Personal Trainer Rates In The Singapore Fitness Industry

April 27, 2013

Image of personal trainer working with a client.As the popularity of personal training continues to rise unabated across the world, including here on our sunny isle of Singapore, the perennial question that never fails to arise in the minds of most consumers is: how much should I realistically expect to pay for such personal training services?

Though we – at Singapore Fitness Professionals Network – have tried to address this question in the past (please see one of our earlier blog posts: “Singapore Fitness Training Rates: What They Really Tell You About Your Fitness Provider”), we still get inundated with emails, queries and questions on the above topic – time and again.

So, in an attempt to “de-mystify” the mystery behind the rates and cost of hiring a personal trainer here in Singapore – once and for all – we will do our utmost here to provide you – the General Public and Fitness Consumer – with a comprehensive breakdown of what really goes into the pricing of a personal trainer here.

First of all, there are numerous factors that contribute to what and how a personal trainer charges.

These factors include:

  • Qualifications
  • Experience
  • Location Of Training
  • Time Of Training
  • Achievements (Titles/Awards/Accolades)
  • Demand/Availability
  • Specializations/Area Of Specialty
  • Media Exposure
  • Associations

We will look at each of these contributing factors in turn.

1) Personal Trainer Cost As A Function Of Qualification

Obviously, the MORE qualified and certified a trainer is, the HIGHER his/her rates. Hence, trainers with internationally recognized certifications, multiple qualifications and/or with solid educational backgrounds are definitely going to cost you much MORE than a trainer who has just a basic, entry-level fitness background.

2) Personal Trainer Cost As A Function Of Experience

Personal trainers who have clocked-in several years of coaching experience are also going to cost you much MORE than the novice or rookie trainer who is still finding his/her way around. Usually the LONGER that a personal trainer has been involved in the fitness industry, and the more experienced and established he/she is, the HIGHER his/her hourly charges.

3) Personal Trainer Cost As a Function Of Location

Whereas in the exact location that a personal training session takes place – will also play a large part in determining how much a personal trainer charges. A training session that is being held at a TRAINER’s own fitness facility will VARY greatly compared to that conducted at a CLIENT’S residence. It should be no surprise therefore that the cost will be much HIGHER if a trainer has to make private house calls or home visits.  Additionally, some trainers may also estimate the DISTANCE he/she may have to travel to the client’s destination, in combination with other factors like fuel cost, travel time, overall convenience, etc – to determine the FINAL cost which takes into account all the above-mentioned factors. On top of that, whether a training session is conducted INDOORS (think: shelter, comfort, privacy, air-con etc) as opposed to OUTDOORS (think: rain, sun, wind, public scrutiny etc) may also influence how much trainers charge for their services.

4) Personal Trainer Cost As A Function Of Timing

The TIME at which a personal training session takes place also determines the cost of the sessions concerned. Peak Hour slots – such as those in the early mornings and late evenings – are known to be charged at a HIGHER rate by some trainers, compared to “lull” periods in-between the rest of the day. Also, if sessions are to be held at Odd/Extreme Hours – such as late at nights (think: 10pm or later) or super early in the mornings (think: 6am or before), a premium rate will also be usually quoted.

5) Personal Trainer Cost As A Function Of Achievement (Titles/Awards/Accolades)

Personal trainers who have won titles, achievements, awards and accomplishments in the fields of physique/figure contests, sporting competitions and/or other fitness or sports-related areas will usually also cost MORE than one who has not attained any such credential or achievement. So, if one is trained by a former National Champion, or by a Multiple Award Winner, or by a trainer with a whole string of accolades – be prepared to pay a premium price for his/her services.

6) Personal Trainer Cost As A Function Of Demand & Availability

The more popular, in-demand and sought-after a trainer is, the MORE he/she is obviously going to cost. In Singapore, as in many parts of the developed world, it is not uncommon to hear of top-notch personal trainers who have clients on waiting lists for as long as 2-3 MONTHS! Such trainers – who are in HIGH demand, but with LIMITED time slots available – are going to cost much MORE than those trainers who are in low demand, and who have lots of spare time and plenty of free slots on hand!

