A lot of people think that personal training is for pros and wannabe athletes, but it’s actually great for anyone who wants to meet a fitness goal. Whether you’re just starting out or a longtime gym goer/recreational athlete, trainers can help you get the results you want faster, safely and more effectively than you could on your own.
Trainers are certified professionals with in-depth knowledge of exercise science and human physiology and mechanics. They also understand exercise adherence and how to motivate clients. Some even have specialties that allow them to work with different types of injuries or conditions. If you’re going to spend money on a trainer, look for one with National Commission of Certifying Agencies (NCCA) accreditation. You can also search for trainers who have a college degree in exercise science, physical education or a related field.
On your first session, your trainer will take your body measurements, assess your current strength and endurance and do other tests or activities to determine the best way to help you achieve your goals. From there, you’ll both agree on a plan of action that may include incorporating cardio exercises, weights, flexibility workouts and other activities into each session. You might also do homework that includes walking routines, logging your food intake or exercising at home to supplement the training sessions.
During your workouts, your trainer will make sure you’re performing each exercise correctly, and may provide immediate feedback if something doesn’t feel right. This helps reduce the risk of injury and ensure that you’re getting the most benefit from your sessions. In fact, studies have shown that the more corrective feedback you receive during a workout, the better your muscle-building and metabolism-boosting results.
Another reason why personal training is beneficial is that it can give you an extra boost of motivation. Just knowing that you have a scheduled appointment with a trainer may be enough to keep you on track to meet your fitness goals, even when you’re feeling sluggish. This outside motivation has been shown to increase adherence to exercise and promote self-efficacy in men and women, which can lead to more regular workouts.
It’s important to remember that just because you can physically do burpees doesn’t mean you’re always going to want to do them. A trainer will be able to find exercise choices that you enjoy and will help you build on your successes, which will increase your confidence and motivation.
As you build your client base, it’s a good idea to consider other job opportunities at the gym to learn more about how it runs and to connect with patrons in a new way. For example, you could work at the front desk to gain experience with customer service and to develop your interpersonal skills. You could also work in the weight room to become familiar with the equipment and learn how to assist a client with proper technique. These experiences can be helpful when you’re a trainer and are working with clients of all fitness levels.