9 Ways To Get Fit If You Can't Afford A Personal Trainer

Certified Personal Trainer By Krista Stryker, NSCA-CPT
Certified Personal Trainer
Krista Stryker, NSCA-CPT is the author of The 12-Minute Athlete: Get Fitter, Faster, and Stronger Using HIIT and Your Bodyweight and a leading expert on HIIT and bodyweight fitness. She lives in Venice, California, and is a certified personal trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
9 Ways To Get Fit If You Can't Afford A Personal Trainer

So many people think they'll never be able to get in shape because they just can't afford to hire a personal trainer, but the reality is that there's a lot you can do on your own to get fit and healthy.

Here are nine ways to get fit if you can't afford a personal trainer:

1. Get a good workout app.

While there's no doubt a trainer can help motivate you to push harder and work out more consistently than you would have otherwise, a good workout app is be the next best thing. Try one of these five workout apps to get fitter in no time.


2. Learn to meal prep.

Most personal trainers and nutritionists stress the importance of meal prepping to ensure you eat healthy throughout the week even if your schedule doesn't always allow for daily cooking.

But meal prepping really isn't that hard and with a little planning, you can be a meal prep pro. Try cooking your meals for the week on Sunday to save time and hassle throughout the week. If you need inspiration, Pinterest is a great place to find creative and healthy meal prep ideas.

3. Embrace bodyweight workouts.

Exercises like air squats, push ups, burpees, and planks are great because not only are they super effective at working your entire body at once, you can do them virtually anywhere. And since bodyweight exercises don't require complicated or heavy equipment, they have a very low chance of injury risk and can easily be modified for your current fitness level.

4. Foam roll.

Most trainers these days will take you through a foam rolling session after your workout to help minimize post-workout soreness and keep you injury-free. But you can get the same benefits when you foam roll on your own: try rolling out sore muscles two-to-five times a week or after each workout for maximum effect.


5. Swap long workout sessions for HIIT.

Sure, a personal trainer can help to motivate you and push you out of your comfort zone, but you can get a similar level of intensity on your own as well. Just swap out long, moderate paced workouts with high intensity interval training and watch as you get fitter than ever in a shorter amount of time. Just make sure to work hard!

6. Stop crash dieting.

Every good trainer or nutritionist will tell you that extreme or crash diets don't work and will end up doing more harm than good in the long run. Instead, try following a gentler, more sustainable approach to eating by following the basic 80/20 rule: eat healthy 80% of the time and give yourself a little more wiggle room the other 20% of the time.


7. Jump rope.

You can get in some cardio no matter where you are with a good jump rope, which will cost you less than $10 and travel with you anywhere. So skip the treadmill and bring out your inner kid with single jumps, double unders, or high knees with a jump rope instead.

8. Eat your veggies.

Every trainer you work with is going to want to talk to you about nutrition and will no doubt emphasize the importance of getting in enough vegetables on a daily basis. But you can monitor your veggie intake on your own by making sure you're eating at least the recommended 2-3 cups daily.


9. Embrace the world as your gym.

Despite what you may have been told, you really don't need to hire a trainer to tell you what to do or even have access to a gym to get fit. Look to what's around you ... use benches for exercises like box jumps and elevated push ups, a nearby park to practice handstands or yoga and monkey bars to do a pull up or two. Get creative!

And most of all, have fun! If you enjoy your workouts, you're much more likely to stick with them. So find something that you don't dread, and get active!

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