7) Personal Trainer Cost As A Function Of Advanced Specialization

Personal trainers who have attained advanced specializations in fitness specialty fields like: special population training (eg. pre-post natal fitness, senior/older adults fitness etc), sports nutrition, corrective exercise etc, and/or other niche areas, are also going to cost MORE than the average, general-trained fitness practitioner. These personal trainers – by virtue of their higher learning, advanced training and specialized expertise – will charge significantly HIGHER rates than the average, run-of-the-mill trainer.

8) Personal Trainer Cost As A Function Of Media Exposure

Personal trainers who have been widely profiled and featured in the Mass Media – such as on News, on TV, on Radio, on the Internet, in fitness and heath magazines, and in other mass-circulated publications – will also cost MORE than the less-heard-of and less-seen-of trainer lurking in the background. By virtue of their ‘Celebrity Pop Status’, these trainers will command a HIGHER fee than the lesser known ones.

9) Personal Trainer Cost As A Function Of Association

Personal trainers who choose to work and associate with High Net Worth Individuals – including, but not limited to: TV & Sports Personalities, Celebrities, Dignitaries, Royalties, Socialites and other VVIP people; by virtue of their close association with these group of individuals – are also known to charge much HIGHER rates than the average trainer who works only with the common man-in-the-streets.

Conclusion

As one can see by now, there is a whole list of factors which inter-play and interact together to determine how much a personal trainer is going to price himself/herself, and how much – YOU – as the fitness consumer is expected to pay.

So, the next time if you come across a personal trainer charging $50/hour, and another charging $80/hour, and yet another whose going rate is perhaps $200/hour, don’t be overly surprised, shocked or confused.

Just bear in mind that the whole slew of factorsas mentioned above – are the ones responsible for this wide variance in personal training costs here in Singapore and across the rest of the world.

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Is The Personal Training Industry In Singapore Dying? Part 2

October 24, 2011

Image of a personal trainer conducting personal training.This is a follow-up to our article of the same title written last week.

For those who miss Part 1, do click on the following link below to read it:

Is The Personal Training Industry In Singapore Dying? Part 1

Well, what’s your response after reading the first article?

Do you really think the personal training industry in Singapore is going the way of its western counterparts – to its imminent DEATH – in view of all the overwhelming evidence against it ???? 

Well, this is what we – at Singapore Fitness Professionals Network honestly think:

1) First and foremost, we do acknowledge  that it is indeed going to be HARDER and HARDER for most personal trainers, or as a matter of fact, any personalized service provider to survive in the industry because of all the various reasons cited in part 1 of our article.

However, the good thing is this: all the additional competition and economic changes will only serve to WEED OUT the various pretenders’, ‘sub-standard’ trainers and other‘half-baked’ imposters from the REAL professionals in the industry – those who are fully committed to the profession, who invest time and effort in professional upgrading, and whose expertise, experience and voice of reason and authority SEPARATE them from the ordinary and common trainers.

2) Regardless of economic conditions, there will ALWAYS be a pool of people who will NEED, WANT and can AFFORD personal training. Frankly, no other fitness programs can substitute the personalised attention, privacy, customization and accelerated results that often accompany personal training, and these benefits and more will always appeal to individuals who appreciate them and who are seeking after them whole-heartedly.

3) From a social point of view, personalized forms of services have long since been very much a part of the life of the High Society in Singapore – those belonging to the elite membership circle of the “Rich, Successful and Famous”. ( just think: personal chauffeur, personal chef, personal maid, personal masseur and the list goes on …) 

Frankly, many of the “Who’s Who” in the upper echelons of society CAN and WILL continue to pay for personal training – if not for the various tangible health/fitness benefits that it brings – but also very much for the status/class symbol that it represents.

This brings us back to the question: Will Personal Training really DIE off in Singapore one day???

Well, in view of all the above factors, we unequivocally feel that the answer is a resounding: NO.

