Updated: Jan 21
If you are just starting out with an exercise program or you aren't seeing results with your current routine, then a personal trainer can give you the help you need. Knowing how you can benefit and whether it will be worth the expense can help you decide whether this is a good choice for you.
There are a number of reasons people work with trainers. Some want an individualised program so they can lose weight or get in shape while others simply need to be held accountable for their workouts. Wherever you are on your exercise journey, a personal trainer may be just what you need to finally reach your fitness and weight loss goals.
Here are 10 reasons (in no particular order) why hiring a personal trainer may be a smart move for you.
1. You're Not Seeing Results
If you've been exercising consistently for several weeks or months and aren't losing weight or reaching your goals, hiring a trainer may be a good choice.
Here are just some of the things a good trainer can do:
Look at your current program to search for ways to change or tweak your workouts to make them more efficient and effective.
Push you a little harder: Often people don't see results because they're not working as hard as they could. It's easy to slack off when you're by yourself, but having someone there to challenge you may make a difference in the scale.
Examine your goals: He or she can also help you figure out if your goals are realistic.
Hold you accountable: He or she might work with you to set weekly goals and check in on a regular basis to see how you're doing.
Help you stay motivated to exercise: Knowing you have an appointment with a pro can help you stay on track during the week.
Teach you how to lift weights and do other exercises: Too often people focus on cardio to lose weight, but you need strength training and core training as well. These are things a trainer can teach you how to do the right way.
You may even find that you are getting results, just not in the way you expected, something a trainer may see more clearly from the outside.
Sometimes you just need a few weeks to get new ideas for exercises and workouts. Then you can go out on your own.
2. You Don't Know Where to Start
If you're new to exercise, you realise how complex it is and we're not born with the knowledge of how to do it. When facing the task of setting up a complete exercise schedule, you may feel so overwhelmed you don't do anything.
Trainers know everything that goes into a complete program: Cardio, weight training, and flexibility training. And then there are all of the elements you have to figure out, from what activities to do to how to fit it all into a busy schedule.
If you have no idea what you're doing, a trainer can help you:
Figure out the right activities for you: Maybe you don't even know what would work for your body, schedule or available equipment. A trainer may be able to suggest activities that fit with all of those areas.
Help you put together a reasonable program: A trainer can help guide you in exactly how to start and how much exercise you can handle at first.
Help you with the basics: The workouts you do are based on the F.I.T.T. principle, meaning you choose the frequency, intensity, time and type of workout you're doing and manipulate those elements over time. A trainer can help you navigate all of those things, showing you how to:
Figure out how hard to work during exercise and how to monitor your exercise intensity
With weight training, he or she will show you how to choose exercises, weights, reps, and sets
Use different tools like a heart rate monitor or activity tracker to enhance your workouts.
Help you with your schedule: It's often this that gets the most confusing. A trainer can sit down and help you go through your calendar and figure out when you can work out and what you'll do on those days you're not working with a trainer.
Help you maximise your time while keeping you within your own limits so you don't overdo it.
3. You're Bored From Your Current Workouts
If you're an experienced exerciser, maybe you haven't considered working with a personal trainer. However, it can be a great choice if you need some variety in your workouts. It's easy to fall into a workout rut, doing the same workouts over and over.
Not only is this boring but it can also lead to weight loss plateaus, overuse injuries, and burnout.
Here's what a trainer can do for you:
Bring a fresh perspective to your workouts: A trainer is coming at this with an objective eye and may see some things about your program or workouts right away that can make them more interesting and fun.
Bring new ideas to the table: Trainers are experienced in all kinds of workouts like:
High-intensity interval training such as Tabata training.
Using different methods of strength training like supersets, pyramid training and more.
Help you discover new equipment: There are new pieces of equipment coming out all the time.
Help you set new and more challenging goals
Push you harder than you push yourself
A trainer can bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to challenge both your body and your mind. Even if you just do a few sessions or meet every few weeks, you'll find it refreshing to have new workouts and new exercise toys to play with.
4. You Need to be Challenged
If you feel like you're stuck or you're ready to take your training to the next level, an experienced personal trainer can come up with new ways to challenge yourself.
