There are many more reasons why you need a personal trainer to reach your fitness goals, but these 5 answer the concerns people have when they consider hiring me.
1. You have an injury
We are all, by a certain age, the walking wounded. Repetitive motions of life, strains, arthritis, and simply aging deteriorate the body even if you haven’t suffered a specific injury. That’s life!
However, when you are in the thick of an injury that is going to take weeks, months, maybe years, or even never to completely recover from, a trainer can modify your movements to keep you strong and prevent other injuries from occurring due to muscle imbalances.
Working out without professional guidance?
According to the NIH “of the broad fitness activities that presented to Eds (Emergency Departments), resistance/weight training injuries accounted for 55.6% of specified activities, the highest of all activities. Of the specific fitness activities that presented to EDs, general free weights were the most common (42.2%). However when all free weight activities were combined (general free weights, dumbbell, squats, lunges and deadlifts, bench press, barbell), these accounted for 55.2% of all specified activity cases.”
One-on-one training prevents injuries and takes your limitations into account. That workout you downloaded doesn’t.
Pop Quiz: Which move is safer for your knees: a forward lunge or a rear lunge? Why?
2. You are intimidated by the gym experience
Bodybuilders, fitness models, grunters, weight slammers, and rows and rows and rows of machines and equipment smack you in the face when you walk into the gym. Your personal trainer can remove all these obstacles, especially if you work with them virtually in your own gym. (Want to set up your own home gym? Read this)
If you didn’t have some body image issues before you walked in, you just might by the time you leave. The gym isn’t known for modesty and that can leave even the most confident person feeling insecure.
Beyond the emotional insecurity of gym life, the technical aspect can be even more baffling.
Why are the three or more different chest machines? Which order do you do them in? How much weight to start? Wait, then there’s free weights and barbells. And what is up with that guy practicing martial arts in between the machines???
Even if you walk in with a plan and some general knowledge, you may have to wait for the bodybuilder to finish on your chosen piece of equipment, or more frustrating, wait for the fitness model to end their personal photoshoot before you can hop on the leg press.
Personal trainers have rank in the gym and can get you on the equipment in a more timely fashion. Even better is working out virtually where no one can get in your way.
Pop Quiz: What is the opposing muscle to your deltoid (shoulder)?
3. You don’t know where to begin
Do you start with bigger or smaller muscle groups? Is a pyramid right for you? Should you super set same, opposing, or non-related muscle groupings? How many reps are appropriate for me? How many sets? When do you switch to heavier or lighter weights?
There’s a lot to learn to construct a safe and constructive workout. Over time while working with a trainer, you will come to understand these patterns and be more comfortable working out on your own, but jumping in without a firm foundation of knowledge leads to injury, frustration, and almost always muscle imbalances.
Because people like to workout areas they feel strong in and can see in the mirror. Just about everyone loves a bicep curl yet few truly enjoy tricep work. Some people just love that upper body look and neglect leg day whether it’s because they just don’t like lower body workouts or have knee, hip, ankle, or foot issues. Hang out at the gym and you’ll see plenty of people with imbalanced muscle groups. This also contributes to injuries.
4. You stop working out when it gets uncomfortable
Stopping after a few reps is very common amongst people new to fitness; either the weight is too heavy or the person isn’t used to discomfort. There’s a difference between discomfort and pain. A good trainer will learn your capabilities fairly quickly and know when you need a push and when to back off. The experienced trainer will also know how to handle your whining effectively with humor and motivation for improvement.
To gain strength, you have to go through some discomfort. This is true of any type of growth in life. Stepping out of the comfort zone inherently causes discomfort, right? A new job, haircut, and a move all reap benefits but they start off with quite a bit of anxiousness and discomfort.
Fortunately, for fitness, usually only the first 6 weeks of working out are uncomfortable than seldom forever after — really. Unless you do Crossfit. Then you’ll always be sore.
5. You need accountability
The group class goes on whether or not you show up…and you know it.
Your trainer is waiting for you…and you know it.
Psychologically you are more likely to show up for your appointment when you know someone is waiting just for YOU. A workout “buddy” might fit the bill, but If you’re prone to making excuses not to workout, or the buddy flakes on you frequently, then the cost of missing the appointment with your trainer may be your motivating factor.
Most important though, is the relationship you build with your trainer and how she motivates you to show up for yourself. This is your time and you’re worth it!
Even Trainers Use Personal Trainers
If you want to get fit(ter), strong(er), quickly and safely, all the reasons above are why you need a personal trainer.
Obviously I am biased #iamapersonaltrainer.
HOWEVER, I have employed several trainers to shake up my routine and to teach me different programming principles. Personally, I don’t train power lifters, body builders, or fitness competition clients; so for me it’s fun to work with personal trainers who do to learn different techniques and see how they can apply to my clients.
Answers to the Pop Quiz Questions
Rear lunges are safer as the impact force is less than when your body weight moves forward.
The latissimus dorsi (lats) are the opposing muscle to your shoulders. Are they programmed into your fitness routine?