Personal Training, Recession-Style

Clients share trainers to save money

By Scott Friedman
|  Thursday, May 14, 2009  |  Updated 10:59 AM PDT
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Personal Training, Recession-Style

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To attract clients in the weak economy, some gyms are letting people share a trainer.

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Personal Training, Recession-Style

Gyms are fighting the weak economy by letting small groups share a trainer.
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When the economy got weak, even the strong had to give up their personal trainers. But now gyms are fighting back, helping clients tighten their belt (financially speaking) and trim their waistline at the same time.

At Baylor Tom Landry Fitness Center in Dallas, small groups of eight people or less now share the cost of a trainer. The price tag is often less than a third of the cost of a one-on-one session.

"There were several of us at work who decided to do it together," Karla Sparrow said. "Since we could do it for $20 a person this way, it was affordable."

More gyms are turning to share-a-trainer programs to hang onto clients in tough times. In a recent survey of personal trainers, the American Council on Exercise (ACE), found 52 percent expect fewer people will hire them in 2009.

ACE is a nonprofit group that certifies personal trainers.

"We've had people who've cut back for one reason or another," said Katie Brumley, a trainer at Baylor Tom Landry.

She said the gym is now adapting to help clients keep their trainers, and trainers keep their clients.

"They're not willing to completely cut out their personal training, so we're having to find ways to help them still be able to come in," Brumley said.

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