The decision to hire a personal trainer is a very personal one. You are entrusting your well-being to a person who, aside from your initial assessment, may not know anything else about you. So it's understandable that this is a very nerve-wracking process. Just like any profession out there, we have people who are really good at guiding and training others, while other trainers are still - to put it diplomatically - learning their craft.
Recently, I asked several fitness professionals about some of the myths and questions they often field from new clients so that together, we can finally lay some of these misconceptions to rest! My goal, of course, is for anyone considering personal training to read this and understand that a good trainer will always hold your best interests in mind. Sure, it does take some time to find the trainer who is the perfect fit for you, but if their answers are similar to the replies you read here, you'll know you have found someone worth sticking with!
7. Personal trainers want to make new clients feel weak.
When a new client comes to me to inquire about personal training, I already know that he or she is looking for a change. Why would I defeat their motivation - or worse, try to deflate their ego - by punishing them on the first workout? A good trainer wants you to feel empowered, capable, and most importantly, SAFE doing any workout that you're given. Will you work hard? Certainly. Will you get sore? Probably. But if I'm a smart businesswoman, it is not in my best interest to drive people away by killing them
6. Personal training is only for those who don't know what they're doing.
Let me put it this way: I know that I need to stay away from sticky, sugary foods and brush my teeth at least twice a day to avoid cavities. Sometimes, I still get a cavity. No matter how diligent I am, my teeth and gums need a little professional help to maintain good oral health. Same goes for your body. You may be working out regularly, but maybe not hitting all the areas that need attention. You feel great, but maybe your posture suffers because of a desk job. You are healthy, but want to step up your game on the tennis court. Sometimes, the missing piece is just having someone else look at what you're doing and tweak your routine.
5. I should wait until I lose another __ pounds before I sign up for training.
Often times, potential clients are afraid to get started because they think they must already be in certain shape to be "good enough" for training. Here's the thing- we ALL have to start somewhere! Why wait, and pass up on the opportunity to get stronger and improve faster than you might on your own? Plus, if working out hasn't always been your cup of tea, a trainer will have all the tools you need to make sure your routine has plenty of variety so that you can optimize your results.
4. But I just want to lose weight. I don't want to bulk up.
Did you hear that? That was the sound of the entire professional personal training community simultaneously smacking our foreheads. Repeat after me: "IF I DON'T USE IT, I WILL LOSE IT." Muscles move your joints, which you need to move in order to burn calories. Like all other cells in the body, muscle fibers do have a shelf life. Eventually, muscle cells die, and after the age of 40, most people lose about 1% of their muscle mass every year. So you have to do resistance to keep the remaining fibers strong. You may see some changes in size and definition, but you will not "bulk up" unless you tell you're trainer you want to become a power lifter.
3. But I really just want my trainer to help me look like so-and-so in that magazine there.
Any good trainer will tell you "No." I'm sorry, but no. Every body is unique and only genetics can determine how you gain muscle and where you first lose weight. The best thing I can say to this is that it's time to embrace who YOU are. Chasing a specific shape or size is not only unrealistic, but could be detrimental to your health if you focus too hard on only one part of your body and ignore the rest. It is our job - our duty - to provide a balanced routine that addresses all areas of fitness: cardiovascular, strength, balance and agility, and range of motion.
2. The Trainer I was considering doesn't look like those trainers on THAT TV show- so she/he can't be that good.
Going back to #3, and to emphasize a very important point I make to every client: "Fit" is a feeling, not a specific shape. Do I have perfectly defined 6-pack abs? Nope (because I haven't dehydrated myself for 24 hours, like models do before a photo shoot). Can I still hold a plank for 3 minutes? You betcha. And I've run 5 marathons. Oh, and my resting heart rate is in the 40's and my blood pressure is 110/70. Not going to name names, but I've met so-called fitness buffs who were chiseled like Adonis, but whose livers were all but annihilated from their off-hours activities... just goes to prove that looking good is not synonymous with being healthy.
1. I just can't afford the time or money required for personal training.
Some gyms are set up simply to collect memberships and they try to get you with the hard sell the moment you walk in the door. I, for one, refuse to be that kind of trainer. I know that if someone wants to train, they can find me. So I took the steps to get out of the big gym and offer clients the opportunity to pay for training - and just training! No contracts, no memberships, just training on their time, in a place that is convenient for them. One of the best reasons to consider personal training - especially from an independent professional - is that you don't have to think about what to do. Every minute and dollar is well-spent because we want you to get the most out of every session!
So if you've been on the fence about getting a trainer, know that if you ask the right questions, you'll get the answers you need to find who is the best fit for you. And if you are in the Atlanta area, make sure you fill out my questionnaire if you are interested in training. You can also follow me on facebook, twitter, and instagram, where I am happy to connect and answer any questions you may have!