If an average person walked up to me on the street today and said that they wanted to lose weight and were thinking about hiring a personal trainer, I would tell them not to waste their time and money...
…IF they couldn’t commit to at least 3 sessions per week with a trainer, or one with a trainer and at least 2 on their own (or some combination thereof). Don't get me wrong, even one session with a trainer has some value: they can guide you through proper form and mechanics, they can illustrate the intensity you need to exercise with to see results, they can discuss proper nutrition and lifestyle choices, and they can even be a great sounding board for the life issues you face.
If you don’t have the discipline to exercise at least 3 times per week, you probably don’t have the discipline to adjust your nutritional practices. And if you can’t do both of these things, you may as well not work out with a trainer at all, because you won’t see lasting, meaningful results. I’m not saying you can’t get stronger (through neural adaption alone your “strength” will improve), or add some muscle tone. You may even lose 2 or 3 pounds. Simple math shows that if you eat the same and add activity, you are bound to lose some weight. What I am saying, is that if you see a trainer 2 or fewer times per week, don’t work out on your own, and haven’t made any lifestyle and nutritional adjustments, you aren’t getting your money’s worth.
So before you walk into a gym, before you sit down with or call a personal trainer for a “free consultation” (this just means you are going to get a hard sell…trust me), ask yourself if you are really willing to commit to fitness. That means at least 3 workouts per week plus nutritional changes.
Anything short of this type of commitment, and you’re really just fooling yourself. And if you don’t believe me, look your trainer in the eye and ask them if I’m wrong.