Why Would I Hire a Personal Trainer?
We all have a vision of ourselves! If we are truly being realistic, this vision is probably 40-50% accurate. We probably recognize some weak areas in our lives, but realistically we blur the line between who we are CURRENTLY and who we feel is our best self. We want to believe that we can go to the gym, after reading a fitness magazine or downloading the latest fitness app and totally ‘rock our workout’. I have lost count of the number of times I have heard someone say, ‘whoa that looked so much easier than it was’. As human beings, we must learn how to train to our maximum potential: what does this feel and look like…realistically? Our survival defense is to compensate or ‘back off’, when something gets challenging. Many times, our brain convinces us to give up well before our bodies should. Personal trainers are an avenue to help individuals recognize their full potential and give them the tools and confidence to keep building. If you are considering the idea of a personal trainer, I’ve included some benefits and cautions as you move forward. REST ASSURED…THIS IS NOT A SALES PITCH!!! My desire is to empower as many people as possible to make educated decisions about their health and fitness goals. Yes, there is a little over-lap, given I’m also a personal trainer, but this message is not to come to Monte Fitness Center and hire a personal trainer. This decision is quite personal and not one to make lightly.
1. As mentioned above, a good personal trainer should be able to educate their client to realize their limits and empower them to grow and improve each week. A well designed and safe program should be challenging each session, but not so challenging that you lose your confidence to continue. Think about the last workout you did alone: a. Was it challenging? If the answer is no, then it’s important to evaluate the benefit of a trainer helping you learn how to put together a stronger workout. b. When it got challenging…how quickly did you adjust or convince yourself to ‘go lighter or slower’? A good personal trainer knows how to safely design a workout, factoring in a client’s personality, goals, physical limitations and fitness level. A good personal trainer isn’t going to train a beginner the same as an elite athlete, but they will challenge you to conquer your personally imposed limitations. 2. A personal trainer is there to educate you on proper form and workout design to accomplish your goals. The accountability of meeting with a trainer and going through a specific workout, helps ensure a stronger effort during your workout. Of course, for some people, they will work at the same pace (whether strong or weak) regardless of who is around. For most of us, we work harder in a partner or group setting. This is another reason why group fitness classes or group personal training can be beneficial. Most people will dig a little deeper when they see someone else pushing through in a workout.
3. What to look for in a personal trainer? a. Choosing a trainer is a personal decision. Of course, recommendations from a trusted friend is a great place to start, but you also should do your homework on the trainers you are considering. An accredited personal training certification is a major criterion. Making sure that your trainer knows the way a body functions, how muscles work together, and how to safely design a workout for you personally is very important. Many trainers will pump out a ‘one size fits all’ approach to training. NO, NO, NO…every single client is different! Yes, there are exercises that will find their way into most workouts; however, the intensity, modification, and frequency completely depend on a client’s goals, restrictions, and fitness level. For example, you say you want to lose weight and used to enjoy running; however, you had your knee replaced and a disc fused in your back a few years ago. After hearing this your trainer explains the great record, he or she has with interval training and suggests doing sprint intervals on the treadmill as the best starting point. HOLY COW…you should FAST WALK FOR THE HILLS!!! This would be completely dangerous for your physical restrictions, fitness level, and ultimate goals. You will probably find yourself in excruciating pain and probably gain more weight from having to recover.
I’ve had many clients tell me that they didn’t feel their last trainer listened to them. You must be your own advocate and don’t fall for the charming confidence that some trainers make their living pitching. You MUST feel heard initially, you MUST feel like you have a voice at every session, and you MUST feel like you are improving. b. If at any point you feel pressure to continue training, you need to step back and evaluate the situation! Yes, hiring a trainer will cost money, but you should feel like your goals and success are important to your trainer…you’re not just a credit card! Don’t get me wrong…it will not be ‘sunshine and roses’ the whole time…YOU WILL HAVE TO WORK for any goal you set for yourself. You will not see results in 4 (30 minute) sessions. What I am saying is you should feel respected, valued, and important. Your training session is your time! Your training session should be 100% dedication to yourself and you should feel like your trainer is placing the same importance on your time. Your trainer should want you to ‘fly free’ someday, you shouldn’t get the feeling like you will forever need a trainer to be successful. Many people need some confidence in the gym and then feel comfortable doing workouts on their own. Often, those clients will re-hire a trainer later when they feel like they are slacking in their workouts or making excuses for not working as hard anymore. Beauty of a trainer…they can help bust through plateaus.
Making the decision to invest in yourself, can be a painful and challenging transition. There is nothing shameful about hiring a personal trainer to help focus the time and effort you have decided to dedicate to yourself. Making a lifestyle change is a shift in priorities, hiring a personal trainer is just an avenue to make this change a permanent shift this time. Just because you want a trainer right now, doesn’t and shouldn’t mean you need to have them forever. Your trainer is not the one making this change, they are just an avenue to help you conquer your goals. You have all the power…your mindset and determination are driving this ship of change!