Initially, I signed up for personal training for weight loss- I mean that’s everyone’s reason right? I was doing pretty good on my own but wanted to kick it up a notch by committing to a personal trainer.One thing I’ve learned is that if your head isn’t in the game, then personal training isn’t going to help you. I’ve had my good months, and I’ve also had really bad months. If you’re one of those people who is intimidated by your gym, then personal training is a great idea. If you are on the fence or considering personal training, please consider the following…
Personal training might be a good investment if:
- You’re intimidated or have anxiety about going to the gym. If you aren’t a frequent gym goer or are just getting started, a personal trainer can be a great asset. I’ve gotten so acclimated to my gym and how to use proper form on both machines and during body weight exercises, all thanks to my trainer.
- You don’t know what workouts to do to achieve your desired results. With all the conflicting information out there about diet and exercise, it can be tough to know if you should be doing cardio, lifting or both. Low carb, low fat or one of the other million diets out there. A trainer can provide great guidance, however beware of those trying to “sell” you (ie. Advocare, Herbalife, any supplements that they may make commission off of).
- You’re 100% committed to working out. This was a challenge. I’d have my good weeks where I would give it my all during my workouts, then I’d have my days where I would cancel. You would think the monetary component would motivate you to go, but no… not always the case.
- You need accountability. Some trainers know how to really step it up. Texting you workouts that you need to do, putting you on a schedule for arms, legs, back, abs, etc and also asking for pictures of your meals. All of these can offer the accountability that I think we all need on our weight loss journey. Granted, not every trainer will offer this, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
- You hate working out. Throughout my training sessions, we’ve done hundreds of different exercises. Some days I hate everything we do. Other days I discover new workouts that make me feel like a badass. Working with a trainer can help you develop a workout plan that you can stick with because you’ve identified exercises you enjoy.
- You don’t know proper form. This was the biggest takeaway for me once I started with my personal trainer. I didn’t think you could screw up your form on the machines but I couldn’t believe how many exercises I wasn’t doing correctly. For example leg extension: I just learned that I’m supposed to keep my toes pointed towards me to really feel the burn in my quads. GAME. CHANGER. I also utilized my trainer a lot to ensure proper form for deadlifts & squats (and as a spot).
Now, for the cons…
- Cost is obviously a huge factor. There is a huge variance in pricing depending on how long your sessions are. I’ve paid between $25-$75 per session which can add up quickly depending on your frequency.
- Scheduling. Some trainers have a lot of clients and can be difficult to schedule with. Additionally, if you have a job where you travel it can be difficult staying on track with the workout plans they provide to you. Oh, and if something comes up last minute and you have to cancel? You’re usually out the money you paid for that session.
- Workout Plans. You can find effective workout regimens either for free on bodybuilding.com or from a variety of different health & fitness professionals. A few that I recommend that aren’t free, but host a lot of instagram giveaways for their programs are: Ashley Nordman (passion2befit), Zoe Rodriguez (zoelivelovelift), and Taylor Simpson (Ilikemyfitnesstaylored).
- Turnover. You may find a trainer you really like who ends up joining a different gym within a few months. You might also have a creepy trainer who gets fired. I’ve seen both scenarios in the matter of a few months. Not every gym is like this, but turnover is common in this industry.
- Classes. A lot of gyms offer classes either for free, or for a charge cheaper than what you would pay a personal trainer. If you can commit to attending a couple HIIT classes or body pump classes a week, you can likely cut weight quickly if your diet is on point.
If I had to do it all over again, I would have saved my money and bought a workout program or joined a challenge with an accountability group. However, I love using the tools that I learned through personal training to aid in my weight loss journey. Had it not been for personal training, I would have never tried deadlifts, squats or bench press. I’ve gotten so comfortable working out in different areas of the gym and exploring new equipment- all because of personal training. Also, I’ve made some fantastic friendships through personal training which makes it more enjoyable getting a good pump in.
photo credit: http://www.intonefitnesstraining.com/personal-training/