Should I Hire A Personal Trainer?
The fitness landscape has evolved over the past couple of years which has sort of muddied the water, but the question “Should I hire a personal trainer?” is still easy to answer.
You want to get in shape.
You want to lose weight.
You want to tone up.
So you start looking at options.
Apps & Videos
On one end of the continuum are apps and videos. These can range from free to $20 – $30 each or as a monthly subscription.
Many claim that they are personalized for you, but they are not. The apps spit out a workout for you based on data points. They take the information you enter, match you to their database, and give you what really is a generic workout that they dispense to many others. And to make it worse, they are basing this workout on your answers. These are subjective opinions you have of yourself. Let’s be real here. The answers you provided about you may not match the answers that a qualified personal trainer would give about you. The trainer is objective. So basically, not only could you be performing workouts that are not going to bring you to your goal quickly, you may actually be pulling yourself away from reaching it!
Apps and videos don’t teach form. Sure, they show you how to do it but they can’t see you and give real-time feedback. Even if you watch yourself in a mirror, unless you are trained in this industry, you won’t see what a trainer sees. Is this important? You bet it is! When you don’t perform the exercises properly, you are more prone to injury and muscle imbalances. This is bad, both in the short-term and the long-term. And you are sort of wasting your time and effort because you aren’t targeting the muscles you are supposed to be working.
What if an app tells you to do an exercise you can’t? Or you don’t understand? Or they are moving too fast? How do you modify? Or what if an exercise is too easy? How do you make it more challenging? You can’t because there is no one there to show you. Instead, you stop exercising and eventually you become so frustrated that you give up.
What if you have a question? There is no one to ask. And if there is some way to “submit” a question, you don’t get immediate answers. You have to wait 24 or more hours, and by then you don’t even remember why you asked it, and you certainly won’t remember how to apply it the next time you exercise, if you even exercise again.
Accountability. You can log your workouts but did you really do them? Did you really push as hard as you could, or did you sort of coast through them? Did you skip some exercises? Did you quit halfway through, sit down and eat some chips?
If you don’t show up, is someone going to call you and ask where you were? If you exercise with a group via an app, what are they going to do if you stop exercising? Email you? Text you? It’s so easy to ignore both, isn’t it?
Apps don’t give you true accountability.
And videos? Again, the personalization, the instruction, the feedback, and the motivation are missing. Additionally, think of videos this way – they are telling you “Great job! Keep it up! Don’t stop now!”, right? But what they don’t see is that you are sitting on the couch, eating pizza, laughing.
On the other end of the continuum is personal training.
Personal training can be incredible. Your trainer has a personal interest in you. She wants to know about your true goals, not the ones you tell everyone but the ones that are your real “Why”, the ones that you think about when you are alone, the ones that are deep down inside of you and are the real reason you to want to change.
Your trainer will create personalized workouts for you based on your goals, your fitness history, your medical history, and other factors that have brought you to where you are now.
During your training sessions, she will modify exercises when you are struggling, progress exercises when you are no longer challenged, answer your questions, demonstrate proper technique, and encourage you to keep going.
By now you should realize that value is much more than just a question of dollars. So let’s return to the original question: Should you hire a personal trainer?
The answer is yes if you want to change your body.
The answer is yes if you want to change your mindset.
The answer is yes if you want to look in the mirror and smile.
The answer is yes if you want others to look at you and be envious.
The answer is yes, yes, yes.