Research is clear that working out alone delivers sub-optimal results, at best. But why does this occur? What is it about the trainer/client relationship that reinforces success? What are the benefits of having a personal trainer in your corner?
Before we can answer these questions, you first need to be sure that personal training is right for you. It isn’t an option for everyone and benefits you can expect will vary greatly depending on your training age (experience), your budget, your goals and the quality of trainer that you choose.
If you feel that having a qualified fitness professional is the best option for you, let’s look at some of the benefits you can expect.
Without a complete assessment of your strengths and weaknesses, you may not have a clear idea of what you want or need to accomplish. Even if you have your goals clearly established beforehand, you’re going to need to establish a realistic deadline for reaching them. Your trainer will determine if your goals are realistic and attainable.
After setting goals, your trainer will establish a program timeline, with many small deadlines throughout, to ensure that you reach the end goal on time. Without professional guidance, many people skip this critical step altogether. If you try to meet unrealistic goals, this can cause failure and bitter disappointment.
You may also severely understate your goals, not realizing that you are capable of so much more. You may also drift of track because you aren’t accountable to your goal setting blueprint. As the saying goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. A personal trainer will take care of all of this for you.
If you are new to exercise, this is an absolute must. Even if you are experienced, the presence of a second, more qualified eye will ensure that you are performing the exercises correctly and efficiently. Many people who “teach” themselves usually end up developing bad habits or, worse, getting hurt. This isn’t always a short term phenomenon, as injuries can occur years down the road from faulty exercise technique.
Having a professional supervise your workouts will help keep you on track and ensure that you are training safely and effectively. Just make sure that your trainer doesn’t use your time for personal conversation; they should be completely focused on the workout, otherwise how can they keep you focused?
We all want to save time and effort. Your trainer can prescribe an exercise regimen that will minimize how long and how often you train. Long gone will be the long, boring, directionless workouts you’ve been doing. How you exercise is even more important than how much you exercise. You will be taught what exercises are the most productive and methods that maximize efficiency.
Unfortunately we can’t be experts at everything. As an experienced personal trainer, it actually took me about 15 years of research, trial and error and “in the trenches” experience before I finally figured out the secrets to building a great body. Trust me, you don’t want to subject yourself to that kind of experimentation. I wish that I had sought out an expert when I first started. I would have saved myself so much time, frustration and failures.
If your trainer is adequately educated and experienced, you have access to a wealth of knowledge that is yours for the taking. As fitness professionals we are teachers, and should be thought of as such.
Without constant motivation, you’ll lose focus and your results will diminish fast. A personal trainer will never let you lose sight of your target goal. They will push you to the best of your abilities and beyond what you think you are capable of. Great trainers have been in your shoes and know what it takes to awaken your motivation and create the mindset that you need to succeed.
Accountability and Support
This the most important component of your success on a fitness program. If you’re not accountable to someone, you’re bound to go off course. You may find yourself missing workouts and self-sabotaging yourself at every opportunity. If you don’t have a strong social support system around you it’s also going to be very challenging for you to reach your goals.
A good personal trainer makes you accountable for your actions and your results. Your personal trainer can also offer support when life’s challenges threaten your progress and you need a coach to get you through the tough spots.
Individualized Program Design
You should always be looking for an exercise program that is adapted to you, not the other way around. Fitness classes and bootcamps expect you to adapt to their program. This is faulty logic and does not result in optimal strength and conditioning. A personal trainer will take the time to design a program to suit your individual needs. Your unique personality, strengths, weaknesses, preferences and needs are assessed and your program is based on this assessment. As your body changes, so do your needs.
A good trainer will adapt your program to keep up with these ever-changing needs. This is the only way to get real results from an exercise program. Generic fitness programs will only result in disappointment and possibly injury.
Consistent and Long-Term Results
Just about any fitness program will work, at least for a few weeks! At that point you will begin to experience a series of progress plateaus that will leave you completely frustrated. Your trainer can recognize the warning signs of a potential plateau and adjust your program to renew your progress. And how do you plan to maintain your results after your program is completed? A personal trainer will have a solution for that as well. Just as it took detailed hard work to get in shape, you need a plan to maintain it.
I hope you can see that there are many benefits to having a personal fitness trainer guide you toward better health and fitness. Be sure to check out a post I wrote with information on how to find the right personal trainer for you. As always, all the best in your pursuit of a better body and a better life!
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