Do I Need A Personal Trainer? Honestly, It Depends.
So you're looking to get fit, but do you actually need a personal trainer to do it? Exercise and fitness journeys are an individual experience; it's time for a deep dive into when it might be beneficial to share that journey with a personal trainer.
First of all, it has to be said that not all PTs are of the same standard. Some 'programmes' will amount to aimlessly wandering the gym looking for a free machine. The process is stagnant from the moment it starts. Who needs those PTs? Absolutely no one.
That doesn't mean there aren't talented professionals out there that bring real benefits. These people have advanced knowledge - and they know how to package it into an effective programme directly suited to your goals.
Benefits Of A (Really Good) Personal Trainer
Truly, the most valuable benefit of PT as an investment is a life-long understanding of how to sustain and develop your fitness without sacrificing more than you need to - emotionally and physically.
Great personal trainers explain the ‘why’ behind your programme. You should walk away with a confident grasp of the theory behind the choices you’re making, both at home and in the gym. Truly, the most valuable benefit of PT as an investment is a life-long understanding of how to sustain and develop your fitness without sacrificing more than you need to.
Help Changing Your Emotional Relationship With Exercise
PT is a private and safe opportunity to exercise on your own terms with a professional that proactively helps to shift your perspective on exercise as an experience.
Accountability is a common theme, but when training becomes something you look forward to the need for it externally slips away.
A lot of people have historically bad experiences with exercise. I sometimes hear horror stories from clients of trainers having shouted at them for not performing to a certain standard. Thankfully, they weren’t put off - but I expect a lot of people would have been.
Saving Time & Effort With Effective Programme Design
Whether it’s weight loss, a toned core, or performance-specific, a great PT will create a personalised programme that wastes no time in cutting to the heart of your goals. They’ll keep you from being caught up in the abundant misinformation that distracts from the really crucial steps. PT isn't cheap, and trainers select exercises that work.
Reducing Gym Anxiety
The presence of a trainer offering clear guidance can be a welcome distraction from a daunting setting. A good PT will also provide a programme to work through independently, where appropriate. Having clear and specific instructions can be a real confidence booster, and a valuable stepping stone to eventually training independently.
Tailored Nutritional Guidance
High-quality personal training does not stop when you leave the gym. Results are dictated by the choices made outside of training. You might have a great programme and put in the effort at the gym, but weight loss just won’t happen if you consume more than you expend. A personal trainer will collaboratively establish a precise plan and tailor it around your specific circumstances and preferences.
Addressing Posture & Correcting Existing Imbalances.
Great PTs will spot existing imbalances and focus on strengthening the areas that most need it. In turn, you’ll perform your programme to a much higher and safer standard that reinforces a good posture.
Should You Get A Personal Trainer?
Now that we've established the standard a PT should be delivering, we can move on to who in particular might benefit. You might wish to consider a Personal Trainer if you:
You're overwhelmed by fads, trends and conflicting voices. With so many fitness trends and fads, it can be overwhelming to determine the best approach for individual goals. A personal trainer can help individuals cut through the noise and provide evidence-based recommendations for achieving success.
You feel like you've been on a diet all your life: Whilst metabolisms vary, if you feel like you're in a restrictive mindset (and then bingeing), you might benefit from help increasing your metabolism and changing body composition. A personal trainer can help you burn more at rest, and provide insight into a balanced and sustainable diet.
Have a historically bad relationship with exercise. For most of us, exercise starts at school. It's sink or swim, and a lot of us sink. It's no surprise that we learn to see it as a punishment, but it really doesn't have to be that way. Empathetic personal trainers prioritise individuals developing a positive relationship with exercise and nutrition. and provide individualised attention and support to help shift their perspective.
You're in a hurry to get your results. If you've got specific goals and deadlines, (a wedding, birthday party etc.) and want to fast-track the learning curve, a personal trainer can deliver a programme that wastes no time in cutting to the heart of your goals.
Lack confidence in a gym environment. Let's face it, starting to work out is scary. We're worried about looking uninformed, unfit and being judged. You might even have had to deal with creeps, which can turn people off for life. A good personal trainer can help ease these feelings and provide a supportive environment to build confidence and develop a successful fitness routine.
You're not making progress.If you’ve hit a wall in your fitness journey, you'll benefit from a personal trainer to offer some scientific recommendations (and some encouragement) to break down your barriers and achieve better performance.
How To Get Fit Without A Personal Trainer
Use the internet. If you can’t partner up with a PT, there’s never been an easier time to find great content for free. The most prominent videos for popular searches have usually earned their place because of their great quality content. It’s just a search away.
Stick to the basics. If you're working towards a fitness goal independently, your best bet is to focus on a few key exercises and improve your output (progressively overload) each week. It's consistency that achieves progress.
Track your progress. Speaking of progress, it's difficult to know if your work is paying off if you're not keeping a record of what you're achieving. If you're trying to improve, it's important to know what you've already managed.
Consider group fitness classes. Group fitness classes with a good instructor are a cost-effective way to enjoy accountability and a team spirit when working out. They're also a goldmine of great information and practical tips, including inspiration if you’ve got no idea which exercises to start with.
Ask for help. If you see someone at the gym who has achieved similar fitness goals to yours, don't be afraid to ask for advice!. The stereotype of gym-goers being unfriendly is largely nonsense - most gym-goers are very happy to share their experiences and knowledge to help others succeed.
When Should You Get In Touch With A Personal Trainer?
If you think you'd benefit from a professional's advice and experience on the physical and mental realities of achieving (and maintaining) a fitness goal, it might be time to get in touch with a personal trainer. A PT can devise a thorough and effective programme that meets you where you are - both physically and mentally. Feel free to reach out for a pressure-free consultation, and I'll try to help out!