A trainer can:
Help you challenge your limits: One way to really push past plateaus is to go heavy with your weights. A trainer can be there to help you choose the right weights and spot you for the more challenging exercises.
Workout with you: Another option you may have is having the trainer engage in the workout with you, adding a competitive element to your workouts. Partner exercises can also
Help you find and train for competitive events: Maybe you want to run a race or do one of those crazy races like the Tough Mudder where you run through an obstacle course or some other local event where you have to dig deep to find your strength.
You'll find it's very hard to slack off with a trainer standing over you, telling you to do just...one...more...rep. You may even find hidden strengths you never knew you had, which can motivate you even more.
5. You Want to Learn How to Exercise on Your Own
Even if your goal is to create your own workouts and exercise by yourself, hiring a trainer for a few sessions can be a great benefit for learning the right way to exercise. This is especially true if you're new to strength training and need to practice the exercises.
In this case, here are just a few things a trainer can do for you:
Teach you about the muscles in your body and how they work: This is essential if you're going to be working out at home or at the gym on your own.
Show you exercises that target those muscles: This knowledge is gold, especially for the home exerciser. Knowing a variety of exercises allows you to create your own workouts when you're ready for a change.
Teach you how to lift weights: How often to lift weights and how to choose your weights, sets, and reps. He or she may be able to create a variety of workouts for you to continue doing when you're ready to go out on your own.
Show you good form: To get the most out of your workouts and avoid injury, you need to do each exercise in a certain way. A trainer can offer cues to help you get your body into the right position so you're doing the moves correctly.
Be an available resource: Even if you stop training, you still have that person as a resource. Most trainers are fine with you contacting them from time to time for advice and you can always go back to training at any time.
6. You Need Accountability and Motivation
Motivation comes from all kinds of places, both internally and externally. You may have some intrinsic reason to exercise, such as wanting to be healthier or to get off your high blood pressure medication.
But, you also need extrinsic motivators to keep exercising such as wanting to lose weight to look better in a bathing suit or for your high school reunion. A personal trainer can become that motivator.
By hiring a trainer you're creating motivation in a variety of ways such as:
Financially: You're investing money into reaching your goal, so just showing up for your sessions so you don't lose that money may be enough to keep you going.
With your time: You're not just investing money, you're investing your time as well, a precious resource we all want to protect. That may add to your motivation to exercise.
Having a standing appointment: There's nothing like a regular standing appointment to get you in gear for a workout. You don't want to disappoint the trainer or yourself.
Accountability: You know your trainer will probably ask about your week. He or she will want to know if you did your workouts and how your diet is going. Knowing that may make it harder to skip your workouts.
7. You Have a Specific Illness or Injury
If you have some specific injury or condition, your doctor may want you to exercise. But how do you do that if you're in pain or have to work around an injury?
That's where an experienced trainer comes in. Trainers work with all kinds of people and many of them may have specialities that allow them to work with clients with special needs.
Just some things your trainer may be able to help you with:
Exercising with arthritis
Exercise with heart disease
Exercising with diabetes
Dealing with old or chronic injuries
Helping overcome back or neck pain
Helping to increase your balance, core strength, and stability if you've had a fall or need to work on those areas.
Helping you come up with a plan if you're pregnant or want to become pregnant
Creating a program that works on the areas you need without re-injury or other issues.
Just some things to think about before going this route:
Always talk to your doctor and get clearance for exercise. If you have a condition, your trainer may require it before he or she will train you.
Work with your physical therapist, if you have one. Your trainer may want to get in touch with your physical therapist to find out what exercises you should or shouldn't do.
Make sure your trainer is experienced with your condition. Ask about any classes or certifications he or she has taken to make sure that the trainer knows what he's doing.
8. You're Training for a Specific Sporting or Athletic Event
An experienced personal trainer can be a huge help if you're into a specific sport or your training for a coming event.
Whether you're a golfer, a runner, or into cycling, there's likely a trainer out there who can help you up your game.
Just make sure he or she has specific education in something like sports conditioning or some other related field.
