You have decided "I need a personal trainer". Here are the top 5 pros and cons of having a PT
As the wellness revolution has well and truly taken hold, the demand for personal trainers has escalated. In the not too distant past, having a personal trainer was something reserved for the famous, professional athletes or for the very wealthy. Now let's take a look at the combination of trainers offering competitive rates, plus a greater understanding that being as fit as you can and looking good is not solely the arena of seriously cashed-up celebs. So you have decided "I need a personal trainer" but do you know the pros and cons?
The 5 "Pros" of having a personal trainer:
Note that different countries have different fitness qualifications. In Australia, the minimum qualification is Certificate III Gym Instructor; Certificate IV Personal Trainer being one step above that. Many personal trainers also have additional qualifications in specialised areas such as children's fitness, yoga, rehabilitation and so on. The industry in Australia is largely self-regulated, so there are still a few unqualified and under-qualified trainers setting up shop on their own and operating out there.
Qualified personal trainers have the knowledge to design and tailor a personal training program that is right for you. Your program should include a mix between cardio, strength and stretch. Remember, anyone can call himself or herself a personal trainer, but you need to see the proof - ensure your personal trainer has the correct qualifications and is registered with the relevant professional body.
Having a personal trainer is like having your own personal ‘cheerleading squad' in your back pocket - they will pep you up, ensure you are exercising, and on the way to achieving your goals.
With a personal trainer monitoring your every move, you will reduce your risk of getting injured or straining yourself by doing incorrect exercises.
More than just motivation and ensuring you are exercising, a personal trainer can help you celebrate the small “wins" and can be the extra support you need if you are having a bad week. I even know of one personal trainer that made her client take a photo of everything they ate for three days on their iPhone, and sent it to them to ensure they were on the right track with their nutrition.
Having regular "exercise appointments" booked into your week with a personal trainer will ensure you have a greater level of commitment and will increase your chances of attendance, showing up and actually training.
The 5 "Cons" of having a personal trainer:
As with everything relying on someone else to be the “solution" or catalyst for success can have its cons.
Ensure you don't fall into the trap of “only exercising" with a personal trainer. You need to learn to exercise by yourself. Especially if your trainer goes on holiday or moves away you still need to learn how to achieve your goals without a trainer - having them there is a bonus.
Personal trainers cost money, so consider the differently priced options which will give you the best return on investment for you including one-on-one personal training, group training, or the “program only" option. Remember if you can learn to train by yourself - it is free, and there are plenty of free training programs and accountability tools out there if you are self-motivated.
Getting too familiar
Having a personal trainer does not mean you have a new best friend. You are paying this person for a reason - to motivate you and help you achieve your goals. Don't let the trainer get too comfortable with you, slack off, or stop putting in the ‘effort' in modifying your program or challenging you.
Lack of experience or qualifications
Just because someone has “read the book" or “gotten the qualification" doesn't mean they can actually put this knowledge into practice. Ensure your trainer has experience in working with what you are wanting to achieve; especially if you are injured, getting pain, new to exercise, or pregnant / post-pregnant.
Lack of direction and lack of progression
Have you reached a “plateau"? Better personal trainers will ensure this never happens to you. Good personal trainers are always giving you regular assessments, modifying your program, and “shaking it up a bit".
A personal trainer is able to assess your current fitness and subsequently work out ways that this can be improved upon. They are often well versed in imparting advice on nutrition and health. Whether opting for a personal trainer to guide you through your paces one-to-one at home or outdoors, or whether you are seeking some expertise at your local gym (most have a resident team of trainers these days) don't be too hasty in choosing just anybody.
Written by Georgie Drury