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Do You Need a Personal Trainer?



Why should you hire a personal trainer? Good question. Let me explain.

When it comes to working out in a gym, personal training is one of the best things you can do for yourself regardless of your experience level (assuming you want to actually make some positive improvement). New gym goers are shown the ropes and taught valuable lessons about the basics of weight training and nutrition while the more advanced trainee can benefit from advanced training methods, added push and motivation, and a second set of eyes to help improve form while lifting.

Unfortunately not all trainers/coaches are created equally. There are a lot of excellent trainers out there and then there are a lot of… let’s just say not so great trainers. It’s your responsibility to make sure you get your hands on a good one. If you don’t ask questions and do your research you’re essentially rolling the dice and hoping for the best. Don’t be that person. Do your background work on the people you are considering asking to help you (after all, you’re giving up your time and money to this person!) and then actually sit down and talk with them to see if you think the two of you will even mesh well. I could go on and on here about how to choose the right coach but that’s another blog altogether. Just make sure you’re going to be comfortable working with the person you choose and that you’re confident they can deliver the results you’re paying for otherwise it could end up being a less than satisfactory experience.


The list of benefits that come along with hiring some professional guidance in the gym go on and on. Instead of trying to list all of them, here is what I feel are probably the top three most important reasons to hire a trainer:


1 – Proper programming (& meal plan design)

You probably know the old saying, ‘If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing it right’. Why should training be any different? Too often people exhibit less than stellar results when following a training program or meal plan/diet and the reason for this is because they’re either not following the program as prescribed or the the program is sh*t. Unfortunately, today you can find more bad advice and ‘bro science’ floating around your local gym than dissipated protein farts.

It’s very easy to get your hands on a poor program these days and hiring a good personal trainer/coach will help you dodge these costly bullets. The proper trainer will be sure to set you up with programming that is appropriate for your goals and experience level. Starting too soon with too much or jumping to advanced exercises and training methods too soon can lead to injury, slow progress and development of improper form/posture that may be difficult to reverse.

Proper meal planning is very important as well. We all know that everyone and their grandma’s tattoo artist has a diet or system that worked wonders for them but how are you supposed to know which method works best for you? This is where that trusty personal trainer of yours can help you sift through the trash and help you find the right information. While they may not be able to provide you with a complete plan telling you exactly what to eat and when to eat it, they should at least be able to steer you in the right direction and coach you on how to make smart, healthy food choices that will bring you closer to your goals. Good trainers will stay on top of the newest research and pass that information along to you so that you can be sure to make the best decisions when it comes to what to put in your body.


2 – Develop a long term training plan

The majority of training programs you see out there are anywhere from 4-16 weeks in duration with the lion’s share of those being around 8-12 weeks. How many people do you think are looking ahead 8-12 months instead of 8-12 weeks? The old adage ‘Those who fail to prepare prepare to fail’ rings true here as well. For truly optimal results over the course of a year (or longer), one must properly prepare and organize their training programs from a big picture perspective. Waiting until a program is finished and then randomly deciding where to go from there will definitely deliver slow progress in the long run.

It’s a good thing you decided to work with that personal trainer of yours! He/she can sit down with you and tell you exactly where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. Being involved in the large goal setting process is a lot of fun too. Your trainer will help you determine what is realistic/attainable and then help you develop a plan of attack to ensure you get to your goals in a reasonable time. This is also a great way to stay motivated and focused throughout the entire year instead of only a month or two.


3 – Accountability and motivation

Ok, technically this is two points but I group them together because I look at them as one in this setting. Having a good trainer/coach is like having a great training partner who is always there to push you, spot you, encourage you and boost your confidence every set and rep of the way. Anyone who’s ever had a workout partner knows that you don’t skip out on your workout; if he/she is there, you better get your ass there too! When you’re working with a personal trainer they will be there on time and ready to go rain or shine which means just knowing someone is counting on you to be there will help you get to your workouts, and we all know that’s usually half the battle.

Not only will you be held accountable for showing up at your workouts, you will also be held accountable for giving your best effort every single rep, set and workout. Your trainer knows what you can do and will ask that of you and more every time you meet up with them. This is one of the most important benefits of working with a good trainer. People rarely work at or near their full potential in the gym by themselves and because of this they see little if any change in strength or physical appearance. A good trainer will help motivate you to come ready to work and give 100% every time you step foot in that gym, and this will help you continue to see positive health and physical changes on a regular basis.


Conclusion

So if you’re serious about making progress in the gym and you want to make sure you’re optimizing your efforts, do yourself a favour and hire a personal trainer. Yes, it’s going to mean a little bit of money out of pocket and yes you’ll undoubtedly end up working harder than you ever have on your own but the results and knowledge you will gain in return will be more than worth it.

There are plenty of quality trainers and coaches out there who can assist you along the way but if you find yourself in the London, ON area and want to do some work with me or another Who’s Your Trainer? approved trainer/coach, feel free to email me at daveleek@whosyourtrainer.ca and I’d be happy to help!

-DL

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