Is working with a personal trainer worth it?
Whether you’ve been a gym member for a while or this is your first month (welcome!), you’ve probably thought once or twice about investing in a personal trainer.
Well, to help you reach an informed decision as to whether this would be a good move for you, we've put together a whole host of information from outlining precisely what a PT does to whether they will help you reach your personal fitness goals and more.
If you have any questions after reading this post, please get in touch with us or even reach out to the personal trainers at your local 24/7 gym.
What exactly does a personal trainer do?
A personal trainer, also referred to as a PT, is someone who has undertaken specific training to help a variety of clients create fitness goals and meet them. After your initial consultation (more on that further down), your PT will create a tailored fitness programme that may include:
A diet or nutrition plan
A specific exercise regime for you to do on your own
Plan sessions that the PT will lead, helping you understand the correct form, etc., so you don't injure yourself.
Ultimately, a personal trainer uses all the knowledge and experience gained from their training courses and previous clients to help you make the most out of your gym sessions and hit your fitness goals safely.
Who does a personal trainer work with?
If you thought that PTs were only needed for those undertaking their first-ever gym session, you'd only be partially correct.
While they are beneficial for anyone starting a new journey to a happier and healthier life, they are also highly effective for anyone who is already regularly exercising but not seeing results, gym members whose progress has plateaued and anyone who wants to try a new form of exercise or train for a specific event.
Benefits of working with a personal trainer
Here's a quick rundown of the numerous benefits you may expect from working with a personal trainer depending on your personal fitness goals:
Help you find a train for competitive events
If your new year's resolution is to complete a marathon, triathlon, iron man or compete in some other sporting event, a PT can put a plan together and work with you to ensure you’re ready in time.
They will also create contingency plans if something prevents you from sticking to your initial objective (such as an injury or personal reasons like family care issues).
If you are planning to complete a marathon, check out our series:
Teach you about warm-ups that actually work
Warm-ups are vital for a safe and successful workout, and if not done correctly, you won't reap the full benefits and could injure yourself. A PT will not only teach you how to warm up properly for whatever exercise session you have planned, but they will teach you why warming up in that specific way is essential.
Be your workout buddy
There are numerous benefits to finding a workout buddy, but a PT is a fantastic substitute if you don't know anyone you feel comfortable exercising with. Most personal trainers choose their profession because they want to see people succeed and help them get there.
A PT will be your cheerleader, cheering you on and encouraging yourself to push as hard as you can (safely) to smash your fitness goals.
Help you learn techniques to exercise on your own
While it's fantastic to have a personal trainer with you for some of your workouts, there will be times when you exercise alone. Your PT will give you all the information you need to do this safely and get the best results from your efforts.
They know when to change things up
We mentioned plateauing a little earlier on. It's incredibly frustrating and can be a thin line between giving up and pushing through. However, a PT will notice the signs a lot more quickly than you may (based on their experiences with hundreds of other clients) and be able to change things up to keep plateaus to a minimum and your progress continual.
Offer a wealth of knowledge on your body, muscles and more
Personal trainers have to undertake extensive education where they learn all about physiology.
They are there for you to ask questions, so rather than spend hours crawling the internet trying to find out the best approach to exercising specific muscles, ask them!
PT’s create accountability
Each session or meeting you have with your personal trainer will begin with discussing how you've gotten on since you last spoke. For example, have you stuck to your exercise regime and eaten the right foods at the right time?
This isn't about judgement; instead, it's ensuring you're on the right track to hit your goals and counteract any deviations to the plan. For many, accountability is exactly what’s needed to keep going, not skip sessions or eat the wrong things that will jeopardize your progress.
Bring some variety to your workout
Let's face it, doing the same routine every time you hit the gym is a surefire way to get bored and increase the chances of you staying at home.
A PT will regularly change your routine, keeping things exciting and adapting to your progress. You likely won't be performing the same pattern as to when you first started; things will need to change so that you continue to get stronger and healthier.
Help you to heal a specific injury
Some injuries require rest and recovery, while others need you to exercise the hurt area. If you've injured yourself and your doctor or physio advises you that you need to start exercising, a personal trainer will know how to do this in a way that keeps you safe and doesn't risk any further injury.
Provide a safe fitness plan if your pregnant
While it is considered safe and healthy to continue exercising when pregnant, we advise speaking with a PT regularly to ensure you are exercising safely for yourself and your baby.
The way you exercise will most likely have to change as your baby grows, and a PT can ensure that you do this in a way that keeps you strong and healthy.
They can also be helpful post-pregnancy with a plan to help your body recover from labour.
Help if you have a chronic illness
Working with a PT can also be helpful if you've been diagnosed with a chronic illness. Depending on the nature of the illness, regular exercise may be recommended by your doctor. If that's the case, you'll need to understand how best to exercise so that you relieve pain rather than exacerbate it. A personal trainer will be able to help with this.
If your fitness goal centres around bodybuilding or powerlifting, as you increase your weights, you'll need a spotter with you to keep you safe. A PT can do this and advise on form to help you progress faster.
Give you tips for if you can’t make it to the gym
While we hope we never hear the word 'lockdown' again, if that does happen, a PT will be able to help you create an at-home routine so that you don't backslide on your progress.
The same is true if other factors mean you can’t make it to the gym in the short-term, such as a crazy work schedule or care needs at home.
What will a workout session with a PT look like?
Generally, a session with a personal trainer will last about an hour. In your first ever session, your PT will:
Discuss your current fitness level.
Talk about what your current exercise regime comprises, but don’t worry if you don’t have one.
What goals you're hoping to achieve, such as weight loss, marathon training, bodybuilding etc.
Take your body measurements and current weight if needed to help track progress towards your goals.
Ask about your medical history and potentially your family medical history. This is vital to plan exercise routines to push you while also keeping you safe.
Your following sessions will vary depending on what you’re hoping to achieve and whether you want to work out mostly alone etc.
However, you can expect the beginning of every session to include a catch-up, where you discuss your activities since you last spoke and measure your progress.
A PT session may include weight training, cardio, flexibility training and similar.
How often should you work with a personal trainer?
That really depends on what your fitness goals are, when you need to hit them, and whether you can be disciplined enough to workout alone (no judgement here!)
However, as a general rule of thumb, we'd suggest between once and three times per week. You'll be able to discuss this with your trainer and create a schedule that works best for you and your budget.
So, is working with a personal trainer worth it?
If this post has shown anything, it’s that pretty much anyone can benefit from a stint with a personal trainer. Whether you work with one in the short or long term, there are numerous advantages you can reap.
Why not set up an introductory meeting with one of the 24/7 Fitness personal trainers to get more information on how they can help you meet your fitness goals?
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