We go to the gym because we want to move better, feel better, and look better too. However, staying on the righteous path of fitness is a struggle for many of us. Maybe the gym feels intimidating; maybe it’s too hard to wake up an hour early every morning; or maybe it’s just easier to stay home and catch up on the latest season of Stranger Things. If you find the number of your weekly gym visits dropping while the number on your scale keeps ticking up, there’s a simple solution: it’s time to hire a personal trainer.
A personal trainer is literally an expert at fitness, exercise, and overall wellness who can give you the guidance and motivation you need to finally see results. To learn how trainers can help you, let’s look at these 9 common benefits of personal training.
1.Defines Your Fitness Goals
When you decide to work with a personal trainer, the first thing he or she will likely ask is, “What is your goal?” Perhaps your goal is a little vague, like, “I want to look good in a bathing suit,” or “I want to get better at running.”
Vague goals aren’t very useful. How do you know when you meet them? How can you track progress over time?
Your personal trainer can help you clarify your goals by making sure they are S.M.A.R.T. goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. A SMART goal might be to lose ten pounds in two months or to run an eight-minute mile in three months. With a SMART goal in place, you and your trainer will have a clear target to hit.
2.Teaches You Different Exercise Modalities
One of the biggest benefits of personal training is that your trainer will develop a personalized exercise plan just for you. This plan will take into consideration your current fitness level, any challenges you face (like an injury), and your goals. In all likelihood, your trainer will also introduce you to new movements, different workout configurations, and even entirely new exercise modalities.
Even experienced exercisers have a tendency to use a set range of fitness equipment and to fall into a comfortable routine. This can leave big holes in our fitness game. Your trainer will ensure that your fitness plan includes a good balance of cardio work, resistance and strength training, balance and coordination drills, as well as functional training. This is a great chance for you to learn new exercise modalities that you can then incorporate into your own training in the future.
3.Keeps You Injury Free
Look around any gym and you are bound to see enthusiastic exercisers doing movements all wrong. Maybe they’re sitting the wrong way in a machine, trying to lift too much weight, or rounding their back on a deadlift. Performing movements incorrectly or using poor form can lead to sore joints, pulled muscles, or even serious injuries like slipped discs. Incorrect movements can also put weight on the wrong muscles!
When your personal trainer creates a workout for you, they’ll show you how to perform each movement and give you feedback to ensure you maintain good form over the duration of the exercise. This will allow you to work the correct muscles, see faster improvement, and avoid injuries.
4.Gives You a Challenge
Let’s be honest, many of us go to the gym and use the same machines day in and day out. We perform the same number of reps at the same weight and then wonder why we never see improvement. It’s easy to hit that feared plateau.
A personal trainer will kick that plateau to the curb. Get ready to lift more weight, do more burpees than you thought possible, or keep that sprint going a little longer on the treadmill. If you want to see a change in your body, that means pushing yourself to new limits and forcing your body to adapt. Your trainer keeps you honest.
5.Improves Your Nutrition
Nutrition is a huge factor in the success of your fitness goals. It’ll be nearly impossible to lose weight, gain muscle, or improve your body if you don’t change your nutrition along with your fitness.
Many people don’t realize that most personal training certification programs incorporate nutritional education. While your personal trainer isn’t a substitute for a professional nutritionist, they can help you understand how to better balance the macronutrients in your diet, find the right caloric load for your body, and eat healthier meals. Many personal trainers ask their clients to keep a food journal and review it with them before or after training sessions.
6.Boosts Your Mental Health
Exercise doesn’t just make you look good, it also makes you feel good. According to a paper in the Primary Care Companion in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, “Exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function. Exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal.”
You may not exactly feel like rainbows and sunshine while your trainer is encouraging you to do those last ten air squats, but all that hard work will flood your mind with endorphins, which trigger lots of positive feelings. That’s why it’s so common to feel a happy afterglow as you stroll out of the gym.
7.Keeps You Motivated
While a personal trainer gives you the benefit of their significant knowledge and experience, one of the most positive benefits they can offer is to simply hold you accountable for coming to the gym. Exercise is the same as many things in life — the difference between failure and success is often just showing up.
When you invest in a trainer, you are putting financial skin in the game. That’s reason enough to hit pause on that Stranger Things episode and drive to the gym. It also helps to know someone is waiting for you to show up. When you commit to a consistent and continually challenging exercise routine, you will see results.
8.Gives You Positive Energy
Pushing yourself to run a little bit faster, doing one more pull-up, or adding those 10-pound plates to your back-squat bar is hard, but even the most soul-crushing workout can be a little easier when you’ve got a friend cheering you on. The stereotype of the personal trainer as a relentless and heartless drill sergeant isn’t accurate (unless you’re watching one of those weight-loss reality shows that want to amp up the drama). In real life, personal trainers do what they do because they love helping people change their bodies and live their best lives. Most trainers want to motivate and inspire you, not berate you or cut you down.
That doesn’t mean they’ll go soft on you. They’ll still make sure you aren’t slacking on those HIIT intervals, but when you collapse into a sweaty pile of exhaustion afterward, they’ll share words of support and congratulations. It feels good to have someone in your corner, rooting for you to succeed.
9.Helps You See Progress
Fitness is a journey filled with exciting and challenging destinations. It’s easy to get focused on the peak of the mountain (your next goal) and to forget to look around. Your personal trainer can help you enjoy and appreciate the journey.
Many trainers incorporate regular progress checks into their programming. That might mean a weekly weigh-in or a monthly assessment. For example, a trainer may put you through the same set of exercises each month to see if you’ve gotten stronger or faster, or can do more reps in a certain amount of time. They may also do a body fat test along with your weigh-in to get a better idea of how your body is changing.
These assessments help you see how much progress you’re making and give you milestones on the way to your goal. It’s also super motivating when you realize that you can back squat 20 more pounds than you did last month!
How Trainers Can Help You
Hiring a personal trainer can be costly, and not everyone needs a trainer. However, if you aren’t sure how to get started exercising, if you’ve been struggling to hit your fitness goals, or if you’re mired in a serious fitness plateau, then a personal trainer can be a great option. Think of a personal trainer as an investment in your health and wellbeing. If your kids were failing a subject in school, you’d hire a tutor. If you wanted to learn a new sport, you’d hire a coach. If you want to improve your fitness, hire a personal trainer.
At EōS Fitness, we offer personal training at all our locations. Learn more about our personal training packages and the benefits of personal training. In the meantime, our blog is also a fantastic resource for fitness and nutrition advice.