I usually don’t. My sessions are at least 45 minutes or longer because the type of training I offer it requires at least that much time. Beyond that, I think getting paid for 30 minutes it’s not efficient for me because I will have to spend at least 1 hour of my time (including travel time to the client’s location) with this type of training.
I offer them and find them mostly beneficial, but they do have their disadvantages as well. Here are some Pros & Cons:
– Clients can better afford to continue training with you long term.
– You can charge a higher rate – If your hourly rate is $50 for instance, you can charge $30 per 30 minutes, and make more per hour (so long as you have back to back sessions).
– You have more time to handle a larger client base; more clients = more referrals, less loss of income when you have a cancellation, etc.
– Some clients only have the time for a 30 minute session, or only have the capacity to complete a 30 minute session; this way you can accommodate.
– Hardest part is merely showing up! Having the accountability to meet you for a training session is helpful for many clients; after their 30 minute session they can finish the rest of their workout on their own.
– Often works best with more experienced clients, when you’re not spending as much time teaching, consulting, demonstrating, etc.
– If a client is late it is more difficult to make up for that lost time and the workout suffers.
– There’s less time to prepare for each session or transition to the next client session. This is what I see as the biggest drawback to 30 minute sessions; whereas a 50 minute “hour” session provides you with a small break for personal time or to prepare for the next session.
– Some clients might not workout without you pushing them, but may need more than 30 minutes “X” times per week so see the results they are looking for.
I approach this more from a group fitness stand point than a personal training standpoint, but we have been offering 30 minute lunch hour classes for the last 6 months and they have been extremely popular. People really enjoy being able to come in on their lunch hour and get in a quick, intense & effective workout. The constraints with group fitness are that in 30 minutes, my warm up and cool down are often rushed. It works ok with the group I currently have because they are all fit and I know they can take themselves through additional warm up, cool down and stretches as they need it, but it would be more of a challenge (and I would not do it) with new exercisers who really need a more guided warm up, cool down and stretch.
In terms of personal training, maybe the 30 minute format works best for a small group who are training with similar goals so you can program a mini-class/workout to go through together. Good Luck!