Personal training will NEVER EVER ‘die’ off in the literal sense.

Those who insist they will, are simply making premature assumptions based on their own biased and short-sighted views.

But what will certainly happen is this: personal trainers will certainly need to UP their service standards by several notches, MARKET themselves more professionally and selectively, and operate in a much SMARTER way than ever before in order to survive and prosper.

Otherwise, they could very well be left ‘for dead’ – for good.


Is The Personal Training Industry In Singapore Dying? Part 1

October 20, 2011

Photo of a personal trainer working with a client.Recently, a lot has been written in blogs, forums and other media about the deteriorating state of the personal training industry in the West.

In fact, quite a number of fitness authorities have even gone on record to say that personal training is fast becoming a dying industry in the 21st Century !

And that has set us thinking – frankly – how much of these that are written or discussed also apply to our local fitness industry here in Singapore?

Before we venture any further, we will need to first qualify what we mean by “personal training” in the context of this blog discussion.

Though personal training – to most people – usually means personalised fitness coaching (especially in relation to weight-loss or muscle-building), we would like to push the boundaries a bit, and use it a little more loosely here – to include ALL forms of personalised training or private coaching as long as they are related to the realm of fitness/wellness.

Hence, in other words, private one-to-one lessons in Yoga, Pilates, Dance Aerobics, and even Self-Defense among others, also qualify as “personal training” here – as they satisfy the requirements of a one-on-one, private or personalised approach in fitness/wellness.

Bearing this in mind, let look at some of our observations about the Singapore Fitness Industry as a whole:

1) Explosion in trainer/instructor numbers over the last few years.

With the rise of personalised services and the growing affluence of the middle class in Singapore, more and more people are now eyeing the wealth potential in the fitness industry, and are jumping aboard the fitness/wellness bandwagon to get themselves “certified ” as trainers/instructors in the various fields of fitness.

Add to that the increasing number of ‘Foreign Talent’ ( think Philippines, India, China etc ) migrating in droves to our shores and also contributing to these numbers in the industry, the end result is an over-flow of trainers (many of questionable quality) competing with one other for a bite of the fitness pie.

Incidentally, many trainers are also now resorting to price wars – slashing their enrolment costs or session fees in order to attract more clients –  an unfortunate and unwise strategy, which any sound economist would attest to – as it usually sounds the death knell of that business or industry in the long run. 

3) Growth Of Group Training

If you’ve been following fitness news across the world, you would be aware that group training or boot camps – as they are popularly known – are also taking off in a big way throughout the world and Singapore.

This may well have to do with the changing perceptions that people have with regards to the traditional notion of fitness coaching, and also perhaps a response to the deteriorating conditions of the world economy – where people are now more cost-conscious in view of the uncertainties ahead.

By pooling resources to pay for a single trainer/coach, clients are not only able to save significant costs in training fees, enjoy group camaraderie at the same time, but also receive some form of instructional and supervisory guidance over their fitness workouts.

As such, more and more fitness enthusiasts are now ‘migrating‘  from one-on-one personal training sessions to group-based exercise classes.  

3) Bad State Of The Current Economy

As earlier mentioned, the Singapore economy is more often than not buffeted by the headwinds of the various economic ills from around the world. And with a ‘bear market’ looking increasingly likely for the Singapore economy in the near future, more and more people are now starting to tighten their belts and are more than willing to forgo the little “luxuries” in life. And personal training, unfortunately, is often one of the first ‘luxuries’ in life to be sacrificed in any attempt to save costs.

4) What do YOU think ????

Honestly, is it really all doom and gloom for the personal training industry in Singapore?

Is there no more hope for personal trainers whose livelihoods depend so much on private one-on-one fitness coaching?

Please feel free to let us know what you think. 

In the meantime, stay tuned for the 2nd part of our series – Coming Soon!


Why You Don’t Need A Personal Trainer In Singapore

September 20, 2011

Image of a stupid-looking personPersonal trainers and fitness coaches are pretty hot right now in Singapore. You may have seen them in action in your neighbourhood gym or commercial fitness facility – training men and women of different ages and builds.

