I have been a Personal Trainer for almost a decade, and I have heard just about every reason there is for someone getting a Personal Trainer. Anything from weddings coming up, family reunions, health problems, and even guys who just want a 6 pack to help with their game at the beach. There are about a million reasons why someone may decide it is time to work with a trainer, knowing how you will benefit, and whether it is worth the expense can help you decide if it is right for you. Although I always recommend sitting down with a trainer if you’re unsure. Hint: most trainers will meet initially with you for free. The trainer will be able to help guide you to the right decision and training program. The following are some of the top ten reasons you should get a personal trainer. Read through them and see if any of these sound like you.
1. You're Not Seeing Results
If you've been exercising consistently for several weeks or months and aren't losing weight or reaching your goals, hiring a trainer may be a good choice. Here are just some of the things a good trainer can do:
- Look at your current program to search for ways to change or tweak your workouts to make them more efficient and effective.
- Push you a little harder: Often people don't see results because they're not working as hard as they could. It's easy to slack off when you're by yourself but having someone there to challenge you may make a difference.
- Examine your goals: He or she can also help you figure out if your goals are realistic.
- Hold you accountable: He or she might work with you to set weekly goals and check in on a regular basis to see how you're doing.
- Help you stay motivated to exercise: Knowing you have an appointment with a trainer can help you stay on track during the week.
- Teach you how to lift weights and do other exercises: Too often people focus on cardio to lose weight, but you need strength training and core training as well. These are things a trainer can teach you how to do the right way.
You may even find that you are getting results, just not in the way you expected, something a trainer may see more clearly from the outside. Sometimes you just need a few weeks to get new ideas for exercises and workouts. Then you can go out on your own.
2. You Don't Know Where to Start
If you're new to exercise, you realize how complex it is and we're not born with the knowledge of how to do it. When facing the task of setting up a complete exercise schedule, you may feel so overwhelmed you don't do anything. Trainers know everything that goes into a complete program: Cardio, weight training, and flexibility training. And then there are all of the elements you have to figure out, from which activities to do and how to fit it all into a busy schedule. If you have no idea what you're doing, a trainer can help you:
- Figure out the right activities for you: Maybe you don't even know what would work for your body, schedule, or available equipment. A trainer may be able to suggest activities that fit with all those areas.
- Help you put together a reasonable program: A trainer can help guide you in exactly how to start and how much exercise you can handle at first.
- Help you with the basics: The workouts you do are based on the F.I.T.T. principle, meaning you choose the frequency, intensity, time and type of workout you're doing and manipulate those elements over time. A trainer can help you navigate each of these things, showing you how to:
- Figure out how hard to work during exercise and how to monitor your exercise intensity.
- Choose exercises, weights, reps, and sets for weight training.
- Use different tools like a heart rate monitor or activity tracker to enhance your workouts.
- Help you with your schedule: It's often this that gets the most confusing. A trainer can sit down and help you go through your calendar and figure out when you can work out and what you'll do on those days you're not working with a trainer.
- Help you maximize your time while keeping you within your own limits, so you don't overdo it.
3. You're Bored with the Same Old Workouts
If you're an experienced exerciser, maybe you haven't considered working with a personal trainer. However, it can be a great choice if you need some variety in your workouts. It's easy to fall into a workout rut, doing the same workouts over and over. Not only is this boring but it can also lead to weight loss plateaus, overuse injuries, and burnout. Here's what a trainer can do for you:
- Bring a fresh perspective to your workouts: A trainer is coming at this with an objective eye and may see some things about your program or workouts right away that can make them more interesting and fun.
- Bring new ideas to the table: Trainers are experienced in all kinds of workouts like:
- Circuit training
- High-intensity interval training such as Tabata training.
- Using different methods of strength training like superset, pyramid training and more.
- Discover new equipment
- Help you set new more challenging goals
- Push you harder than you push yourself
A trainer can bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to challenge both your body and your mind. Even if you just do a few sessions or meet every few weeks, you'll find it refreshing to have new workouts and new exercise toys to play with.
4. Find New Ways to Challenge You:
If you feel like you're stuck or you're ready to take your training to the next level, a personal trainer can come up with new ways to challenge yourself. A trainer can:
- Help you challenge your limits: One way to push past plateaus is to go heavy with weights or push yourself with new exercises. A trainer can be there to help you choose the right weights and spot you for the more challenging exercises.
- Help you find and train for competitive events: Maybe you want to run a race or to compete in a body building show. Whatever it is the right trainer can help you be successful in that competition.
You'll find with a trainer standing over you, telling you to do just one more rep, that your results will come faster. You may even find new strengths and exercises that you love, which can motivate you more!
