While there is no shortage of fitness guides and training tutorials on the internet, sometimes it can get more overwhelming than helpful to sort through it solo. Selecting which workout plan to follow, what movements work for your personal body goals, the kind of equipment required to execute them, and whether or not can you even stick to the workout plan you’ve set for yourself - it’s all very daunting.
If you can relate to even one or two of these pain points, it might be time to start working with a personal trainer.
From needing more accountability, to a customised workout regime tailored to suit your needs or just because you are so swamped with work that you struggle to prioritise the gym, we have picked 5 out of the many reasons why you should engage a PT.
1. Training is no walk in the park
We, as humans, evolved to take part in natural movements such as running, jumping, carrying, throwing and climbing; it is not inherent in us to do jump lunges and lat pulldowns. Gym movements are “hacks” that trainers created to target muscle growth and direct your motion in a way that would focus on specific muscle groups instead of allowing compensations.
Subsequently, these movements need careful instruction, execution and monitoring. Not all Instagram workout videos are meant to be emulated in your own environment, and they’re usually produced by someone whose “education” involved watching someone else’s YouTube video. The goal of any exercise is maximum muscle stimulation with minimum joint strain.
2. To each its own
Every individual comes with a distinct set of physical structures, mechanisms and lifestyle. This means that different movements are suitable for their limb ratios and natural movement patterns. One of the services that a personal trainer is expected to offer is a thorough assessment of these ratios and imbalances to provide you with a regime for optimum progress.
Once you acknowledge the fact that you have a life outside the gym that plays a crucial role in your bodily development in terms of posture & muscle engagement, you will realise that your training needs to be attuned to accommodate your individual day-to-day lifestyle. This is where all the magic happens, where the role of a personal trainer kicks in.
3. Engaging the wrong muscle set?
When you cut the clutter bombarding you from the virtual fitspo world, where most online videos feature advanced athletes and coaches who already know exactly which muscle is being targeted, a good personal trainer can provide you with intuitive “cues” during the training process.
These phrases are meant to prevent you from diversion and encourage you to think about adjusting your movement to engage the correct muscles throughout the exercise, not just the initial few reps. The right cues again vary from person to person, and inappropriate direction encouragement can often be worse than no direction.
A knowledgeable, certified trainer would also understand that periodisation is important for progression, not only in improving performance, but also in preventing injury due to rash or rushed training.
4. “Food” for thought
While most trainers are not registered dieticians and cannot give you a list of food and meals you should eat everyday, educated & experienced trainers oftentimes have a solid understanding of macro and micronutrients and their relationship to performance.
A trainer can guide you through your choice of food and provide you with nutritional advice in various settings that would align with your ongoing workout routine, and at the same time balance your lifestyle and personal preferences.
Those specialising in weight loss clients will also have an understanding of your nutritional needs in terms of ideal calorie intake, carbs/protein/fat ratio, and help you understand nutritional timing which can have a huge impact on your body goals.
5. No more blame games
Research reveals that the number one reason why people don’t workout is because they claim to not have time for the gym in their busy schedules. When you hire a trainer, you are accountable not only to yourself, but also that person.
Engaging a personal trainer locks you into a pre-scheduled training slot, that would compel you to “create” an opening in your day so you don’t miss your workout. Even the most committed and motivated people experience days when they want to skip workout. Having an appointment with a personal trainer forces you to show up, and not just that, it helps you switch your mindset to continue down the road to fitness in your most lackluster days. A lot goes on in the mind that you cannot afford to ignore as it affects your progress and performance directly, and a personal trainer can rescue you from your own anti-fitness thoughts on days you can’t rescue yourself!
Whether you need someone to help you start a stuttering journey, or someone to accelerate one that isn’t going according to plan, a personal trainer is here to provide you with the concrete direction that you often didn’t know you needed.