Talk about urban sprawl! The Greater Manchester Built-up Area seems to keep going and going, doesn't it?

Were it not for its green belt and other development-limiting initiatives, we might have seen Manchester and surrounding areas outdo our country's capital in building and crowding!

Is all of that growth down to the region's fabulous geography, or mild weather? Or, could it be that people are moving north just to wallow in the Madchester vibe?

We think it could be, in part, to the excellent quality of life there, brought on by an profound awareness of health and fitness benefits.

Indeed, even as Britons sprawl – on sofas, in coffee houses, in front of their electronic devices, more and more are cluing in to the idea of wellness; to wit the 5km parkruns held on select Saturday mornings in Heaton Park.

Those and other outdoor fitness activities will come into focus later in this article; for now, let us discover where to find a personal fitness professional suited to your needs.

Personal Training in Manchester Gyms

Never lift weights without a spotter... or your personal trainer!
The best spotter for weight lifting is your personal coach Source: Pixabay Credit: C_Scott

The fitness craze that currently holds us in thrall has the unintended effect of fitness centres – franchised and local, competing against each other.

For membership, for the best deals, to provide that essential ingredient which will cause fitness hopefuls to belong to them, rather than signing with the other facility.

Any given health fitness Internet search will turn up momentary discounts on membership and, possibly, a waiver of sign up fees... but none of that is important.

We're not saying that money doesn't matter; of course, it does! Only, it should not be of prime consideration when selecting a team and facility to get fit with/in.

What matters in selecting a gym is how you feel about the atmosphere, the ambiance, the support staff and the equipment.

Can you see yourself in Lycra tights, holding yoga poses on those serenely laid-out mats? Do dumbbells silently signal they want to be in your hands? Can you hear the moving Zumba beat; your feet already tapping to the rhythm?

Whether you steadfastly reject franchise establishments for local flavour or don't put much weight at all into such distinctions, selecting a gym really comes down to personal preference.

According to patrons' testimonials, here are two that we've found popular.

Sports Direct Fitness

This is a franchise establishment that hosts a variety of classes, targeting specific aspects of getting fit.

Among them, you might choose:

  • Pilates
  • Body combat – a high-energy blend of martial arts and boxing
  • Kettle-cise: a work out done with kettlebells
  • LBT, for your legs, bum and tummy
  • core training
  • HIIT – high-intensity interval training (the best fat burner!)
  • Spin: indoor cycling; great to build up endurance

If you are new to exercise, and especially if your doctor has recommended low-impact workouts to start, you may want to partake of their aqua aerobics sessions, which is much gentler on your joints.

On the other hand, if you have been training for a while and wish to intensify and diversify your workout, circuit training would be the class for you.

As exciting and motivating as these group classes sound, you would be best served by working out under a personalised training program, at least to start.

S/he would ask you all sorts of questions pertaining to your health and well being, including your nutritional habits, exercise patterns and fitness goals.

Your personal training sessions would then be based on the results of that initial interview.

You may start out with functional training if you've been out of the fitness game for a long period, or perhaps a weight loss exercise program, coupled with a more balanced nutrition plan.

No need for shame, if that is you: statistics show that our country is fighting an obesity crisis.

On the positive side: more than half of all Britons are aware of that crisis, with many seeking the services of a home or online personal trainer to lose weight.

Conversely, if you have been conditioning your body for a while, you could go straight to a customized total body workout to train for an upcoming competition.

At either extreme and all points in between, a personal trainer would provide motivation and education: in how the human body is designed to function, and how to get maximum performance out of your muscles.

Their no-contract membership packages start as low as £9.99 per month, with an extra fee should you engage a personal trainer.

You might find it healthier to engage in water aerobics at the start of your fitness quest
Your doctor may recommend you start your fitness journey with water aerobics Source: Pixabay Credit: Fougeres

The Gym

That simple if ominous sounding name identifies another franchise facility that houses enough kit to ensure your favourite treadmill will be available, even at peak times.

If you are not a peak time person – maybe you work an off-shift, you may be interested to know that they are open 24 hours per day!

Members find the staff helps keep them motivated, especially the group fitness instructors.