And now, maybe you’re intrigued. If so many people are using personal trainers and private fitness coaches here in Singapore, there must be something to it, mustn’t it? 

Well, the truth is you simply don’t need any trainer to teach you about fitness.

And here’s why:

1)  You Are Smart Enough To Train Yourself

Let’s face it – getting fit is easy. Building muscle is easy. Losing weight is easy. Why bother getting a trainer???

You can always pick up fitness information from the internet, from newspaper articles, from magazines off the rack and then apply everything you read to yourself, right? What more can be easier?

As someone with brains and sophistication, you are definitely better off training yourself with so much available information floating around you.

Simply take your pick of any training routine out there and then apply it wholesale to yourself.

And hey presto, soon you’ll have the body of your dreams!

2) It’s Not Worth The Money

After all, it’s just your fitness, health and body you’re talking about, right? No big deal. Why waste so much money on a personal trainer???

Ya, no doubt fitness professionals may have all the relevant knowledge, formal education and professional expertise in the areas of training, nutrition and human physiology, but hey, who needs all these airy-fairy things?

Your money can be better spent in areas like bingeing out at Burger King, watching late-night movies (while slurping your Coke and munching away at Nachos), and of course, buying that iPhone you’ve always wanted.

Your body and health are never as important as money, right? 

What’s more, if you really screw up your body and fitness with some lousy training routine, you can always undo it, can’t you? No big deal.

3) You Can Always Learn From Buddies Around You

What are friends for? You can always workout with a buddy who is an ‘expert’ in training and then follow exactly what he/she does. Makes sense, right?

After all, your buddy must surely know something about training, right? Just look at the size of his arms!

Moreover, your buddy’s body works exactly like yours too, correct? So what works for him/her must surely work for you, too. Simple logic, right?

So, just go and make friends with all the impressive-looking bods out there and then learn their training ‘secrets’ – and then replicate them like for like. 

See, told you it is easy, isn’t it?

Always do what the famous philosopher said: “Monkey see, Monkey do” and you’ll be fine. Promise.

In Conclusion

Personal trainers and fitness instructors are just a waste of time…..

After all, they are merely ‘teachers’ of fitness .

And as an adult who still needs teachers or mentors to tell you what to do and how to do things???

After all, you’ve been getting along fine all these years, right?

Hmmmm, just wait a minute…..


Pet Peeves Of Singapore Personal Fitness Trainers

May 29, 2011

Image of an unhappy personal trainerEveryone has his/her pet peeves at the workplace, and our personal trainers and fitness coaches in Singapore are no different too.

The following are some of the most common pet peeves shared by trainers, instructors and coaches from the Singapore Fitness Industry.

If you happen to be a fitness client or a fitness consumer reading this, we hope you will also sit up, take note and make a mental note NEVER EVER to  impose any of the following “irritants” on your trainer or coach.

Common Pet Peeves Of Singapore Fitness Trainers & Coaches:

1. Fitness clients who are ALWAYS late and never repentant.

2. Fitness clients who think they are SMARTER than their trainers just because they have some half-baked fitness knowledge, or happen to have some prior training background.

3. Fitness clients who love to WHINE and COMPLAIN about everything.

4. Fitness clients who keep CANCELING or RE-SCHEDULING their workouts.

5. Fitness clients who FAIL to follow what their trainers tell them to do. 

6. Fitness clients who don’t PAY on time.

7. Fitness clients who can’t stop TALKING or GOSSIPING.

8. Fitness clients who JUMP-HOP from trainer to trainer.

9. Fitness clients who have UNREALISTIC expectations.

10. Fitness clients who can’t STAY OFF their Blackberrys or iPhones while training.

11. Fitness clients who are RUDE, OBNOXIOUS and ARROGANT.

12. Fitness clients who simply CAN’T be bothered.

Well, there you have it: 12 top pet peeves of personal trainers and fitness instructors in Singapore.

Have any of your own???

Feel free to share them with us.


