Using a personal trainer can be one of the best decisions you make to reach your health and fitness goals. Whether it’s in person or online, finding a good, experienced trainer that fits your personality and can design a personalized program to reach your needs is crucial. Here are some of the reasons you need a personal trainer.
One of the most important services a certified personal trainer (CPT) can offer is the knowledge and ability to teach you proper form and function when it comes to exercise. This is especially important for complex moves like Olympic lifts and compound movements such as squats and deadlifts. It’s also imperative for beginners, novices, and younger individuals. Knowing how to properly perform these moves can prevent injury and improve results exponentially. A good CPT can even offer some important guidelines in how to use and set up machines so you are getting the most out of your workout.
Any CPT that is properly educated by a reputable organization should have knowledge on periodization and program design. This is important for progression, not only in improving performance, but properly progressing a client in terms of exercise selection. Without proper progression and program design results will be slow or non-existent and the potential for injury is greatly increased. Program design is much more than just uploading a 12-week program from your favorite fitness website. It takes education, thought, proper assessment of a client, experience, and a slew of other variables.
Most trainers are not registered dieticians and cannot legally give you a list of food and meals to actually eat. However, educated and experienced trainers oftentimes understand macronutrients and their relationship to results and performance better than a clinically based RD. An excellent trainer can help teach you what foods to choose in a variety of settings, as well as how to figure out your personal nutritional needs (calories, protein/carbohydrate/fat grams), and help you understand nutrient timing, which can have a huge impact on reaching your goals and making you look and feel better.
Being motivated on days you feel less than stellar can be hard, and staying motivated consistently over the course of months or years can be almost impossible. A good personal trainer will assist you in staying motivated. Great personal trainers are able to tap into their clients mental and emotional needs, much like a psychologist. The ability to people-read, lead, and motivate should be high on your priority list when choosing a trainer, because your trainers ability to do these things will only increase your motivation and improve results.
The number one reason people don’t exercise is they claim they don’t have time. When you hire a trainer, you are accountable not only to yourself, but also that person. Meeting with a trainer locks you into a pre-scheduled training slot and when you are paying $25-$150 per session, you are not going to skip that appointment.
Accountability can help force you into managing your time better and “creating” an opening so you don’t miss your scheduled workout. Even the most motivated and committed people have days they want to skip the gym, having an appointment with the right CPT will not only force you to show up, but also help switch your mindset to continue down the path to your health and fitness goals on even your most lackluster days.
Many people don’t fully understand how to set proper goals. Personal trainers are educated on how to set specific, measurable, and attainable goals. Furthermore, they have ample practice setting goals for eclectic demographics. A good trainer can help to customize your personal goals and align them with your lifestyle, something that the general population may have a very hard time doing by themselves.
Most people enter the gym with either no plan or a vague plan. They sleep walk through the same exercises with no specific goals and wonder why they haven’t lost weight or gained muscle in the last six months. When you set specific goals and put them on paper, the chances of you reaching those goals improves dramatically. Having a CPT forces you to not only set specific, measurable goals, but keeps you accountable and motivated to reach those goals.
If you’ve been around the fitness game for a while this is easy to see. From the newbie, to the veteran, most people in the gym have no clue what their body needs, whether it’s strength training, cardio, or nutritionally. Experienced CPTs are not only in tune with their own bodies, but they have real world experience with all different body types. If they don’t immediately know what works for you, they will shortly find out what changes to make to your training and diet to push you forward in reaching your goals.
This is probably the most crucial reason to find a good, experienced trainer because having the knowledge and in trenches experience to know how and when to make alterations, is the fastest way to reach your goals and avoid a plateau!