Every year on January the first, a slew of hungover, tired, and fed up people make a solemn vow to themselves. “No more!” they cry, before immediately remembering their headache and running for some pain medication. “From now on, I am going to live a healthy life, I will eat right, sleep better, drink less, definitely drink less, and I will get into shape”.
Sadly, the majority of people who make a resolution will fail within six months. A study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology (2002) found that only 46% of participants who made a resolution were still on track within six months.
46% may sound like quite a decent return; however, more recent studies have found that just 8% of New Year’s resolutioners have achieved their goal! There are many reasons for this, poor goal setting, lack of motivation, the tasks being too difficult, and a lack of consequence can all lead to failure.
I’m not writing this to put you off exercise, that is the absolute opposite of what I want. But I do want to make it clear that achieving health and fitness goals is no mean feat.
In this article, I am going to look at several benefits of working with a personal trainer, at the end of it you can decide for yourself whether it is the right choice for you.
There are many reasons why hiring a personal trainer, or health coach is a good idea, here are some of the best benefits:
Benefit #1: A Personal Trainer Helps You Set Effective Goals
One of the biggest reasons why people fail to succeed when training is a lack of proper goals. Think about it, if you don’t have a good idea of what you want to achieve, when you want to achieve it, and how, then how will you know if you’ve been successful or not? I know what you’re thinking; “But I do have a goal – I want to lose weight”.
Sadly, this is not an effective goal. How much weight? When would you like to lose the weight by? How would you like to achieve it? Setting effective goals is crucial, and it is something that any personal trainer worth their salt should be doing.
Creating a long-term goal that is realistic, achievable, and measurable, and then splitting this long-term goal into numerous short-term goals will help you get on track. Creating short and long-term goals that are specific, measurable, and realistic, is a more effective way of keeping you motivated then walking into a gym on your own and telling yourself that you “want to be stronger”?
Benefit #2: Fitness Coaches Motivate You
You don’t need an exercise coach to motivate you; many people manage to motivate themselves every day. However, the majority of people fail to maintain motivation or to harness it correctly. Without delving too deep into sports psychology, there are two forms of motivation: extrinsic and intrinsic motivation.
Intrinsic motivation comes from within; it is the form of motivation that you are most used to. Playing basketball with your friends because you enjoy playing basketball is intrinsic motivation. You don’t expect a reward; the activity is its own reward. People who are intrinsically motivated to go to the gym will always succeed because they enjoy going to the gym. It is its own reward.
Sadly, most people are not intrinsically motivated to go to the gym; they require extrinsic motivation. “I want to go to the gym so that I can lose weight”. Extrinsic motivation can be powerful, particularly at first. The problem is that it can run out of steam, particularly if you aren’t getting results fast enough. It is a lack of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation that causes so many New Year’s Resolutioners to forget their promises so quickly.
Hiring a personal trainer can help you for several reasons:
- They can get you better results, which can help increase extrinsic motivation.
- They can help you enjoy the gym more, which can increase intrinsic motivation.
- They can motivate you themselves “Come on, one more rep. You’ve got this!”
Benefit #3: A Real Accountability Buddy
Accountability is another benefit that often gets overlooked. When you join a gym or start running, or embark on a brand new diet, there is absolutely nobody who is going to make you follow through with the plan. Yeah, maybe your partner might make a couple of passive aggressive comments when you throw the kale in the trash and order a pizza, but ultimately you can do what you want because nobody is holding you accountable.
Personal trainers are here for this reason. Why do you think many people stay with their trainers for years and years? They will have learned almost everything that they need to learn from their trainer in that time, but they stick with the trainer because the trainer motivates them and holds them accountable.
Benefit #4: An Exercise Coach is More Efficient With Your Time
Technically, you could fix your own car rather than going to a mechanic. You could attend classes, watch YouTube videos, read books on mechanics, and ask your friend who likes cars to help. You would save loads of money over the years! But of course, you don’t do that. Why? Because it is not an efficient use of your time. It would take you months or even years to fix your car, while it would take a mechanic just a few hours.
