Benefits of Having a Personal Trainer
Updated: Apr 10, 2019
Every time you go to the gym you see them... Those Personal trainers walking people through ridiculous looking exercises, greeting and introducing themselves to every person who walks by, and asking for your money. On the surface, this is how many people view personal trainers. That post of view is far from the intentions of most personal trainers. Almost every personal trainer I have met has had a passion for helping people live a healthier life and is invested in the people they work with, including myself. A personal trainer is not there to just watch your form and motivate you, there is so much more and that is why I am going over the 10 benefits of having a personal trainer.
1. More Effective Workouts
A personal trainer will build workouts that are specifically designed for you in your current state. Most people do a little google research to try and figure out what type of exercises will get them to their goals, this can be effective, but using a training plan built by a personal trainer is going to be more than twice as effective.
Certified personal trainers go through extensive training involving the mechanics of the body, training methods, how nutrition affects workouts, how to do fitness assessments and much more. This is why having a personal trainer can be so valuable. When you are working with a trainer you have all of the knowledge you could possibly need about how to reach your goals right at your fingertips.
Every workout that a personal trainer makes for you will be based on three primary things, fitness assessments, goals, and your level of fitness. Because of this you will have the most effective exercises and stretches to maximize your effort to result ratio.
2. Reduced Chance of injury
Working out always includes the risk of an injury, but when working with a personal trainer you have a much lower risk of injury due to multiple factors. The three most common reasons for injury are pushing your body too far, using improper form, and lack of focus. All three of these can be avoided with the help of a trainer.
The first major cause of injury is pushing your body too far, this can occur in many different ways, such as using too much weight, doing too many reps, not taking enough recovery time, or doing an exercise your body is not ready for yet. A personal trainer will be able to balance your reps, sets, weight, recovery time, and exercise modalities. When you balance those five factors you can maximize your workout without pushing it too far.
The second major cause of injury is the use of improper form, this one is easily avoided with a personal trainer. All certified trainers understand human movement mechanics and understand how our bodies are meant to move and how they are not. Trainers can demonstrate how to do an exercise and then watch you perform the exercise and then give feedback on what you can change in order to correct your form. Over time you will learn to "feel" proper form, but it's always nice to have a trainer to double check.
The last major cause of injury is lack of focus, this one is commonly overlooked and it often contributes to every other cause of injury. When you are lacking focus you are not paying close attention to your form, how your body feels, and the number of reps you have done. A trainer can help you avoid this by making sure you stay focused and correct you if you do happen to make a mistake due to lack of focus.
A certified trainer will walk you through the 5 stages of the OPT model in a progressive manner to allow your body to slowly adapt to a more difficult style of exercise in a safe manner.
3. Added Accountability
Everyone needs some measure of accountability when it comes to exercise, without it we would often skip our workouts and never reach our goals. Accountability can come from many different sources, such as friends, family members, publicly announcing your goals or a personal trainer. Out of all of these, a personal trainer may be the most reliable form of accountability.
Personal trainers add accountability because you have made a commitment to meet with them at a given date and time, this means that you put it in your schedule and are not able to skip your workout for lunch with your friends.
Another reason personal trainers add accountability is because you have paid for their services. It is a proven fact that when someone pays for something they are more likely to use and appreciate what they paid for more than if they received it for free. In other words, if you were offered free training from a friend of yours you would be more likely to skip that training session because it was free
4. SMART Goal Setting
Setting SMART goals is part of the foundation to a successful fitness plan, every person who is beginning to workout should begin with setting goals. Personal trainers understand the most effective ways to set fitness goals and can walk you through that process one step at a time.
Personal trainers might be some of the best goal setters in the entire world, they deal with setting goals helping people reach those goals on a daily basis. They have training on goal setting and they have years of real-world experience where they see what really works and what flaws most people make.
5. Improved Posture
Working with a personal trainer comes with many hidden benefits that most people don't expect to receive. One of those hidden benefits is improved posture. You may ask "how can a personal trainer help improve my posture and why does it matter that much?"
First of all, proper posture is key to eliminating aches and pains throughout your body. When you use a specific muscle continuously on a daily basis you build muscle imbalances. That muscle that you use becomes overactive and tight, this, in turn, stretches out the reciprocal muscle (the opposite muscle) and your body is imbalanced. Over time if you do not perform proper stretches and exercises you may develop larger problems related to these imbalances.
