Frequently Asked Questions

I can completely understand this concern as many of our clients have shared with me how they had tried various programs in the past, including hiring a personal trainer, and unfortunately the results weren't always positive.

My personal training programs are different because we utilize a unique concept of having a TEAM of fitness professionals assigned to help you successfully reach your goals. This is in stark contrast to some personal trainers who simply provide workouts. At Shaping Concepts, we work together to provide you with essential components for a body transformation such as nutrition coaching, meal preparation, cardio prescription, behavioral modification and much more. Check out our page on "How we're different" to learn more about what separates us from the competition.

At Shaping Concepts, we are committed to having a team of coaches with various specialties and areas of expertise to provide our clients with a broad base of support.

We require all of our coaches to have a nationally accredited certification or related college degree and maintain continuing education credits. Unfortunately, in the personal training industry individuals can become certified by completing a weekend course over the internet. This is not a reflection of true professionalism and often times many even so called "certified" personal trainers are unqualified to provide exercise prescription for individuals with health or medical concerns.

Unlike in most traditional health clubs, our trainers must meet the highest standards of professionalism through rigorous standards, continued education and an in-house train the trainer program.

You can be assured you're working with some of the most qualified fitness professionals in the Charleston area when you're at Shaping Concepts.

No, you won't be required to forfeit sessions if you're unable to make it in to the gym for workouts. The way our programs are structured you'll have the flexibility to simply adjust your personal training appointment times around your schedule. 

All of our programs allow for this flexibility to best serve our clients. Our programs can even be placed on hold for extended absences upon request. 

Absolutely not, this is definitely a component of our programs that makes us different than a lot of our competitors.

There are a lot of personal trainers who require their clients to come in at designated appointment times and if you can't make it, you may be charged for the session or provided with a rescheduled time that doesn't work for you. 

At Shaping Concepts we provide BOTH preferred recurring scheduling and flex scheduling for our clients. That means you have the option to come in for workouts on days and times that best fit with YOUR schedule. 

Yes, more than likely. We uphold a high standard of professional conduct for fitness consultants and believe we should always stay within our scope of practice and areas of expertise. This means we frequently request to work in collaboration with physicians, physical therapists, and other health / medical professionals on fitness programs for clients with specific needs.

We've worked with those recovering from hip and knee replacements, back surgeries, individuals with heart disease, MS, fibromyalgia, diabetes, cancer, and more. 

We can provide you with an honest evaluation of our ability to safely and effectively help you with exercise instruction after meeting with you for a personal consultation.

Yes, this is an added benefit of our premium personal training programs. A lot of trainers mainly focus on providing workouts for in-person sessions and don't address the needs of clients who often travel for work. 

At Shaping Concepts we utilize the Trainerize app to provide our clients who need workout programming outside of the gym to compliment their personal training program. The workouts are personalized to each client's unique wants, needs, and equipment availability. You'll also be pleased to learn there's NO ADDED CHARGE for this service for clients in our premium packages.

The workouts we'll prescribe to you and assist you with will be as long (or short) as they need to be to produce the desired results you're looking for. 

This is a BIG difference in our model compared to our competitors!

You see we don't sell personal training programs based solely on the duration of the session. The vast majority of our programs have 30 minute time blocks scheduled with a coach. However, this doesn't mean the workouts are all 30 minutes! 

With our unique TEAM training model we can simply provide more (time, coaching, access to instruction, etc) because we're not limiting our client's sessions to time available with one particular trainer.  

Some individuals will require only 30 minutes for their sessions due to their goals and individual needs. Others will require more. Instead of requiring those who need more to purchase 45 or 60 minute sessions, we can provide the extra duration at NO ADDED CHARGE.

Through our model of teamwork and collaboration we can assist our clients who need more than 30 minutes by providing the additional time, instruction, access, and coaching. 