What Singapore Personal Trainers And Fitness Pros Can Learn From The Japan Disasters

April 4, 2011

It has been almost a month since the devastating earthquake and massive tsunami descended upon Japan’s coastal towns and surrounding areas, causing widespread destruction and reducing everything in their path to rubble.

Add to that the subsequent scenario of a deepening nuclear crisis looming over the country, it is obvious that the people of Japan truly have their hands full dealing with one catastrophe after another.

Back in our safe haven here in Singapore, many Singaporeans (including not a few from the Singapore Fitness Industry) have commendably opened their hearts and wallets to the Japanese people, and pitched in generously with donations and reliefs of various kinds to show their unanimous support for Japan.

Incidentally, from these Japanese disasters, numerous lessons have also emerged for the rest of humanity.

Iamge of Japan people reacting to the crisis 2011.

These lessons include:

Expect The Unexpected

Life is full of unexpected twists and turns, and the earlier we recognize this fact, the better it is for us. As a personal trainer or fitness professional in Singapore, though we may be relatively sheltered from natural or physical disasters, the spectrum of other “disasters” – such as financial, personal or career – are always hanging over our heads, and could very well strike us – anytime, anywhere. For instance, a ‘major’ or ‘loyal’ client may suddenly decide to terminate your fitness services without prior notice. Or, worse, you could find yourself dragged to court by a client for liability issues related to your fitness practice. Whatever it is, the lesson to learn is: constantly be on your toes, look out for ‘warning ‘ signs or signals that something is amiss, and to expect occasional unexpected changes to your status quo from time to time.

Be Prepared

Being prepared for the worst – mentally, emotionally, financially and physically – may be one of your best investments to date. We never know when a tragedy may strike us – such as the discovery of a terminal illness just when we are at the height of our fitness careers, or an accident which may permanently curtail our career as a fitness professional, or even the loss of a loved one just when everything else seems going along fine. Since no one on earth can be entirely spared from crises or tragedies throughout our lifetime, the best bet is to be prepared for the worst-case scenario in our lives. Being prepared will help to soften the blow when the unexpected happens, and puts us in the right frame of mind to deal constructively with the situation.

Be Organized And Efficient

The Japanese penchant for organization and efficiency are laid bare for all to see during this period of national crises. Amidst the destruction in the country, the Japanese’s ability to pick up their lives in such an organized and efficient manner are truly admirable traits for all the other races and cultures of the world to emulate. All professional fitness coaches and group exercise instructors in Singapore can also pick up a thing or two about organization and efficiency from the Japanese. Whether it is the day-to-day scheduling of your fitness lessons, or doing the preparation work for your fitness classes, being organized and efficient will inevitably help you to attain the level of success and accomplishment that you want.   

Always Stay Calm And Positive

The ability to stay calm, positive and even in high spirits are some of the positive characteristics that have emerged from the recent Japan disasters. Despite the massive loss of personal belongings, investments and loved ones, many victims of the current disasters have remained stoic and calm, and even managed to spread positive vibes and goodwill to fellow sufferers around them. Fitness professionals in Singapore would do well to emulate the Japanese, and inculcate these traits of positive thinking and calmness too. Being positive and calm in all situations would only elevate your professionalism, enhance your reputation, garner respect from your clients and peers, and increase your chances of success in your fitness career and personal life.

As the aftermath of the disaster continues to unfold, we – at Singapore Fitness Professionals Network – would like to join the rest of the world in offering our heartfelt prayers and blessings to all the people of Japan and wish them all the best in the coming days ahead.

And knowing the admirable traits that the Japanese people possess, we have no doubts that they will eventually triumph over their recent hardships and mishaps, and emerge victorious at the end.


Best Portable Fitness Equipment For Singapore Personal Trainers And Fitness Coaches

March 7, 2011

Image of TRX suspension training in progress.As more personal trainers and fitness coaches in Singapore provide mobile and in-home fitness services to their clients across the island, the question invariably arises: what fitness equipment is best suited for training clients who have no access to a gym, or for someone who prefers working outside a gym context, or for one who is constantly on the move?

