Whether you’re new to exercise or have been working out for a while – every now and again we could all do with a little help sometimes.
Some people may think that the expense is way out of their league, or wonder if it is really worth the money and what you would get out of the experience, when there are cheaper alternatives (instructors at the local gym, friends, magazines, videos etc) where you could get guidance on what you need/want.
While all these things have their place, employing a Personal Trainer could be the best thing you ever did!
Here’s a top 10 of reasons why:
1. Truly Personalised Programmes
While a gym instructor will normally ask a few questions about you and can create an exercise programme, a Personal Trainer will be a lot more thorough! A good PT will ask questions about your exercise likes and dislikes, current and past exercise habits and health details, lifestyle, occupation, and goals, and will carry out fitness tests (body fat %, BMI, heart rate, blood pressure, body measurements etc.) to get a full picture of you so that the programme they create is challenging, effective and tailored to fit around your goals and lifestyle. Maybe you can only get to the gym twice a week, maybe you can only spare 30 minutes a day….. a PT can work around these and will discuss any other potential barriers to make sure that they devise a plan that you can stick to and will enjoy with a number of programmes to be completed either in a gym or at home or even while on holiday!
2. Making It Simple
When thinking about starting any form of exercise, especially if it is something you have never done before (or it was a VERY long time ago) it can be quite daunting. There is so much information available on the net and in magazines that it can be contradictory and confusing – let alone the time it takes to sift through it all trying to figure out what exercises to do, how many, what weight etc. Add to that the numerous adverts for DVDs , diets and “supplements” that promise miracle results in X amount of days…… it’s not that surprising it can put a lot of people off exercise altogether. A PT can help cut through the “BS” and jargon to make it clear for you, telling you the information that is relevant for you right now and can explain how and why in simple terms, making sure that you perform the exercises in the correct and safe way.
3. Avoid Your Results Leveling-Out
When you’ve been working out for a while, at some point your results might stagnate or stop – whether that’s losing weight, improving speed, or gaining muscle mass. This is only natural as your body adapts to a routine. By having a PT they will be able to look at your current routine, form and eating habits and be able to spot where you may be going wrong. They will then be able to help you to make changes, improve technique or design new routines and introduce new exercises and training methods to ensure that your results continue to be maintained.
4. Avoid Boredom
In a similar way, if you’ve been following the same routine for a few weeks, very soon you can get bored – you stop putting as much effort in or you may stop entirely feeling that you are not getting the results you want. PTs can help to avoid this by designing and re-designing programmes following your feedback and progress – introducing new exercises and equipment, split routines, suggesting weekly challenges and more to make sure that you are continuously interested and more importantly achieve your goals.
5. Improve Medical Conditions.
It may be that you have a medical condition such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, joint replacement, cardiac, bone or respiratory disorders or you may currently be pregnant or have recently given birth. A specially qualified PT will again be able to understand the implications and limitations of this for exercise and be able to assist with alleviating symptoms, avoid further damage/injury and improving your lifestyle.
6. Improve Sport Skills
If you are training for a specific sporting event such as a marathon, power-lifting or body-building competition, or looking to improve you football skills and more – again there a number of PTs that are experienced and qualified to provide sport-specific guidance and programmes to help improve your speed, power and endurance.
7. Work-out at Home
Although some Personal Trainers work in a specific gym (mainly the big brands) – there are many more freelance PTs who are mobile, where you can have the option to work-out at a gym, your home or outdoors – depending on your preferences. If you really don’t like the gym, a Personal Trainer will be able to bring a wide range of fitness equipment to your home to use during the session as well as being able to include outdoor/other activities like cycling, dancing, walking, skating…….
8. Work-Out on Your Own
Having a PT also doesn’t mean that you can only exercise with them! Without the restriction of using just a gym, they can provide a plan that includes a variety of activities and routines that you can complete on your own, both in and out of the gym, as well as with and without the PT (of course, they will be monitoring your progress with the plan!). They can include any equipment you already own and other activities like exercise classes. Giving you additional ownership and accountability for your progress.
9. Motivation and Challenge
For some having a PT at all is enough of a motivation to exercise – it can be an expensive waste of money if you don’t turn up for the sessions. However, for most (including myself) having someone watch what you are doing and offering encouragement and praise means that I can always reach that extra rep or those extra few seconds/minutes/miles and gives me a greater sense of achievement knowing that I have given my all and having my progress recognised is even better. It always seems a little easier to give up or “cheat” when you know no-one is watching. A PT will be able to push you through any self-imposed prior limits.
10. A PT for Every Budget
For a lot of people it’s the potential cost that will make them shy away from hiring a PT, but the truth is that the cost is dependent on a number of factors…… while celebrity trainers can seem to charge £150-£200 a session (seriously!!) the average is actually between £30 and £60 depending on location and experience/popularity of the trainer. However, with promotions and bulk-booking or sharing costs with a friend or small group, the costs can come down even further.
You can also consider regularity. Every work-out you do does not need to be with a trainer – you may want weekly or monthly sessions, with regular catch-ups over the phone. There are a number of PTs that also offer online and distance training with regular progress updates and technique monitoring via video or Skype. Even just one session may be enough to give you a kick-start and learn some skills and knowledge that will last a lifetime!
Hopefully, I’ve shown that a PT can be affordable for most and could be just what you need.
In a future post I’ll be giving tips to finding your ideal PT.