It’s the same thing with personal training. You could learn how to eat properly for health and weight management. You could learn proper programming. You could learn about supplementation and whether you should purchase a certain product or steer clear. But why would you?
Doing so would take time, time that you could spend with your family, with friends, or doing something else you enjoy. One of the most common reasons people give for not exercising or eating well is a lack of time. Hiring a personal trainer will save you time and get you better results.
Benefit #5: A Good Personal Trainer Will Help You Avoid Injury
Lifting weights can be a particularly dangerous endeavour when performed incorrectly or without someone to spot you. Unfortunately, many gym-goers train without a partner and many more do not use correct technique at all. In fact, some of the most confident gym-goers often have the worst technique!
Have you ever searched gym fails on YouTube or followed Gym Fuckery on Instagram? There’s no shortage of videos where some person is performing a lat pulldown upside down or is slowly being crushed by a barbell that is way too heavy for them, all while their buddies film their mistake.
Do you think that those people thought that they were doing anything wrong? Definitely not. Walking into a gym with no idea what you are doing is a recipe for disaster. Of course, you could play it safe and stick to the exercise bike. But doing so gets you nowhere.
A personal trainer is there to coach you, to teach you. A good trainer will help you learn to be completely self-sufficient in the gym. You are there to learn, and the clients who understand that get the most out of training.
Benefit #6: Fitness Professionals Will Deliver Superior Results
Think of the strongest athlete you know, the buffest movie star, the sexiest Instagram “influencer”. Every single one of those people has a trainer and/or health coach. Do you know why? Because a health and fitness coach will get you superior results. By planning out your journey, teaching you how to perform exercises better, helping you improve your diet, and motivating you to turn up even when you don’t want to, a coach will get you better results than anything that you can do on your own.
Benefit #7: A Personal Trainer Can Make Exercise Entertaining
Some trainers might argue that it’s not their job to be a professional rent-a-friend to their clients. Those trainers are wrong. Dead wrong. If a personal trainer is not entertaining, by which I mean friendly, funny, and engaged, then the client is not going to look forward to their sessions.
Trust me. There is nothing more boring than turning on a treadmill, pressing some buttons, running for a pre-determined amount of time, and then leaving. Compare that to a personal training session, where you are greeted by someone genuinely pleased to see you, who has created a program that they believe will not only help you but that you will enjoy.
Speaking from experience, the most successful trainers are the ones with outgoing personalities that can share a joke between sets, remember your birthday, and surprise you with new challenges or friendly competitions with their other clients.
Sounds a lot more fun, right?
Benefit #8: A Personal Trainer Can Educate You About Yourself
When you hire a personal trainer you are really hiring a teacher. Someone who will help you learn enough about fitness and nutrition over the months and years so that you can go off on your own and succeed.
Most importantly, the information that you are being given is not generic; it is specifically designed for you. This is where personal training separates itself from group classes, downloadable programs, fitness apps, and the hottest new diet book.
Do you think that an 87-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man are going to need to eat the same, train the same, and supplement the same? Obviously not, but an exercise class or diet book is going to have to apply to both of them whereas an experienced, educated personal trainer would never do that (and stay away from any trainer who does!).
Benefit #9: A Health Expert is an Investment in Your Health and Wellbeing
You joined the gym on a cold and wet January morning, with a thought in your head that lifting some weights would help you to get a six-pack. Hiring a personal trainer helped keep you motivated and showing up consistently. Suddenly you find that you have achieved the results you dreamed of. What next? Celebrate with a two-week bender in Miami or set some new goals with your trainer?
See, right here is where having a personal trainer will truly separate you from even the most dedicated of gym goers. Looking at the bigger picture, helping you to continuously improve, and protecting your health as you get older. A good personal trainer can be a lifelong investment in your health and wellbeing.