You have heard all about celebrities and their trainers, you probably also have a few friends that work with a trainer a few times per week, and I am 100% sure you have read countless blogs and advice columns written by trainers offering guidance in all aspects of physical well-being. Still, you have not made time to meet with a trainer to see what they can do for you. For some reason, you are thinking that if you just keep doing what you have been doing (for years) for just a little bit longer, those goals will come to fruition. Also, for some reason, you think that following the workout routine in last month’s Shape magazine will be exactly what your body needs- hey, the model in photo looks good, right? I’m sure all she does is that routine on page 28 once a week or so… right? I bet that for some reason, you also don’t think there is much to be gained from meeting with a fitness professional- how much more can they possibly know than what you have gleaned off the internet? You are skeptical. You are maybe a little intimidated. You are fearful of getting locked into a weird situation. You are confident you can’t afford it. Let me address some of these issues, and assure you that training is for EVERYONE.
The Skeptic: What can personal training do for me?
- Goal achievement: A trainer will help you define goals realistically and design a path to reach them safely. They will break down big goals into specific, attainable smaller goals that will be easier to sustain over time and also easier to reach.
- Personalized workout: By assessing your current physical condition and medical background, your trainer is able to make accommodations to fit your specific needs. Sometimes it’s not a physical constraint that reqires modification, it can be a strong dislike that is holding you back, like “hating cardio” or a worry about developing bulky muscles. A great trainer will have 300 different ways to achieve the same goal. You don’t have to force yourself to do exercises you don’t like just because you think there is no other way. There is another way! There are a million other ways!
- Instruction/learning: Training is an investment, both of time and resources. Use every session to learn the right way to exercise for your own body type and your own comfort level. Believe it or not, you do not know everything about health and fitness because you read an article about it last year. A trained professional will adjust your form and load your weight to an appropriate level so that you are maximizing your effort without risking injury. A trainer will keep your workouts fresh, so you don’t get bored, and make adjustments as your fitness level improves to ensure continued progress.
- Motivation & Accountability: A fitness program only works if you stick to it. You need consistency to achieve results. Meeting with a trainer that is not only tracking your progress, but also expecting you to show up at a certain time on a certain day, makes it much more likely that you will stick with your fitness plan. A trainer will add variety to your workouts so they are more interesting and fun, which is pretty motivating. They will also make sure the time you spend in the club is on point and keep you focused- no wasting of time unraveling your earbuds or surfing the tv channels.
The Worrier: What if I don’t like it?
- I don’t like going to the gym. There is a lot of equipment I don’t know how to use, and a lot of people that are already in shape- I don’t fit in. This is exactly why personal training is for you. A trainer is your guide to getting familiar with the environment and everything is has to offer. Think of your trainer as a tour guide, coach, best friend and confidante. Before you know it, you will be one of those people that are in great shape, looking forward to your next workout in your safe place, the gym.
- I’m worried I can’t afford it. Once you have met with a trainer to go over your health history and goals, you will talk about your budget. At this point, you want to be brutally honest with your trainer. There are many ways to make training affordable, especially if you are willing to join a small group to share the cost, or train for shorter sessions or less frequently, or by giving some thought to re-organizing your budget to put resources aside for what is truly important to you. The way your body looks is just the beginning, this is about improving your physical and mental health, your attitude, your relationships, and your potential for success. You can afford personal training. What you can’t afford is declining health and loss of mobility, plus those extra pounds.
The Determined: Getting started. How do you pick the right trainer? If you don’t know anything about trainer certifications or other credentials, don’t worry, nobody does. I have known the best trainers with very unimpressive qualifications, and also some abysmal trainers with masters in kinesiology from amazing schools. But don’t worry, that’s not really the most important thing to vet on a trainer anyway. Here is where you rely on your friends! The best source for information on whether a trainer is any good, is to talk to their clients. If your friends don’t work with trainers, ask your local gym (Federal Hill Fitness!) for a good recommendation. Any trainer worth their salt will offer a free consultation so you can get to know each other and see if things are going to work out. You want to pick a trainer that you feel comfortable with, that you feel you can trust, that is fully focused on your goals and where you are coming from. You want to interview some of their clients- get some live testimonials. After all, you wouldn’t hire a new professional at work without a proper background check, why take a trainer at face value?
To set up a FREE consultation with a personal trainer, email firstname.lastname@example.org. No membership required for the consultation or for continued training.