Why Hire a Personal Trainer?

Hiring a personal trainer is a thoughtful investment in you and your health. It’s not just about fitness support – mental and emotional support shine through as well.

Top three reasons people don’t invest in a personal trainer:
1) I don’t have the extra funds.
2) I’ll look on YouTube to find what I need.
3) I know how to do everything, I’ll be fine on my own.

These are good reasons. However, when you hire a personal trainer, you are hiring an expert in the field of fitness. Personal trainers have various skill sets that allow them to help you develop a plan specific to you and perform movements correctly so you don’t get hurt. The improvement in your health and fitness levels can have long-term payment in quality of life and even decreased health care costs.

YouTube is a great resource for fitness. One issue is everyone can post a video to YouTube. EVERYONE. You have to find a reliable source you can gather your information from and that’s very, very hard. I have found countless examples of horrible form and people asking to get hurt. A personal trainer can help you with form, they can also direct you to reliable resources.

Knowing what works for you is incredibly important. A personal trainer can amp up what you know works and get it working better. A trainer will push you harder than you will push yourself but keep you from rushing ahead too quickly. Expert trainers know alternative exercises if you have difficulty with one or if you have an injury to work around. Sometimes a modified version of an exercise is necessary, depending on your fitness level. A good trainer will expertly shape an exercise for you. This reduces the risk of further injury.

There are so many reasons to hire a personal trainer. Here are several reasons from my own experience, the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and MSN Money online.

Individualized Goals and Programming. A personal trainer will work with you to develop a personalized plan customized around your goals. Personal trainers notice the details and encourage clients by noticing improvements that folks may not think about. This is helpful if discouragement tries to set in.

Motivation. Personal trainers wear many hats, serving not only as coach, but as an educator, confidant, role model and a major source of motivation and encouragement.

Ego Boost. It’s a fact, feeling good makes you look good and vice versa. Personal trainers help you achieve your health and fitness goals and provide you with positive feedback on your performance. This bolsters your confidence to take on new challenges.

Safe and Effective Workouts. A personal trainer will show you how to exercise safely (including which exercises to avoid) and instruct you on the proper and safe use of exercise equipment. Personal trainers help maximize your time by providing workouts designed to meet your goals quickly and efficiently.

Special-needs Training – Research confirms that individuals with health challenges such as diabetes, asthma, osteoporosis or heart disease benefit greatly from regular physical activity. These conditions however, can make exercising safely a challenge. Many personal trainers are experienced in designing programs that address the special needs of these and other conditions.

Sports-specific Training. Many amateur and professional athletes work with a personal trainer during the off-season to prepare themselves for in-season competition. Whether you want to shave some strokes off your golf score or beat your brother-in-law at tennis, a personal trainer can tailor your program to your sport of choice.

Injury Rehabilitation. Injuries and accidents can prevent you from participating in your favorite activities. An experienced personal trainer however, can make the road to recovery a smooth one by recommending exercises that emphasize overall muscular balance to prevent future injuries.

If you’re ready to hire a personal trainer, here are some tips that will help you find the one that’s right for you.

1. Hire a personal fitness trainer who has received certification from a reputable licensing organization. There are many organizations out there, here are a few:

• The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
• National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
• National Strength and Conditioning Association (CSCS)
• American Council on Exercise (ACE)

These organizations help to ensure that the trainers are educated in biomechanics, anatomy and physiology, specifics on form and muscle groups, and fitness testing techniques. You can check to see if your trainer is certified by visiting their website. Also ask the personal trainer about any additional training they have, do you want to learn about kettlebells and the proper way to use them? Find a kettlebell-specific coach.

2. Check the trainer’s personal style. Every personal trainer should be willing to sit down with you, at no charge, so you can both determine if the relationship will work. Having a conversation about your goals and your style will prompt a meaningful discussion where you can determine coaching style (military style or a more encouraging demeanor) and what will work for you.

3. Ask for a reference from the trainer. Because of HIPPA compliance, the personal trainer will have to go talk to their clients first before you get any information. Being able to talk with someone the trainer works with will give you valuable information.

4. Ask the personal trainer what their intake process is. Make sure the trainer checks your health history and customizes your workouts based on any previous injuries or health issues.

Hiring a personal trainer is a smart investment in you and your health, it is worth its weight in gold.

Shasonta Delmage is owner of LiveFit, a personal training organization in Whatcom County. She is an NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Functional Movement Systems specialist, CrossFit Advanced Kettlebell and Level 1 trainer. She is currently training for the StrongFirst Girya (SFG) certification, known as the most prestigious kettlebell certification existing today.

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