While we do offer 60 minute personal training sessions, they are simply not required with our model. Those who elect for the 60 minute sessions simply prefer to have the added time and undivided attention from one particular trainer. 

Yes, at Shaping Concepts we believe that progress measurement is at the foundation of a professionally designed fitness training or weight loss program.

We utilize several means of regularly assessing progress in areas that are relevant to the objectives of your program. This includes things like improvements in strength, muscular endurance, cardiorespiratory capacity, balance, mobility, and core stability. 

For those individuals looking to change their body composition we also incorporate the InBody analysis every 2-4 weeks to assess progress and make adjustments in the workout or nutrition programming as needed. 

Excellent question! To preface my answer let me say I'm not against having a health club membership. In fact many of our clients have memberships to local gyms or health clubs in addition to coming to Shaping Concepts for private personal training. The reality is these are different facilities and provide different benefits. 

Health clubs and gyms are essentially places where you lease the opportunity to use their space and equipment (typically for a monthly fee). Sure, many provide the option of having a personal trainer, but their entire model is built around selling memberships they know the majority of people won't use that often.

A private personal training studio is in the business of providing coaching to help their clients achieve a specific result. It's therefore a RESULTS driven business! With that comes things like education, instruction, motivation, goal setting, progress measurement, accountability, and other area essential for personal development. 

The top private personal training facilities do these things exceptionally well and therefore change lives and transform bodies. 

Basically, it's an apples to oranges conversation as both offerings are not simply paying for a place to exercise. One is an investment for a place to exercise and the other is an investment in personal development. The value of these two things are different therefore the investment is different. 

Yes, experience is not required here. It doesn't matter if you are an athlete or someone who's never worked out a day in their life. We custom design each program according to your individual fitness level and goals.

Our Charleston personal trainers have extensive experience at being able to assess each individual's unique needs and designing a safe and effective program to get you the results you're looking for.

Although discomforting, the muscle soreness you are likely to experience after your first 2-3 workouts is normal and a positive sign. It means that your muscles have responded to the increased demands of the resistance training and you're on the way towards getting stronger / more defined.

This muscle soreness often referred to as “DOMS” or (delayed onset muscle soreness) may actually start between 24-72 hours after your workout. The soreness is due to micro trauma or small tears that occur on the muscle fibers. The best treatment for DOMS is recovery, increase water consumption and take some ibuprofen to reduce the inflammation.

Your body will adapt to the new demands of your resistance training and the initial muscle soreness should go away after your first few workouts. Periodically through your program though, you can expect to be sore again for a day or so after a weight training session where the loads or volume were really pushed.

This is part of your normal progression and should be expected. However, if you continue to be regularly be sore after every workout it’s an indication that something is wrong. You may be over training and/or not receiving adequate nutrition or rest for recovery.

This is a great question, and one that I get quite frequently. The amount of time needing to be dedicated to exercise will depend on what the top priority is. Obviously someone looking to improve their mobility, strength, and balance won't have the same time requirements as someone looking to lose twenty of pounds of body fat mass for example.

As a general rule and a good guideline to follow you should expect to complete 3 to 5 hours of exercise per week if you're looking to see a body transformation. The duration of each workout and frequency can vary, but this will be your target. 

This doesn't have to all be time in the gym by the way, but rather the total time spent with various types of exercise and physical expenditure, regardless of the location.

We've had clients see exceptional results and a significant body transformation with as little as 1 1/2 to 2 hours of exercise per week, so know it can be done but will require focused, intense effort and a strong commitment to supportive nutrition.

No, we don't not have monthly membership agreements as we exclusively offer coaching programs for a designated number of sessions or period of time. Our model is different than what is used in most gyms and health clubs.

Yes, most definitely! This is an added benefit with our programs without added cost.  We actually encourage many of our clients who don't have memberships at a local gym or health club, have cardio equipment at home, etc, to come in for cardio.

