I know there are many people out there with health goals who start their own programs but then fall off the wagon. The biggest reasons many people quit their self-induced exercise programs is because they’re often not seeing the results they want–which is then when a personal trainer becomes useful.
Even though personal training is often a luxury for many individuals, it is still a good investment because personal trainers can structure individualized programs that cater specifically to your goals. In fact, there are a myriad of reasons why you should try out personal training.
- Specialized programs. As mentioned, trainers are able to create a program specifically for you. The free workouts you find online aren’t individualized, even though one can find success with them. However, the reason why it’s important to have an individualized program is because a trainer is able to talk to you, is able to find out your goals, and is able to conduct assessments that will determine exactly where you need to start in your program. After all, you may not be ready to start squats or lunges yet. A free online exercise program isn’t able to tell you that.
- Assessments. I am a HUGE advocate of fitness assessments before beginning any program. Assessments don’t just include your body fat percentage or BMI, but can include things like postural, flexibility, endurance, and strength assessments. These assessments can also detect any contraindications you have that you may be unaware of that certain exercises could exacerbate. Postural assessments can also detect postural deviations, like swayback, lordosis, kyphosis, a forward head posture, and so on and so forth, deviations you likely would not be able to find yourself. For example, if you have swayback, you DO NOT want to lift any heavy weighs until you can correct this posture, as you WILL injure your lumbar region.
- Form. A trainer is able to teach you how to utilize good form when it comes to exercising. A trainer can also cue you into correct form if you are using improper form. It isn’t always easy figuring out if you’re squatting correctly or lifting correctly or doing any number of things correctly on your own. This is why it’s important to have someone with extensive knowledge of exercise technique.
- Lifestyle management. Not only can we help you move more efficiently in the gym, but we can help you move more efficiently in your ADLs (activities of daily living). We’ll teach you how to walk more efficiently, sit more efficiently, stand more efficiently, and any other commonly used movements during the day. We’ll teach you how to do all of this, mostly free from pain and injury.
- Adviser. While it is outside of a trainer’s scope of practice to provide meal planning, we can function as nutrition advisers by looking over your food journal and telling you if you’re eating well or not, what food groups you need more of in your diet, or what nutrients you’re lacking. While it’s advisable to seek out a registered dietitian for more specific nutrition counseling, a trainer is immediately there for nutrition advice, as long as it’s within the scope of practice.
- Cheerleader. We are there for YOU. We want to see you be successful. After all, this is why many of us choose this field: we love fitness and we want to share in the success of others whom we have helped to reach that success. We’re always going to be there to encourage you every step of the way, to congratulate you for meeting certain milestones, to reassure you that you CAN do it, to make sure that you’re on the right track, and we’ll even wish you a happy birthday. While it is extremely important to have support from family and friends, your trainer will always be your number one support line because we will never give up on you as long as you never give up on yourself.
- Monetary incentive. Simply spending a pretty penny on a trainer is an incentive enough to stick with your program and ensure you reach your desired goals. After all, if you’re going to spend 300 bucks on 10 sessions, why wouldn’t you attend all of them? Everyone wants to make sure they get their money’s worth.