Come up with the right workouts: A sports conditioning trainer knows what exercises you need to do for, say, golf or basketball. He or she can come up with workouts to strengthen the areas you need to work on while avoiding overdoing it.
Come up with a good training schedule: Training is about more than just workouts. It's also about having the right amount of recovery time. A trainer can help you create a schedule that allows you to get the most out of your body while allowing it to heal and recover.
Help with avoiding injury: One main concern with sports is that doing the same motions over and over again can often cause an overuse injury. A trainer can help you with cross-training so you work other muscles in your body, allowing the other muscles to rest or work in a different way.
9. You Want Supervision, Company and Support During Your Workouts
Some people know how to exercise and they even know how to do the exercises correctly, but they like having a trainer around for support and supervision.
A trainer can be good in this situation for:
Being a spotter: If you're lifting very heavy weights, a trainer can help keep you safe and can help you rack your weights as well.
Keeping you in line: If you know you tend to slack on your own, a trainer automatically makes you work harder just because you know he or she is right there watching.
Making you exercise: Maybe you find it hard to exercise on your own, but having someone show up at your door forces you to get out and do something.
Being a kind of workout buddy: You may want something more than just someone telling you what to do. Maybe someone who will not only guide you through workouts but do things with you so you're not exercising on your own.
10. You Want to Workout From Home
If you'd like to exercise at home but you don't have a lot of equipment or aren't sure how to use what you have, in-home personal training is an excellent choice.
Check for trainers in your area who offer that option and you'll experience lots of benefits like:
Convenience: You don't have to pack a bag or drive to the gym. The trainer comes to you at a time that works for you.
Privacy: Not everyone wants to work out in front of people at the gym. Working out in your own space can be more comfortable and make you feel less self-conscious.
Learning how to workout at home: Most of us have things like resistance bands, dumbbells, and an exercise ball, but you may have no idea how to actually use those in your environment. A good trainer can show you how to use those tools as well as others you may not have thought of—a staircase, your couch, a chair or even paper plates.
Variety: A trainer can also change your workouts as often as you like so you never get bored.
Equipment ideas: He or she may bring equipment but also make recommendations for equipment that will help you reach your goals.
What to Expect for a Personal Trainer
Most gyms have personal trainers on staff and offer attractive packages for their services and may have tailor made plans for your specific goals. You can also look online or use the Fitness Australia Registry to find trainer. The cost will vary depending on where you live and your trainer's experience and education. Typically, the cost will be anywhere from $30 to $150 a session. Look for these credentials and qualities:
Qualifications and certification: A personal trainer would have a certificate 3 and 4 in Fitness from some of the following - Australian Institute of Fitness, Fitness Institute Australia, Australian Institute of Personal Trainers, The Australian College of Sports and fitness, T.A.F.E, FIT College, or a Bachelors in Health/Science from any University.
Business policies: The trainer should have public liability and indemnity insurances and provide a copy of policies and procedures for services, costs, cancellations, and refunds.
Experience: Make sure your trainer has the experience, especially in relation to your goals. For example, if you're a bodybuilder, you want someone knowledgeable in that area.
Specifics: If you have a specific medical problem, injury or condition (such as being pregnant, difficulty getting pregnant, heart problems, diabetes, etc.) make sure your trainer has an education in these areas and will work with your doctor.
A good listener: A good trainer will listen closely to what you say and make sure he understands your goals.
Attention: A good trainer will be focused only on you during your sessions.
Tracking progress: A good trainer will regularly assess your progress and change things if necessary.
What a Session Is Like
Each session can last any where from about half an hour and may go up to 90 minutes depending on your needs and goals. The first meeting is devoted to assessing fitness level, body measurements, exercise, health history, and goals.
Be prepared to step on the scale, have your body fat tested, and answer specific questions about your goals. After that, you'll spend each session doing cardio, weight training, flexibility, or other activities depending on what your goals are.
Your trainer will show you how to do the exercises, help you figure out how much weight to use, and give you pointers for getting the most out of each exercise.
Your trainer may provide you with workout routines outside of your scheduled sessions, track your progress, and modify your workouts if required to help you reach your goals.
If you're ready to achieve your fitness goals with Discipline Fitness, then head to here and choose your membership option.