Personal training is a relatively new profession. A few decades ago, the only people that had trainers were athletes or models earning millions of dollars a year. But now, the fitness industry is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy.
Simply put, the public realized that more activity than our daily lives provided was necessary to live a healthy life. In addition, structuring physical activity long-term requires guidance by professionals trained in the human sciences.
Doctors are now recommending patients hire a trainer to help them get fit and stay active. We have started realizing that the standard advice promoting pharmaceuticals and refined foods is not helping the public. Doctors are now recommending patients with severe conditions to seek out the guidance of trainers and nutritionists. It’s becoming understood that personal trainers and nutritionists have more time and energy to dedicate to staying on top of new research and changing science.
But, without a doctors order, why would an individual seek out a personal trainer?
In a world filled with photo shopped models and over-sexualized media, it’s hard to figure out exactly what is healthy. Your trainer can help you specify realistic and healthy goals.
There are millions of articles and suggestions detailing what to do for physical activity, and there are even more movements and specific exercises to utilize. A trainer can take your specific goals, limitations, history, preferences, and time constraints to tailor a program for you.
Most personal trainers have spent years studying the human body, movement patterns, and kinesiology. Some have educated themselves even further in the field of biomechanics or bio-molecular chemistry.
Keep in mind that not all education is equal though. Look for a trainer that has a college degree in the human sciences or a certification accredited by the NCCA (ACSM, NSCA, NASM, ACE, etc).
Continuing from the last point, a properly educated trainer will be able to impart their knowledge to you, allowing you to structure your own routines and stay consistent over the long-term.
Rehabilitation & Avoiding Injury:
One final point regarding the education trainers go through – they will be able to help you recover from, or work around, any injuries, restrictions, or limitations you may have.
If you do not have any injuries or other issues, your trainer will ensure that your exercises are safe and effective, thereby avoiding any risk of injury from improper technique or overtraining.
Motivation & Support:
Your trainer will work with you to find what motivates you most! They will help keep you on track, providing a push when needed, or recommending a rest when necessary.
As previously mentioned, many personal trainers are up-to-date on the newest science involving nutrition and other factors, meaning they will be able to support you in every way to help ensure a healthy lifestyle.
For many people, going through the same motions and exercises day-to-day will lead to loss of interest, and eventually lack of adherence. A good personal trainer will be able to keep your routines fresh enough to keep you focused, but still consistent enough to track progress.
Finally, a personal trainer will be able to help you make constant progress over the course of your entire life.
The body will acclimate to any single stimulus in about 4-16 weeks, causing the individual to plateau. Many people will keep pushing, leading to injury, or simply assume they have reached their “limit”. However, if you have well-educated trainer, they will find a simple and effective way to make it possible for you to see continual progress.
There are countless studies proving the benefit of professional guidance, but a very telling and recent study showed that over the course of 10 weeks, individuals working with a trainer increased their strength by 10%, while those without a trainer experienced no improvement. The “novice affect” shows that most strength will be gained in the first 8 weeks of training, but this study was done on already fit and active individuals…yet they still made significant progress.
There are many other reasons to hire a personal trainer but these are the ones that come to mind from my time as a personal trainer.
Almost everyone has a doctor and a dentist, some people have an accountant or a lawyer, and others even have a masseuse or personal assistant. A personal trainer is just one more member of this team that works to serve and benefit you. The only difference with a personal trainer is that they can help keep you healthy for every minute of every day, for your entire life.
So, give it a try today! Look through the trainers available your local gym, investigate their credentials, and pick one you think you’d work best with. After that, the results will speak for themselves!