Get in shape without breaking the bank

HOUSTON You've probably heard that gyms are offering amazing deals right now, but this is something new -- personal training sessions that were once too expensive for most of us are now at rock bottom prices, some as little as $24 a session.

High cholesterol and three children was the all the motivation Patrick Trask needed to get back in the gym. He wanted a personal trainer, but with some costing up to $100 an hour, he chose to work out with a buddy to save money.

"It also helps with the motivation factor, as well, because you know your buddy is going to be there and you need to show up as well and you can't let them down," he said.

At the YMCA, a one-hour personal training session for one person costs $65. But if you partner up, the cost for each session is $40 a person. That saves Trask $15 each session.

Over at 24 Hour Fitness, the club is running a special for members who have never had a personal trainer before. The deal for first timers is three 50-minute personal training sessions for $129. That's $43 a session, a savings of up to $46.

"For us, it is a way to get those other people who are not involved to give us a chance on a lower price point and that way, they can get experience on what it feels like to have the trainer guide them from point A to point B," said Hung Nguyen with 24 -Hour Fitness.

We found the best deal at Bally's Total Fitness, the club is selling personal training sessions in bulk. The price for 16 sessions with a partner is $764. That's about $24 per person. If you'd rather work out alone, the price for 8 sessions is $299. That price per session comes to $37.38. The catch at Bally's is that you must pay for the package up front.

But before you hire any personal trainer...

"I think experience is really critical," said Keith Klein, who runs the Institute of Eating Management.

Klein has helped sculpt some of the best bodies in Houston, including pro athletes and models. He says you should hire an experienced personal trainer to make sure you're not wasting time or money at the gym.

"A lot of people are doing movements they should not be doing," he said. "They just watch how someone else does it and they don't do it appropriately."

Trask agrees. Since hiring a trainer, he's seen results without breaking the bank.

If you ever have any questions about how to use the equipment or machines, don't forget the staff at these clubs are there to help you and it doesn't cost a dime.

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