1. A personal trainer can look at your physical condition and write a workout plan that will help you meet your specific physical fitness goals. If, for instance, you have been steadily exercising for years but you have seen very little muscle development, a personal trainer can help you tweak your workout to fit your fitness level and your body type, thereby ensuring that the strength of your biceps (or your triceps or your gluteus maximus or all the muscles in your whole body) are seen by everyone you know. Hiring a personal trainer can help you work out through injuries by ensuring a workout that gets your heart rate up but does not exacerbate the damage. A personal trainer can help you lose weight, develop muscle definition, or lower your BMI. Often, a personal trainer can help you do all of this and more.
2. A personal trainer will watch you exercise and will be able to make sure that you are using the correct form. We all like to think that we are using correct form while in reality we just cannot watch ourselves exercise the way someone else can. Incorrect form can lead to, at best, a lack of results, and at worse, some very serious injuries. One of the main benefits of a personal trainer being right next to you.
3. Accountability. The modern lifestyle is truly a busy one and offers unlimited opportunities to work, and unlimited opportunities to indulge in entertainment. These two extreme time-suckers are often mashed into life with little time left to do the things that can actually improve our lives, like working out. By hiring a personal trainer, you are hiring someone who will be passionate about your physical wellbeing. You will have appointments with this person; most of us are more likely to keep an appointment with a personal trainer than we are to work out on our own.
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1. Personal trainers are often expensive, usually starting at $1/minute. Three 45 minute sessions per week could mean spending $540 per month. If you can commit to working out on your own for the majority of the week, one session per week could be enough, but if you are going to pay a personal trainer, you might as well let them do their work, which means letting them take a lot of your time and a lot of your money. You could look at this point in a different way: when something costs money, that thing becomes more valuable. Then, perhaps the cost of a personal trainer will create more accountability.
2. Are they certified? Some gyms have created their trainer certifications, which may or may not comply with state and federal trainer certifications. Any trainer should be able to tell you details on their certification and prove that it is current. Finding the answers is simply a matter of a little research on your part, but you should do the research.
3. Food often takes a large part of the road to meeting your fitness goals. You may know about the food pyramid, and you may even eat organic, but there is much more information available regarding food and calories that can help you enhance your workouts. A personal trainer cannot advise you on nutritional matters unless they are also a certified nutritionist. To ensure you’re getting the most out of your personal trainer, ask to see a nutritionist certification.
4. Online alternatives. If you are capable and willing to commit to working out, you could take advantage of any of the millions of at-home workout available online, making a personal trainer obsolete to your life. YouTube is rampant with free workout videos, and there are also several inexpensive subscription-based workout generators online these days.
Whichever side of the training conundrum you take, find fitness motivation to keep you on track and to live healthily.
A good communication with your personal trainer is necessary to achieve the best results. Here are some extra tips for you to follow:
1. Fitness Trainers Are People Too (Even Though They Look Like Greek Gods)! When you’re getting personal training, keep in mind that even your trainer is a normal human being who may have had to struggle to get to the fitness levels that s/he is at right now. No one is born perfectly fit. We all have to keep working towards it. So your trainer might be at a higher level than you but this doesn’t mean that they don’t know what it’s like to be at your level.
2. Using Different Approaches in Personal Training. Trainers work with a variety of people and they know that everyone needs a different approach. Some people like to be encouraged continuously. They like to be told, “you can do it.” It keeps them going. It makes them enthusiastic. Others, however, like to get into the “why” of things. They don’t just want to be told that they can do it. They want to know why they should it. If this describes you, then feel free to ask your trainer as many questions as you like. For example, you could ask, “what muscles does this work?” or “how will this help me in my day-to-day life?”
3. Communicating Your Aims To Your Trainer. If your main aim is to lose weight, it’s important to tell your personal trainer this before you begin. If your goal is to develop muscle tone, feel free to communicate this as well. Everyone has different aims. Some people might be looking to increase their mobility and general level of physical activity for health reasons. Others might be trying to get their high blood pressure under control. And some just want to look good for their wedding day. In each case, communication is key. If your personal trainer doesn’t know what you want, s/he isn’t going to be able to give it to you.
4. Being Comfortable With Your Trainer. It’s also important to be comfortable with the person you’re working with. If you’re a woman who would prefer to work with a female personal trainer, you should come out and say so instead of suffering through sessions with a male trainer. If your trainer is making you do weights that are too heavy for you because of a previous injury, you need to tell them that. If you feel more comfortable with one fitness professional rather than another, work with that one instead.
5. Starting Slow vs. Going Fast. One thing that often turns people off when they’re starting personal training is moving too fast. You know your level of physical fitness because you’ve kept track of how much exercise you’ve been doing for the last few months or year. You need to communicate your level to your personal trainer and let them know how fast you want to increase your fitness levels. If you want that perfectly sculpted body within 3-6 months, and you don’t mind rigorous workouts, no matter how sore they might leave you afterwards, let your trainer know how you feel. On the other hand, if you want to go slow and generally improve your health in the long term, be sure to communicate this to your trainer as well. And if any exercise is causing you pain rather than just discomfort, discontinue it immediately.
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