Is a personal trainer worth it?
They say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in any subject. With that bit of information, the fitness minded individual can find the right trainer for their particular fitness needs and goals.
With years of watching trainers and hearing clients either brag or complain about either meeting their goals or missing them, I have learned, as with any good relationship, the fault is usually 50/50. When choosing a personal trainer it is imperative to research the trainer’s background, such as their education, experience and special interests.
However, knowing what you want and need in a trainer is actually more important. While education and certification is important, there are also awesome trainers who have limited formal education, but loads of time in the gym and in competition, thinking, observing, working and applying. Motivation and love for the field cannot be taught in a book.
There are many different niches and levels of training, from teen and senior fitness to post or prenatal. Looking for particular specialities, for example, your age group, gender, body type, specific fitness or health challenge, will help find the right trainer for you. Additionally, with online fitness options, one can literally train miles away through Skype and phone calls.
So how do you really get more bang out of your buck with personal training? Start with asking yourself some simple questions first: Do you just want to learn the machines at the gym? Do you need particular information about a health challenge or kinetic problem?
Starting with a newbie trainer that is working at your gym may be an inexpensive but useful approach for a healthy adult, but be sure to interview all of them first to make sure you have a great personality match. An hour becomes a very long time if you do not benefit from a trainer’s personality, skill level or motivational approach.
Do your research
Look for the most enthusiastic trainer and then look through the certifications and education. No matter what kind of background a trainer has, if they are not excited about your goals, soon you will not be either!
A newbie trainer will offer the most inexpensive sessions and packages. The trainer should be very excited to gain another client. If you’re just looking for a little guidance through the gym, this is by far the best way to go for your money and schedule.
Do not buy more than a few sessions at a time for the first month. See if your trainer is still enthusiastic about your needs at the 5th or 8th session.
Client, know thyself
Do you really need a babysitter so YOU will show up to the gym, or do you really want to make extensive muscle gains or weight loss? Be truthful! The difference could be huge financially, and if you just need a babysitter, a beginner trainer can be very useful.
Find a trainer that will make your fitness program not only challenging and goal oriented, but something more of your liking such as outdoor fitness routines, circuit training or old style weight room programs. Knowing this and being honest will help your trainer create a program that facilitates your reaching your goals but also allows you to make this new behaviour a lifestyle as well.
If showing up alone is your particular challenge, group classes maybe a great option; the buddy system makes for much success in meeting fitness goals. If you are new to fitness and want to look like a fitness competitor without actually being one, a trainer who is a fitness model or has contest experience will be a great fit and less than the cost of an actual contest program.
Fitness is really very contagious. Just attending a bodybuilding contest will give you the fitness vibes you need to get motivated and also give you some great free tips about your own fitness journey. If you decide to go the full pre-contest program training, be prepared to pay more.
It is worth the extra money when you are learning the competition nutrition program (which is often extra, so be sure to ask) and the weight room in an entirely different way. Contest prep is often gruelling, but reaps huge rewards if you are so inclined.