Why personal trainers get you results (and why sometimes they don’t!)
Although celebrity personal trainers cost can around $500 a session, the service is generally more affordable. Local gyms and those working out of parks, public spaces, or from their home can offer more competitive prices ranging from $40 to $100 a session. Although this is more affordable than the trainers you see on TV or used by your favorite celeb, it doesn’t mean it’s cheap.
Having a personal trainer is definitely a privilege, and for many who have one, it is a considerable expense. Some people save up for long periods of time just to have one for 1 to 3 months. And when you are dishing out big bucks like this – you expect results! A personal trainer could be the answer to your fitness prayers, but it could also be the biggest waste of money you’ve ever spent. The good news is, with a bit of research and effort on your part, you can get the results you are after.
Personal trainers are trained professionals that are certified to create and deliver fitness programs. They work with clients in groups or one-on-one to achieve specific fitness goals like strength training, toning, weight loss, or increased mobility. They have the knowledge and skills to ensure you are exercising safely and effectively.
Many of us go to the gym and use equipment that we have no training on. Sure, they have the little infographic instructions pasted somewhere on the machine, but there is nothing about proper form, breathing, warming up, or stretching. An analysis of emergency department cases from 1999 to 2013 was completed to identify injuries at fitness facilities. A number of injuries were found, with the most common being related to free weight activities. Research from personal injury solicitors Hayward Baker out of the UK estimates that 41% of people have suffered an injury at a gym. It is easy to do when we don’t have training. Thankfully there are personal trainers who will teach you how to use equipment and lift weights correctly so that you don’t injure yourself and can help you achieve your desired results.
To get results, you need to be consistent. Sticking to a routine and fitness regime is often the most challenging aspect, but with a personal trainer, you are more accountable. When someone is waiting for you at the gym and you have a scheduled appointment, you are more likely to stick to it. Plus, when you have paid money for this session (and there’s a no-money-back cancellation policy), you are more likely to go.
Imagine getting home from a long day of work, and you have the option of going to the gym or hanging out and relaxing at home. When you are tired, your motivation dips, and if there is no one keeping you accountable, so you are more likely to stay home.
In addition to being more likely to show up, you are also more likely to work harder. Trainers pump you up and push you to squeeze in that extra rep or increase your weight. An analysis of 11 years of studies examined how well people stuck to weight loss routines. The research found that people were more likely to stick to the program when they had someone to keep them accountable.
Your trainer will also help you with goal setting. Goal setting is an integral part of fitness. Whether you want to train for a marathon or lose 15 pounds, having clearly defined and segmented goals will help you reach them. Personal trainers are experienced and will ensure you have realistic goals, so you don’t get discouraged and give up. So, although you may wish to drop 20lbs in 2 weeks, your personal trainer will give you are more realistic timeline to ensure the weight is dropped safely. This is typically the first thing you will do when you meet with your trainer. Both short-term and long-term goals will help you see greater progress.
Your goals will be tailored to your body, current levels, and where you want to be. Once these goals have been established, your personal trainer will provide you with an individualized plan. This is important as they can help target specific areas or give you modified exercises if you have a pre-existing injury. For example, one study examined a soccer team consisting of 24 males. The team was divided into two groups. The first group had muscular imbalances and the second group did not. The study found that muscular imbalances were improved with individualized resistance training programs.
The individualized program will contain a variety of exercises that will incorporate new routines, modifications, and weight increases each week. This will keep you mentally and physically engaged and has been found to boost motivation. For example, a study that looked at 21 men over an eight-week period found that the men that completed a varied routine versus a fixed one were more motivated.
When on a fitness journey, there will be ups and downs. Sometimes you will feel super motivated, and at others, you may find yourself wanting to give up. This is normal, but it is easier to push through when you have someone to talk to. Your personal trainer will help lift you up with feeling down and give you extra encouragement when you need it.
Exercise is proven to improve mental health, and when you are feeling good, you are more likely to stick to your fitness schedule and diet. In addition, when you exercise, you increase blood circulation in the brain, which improves mood, and cognitive functioning and reduces stress. This is why you often feel so great after a workout – and it keeps you coming back for more!
And, if you hate the gym, a good personal trainer can make it fun. With a positive disposition and a passion for fitness, you could learn to love working out. You will also learn much more about your body and exercise and you can continue applying this knowledge for years to come. You will learn about body mechanics, exercise science, and human physiology as you work out. A simple exercise like a lunge will highlight all your different muscles, and how a simple modification like pushing out your knee or lifting your toes will change the feeling. You will learn plenty about knee alignment, back position, foot position, and posture and how they must be considered every time you exercise.
This can help you get the results you want, but it isn’t that simple. You can have a personal trainer and not lose weight, not feel good and not get the desired results. To ensure this doesn't happen, you need to find the right personal trainer. Personal trainers are like therapists; what works for one person won’t necessarily work for you. Every trainer will have their own personal touch and way of training. Some may be tougher and more militant, and others may take a more fun, light-hearted approach. Look for a person that will motivate you to show up and someone you will enjoy spending an hour with.
Additionally, look for someone qualified and certified! A personal trainer that does not have any qualifications or training could do more harm than good. Look for reviews and ask about their experience.
Before signing up for a number of months, try one or two workouts with a trainer to see if you are a good fit. Also, consider the gym they are training out of. Is it a private gym where it will only be the two of you or in a busy, loud gym with lots going on? Finally, ask yourself what you prefer.
Even with the best trainer who is the perfect fit for you – you could still not get the results you want. If you spend one hour a day with your trainer, you still have another 23 hours to sabotage your results. If you spend the rest of the day laying on the sofa eating junk food or not spending enough time on your buckwheat pillow at night, you could stop seeing progress.
A healthy, balanced diet is critical. If you want to gain muscle mass, you must ensure you are eating enough protein, and if you are looking to lose weight, you need to be in a calorie deficit.
Additionally, to put in your best effort at the gym, you need to be nourished. Having a meal plan from a dietitian or nutritionist can help, and you can also supplement with protein shakes and multivitamins to ensure you are getting everything you need. You also need to ensure you are getting enough sleep every night, as sleep is the secret to muscle growth.
A personal trainer can get you great results – but they can’t do it alone. You need to put in the effort and commit to the program they give you. Remember to eat right and get enough sleep, and you can enjoy all the benefits working with a personal trainer can give.