5. Learning How to Exercise on Your Own
Even if your goal is to create your own workouts and exercise by yourself, hiring a trainer for a few sessions can be a great benefit for learning the right way to exercise. This is very important if you're new to strength training and need to learn correct form and what muscles to engage. Here are just a few things a trainer can do for you:
- Help You Learn about the muscles in your body and how they work: This is important, and it will really help you understand how everything is connected and works together.
- Show you exercises that target specific muscles: This knowledge is gold, especially for the home exerciser. This will allow you to get the best exercises to help you and knowing a variety of exercises allows you to create your own workouts when you're ready for a change.
- Teach you how to lift weights: How often? How much? How many weights, sets, and reps should I do? These are all questions a trainer can help you with and this will equate to a better program for your body.
- Teach you good form: The last thing you want, is to get an injury while lifting. You need to do each exercise in a certain way and a trainer can show you how to get your body into the right position so you're doing the moves correctly.
- Be an available resource: Even if you stop training, you still have that trainer as a resource. Most trainers (I know I’m one of them) are fine with you contacting them from time to time for advice and you can always go back to training at any time.
6. You Need Accountability and Motivation
Motivation comes from all kinds of internal, and external sources. You may want to be healthier, or you may have bigger reasons such as getting off your high blood pressure medication or preventing Type 2 diabetes. But you also need extrinsic motivators to keep exercising such as wanting to lose weight to look better in a bathing suit or for your high school reunion. A personal trainer can become that motivator in a variety of ways such as:
- Financially: You're investing money into reaching your goal, so just showing up for your sessions so you don't lose that money may be enough to keep you going.
- With your time: You're not just investing money, you're investing your time as well, a precious resource we all want to protect. That may add to your motivation to exercise.
- Having a standing appointment: There's nothing like a regular standing appointment to get you in gear for a workout. You don't want to disappoint the trainer or yourself.
- Accountability: You know your trainer will probably ask about your week. He or she will want to know if you did your workouts and how your diet is going. Knowing that may make it harder to skip your workouts.
7. You Have a Specific Illness, Injury, or Condition
If you have some specific injury or condition, your doctor may want you to exercise and to be honest for almost all injuries a doctor should want you to exercise. I believe that movement can cure you better and help you more than any medication can over long term! But how do you do that if you're in pain or must work around an injury? That's where an experienced trainer comes in. Trainers work with all kinds of people and many of them may have specialties that allow them to work with clients with special needs.
The following is a list of just some things that exercise helps with:
Arthritis / Fibromyalgia / Heart Disease / High blood pressure / Type 1&2 Diabetes / Foot pain / Depression / Chronic injuries, pain, tightness / Acute or long term back or neck pain / Increase your balance, core strength, and stability (If you cannot balance on one foot, you need work in these areas) / Training while pregnant or want to become pregnant / Creating a program that works on the areas you need without re-injury or other issues.
Just some things to think about before going this route:
- Always talk to your doctor and get clearance for exercise. If you have a condition, your trainer may require it before he or she will train you.
- Work with your physical therapist if you have one. Your trainer may want to get in touch with your physical therapist to find out what exercises you should or shouldn't do.
- Make sure your trainer is experienced with your condition. Ask about any classes or certifications he or she has taken to make sure that trainer knows what he's doing.
8. You're Training for a Sport
A personal trainer can be a huge help if you're into a specific sport. Whether you're a golfer, tennis player, a runner, or into cycling, there's likely a trainer out there who can help you up your game.
- Sports performance training: A sports conditioning trainer knows what exercises you need to do for tennis, golf, soccer, and marathons.
- Come up with a training schedule: Training is about more than just workouts. It's also about having the right amount of recovery time. A trainer can help you create a schedule that allows you to get the most out of your body while allowing it to heal and recover.
- Decrease the risk of injury: Sports can often cause an overuse injury. A trainer can help you avoid such injuries.
9. You Want Supervision, Company, and Support During Workouts
Some people know how to exercise, and they even know how to do the exercises correctly, but they like having a trainer around for support and supervision. A trainer can be good in this situation for:
- Being a spotter: If you're lifting very heavy weights, a trainer can help keep you safe and can help you rack your weights as well.
- Making you exercise: Maybe you find it hard to exercise on your own but having someone show up at your door forces you to get out and do something.
10. Help Give You Advice for Own Workouts
Maybe you can’t always make it to the gym and you’d like to exercise at home, or you decide you’d like to exercise on days you can’t see a trainer. A trainer can help you put together workouts to do for those days the weather is bad.
CPT, Rock Doc