With fitness becoming a more viable and dynamic industry, chances are you may have considered utilizing a Personal Trainer. According to a source, there are around 340,000 trainers working in the US; a 21.5% increase from 2012. But what are the main benefits as to working with one? Most will argue that they need the education and coaching that they may lack; others will say I need structure. Whatever the reasoning is, it is usually valid. However, being a trainer myself, there are a few that have stuck out as the major key players of why a trainer may be best. After experiencing through a variety of clientele as well as feedback from other coaches, here are the 3 main reasons to hire a personal trainer.
1. Motivation & Mindset
As basic or ‘obvious’ as this reason may seem, I feel this to be one of the most crucial benefits an individual receives from a trainer. Many of us have no problem understanding exercises or how a squat movement works. Others have no issue structuring out a workout regimen for our focused goal. However, many of us lack when it comes to motivating ourselves and having an internal ‘push’. The aspects I refer to under this umbrella are terms such as drive, ambition, and a positive mindset. Motivation comes from 2 methods; either externally or internally. While both may be valid in differing contexts, a trainer can help boost your internal sense of motivation.
Now, you’re probably wondering how that makes any sense if internal is usually conveyed from within ourselves. That’s absolutely right! However, what trainers can assist in is building blocks and foundation that lead you to start tapping into within instead of out. The main focus here is helping you build self-confidence and self-efficacy.
- Self-Confidence: internal trust of one’s own abilities and judgement
- Self-Efficacy: Beliefs on whether you have the ability to perform in order to reach respective goals
Trainers build this through continuous encouragement, accountability (which will be covered next), and helping you grow physically, which in turn, affects your emotions and mindset. According to famous psychologist Albert Bandura, there are 4 sources of self-efficacy:
- Mastery Experiences
- Emotional & Physiological States
- Verbal Persuasion
- Vicarious Experiences
Trainers focus on helping you reinforce the first two; mastery experiences & emotional/physiological states. They focus on teaching you mastery of one’s self physically through exercise and proper coaching, while also giving you enlightened emotional states by instilling positive and encouraging feelings.
To sum up, effective trainers have a big impact on not only your physical state, but more importantly, your mental state.
While motivation goes hand-in-hand with accountability, I like to keep it as a separate notion. As stated above, many of us may have be adept at fitness fundamentals and understanding programming. However, we may not be seeing growth or improvement through our actions; and this ultimately ties into lack of accountability. This is where a trainer can help; trainers can convey discipline and consistency in an individual’s health and fitness goal. Whether it be through the financial investment spent, the fact that there is an ‘enforcer’ and coach, or even the fact that there is a set appointment time and you value that, all these reasons start to build accountability. I can’t begin to tell you how many clients I’ve taken in where the knowledge & understanding is high, but the excuses are even higher. After a couple weeks of a new implementation, they started to see results; and this was predominantly from sticking a regimen and having myself as an enforcer to them.
3. Attention to Detail
In my opinion and past experience, this has the be the most important benefit a trainer can offer. Attention to detail covers many areas within but the main two I want to focus on are individual focus and form. I can go make an entire exercise and nutritional regimen for you based on your specified goals, hand it to you, and at the end of the day, eventually you’d figure it out. It may take some time and sweat for you to understand exercises, how they work, what functions from what, etc. There are countless guides, tutorials, or learning tools online that one could use to teach themselves. However, what you can’t get get from yourself is detailed feedback and form critique. This, in my opinion, is why you pay for a trainer. Giving you immediate feedback as you go through movements on whether or not it is correct, or if you’re under-utilizing primary muscle groups for that exercise; these are both attributes your trainer can give.
Form is one of the most neglected aspects when it comes to exercise. Many prefer the concept of weight over form, while for others, they simply just don’t know or realize. Proper form is crucial to your fitness and body as it ensures that your body mechanics move in the way they’re supposed to for the specific movement. Due to this, risk of injury is minimized because what should be working, is working. Furthermore, form influences how much weight you can handle! With better technique, your body recruits the correct biomechanics, the correct nerve motor unit patterns, and the correct muscle groups, which ultimately leads to greater force output.
Do not neglect form and technique!!
While the 3 above are, in my opinion, the most valid and differentiating reasons to work with a personal trainer, there are a multitude of other reasons as well. Here is a list of additional common reasons individuals hire a PT:
Specific Illness or Medical Condition
While exercise can help prevent or manage medical issues, sometimes training may need additional precautions if you currently suffer from a medical condition. An effective trainer can help tailor programming to work with and manage your condition, as well as complement your physician’s advice.
Sport or Event Specific Training
Whether your a marathon runner, football wide receiver, or even a cyclist, a trainer can help build programming and exercise conditioning for your specific training.
Sometimes individuals get tired of redundancy of their current training and they want to learn new methods or a variety of exercises. A trainer can assist in developing a new style or structure that can help you get out of a plateau or even just a boredom rut.
You Just Want Someone To Talk To
You’d be surprised how much of a reality this reason is. Many individuals just want a friend while they work out; someone to talk to and just simply have more of a social environment. A trainer can help mix in the concept of fun and sweat in one place.
While a trainer can technically have a plethora of benefits, I truly feel that the 3 main reasons to hire a personal trainer are instilling motivation, enforcing internal accountability, and offering focused detail and critique. At the end of the day, having a trainer should not strictly be viewed as a work relationship. Instead, a trainer should be your close friend and ally; they’re there during your euphoric highs and your gloomy lows. Always let them know what’s going on in your life because the impact outside the gym affects inside, and vice versa.
If you enjoyed this, please give it a like, comment and share it around! Please let me know if you have any questions or feedback and I’ll get back to you! Also, check out my other post on how I define any fitness goal and how mentality makes a big impact. Much love!