Working out with a personal trainer was definitely one of the most fundamental changes I made to my fitness regime after struggling for years to really make much difference to the way that I looked. Now I totally understand that this isn’t necessarily a route available to everyone. It can be expensive depending where you go, you need to set aside a set time of day and there are also a few PTs out there that talk a good game but don’t really know what they’re doing. But in spite all of that I would say that it provided a real kickstart to my own ‘transformation’. The popular view is that we can all do this stuff by ourselves and be self motivated. That is definitely true but it can also be useful to have a helping hand to get you started, even for just for 45 mins once a week. Here are the top 5 benefits I found from working with a personal trainer.
1. Expert knowledge
Pretty obvious but this really encapsulates the whole point of working out with a trainer. If you’re a complete novice then they can provide a guiding hand to get you going and if you already know your way around a gym (like me) then they can show you how to really up your game to start seeing the big gains. Similarly, it was only through training with Bodyvision that I really learnt just how important getting your nutrition right really is.
2. Making it ok to ‘try new things’
Now this one may sound a little weird but bear with me! Personally I think there are always going to be exercises or machinery in the gym that you don’t really know how to use. The weights area can be a pretty intimidating place if you’re a girl and haven’t really lifted anything before. I’d never really done a deadlift myself before (one of THE best exercises you can do) or done a cardio circuit with burpees and ropes. Having someone standing next to you will give you the confidence and knowledge to do something different.
3. Motivation, motivation, motivation
You can’t get anywhere without motivation! You need to be willing to push yourself a bit to get the most out of your workouts; whether it’s going for a run or hitting the gym, in order to see progress you need to go a little further every time. PTs are there to give you that encouragement to get you over the line when it starts to get tough. In the meantime check out my weights day motivation playlist!
4. Getting perfect form
I can’t stress enough the importance of good form and technique. When you start to learn properly what you’re doing then you will be amazed how many people you see in the gym with really bad form that is ultimately going to give them an injury. I found it really useful to have a trainer who can analyse my technique and show me where I’m going wrong. If that’s not an option for you then I’d definitely suggest recording yourself doing a move on your phone and then check out an instruction video on YouTube to make sure you’re getting it right – squats are a classic exercise that so many people (including me!) get wrong.
5. Workout planning tailored for you
You can get some great workout plans online now from places like Bodybuilding.com or the usual fitness magazines but having your own PT is obviously one of the easiest ways to make sure you are doing the right workout to achieve your personal goals. You might need to do high reps and low weights or heavy weights and low reps depending on what you’re trying to achieve. When I worked out by myself I found I quickly ended up doing the same routine because I knew it well, I liked it and I could do it without too much difficulty. But finding different ways to challenge yourself and switching things up before it gets repetitive is a great way to both see better results and stay motivated.
So there are a number of big positives but this wouldn’t be 100% realistic if I didn’t point out the potential pitfalls. It’s so important to find someone that really knows what they’re doing. Go by word of mouth recommendation if you can, if not make sure you try an initial intro session first (most PTs will do this for free) to see whether you get on with them and they are listening to what you want to achieve.