Personal trainer/gym advice needed

Hi everyone,

I need some help! I'm a 32 year old male and have always been very underweight, despite eating a decent amount (and drinking plenty of beers!). I have just always struggled with putting any weight on. I know this sounds like a good problem to have for most people, but I am quite boney and have seen a doctor many times about it, as it affects my confidence massively. Anyway I've seen a dietician, and have also been encouraged to find a personal trainer who can help with safe weight gain. To put this into context, I am about 5 ft 8 and weigh just under 9 stone, so my BMI is about 18/19.

So I need some advice in terms of finding the right sort of support at a decent price. I live in Essex but commute into London every day for work, so happy to do this in either location, although have seen that London can be far more expensive. I have so far looked on the NRPT personal trainer directory and found some PTs in my local area - found a good one who also offers nutrition advice, for £30 a session. it says she does the sessions in your home, workplace or "anywhere" - I think I'd be far more motivated if I was not in my house, plus my partner would be there and that would be quite offputting. But where do people normally do these sort of sessions?

Based on that price a week, I started to think that actually a gym would be a lot cheaper. But I have never been to a gym before and would be very self conscious doing so, particularly where I live, where it would just be a load of meatheads! Can anyone recommend anywhere in London, or a particular gym chain, which offers a reasonable monthly fee but more importantly caters for beginners, or has personal trainers attached to it which I could contact?

Apologies for all the questions - as you can tell I don't know much about all this, but am serious about working on this and getting to a weight/size I am happy with. Equally i don't want to fork out hundreds if I don't have to, but am not sure where to start.

Many thanks, and Happy New Year!


  • lexington013lexington013 Forumite
    335 Posts
    Hi there, I joined Nuffield gym chain, approximately 2years also with a discount thru work. It’s about £37 a week, with no limitations on train8ng times etc. The staff are very friendly, they have plenty of PTs that will give you advice.i chose to have a personal instructor, 1 hour a week, it’s an additional £30. I did this for 18 months and it’s been really beneficial. TBF the gym membership may be the way to go first and get some advice. They will do a full health MOT when you join and set out a training plan for you for your individual goals. This is all included in your gym package.
  • DD265DD265 Forumite
    2.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Most gyms will have PTs available.

    In your position, I would join a chain, preferably one you can get to both near work and home, then I'd work my way around the in-house trainers until I found one I clicked with. You'll probably need to train outside of those sessions, so the gym membership will come in handy. Once you know what you're doing and know what you like, you can a) drop/reduce the PT sessions down, and b) consider whether you need the gym membership or can get a bit of kit at home.

    To answer your other question; I've trained in dedicated PT-only gyms where you're the only client/group, at a chain (DW - £39 a month a couple of years ago), outside wherever we could find suitable space*, or in a garage. PT's garage is converted into a clinic/gym, mine is still a garage but with rubber matting on the floor. I bought some weights off a chap who used to PT, and he had a big summer-house type thing in his back garden - I had gym envy!

    *think park, playing fields, access road, random footpath, moorland, on/around a dam/reservoir. Only missed one session due to the weather, and that was because the roads were too dangerous for driving to one another.
  • bouicca21bouicca21 Forumite
    6.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Like Lexington I joined Nuffield. Not much improvement after a year, and then I signed up for a personal trainer, who explained why what I had been doing wasn’t helping (all cardio) and cranks up my training week by week. After 10 months of this I am now stronger, have greater stamina and feel much healthier. I can also go to other gyms in the chain and do so, as I am regularly near another one. I could get a personal trainer at the local council leisure centre but the facilities at Nuffield are just way nicer, plus free parking if you need to go by car.

    Not sure if this applies to all Nuffield but given the emphasis on health I suspect it does - my gym has a few meatheads, but also has regulars who are oldies (like me), who are just weaklings (like me) or have a variety of obvious health conditions, including cerebral palsy, and not so obvious ones such as recuperating from serious illness.

    I used to think Having a personal trainer was a bit poncey, but am a convert.
  • alreeve27alreeve27 Forumite
    67 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Hi everyone, thanks for the really helpful information. This sounds like a plan, and good to hear your individual experiences, so I’ll definitely be looking to sort a membership in the next week or two.

    Have a good weekend!
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