There’s no shortage of ways to work out. From smartphone apps and hi-tech bikes to boot camp classes at your local gym, it’s easier than ever to pursue a vibrant path to fitness.
One approach you may have considered is working with a personal trainer. If so, you know that it can be a difficult decision to make. On the one hand, working with a trainer is often a great way to meet your fitness goals. On the other hand, trainers can be expensive and, for some, cause feelings of insecurity or self-consciousness.
In my opinion, there are some scenarios where hiring a personal trainer is almost always totally worth it — provided you can find one who fits your budget, of course.
1. You Haven’t Worked Out in a Long Time — Or Ever
Whether you’re brand-new to fitness or you’ve spent the past few years — OK, decades — on sabbatical from the stair-stepper, working out with a personal trainer is a great way to get into the swing of things at the gym. There are certain things an educated professional can do that, in most cases, you simply cannot. For example, he or she can:
- Honestly assess your level of fitness
- Accurately determine your strengths and weaknesses
- Create an exercise regimen that minimizes injury
- Explain what all those machines do
- Teach you the proper form for various exercises
Covering the basics with a seasoned pro sets you up for success, whether you continue working with a trainer or decide that you’re ready to venture onto the floor alone.
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2. You’re Bouncing Back From Illness or Injury
After an injury or illness, two things are vital to the physical rehabilitation process: safety and smarts. Working with a trainer ensures you get both. Your trainer can develop a workout plan that will strengthen the muscle groups and other areas that need it without leading to additional aches and pains. In fact, just like physicians, many fitness professionals receive special training in certain disciplines, such as knee or back injuries.
3. You Need To Be Accountable to Someone
How many times have you uttered one of the following statements (or similar) to yourself?
- “I’ll just walk an extra half-an-hour tomorrow.”
- “I don’t have enough time to work out today.”
- “All my leggings are in the wash. Guess I can’t go the gym.”
- “I can’t go to the gym. It’s raining.”
- “It’s National Tater Tot Day? Really? I bet that means the gym is closed.”
If your Miss America talent would be making up reasons not to exercise, then working with a personal trainer is a great way to force yourself to face the gym. Your trainer can offer tips for staying motivated. He or she can serve as a sounding board if you grow discouraged. If nothing else, the fact that you’re likely paying for your trainer’s know-how is usually excellent motivation to get to the weight deck and get your money’s worth.
4. Leaving Your House Is Difficult
If you have mobility issues, making it to the gym to work out can be nearly impossible at times. Enter the personal trainer — literally. Many personal trainers will come to you for your workout sessions or provide instruction and encouragement via video. Free from the burden of logistics, you can focus on what really matters: your health.
If you think all personal trainers are order-barking gym rats like you’ve seen on TV and in the movies, think again. They’ve changed with the times. It doesn’t matter when, where, why or how you want to work out: There’s likely a trainer who can work with you to develop and implement a personalized plan for lasting success. All you need to do is call your local gym to start the search.