Expats' best kept secret: personal training that doesn't break the bank

March 30, 2023 - 06:39

While gyms in Hà Nội offer sessions for just VNĐ200,000, prices in London are an astronomical (but entirely reasonable for London) VNĐ1.5 million an hour. 


Manchai Pace, head trainer at Pace Kickboxing & Fitness in Tây Hồ, with a client. Photo courtesy of Pace Kickboxing & Fitness

Seán Nolan

HÀ NỘI – A few years ago, I had to end a relationship that wasn't working for me. They obviously didn't get the memo though, judging by the constant stream of calls and messages that continue to this day.  

I'm not talking about a lover, but a gym. They have been hounding me ever since my membership expired, offering ever-lower prices if I return. 

While on the phone with a friend in London, my phone buzzed in my ear - it was the ex. Again. 

I told my friend about their persistence and the latest price they were offering to entice me back, this time with an offer of personal training sessions.

"Seven quid (VNĐ200,000) an hour?!" he exclaimed. "I pay eight times that in London!"

It made me realise just how accessible health and fitness services are in Hà Nội, and how most expats don't take advantage. 

Of course, signing up for a gym membership with all the best intentions is easy – we've all done it.

But actually going and making progress? That's the hard part.

That's where the personal trainers come in, and it's definitely much more affordable in Hà Nội than many other countries in the world. 

While the gym chasing me in Hà Nội is offering sessions for just VNĐ200,000, prices in London are an astronomical (but entirely reasonable for London) VNĐ1.5 million an hour. 

While the price might stick in the throat in London, it's harder to find a reason not to take advantage in Hà Nội.

You'll have someone to tailor a workout plan to your fitness level, goals and limitations. They'll cheer you on, keep you accountable, and provide invaluable guidance on nutrition and lifestyle choices.

Sure, a sense of embarrassment or self-consciousness might creep in about asking for help in the gym, and maybe you worry about your trainer laughing at you, but at the end of the day, you'll be taken much further by an experienced guide than you could ever get yourself.  

So if you're one of those who wishes they were a little fitter, stronger, or healthier, take advantage of the relative affordability of personal trainers in Hà Nội and, with their support and motivation, you'll be making progress in no time. 

And who knows, maybe you'll even start looking forward to the buzz of a notification on your phone - because you know it's just your personal trainer, ready to help you smash your goals! VNS