What’s the point in paying some skinny gym rat to yell at you and tell you to eat nothing but chicken and rice? Wouldn’t it be cheaper and less intimidating just to get a gym membership?
You can always put the time in on the machines and treadmill. As a personal trainer, I am clearly a little biased here. But here we go.
A skilled personal trainer will help you clarify your goals, whilst keeping it realistic
When it comes to health and fitness goals, most people don’t truly know what they want. Vague goals such as ‘get fitter’ or ‘eat better’ are impossible to measure and harder to follow. Its only by digging down into the nitty gritty of why and how that motivates people. WHY do you want to be fitter? How will you achieve this?
Setting unrealistic goals is another common problem. If you plan to have a 6 pack in 6 weeks the odds don’t look good for you. Nothing will kill motivation like chasing unachievable targets. An experienced coach will be able to guide you with clear and measurable goals and help you track them.
Most importantly, I often see areas that need improving when a client does not. Many who come to me with weight loss goals are often suffering from aches and cramps. Most problems can be easily fixed with corrective exercises and dieting principles. We can resolve these problems as well as tackling the weight loss.
Accountability dramatically increases the odds you’ll turn up and work hard
Have you ever signed up to a gym membership knowing that the monthly cost will motivate you to use it? Personal trainers have this affect cranked up to 11. You now are paying for a person to wait for you. Feeling sleeping? Long day? Oh jeez, it’s raining outside!
If you have a session booked with a coach, you won’t even entertain these excuses.
Accountability will also increase your chances of success with your diet and lifestyle goals. Weight loss clubs like Slimming World use accountability to achieve some truly amazing results. It’s possible to achieve similar pressure by finding a ‘gym’ partner.
No one is going to hurt your feelings for free
You know what most people need to achieve better health and fitness? A damn slap in the face from reality. Being told you can’t do something sucks. Being told you’re not trying hard enough sucks. Having your excuses and weaknesses pointed out hurts the ego.
Do you want to be the one that tells your friend that eating cake must go? No, of course not. The only kind of people that are willing to hurt us are the ones we tend to ignore. A good personal trainer will speak honestly with you and will challenge your everyday values regarding diet and exercises.
Note: Not all coaches are friendly. Some can be very nasty. For some this works fantastically, but others will be put off forever. Be very mindful of how sensitive you are when choosing your own personal trainer/coach.
Personal trainers spend all day every day thinking about fitness
Did you know 2 out of 3 personal trainers stay in business for less than a year? If your personal trainer has been at it for over 1 year he is automatically in the top 30%. The industry is brutally tough and only the cream will rise.
As a personal trainer I spend over £3000 a year on coaching for myself. I read books, listen to podcasts and browse blogs about health and fitness every single day. In the last year alone I have spent over 1000 hours coaching people 1 to 1.
I know much more than 99% of the public when it comes to health and fitness. Any good personal trainer should do.
Friends and family make terrible coaches
Ok so your brother, partner or work friend might be in great shape but that doesn’t mean they will make a good coach for you. Yet again, they won’t really say what you need to hear. But more importantly, when they do you won’t want to hear it.
When I first started my career as a fitness professional I tried training my wife, Gina. She would constantly question my instructions and get hurt by my criticisms. At one point she even refused to move out of the way so I could demonstrate the exercise!
The closer you are to someone, the harder it is for you to coach them. Imagine trying to teach your partner or children to drive. Think twice before asking someone you care about for any kind of advice. Training with a friend is awesome, but can be very awkward if you’re at different levels.