I would like to start off by saying that everyone should workout with a personal trainer at least ones in their life! Why? To truly feel what it is like to exercise for the body and health that you desire; to see what it feels like to have a coach to demonstrate proper form, to correct your technique, to motivate you to work hard, and to design a fun and challenging workout for you. Moreover, to try a workout that was designed with your body and goals in mind. That means that all exercises, tempos, sets, reps, rest periods and modifications were handpicked for YOU. That way, you can compare your routine to a professional one’s and decide whether the investment would be worth it. Generally, there are 3 types of people who could benefit from working with a trainer. You either have a specific goal and you are considering starting to work out, you workout on your own regularly to maintain your fitness and you are working out trying to improve your performance ( gain more muscle, lean down more, become stronger or faster or more powerful.)
In the first case, when you are just starting out, I think that would be the best and the most important time to hire a personal trainer. I’ve heard people tell me that they want to get in better shape first or lose weight, or get in the habit to come to the gym again before they invest in a trainer. Listen, this is the biggest mistake you could possibly make! In the beginning is when you set yourself up for success. You see, you are going to be building a new habit and that’s the best time to have somebody to keep you accountable. You can’t forget your goal or to go to the gym if you have two or three appointments per week. Do you remember when you learned how to swim? Did you start out with a coach or did you learn to swim first and then had them to correct your form? Also, you want to be doing the right things for you at this time of your life and with these set of goals. The plan you followed 5 years ago might be absolutely irrelevant now. As a fitness manager for a big gym, I talked to hundreds of people enrolling in the gym. The number one stumbling block they all shared was the lack of confidence around the gym and not knowing what to do. Guess what, a trainer is going to be the solution for all these obstacles. All you have to do is show up and follow direction. If you hire the right person, you will walk out your first session with a big smile! Why? Because you will have a best friend in the gym to ensure you are working out and that you are doing it correctly. Moreover, you are probably going to walk away with a detailed fitness and nutrition plan- spelling out when, what, how much and to do and why. One more point for you, in case I didn’t make my point clear yet. Let’s say you have a specific goal- like lose 2 dress sizes, or gain 10lb of muscle or walk without pain. Well, wouldn’t it make sense you will need a specific plan for that goal? Personal trainers often hold Bachelor’s or higher degrees in Kinesiology and have multiple nationally recognized certifications in fitness and nutrition. Let them figure out your plan and you do what you are great at- like teach, manage, develop software and etc.
If you are going to the gym consistently and have somewhat a routine I definitely suggest that you at least check in with a trainer. For one, you want to make sure that what you are doing right now is correct and effective and two, how awesome would be to have somebody spice things up for you. From my experience in the industry, I’ve noticed that this is the population that sticks out with personal training the longest. It’s unexpected, right? It’s because people who genuinely enjoy exercise also enjoy learning more about it, and becoming even better. Weight training becomes their sport or even their hobby. Lifting and being lean, strong or defined becomes part of who you are and start to shape most of your life. A coach or a trainer could take you to the next level. You will enjoy the push and how much more you would get out of your time in the gym. I’ve given away hundreds of fitness consultations to people who are already fit and they were always amazed how different it felt to have somebody there to push them more and to show them something new. Really, most of the time you’d get sweatier, more fatigued and energized than when you work out on your own. Currently, most of my clients are true beasts- busy overachievers who enjoy exercise, but need the extra education and push from a pro to truly live up to their potential. So if you love going to the gym you would definitely fall in love with training. Try it out!
As for the people who have been working out but want to achieve something bigger, newer or recovering from an injury, accident or a vacation (hey, I went to Europe for 3 weeks and came back with a very different body haha), working with a trainer can take you to that next level. I will give you myself for an example and a lot of my fellow personal trainers. You might be surprised to hear but we pay for each other’s services. We are true believers in our “product” and enjoy the benefits ourselves! Like a good chef would still go out to eat, a trainer loves getting trained. He or she may be able to cook great, but it’s nice to try something new and have someone else prepare it for you. I love learning new exercises from trainers and getting my butt kicked. Trying to do the same routine on my own again has never been the same. There is just some magic between a trainee and a trainer, some synergy that brings out some beasty, mighty powers and we are able to push harder, stay focused and yes…do two more.
I’ve seen so many people put in hard work day in and day out and get discouraged by not seeing results. Or thinking it has to take long time of hard work to see those definitions. I mean yes and no.. Let me explain. Often we adopt a routine that wasn’t created for our body type or our goal all together. Recently, I started working with a client who has been thin his entire life. He wanted to get a little more fit, defined and to gain a little bit more muscle. He shared that he has been working out for almost a year with no results. There were a few problems in his case. First, he was repeating the same 2 workout routines for months! His body probably adapted to those workouts in a few weeks and he stopped progressing at that moment and just maintained that level of fitness for rest of the 10-11 months. He was increasing the resistance a little bit but because he was not fueling properly, he was not getting stronger enough to increase the resistance more often, which was problem number 2. He was not eating properly for his body type and his ultimate goal. And problem number 3, his workout was ideal for metabolic conditioning or burning body fat. It wasn’t truly designed for gaining muscle at all. After switching all of the above, he is already seeing more definitions in his biceps, abs and quads, and it has been 5 weeks since we’ve worked together.
As you can see, partnering up with a personal trainer at any point of your fitness journey could add some very valuable benefits. If you take your health and body serious, you should consider investing in the education, support and accountability from a fitness professional. In my next posts, I will share in more detail about the benefits of working with a trainer, my own experience with my trainers and how to find the right trainer for you.