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Is personal training REALLY worth it?

Question: Is one-to-one training more effective? At BookIn we’re all about making the expertise of health professionals more accessible to everyone. We asked Elite Personal Training Hong Kong (EPT) founder Nate for his take on this question.

Who needs a personal trainer?

Say you have a fully functioning body. Young, no pain, no knee issues, no fatigue, never had kids… you can get great results from group classes or working out on your own. No problem.

But it’s not that simple for most people. Whether it’s physical complications, time limitations or a lack of motivation, there are a whole host of challenges that can prevent you achieving optimal health. It’s about identifying those obstacles and finding a way to reach the goal in spite of them. That’s exactly what a personal trainer does.

How do you help people reach their goals?

All kinds of people come to me with all kinds of goals.

Mostly it’s weight loss and fat loss – which are two very different things. Losing two dress sizes is much easier than losing 10kg. Some are training for something like IRONMAN. Many have a pre-existing condition making it difficult to reach their goals on their own. And then there are those who just need motivation. Having someone keeping you accountable is a huge piece of the puzzle.

As your trainer, it’s my job to map out a route for you to achieve your goal in a safe and doable way.

And I’m a holistic trainer. So to get you to your goal, whatever it may be, I look at five things in addition to exercise:


In a group of 10 people, it’s hard to say if you will be motivated or not. If they’re all fitter than you, you might be inspired or disheartened.

As a personal trainer, I need to work out what pushes your motivation button. It’s like an on and off switch. If I can get it switched on and keep it on until the next time I see you…? Mission accomplished!


Are you willing to change your eating habits? If you are, great - you’ll hit the target in as little as 8 to 12 weeks. If not, I’ll be real with you. Sure, keep your Friday night binge drinking – just know that your training will be more of a 12 to 24-month deal. That’s the trade-off.

Goals are achieved faster with personal training because there’s less trial and error involved. Do a blood or DNA test, find out what your macros are and cut food intolerances from your diet. Your energy levels will start to lift right away.


Train hard, rest hard. Things like meditation and downtime are super important. Cortisol levels are high when you train. But we also want to lower them so your body can regenerate and transform.


Great, you exercise and eat well – but how much water are you drinking? And what else do you drink? Juices, milk, tea, coffee, alcohol – all these things can play havoc with your health.


In a city like Hong Kong, who goes to bed at 10:30pm? Your body physiologically repairs itself in the first four hours of sleep. I’ve seen injuries heal much faster just because of more sleep!

These six aspects: exercise, mind-set, food, breathing, hydration and sleep are all interconnected and just as important as each other. When you’re filling those 6 cups every day, you’ll eventually be at a point where you look amazing. And I know what a healthy body looks like.

Why did you choose to become a personal trainer?

I started personal training when I was 26 years old. I’m now 45.

I love the variety, balance, personal interaction and measurable results of it. I do kickboxing with one client, stability with another and stretching with someone else. Or I simply serve as a sounding board for them.

But most of all, I love witnessing the transformation. Celebrating their success. Seeing their faces light up as they say, “Nate, I’ve lost 5 kg!”

I had this one client – she was 40 years old and had been suffering from back pain for 6 to 7 years. Every single day. We worked on posture correction, nutrition and lifestyle. And I remember the day she came to me and said, “Nate, I woke up today and I had no pain.” In that moment she realised she didn’t have to be pain every day. And she went on to do the Maclehose.

That’s why I do what I do.


Want to try one-to-one training for yourself? Contact EPT Studios or find a personal trainer, yoga teacher or health coach near you on BookIn. Get those goals achieved!

Also, heck out how personal training helped Dom transform his life forever.

#personaltraining #overweight #breathing #lifestyle #fitness

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