What do you think of when you picture a personal trainer? A bullying, red-faced drill instructor? Or maybe you imagine a lycra-clad, bronzed Adonis, making you feel inferior? If you’re projecting negative images, I think you need to re-evaluate how you feel about trainers! – A good personal trainer will be an encouraging, friendly and knowledgeable way for you to identify and achieve your exercise goals. Trainers should be your secret weapon when it comes to fitness. I started with a personal trainer after a ski accident tore my knee ligament and I needed rehabilitation. What started as an absolute necessity has stayed with me for the last twenty years and I have never looked back.
Science confirms the idea that personal trainers are a significant boon to those looking to exercise smartly, with studies in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise and the Journal of Strength Conditioning & Research showing superior strength improvements with supervised training.
For anyone looking to embrace a lifestyle to defy your age, regular exercise is one of the most important elements. Exercise boosts muscle, and muscle loss is no longer seen as just a side effect of disease and frailty – it’s also a prime cause.
Obviously, trainers are not going to suddenly provide you with the magic ability to lose weight, get fitter and have bigger muscles, instantly, but by working with them, you will get the best possible chance to hit your exercise goals. Let’s examine some specific reasons you may want to consider using a personal trainer.
You Don’t Know Where to Start
If you’re new to the world of regular exercise, or maybe you had to take a break due to injury or for other reasons, knowing how to set up a comprehensive exercise schedule can be a daunting task. Choosing exercises, balancing the need for weight training and cardio, plus knowing the importance of flexibility can seem overwhelming, especially if you’re feeling nervous about the idea of committing to a regular exercise regime. (Spoiler alert: exercise is awesome, and it’s the best thing you will ever do for yourself, ever!) – All this potential uncertainty might see you quitting before you even start.
This is where a personal trainer is invaluable. They can help you set goals and go through each exercise thoroughly, giving you a better understanding of what you’ll be achieving. Even better, they will be able to focus your exercise routine on your body and your fitness targets. As well as helping you to understand your goals, a personal trainer can help a novice to appreciate their limits, and make sure you don’t overdo things.
You Want Efficiency
Having a personal trainer gives you the flexibility (no pun intended) to make the most of whatever workout time you have. For example, if you have a 1-hour training session that needs to be cut short one day, a personal trainer can structure your workout, so you are achieving the same level of physical benefits as your usual, longer session. Having a professional organize your workouts increases the efficiency of your exercise regime.
You Need Motivation and Accountability
Some people need to know that a dedicated personal trainer is going to be holding them accountable for their actions. Even when you’re not in the middle of a session, the thought of your trainer asking you if you’ve been sticking to your planned workouts should be enough to keep you focused.
Regular sessions with a trainer provide you with a routine, and dedication to a well-planned exercise pattern quickly turns into a habit that becomes ingrained. Personal trainers offer you the motivation you need to keep going. Obviously, you’re paying them for their expertise, and because we are naturally more invested in things we pay for, maybe the idea of spending money on something is enough to keep you focused? Trainers are there to keep your spirits up, keep you locked on your fitness targets, highlight your achievements and motivate you to smash your workouts each and every time.
You Like Convenience
Personal training is becoming more convenient, especially with the rise in popularity of online personal training and increased options for in-home training. Working with a trainer in the privacy and comfort of your home saves you the time of traveling to the gym, as well as removing the temptation of skipping a session. It also allows you the benefits of individual attention, without having to deal with distractions from other gym members.
Online personal training allows you the freedom to workout wherever and whenever you want, within the program rules. You get all the accountability and social support of traditional personal training, but without the direct supervision – which might make it unsuitable for people new to the world of exercise.
In-home training is usually more expensive than traditional, gym-based options and you might want to consider the space required in your home for a successful workout. Obviously, gyms also offer a wider range of equipment. If you are interested in these options, talk to a personal trainer, and they will be able to advise you.
You Want to Learn how to Exercise on Your Own
Hiring a personal trainer for even a few sessions is a great way to learn more about the muscles in your body, and the correct way to perform exercises that target those muscles. If your goal is to create your own exercise sessions, and to have the knowledge and confidence to workout by yourself, using a personal trainer for a few sessions will give you the perfect introduction to training in the most effective way. Make sure to ask your trainer for a written copy of the exercise routine you did together so that you can follow it at home. Each session with a trainer should include a varied workout.
You Want to Have Fun
Believe it or not, using a personal trainer can make working out fun! Good trainers can design programs that challenge you and make sure you stay away from boring, stale exercise routines. Personal trainers are exercise experts, and they know many variations of each activity. A successful trainer can use their knowledge to keep your sessions interesting and enjoyable. From setting small, personal competitions, to introducing new exercises and adding variations, a good personal trainer should be making exercise satisfying and worthwhile.
If a personal trainer is out of your budget, consider splitting the cost with a friend for a semi-personal training session. As I outlined in previous article, training with a buddy is a great way to have more fun so that you stay on track with your fitness goals. Happy training!
Photos taken with Jessenia Soto from www.sofit-solutions.com
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