6 Reasons You Need a Personal Trainer
Written by Keith Hansen
March 15, 2018
When I learn any new skill I hire a professional.
In 2017 I decided to learn how to shoot handguns. I first went to the gun range with a friend, and being a professional teacher myself, quickly realized he wasn't the person I wanted to learn from.
I next went to the local gun range and signed up for instruction from a certified coach.
I wanted to be sure I learned the right skills from day one, safely, and that I wouldn't develop any bad habits to undo.
Shooting guns can be very fun, but also dangerous.
Strength training is similar, and these are some of the reasons you should consider hiring a professional.
Usain Bolt is the fastest man on earth, clocked at 27.8mph in at the World Championships in 2009. He is the best 100m sprinter in the world--no one is better, and no one has ever been better than him.
And he still relies on support from coaches and trainers.
Think about that. The best sprint athlete on Earth pays people to analyze his form, write his workouts, and keep him on top.
You're just starting out on your fitness journey.
Do you think it would be a good idea to ask for some help?
you're Wasting Money
The casein protein the guy at GNC convinced you to buy? Waste of money.
The glutamine you must take post-workout? Waste of money.
You paid how much for a customized nutrition plan or booty builder workout? Waste of money.
What you get from a great personal trainer is years of experience, trial & error, and research condensed into each training session as lessons. All you have to do is ask the question, and learn from someone 5 or 10 years further down the path you're already on.
They've probably made every mistake you have, and every mistake you will make. Hire a personal trainer and buy an education.
Mazzetti et. al. did an interesting study in June 2000 on the efficacy of working with a personal trainer. They took two groups, gave them identical workout programs, and then measured their strength gains at the end of 12 weeks.
The first group(SUP) worked with a personal trainer, and the second group(UNSUP) was unsupervised:
Mean training loads (kg per set) per week were significantly (P < 0.05) greater in the SUP group than the UNSUP group at weeks 7 through 11 for the squat, and weeks 3 and 7 through 12 for the bench press exercises. The rates of increase (slope) of squat and bench press kg per set were significantly greater in the SUP group. Maximal squat and bench press strength were significantly greater at week 12 in the SUP group.
Working with a trainer led to significantly greater strength gains in the squat and bench press.
Free weight training trumps all other forms of strength training for building muscle, strength, and carryover of that strength to life outside of the gym.
But there is a learning curve. And that learning curve can cost you.
If you want to reap all the benefits of working with a barbell you need to have great technique. The internet is an endless supply of information on any topic you can imagine including strength training.
Reading articles and watching videos is how many of us learn these days, but using trial & error to learn the squat or deadlift can lead to injury.
Receiving direct feedback, and learning appropriate progressions for strength training movements is invaluable, and something that only an in-person coach can provide.
Cardio isn't the best way to lose fat.
Squats aren't the best exercise for your butt(sorry Instagram).
You don't need to do power cleans.
Maybe barbell deadlifts aren't a good choice considering your history of back pain.
You workouts should be tailored to your goals. Only a professional trainer will be able to analyze your goals and create a customized workout program to meet them as quickly, safely, and effectively as possible.
How many workouts have you skipped in the last month?
How many times have you started working out only to stop after a few weeks/months?
Be honest with yourself.
The accountability that comes with a personal trainer is invaluable.
Your trainer is there to set appointments with you. A great coach will send you text messages to remind you about the assigned home workout.
Your wallet will remind you as well. If it costs money every time you miss a workout I guarantee you have better attendance.
Strength training and exercise in general is something you will do for the rest of your life.
Invest time & money in yourself on an education from a certified professional.
Reduce your risk of injury, accelerate your progress, and develop your skills.
Working with a personal trainer is the best thing you can do for your health, confidence, and body.