Whether you work with a fitness instructor or simply take yourself on with the rowers and ellipticals, you will be sure to find a friendly atmosphere that will keep you coming back.

The price is not bad, either!

With no annual membership or contract fees, you could get away with less than £17 for a limited monthly membership (full membership is £21.98 per month).

Or, you could simply check them out; buy a day pass for £6.99.

More and more gyms are getting away from annual contracts, which reduces your overall cost of joining a gym.

That could have something to do with the OFT finding that such establishments are treating their members unethically.

The fallout of that investigation means that more and more personal trainers are happy to make home visits!

Why don't we visit with them?

Or if you are based in Edinburgh you can find a personal trainer here.

Online Personal Trainers in Manchester

You may consult with Gumtree or Freeads to find any number of personal trainers close to you, but how could you verify their credentials or consider any feedback left by previous clients... from an advert?

Every fitness professional must have at least Level 3 personal trainer certification to lead your workout in your home.

Fortunately, we've made finding such worthies easier! Read on...

Ultimate Performance Online Fitness

Based in London but with trainers everywhere, Up, as they are called, deliver a bespoke fitness plan online.

Discover also fitness in London, or how you can find a personal trainer in Leeds.

Your initial consult would ascertain your eating habits, any fitness or exercise programme you may already have participated in, and your fitness goals.

Are you a bride-to-be? Up has an intensive workout program just for you, to make sure you shine on your special day!

Your customized, one on one workout and diet plan will ensure the best results, generally attained in 12 weeks.

The cost for 3 months of training online with such a professional is £599 – a costly venture indeed but, can we actually put a price tag on our health?

We make note that Up also works out of a gym; should you wish to make use of their extensive weights and sports conditioning machines, you may consider visiting their fitness studio.

One group of personal trainers who do not put a high price tag on their priceless efforts, who will meet you at your home, your gym or online, is...

Looking for a personal trainer in Belfast? Read our article here.

Superprof Online Fitness Trainers

Where exercise science is concerned, you could hardly go wrong with Superprof personal training online.

Whether you are looking for yoga classes or a fitness program for losing weight; one to one instruction or group training, you are sure to find passionate advocates for coaching in any discipline.

Are you already a gym member but need someone knowledgeable in strength training?

Perhaps you feel you are not up to the scrutiny you might encounter by participating in fitness training in clubs or studios.

Whatever your criteria, starting at £20 per hour, Superprof personal fitness training is sure to fit the bill!

If you have been googling "fitness classes near me" look no more.

Don't let your personal trainer be a drill sergeant: s/he should guide and motivate you
Your personal trainer, online or in a gym, will give personalized guidance on achieving fitness Source: Pixabay Credit: BeachbodyDC

Fitness Programs Outdoors

We've had quite a nasty winter, haven't we? Though still a bit chilly, we're finally seeing the sun...

Perhaps this will be the year to kickstart the outdoor lifestyle you've always dreamt of but didn't quite dare embrace.

Could we motivate you to participate in a boot camp, or maybe circuit training?

Besides the aforementioned runs in Heaton Park, Manchester has so much to offer in the way of general fitness out of doors!

Based in Cardiff? Find out where you can get a personal trainer.

Debdale Outdoor Centre

Manchester City Council operates this complex which includes sports and leisure activities, from rowing and cycling to group fitness classes.

You and your children could participate in their swimming or kayaking classes, and if you wanted to include mum or dad, they also have senior fitness programmes!

You could swim for free, cycle or walk any of their enchanting paths...

The Great Outdoor Gym Company

This wide-reaching network of outdoor gyms has several installations in and around Greater Manchester: Southway or Shaw Heath parks, just to name two.

You can find such outdoor gyms in Birmingham, and why not see what fitness in Glasgow is like?

There you will find rowers and leg presses, treadmills and stationary bikes, among other equipment.

You could also book an outdoor class with their personal trainers!

The many ways to get fit in Manchester beg the question: what are you waiting for?

Find your certified personal trainer, and start today to become the athlete you always knew you were!

Of course, you can run your own search by typing in 'personal trainers near me' into your browser.

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A vagabond traveler whose first love is the written word, I advocate for continuous learning, cycling, and the joy only a beloved pet can bring. There is plenty else I am passionate about, but those three should do it, for now.