Everyone needs a bit of help with exercise from time to time, whether you are just starting out or you have been at it for a long time and a personal trainer can do just that.
Personal training can be expensive and many people shy away from it, perhaps unsure of what they’ll get out of the experience, whether it’s worth the money, or maybe even feeling too out of shape to work with a trainer.
However, there are so many things a personal trainer can do, almost anyone can benefit from hiring one.
There are a number of reasons people work with trainers. Some want an individualized program so they can lose weight or get in shape while others simply need to be held accountable for their workouts.
Wherever you are on your exercise journey, a personal trainer may be just what you need to take it to finally reach your fitness and weight loss goals.
If you’ve been exercising consistently for several weeks or months and you are not getting the results you want, hiring a PT 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 in the scale.
- Examine your goals – A PT can also help you figure out if your goals are realistic.
- Hold you accountable – A PT will 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 PT can help you stay on track during the week.
- Teach you how to lift weights – Too often people focus on cardio to lose weight, but you need strength training as well, something a trainer can teach you how to do it 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 and can then go out on your own once you’ve gotten what you need.
When you are new to exercise, you see how complex it is and you are 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.
PT’s know everything that goes into a complete program: Cardio, weight training, and flexibility training. Then there are all of the elements you have to figure out, from what activities to do to how to fit it all into a busy schedule.
A PT will:
- Figure out the right activities for you – Maybe you don’t even know what would work for your body, schedule or available equipment. A PT will be able to suggest activities that fit with all of those areas.
- Help you put together a reasonable program – A PT will 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 PT will help you navigate all of those things, showing you how to:
- Figure out how hard to work during exercise and how to monitor your exercise intensity
- With weight training, they will show you how to choose exercises, weights, reps, and sets
- 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 PT can sit down and help you go through your calendar and figure out when you can workout 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.
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, it can 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 PT 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 -PT’s are experienced in all kinds of workouts like:
- Circuit training
- High intensity interval training.
- Using different methods of strength training like supersets, pyramid training and more.
- Help you set new and more challenging goals
- Push you harder than you push yourself
A PT will 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.
If you feel like you’re stuck or you’re ready to take your training to the next level, an experienced personal trainer can come up with new ways to challenge yourself.
A PT can:
- Help you challenge your limits – One way to really push past plateaus is to go heavy with your weights. A PT can be there to help you choose the right weights and spot you for the more challenging exercises.
- Workout with you – Another option you may have is having the trainer engage in the workout with you, adding a competitive element to your workouts.
You’ll find it’s very hard to slack off with a PT standing over you, telling you to do just…one…more…rep. You may even find hidden strengths you never knew you had, which can motivate you even more.
Motivation comes from all kinds of places, both internally and externally. You may have some reason to exercise, such as wanting to be healthier or to get off your high blood pressure medication.
But, you also need other motivators to keep exercising such as wanting to lose weight to look better in a bathing suit or for a family gathering. A personal trainer can become that motivator.
By hiring a trainer you’re creating motivation 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. They 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.
If you have some specific injury or condition, your doctor may want you to exercise. But how do you do that if you’re in pain or have to work around an injury?
That’s where an experienced PTcomes in. PT’s work with all kinds of people and many of them may have specialties that allow them to work with clients with special needs.
Just some things your PT may be able to help you with:
- Exercising with arthritis
- Exercise with heart disease
- Exercising with diabetes
- Dealing with old or chronic injuries
- Helping overcome back or neck pain
- Helping to increase your balance, core strength, and stability if you’ve had a fall or need to work on those areas.
- Helping you come up with a plan if you’re pregnant or want to become pregnant
- Creating a program that works on the areas you need without reinjury or other issues.