We have multiple pieces of cardio equipment including several treadmills, rowers, Airdyne bikes, recumbent bike, upright bike, elliptical, and more to provide our clients with the ability to get in aerobic / cardiovascular exercise both on days when they meet with a trainer (before or after workouts) and on days when they don't. 

There's no requirement to schedule an appointment and clients are welcome to come in anytime during studio hours of operation. 

I wouldn't feel good about having you as a client unless you we're totally convinced of the benefits of our coaching programs. This is why all of my on-site personal training packages come with an unconditional 30 day money back guarantee. 

Making a commitment is an essential component to personal development and change and therefore we place great value on the level of commitment you make to yourself and with us. 

However, I totally understand you may be making a significant investment in a program, organization, and staff that you could have little to no personal experience with.

Knowing that you may not be totally convinced after a couple of sessions (who's up for getting married after the second date? lol), you've got a full 30 days to experience the Shaping Concepts difference for yourself without obligation. 

If we've not met, and hopefully exceeded, your expectations at any time during the first 30 days I'll provide a refund for the balance on your account. Sound fair enough? I do hope to have the opportunity to EARN your business.

I commend you for seeking to provide your son or daughter with an opportunity to work with a professional fitness coach who can also serve as a mentor and teacher. 

At Shaping Concepts we provide one on one personal training for youths starting at age 12 and up. 

It really comes down to one word....PERSONALIZATION! There's simply no way for fitness providers of small group training to incorporate the same level of custom programming and personalization with workouts. 

Now for some individuals this isn't a big deal and a group workout is fine for their wants and needs. However, this isn't the case for everyone. Small group workouts don't provide individualized exercises or the progression of such and this can be ineffective, problematic, even unsafe for many.

This is especially true for a large majority of middle age and older adults who are just starting out on a workout routine returning after a prolonged absence. Being given exercises that are best suited for their needs is a big deal as the "one size fits all" routine can and often leads to frustration, burn-out, or worse unnecessary injury. 

While there are several differences in our models, that would be the most significant. All of our clients regardless of the program they're on, are working off a custom designed workout routine built just for them!

Yes, we frequently work with clients who are in the Charleston area for business, vacation, or who may have second homes here. Since we don't require membership agreements like most gyms and health clubs, we're an attractive option for those looking for a private, upscale, clean fitness facility where they can receive personal training while in town. 

The majority of our clients lead busy lives balancing their career and family life. And that’s why all have found that having an appointment to workout and fit exercise into their life is very important to making sure they do what’s necessary to take care of themselves. If you’re busy too, then it’s even more important that you do schedule time for exercise so you can have more energy and be able to handle the demands of a hectic schedule.

We work around your schedule, with training sessions starting as early as 6am and going until 8pm at night.

Through our FLEX scheduling and TEAM training approach we can provide you with a wide variety of options for appointment times. Our unique model was built specifically for the needs of individuals with busy lifestyles and varying schedules.

Absolutely! Many of our clients do partner training. We find this can make your workouts even more fun and having additional support in your life to accomplish your goals is always a good thing!

Just let us know if you have a friend or your spouse in mind to workout with you, and we’ll have you both in for a consultation. And because all of our programs involve personalized routines our partner personal training sessions can still be individualized with each trainee getting different exercises according to their wants and unique needs.

Nutrition is a MAJOR piece of seeing changes in body composition. In fact, it’s the foundation when it comes to ramping up your metabolism and getting your body to burn fat and build muscle. We spend a lot of time working with our clients on this aspect of their program. When we begin working together we’ll schedule a special nutrition consult with you to see how we can best assist you. 

You'll find we emphasize education, habit formation, and individualized routines when it comes to your nutrition instead of promoting one particular diet. 

A nutrition guide and video e-course is available as well to help support you.




PHONE: 843-971-8665




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BONUS:  We are anxious to start helping you reshape your health and fitness, so we'll also include our Holiday Survival Guide to get you started!