A personal trainer can help eliminate these muscle imbalances by doing postural and fitness assessments, These assessments are primarily done visually, a trainer will ask you to stand in a position that is comfortable and normal for you, take some notes, and then determine your postural imbalances. After the postural assessment, they will ask you to do a movement assessment, the most common one is the overhead squat assessment. They will do the same thing with the movement assessment, take notes and then determine the muscle imbalances. After all of the necessary assessments are done they will prioritize which muscle imbalances should be resolved first.
Assessments are how a trainer decides what stretches to have you perform and which exercises fit most appropriately. To correct overactive muscles a trainer will have you use a foam roller on the muscle and stretch before and after exercise, this will help the muscle relax and begin to lengthen the muscle back to its original state. To correct underactive muscles a trainer will have you perform strengthening exercises that will help activate that muscle that rarely gets used which will help pull the reciprocal muscle that is overactive back to its original state.
6. Pushing Past Your Limits
When you work with a personal trainer you are able to push your body farther than you previously imagined. A Personal trainer is there to help motivate you to push yourself out of your comfort zone safely. When you are confident in yourself you are more likely to push yourself and what brings more confidence than having a fitness professional right by your side guiding you?
7. Reduced Stress
We have all stressed out about what to do at the gym, frantically putting together a workout routine off the top of our head so we can make our workout effective. After all of that stressing to put together a workout plan you still question if what you planned is going to be effective and timely. Exercising is supposed to help reduce stress and in the end, sometimes it causes just as much stress as the relief we get.
So how can a personal trainer reduce your stress about working out? By eliminating any effort you need to put into making a workout plan, researching proper form, or finding new exercises. A personal trainer will take care of this for you, they already have the knowledge that you need to have an effective workout plan, so why not let them do the "heavy lifting" for you.
Along with reducing pre-workout effort, you also eliminate any doubts that may arise within your workout plan, you know that your trainer understands your goals, understands your level of fitness, and has your best interest in mind. So why would you question if the workout plan they made for you is going to be effective? This is what they went to school for and are passionate about it.
8. Increased Confidence
Confidence... sometimes this can be hard to obtain, it is important to be confident in what you are doing at the gym. If you are lacking confidence in yourself you are much more likely to quit and not reach your goals. A personal trainer can help increase your confidence because you will know that what you are doing will work because they have created a plan specifically for you, all you have to do is follow it. It also helps that you have someone supporting you during every workout that truly believes in you. You and your trainer are both on the same team.
9. Less Daily Pain
We all occasionally feel those daily aches and pains that seem to be there for no reason and keep persisting. Majority of the time these aches and pains are caused by muscle imbalances, lack of proper nutrition, and bad posture. you don't have to live with these annoyances forever, you can reduce them and even eliminate them through targeted exercise and stretching paired with good nutrition.
If there is one thing that personal trainers are knowledgable about, it's muscle imbalances and how to correct them. Having a balanced body is the first step to having a high performing body. once your muscle imbalances are corrected your body will feel more natural and that daily nagging pain will slowly dissipate. It does take time and effort but it is well worth it.
10. Relationship Building
One commonly overlooked benefit of having a personal trainer is that they want to build a quality relationship with you and that they truly support your decision to improve your life through fitness. Having someone that is right by your side who knows the ins and outs of fitness and supports you in your fitness endeavors is a priceless benefit.
Along with the one on one relationship you have with your trainer they can introduce you to other gym members and employees, it is a great way to get involved with the fitness community around you and build lasting friendships around health and wellness.
Many people take the idea of having a personal trainer with a grain of salt and don't truly see the opportunity for what it is. Personal trainers are commonly misunderstood and pushed to the last resort for options to reach your goals, when in reality having a personal trainer should be the first thing you look into when you begin your fitness journey. Having a trainer will save you time, effort, stress, and pain. If you don't feel you are in a financial position to hire an in-person trainer or you are always traveling I suggest you look into an online personal trainer. A quality online trainer who is certified can bring you all of these benefits that you can get from an in-person trainer.