basis. 

The enhanced intervention group however received many more appointments, and much more tailored and non-tailored materials.

What was found that between the two groups in terms of weight loss, significantly more  enhanced intervention participants lost 5% of their baseline weight. 


When to Get a Personal Trainer


Based on my industry experience, the only hurdle that I do see is resistance from the client. When I say “resistance” I’m not talking down about some clients. I’m also not saying that this “resistance” is intentional. Afterall, reaching your fitness goals is tough. Even with a trainer or nutritionist, it will still ultimately come down to the work you put in!

If your goal is weight loss, then you do have to eat properly when your trainer isn’t around. Most all trainers will be happy to provide you with guidance inside our legal boundaries (legal boundaries apply to personal trainers when it comes to nutrition, if your personal trainer gives you a meal plan this is illegal and I would question their knowledge). Healthy eating ultimately comes down to YOU though!

Your trainer, or nutritionist, won’t be with you 24/7 to monitor your eating. This same concept applies to clients that opt to workout with a trainer perhaps one, or, two days a week and commit to another one, or, two days on their own. 

If you don’t workout on your solo days, then your results could be slowed or stalled! 

I don’t say this to be harsh, and we’re human, so we all slip up sometimes. A good trainer will never tear you down or make you feel bad for the choices you have made. 

I also don’t want to sugar coat this fact either. I think ideally, if you are interested in personal training, first assess your current level of motivation before putting up this investment of time and money. 

If you feel like you are experiencing frustration towards your fitness goals, lacking accountability, and need expertise; but also know you will have a degree of self motivation towards your fitness goals, then a personal trainer is worth it for weight loss or any other fitness goal! 

A personal trainer will be extremely motivating! Although, there will still be an area of your fitness journey that requires you to be motivated when no one is looking! 


Where to Find a Personal Trainer


Nowadays you can hire a personal trainer from anywhere. It could be at your local gym, at home, or online! When you figure out what type of personal training is for you, get to know your prospective trainer(s) and make sure they are the right fit for you and have the credentials to back up what they are talking about. Don’t be afraid to ask!

Here at Personal Trainers at Home, we are one of the very few companies that does in-home personal training (in the Wake County, NC area) and online face-to-face personal training (anywhere!) whilst offering personal training and/or nutritional counseling with a registered dietitian. 

Not only do you just receive these services, you will also receive a Pro Membership to our app with many great features such as nutritional planning/tracking, workouts from your trainer when they are not there, community features, and more; plus monthly recaps of your progress and future goals. 

This is all of course coupled with a personalized workout plan, nutritional guidance and a broad selection of male and female trainers so you can find the right fit for you!

If you are ready to begin personal training, or have more questions, reach out to us here. We start everyone off with a free 45-minute fitness assessment, or simply an intro call if that is more your speed!

Oh, and I promise, we will make a personal trainer worth it!


1.) Melton D. et al. (2010). Women’s Perspectives of Personal Trainers: A Qualitative Study. The Sport Journal. Available at: (Accessed: 16 November 2020).

2.) McClaran S.R. (2003). The Effectiveness of Personal Training on Changing Attitudes Towards Physical Activity. Available at: (Accessed: 17 November 2020).

3.) Mazzetti, S.A. et al. (2000). The influence of direct supervision of resistance training on strength performance. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 32, 6, 1175−1184. 

4.) Eaton, C.B. (2016). A Randomized Clinical Trial of a Tailored Lifestyle Intervention for Obese, Sedentary, Primary Care Patients. Available at: (Accessed: 15 November 2020).