Our team at Singapore’s Directory Of  Fitness Professionals then decided to search for some viable solutions for our mobile personal fitness trainers. As we ponder over the solutions, we set in place the following criteria:

  • The choice of equipment have to be portable, compact, light-weight & convenient.
  • These fitness equipment should be able to setup easily within seconds or minutes.  
  • They must also fit comfortably into a regular-sized backpack used by most Singapore fitness professionals – thus satisfying the criteria of being a “gym in a bag”.
  • They must be versatile enough to provide a full-body workout and a wide range of exercises.
  • They must be usable and applicable to all client types: including people of varying fitness levels.

After much animated discussion and an exhaustive search on the Net, we finally shortlisted the following which we think are some of the best portable fitness equipment available around.

And in no particular order of merit, they are:

1. Jump Rope  

Image of a jump ropeThe humble jump rope is one of the most underrated piece of equipment in the fitness realm. Light, versatile and inexpensive, a single jump rope can help your client burn up to 1000 calories per hour, optimizes his/her cardiovascular fitness, tones all the major muscle groups of the body, and has the ability to maximize athleticism by integrating agility, coordination, timing, and endurance training. Not to mention that it is extremely fun and can be performed in countless variations and styles.

 

2. Resistance Tubings/Bands

Image of resistance tubingsAnother inexpensive and highly portable piece of equipment that should belong to the “toolkit” of any mobile fitness instructor is the resistance band/tubing. Available in various resistance levels, the resistance band/tubing can effectively replicate any exercise in the gym, and has the added advantage of providing multi-directional resistance – something that no free weight can do. Also, they are great for functional training as they can be used to mimic real-life sports scenarios like punching, throwing, pulling and kicking.  

 

3. Power Wheel

Image of a Power WheelThe Power Wheel is an advanced and revolutionary “Ab-Wheel” that comes with both handles and foot pedals to be used on either the feet or the hands. Commonly used as a “Core” trainer, the Power Wheel can also be used to work one’s shoulders, arms, upper back and lower body. A great portable tool for any mobile fitness trainer when making house-calls!

 

 

4. AquaBells Travel Weights

Image of AquabellsThink dumbbells that are portable, collapsible and water-filled, and you get AquaBells! When filled with water, AquaBells are basically dumbbells, but without the bulk and space-consuming features that usually accompany free weights. In all other respects, AquaBells function exactly like free weights, affording the fitness trainer a variety of exercise variations for the fitness client.

 

5. Stability Balls

 Image of Gym Balls

Stability Balls, or sometimes called “Exercise Balls”, “Physio Balls”, “Swiss Balls” or “Gym Balls” etc have been around for some time, and are most commonly used by physical therapists, exercises trainers and fitness coaches in a gym context. However, they are actually very portable, and can be easily deflated and carried along wherever one goes, and then inflated again in a matter of minutes with a pump when needed. This makes the Stability Ball a useful and portable device that can be used for core training, resistance-training or even aerobic training.

 

6. TRX Suspension Trainers

Image of a TRX Suspension TrainerThe latest fitness craze to hit Singapore must be TRX Suspension Training. As the name implies, the TRX Suspension Trainer is made up of a pair of elasticized straps that you fix to an overhead anchor point (eg. a bar or a doorway), and then make use of one’s own suspended body weight to perform a myriad of exercises. Not exactly a cheap piece of equipment ( it can cost well over S$300 apiece here in Singapore) the TRX Suspension Trainer is still a pretty useful and handy gadget for the fitness pro on-the-go.

In conclusion, portable fitness equipment are very useful tools for the mobile fitness professional, and even for the fitness enthusiast who needs to keep up with his/her workouts while traveling, when on-the-move, both indoors or outdoors.

With the above choices, Fitness Pros can now, in essence, “bring the gym along” with them wherever they go and live up to the following motto:

 The World Is Your Gym – Workout Anywhere/Anytime – Indoors Or Outdoors!!!