The Benefits of a Personal Trainer
The benefits of a personal trainer are numerous. I should correct myself – the benefits of a qualified personal trainer are numerous. Unfortunately, there are a few things stopping people from hiring a legit personal trainer, or as I prefer, fitness coach.For one, the fitness industry is tremendously over-saturated by people who received a certification and “like to exercise.”Secondly, most people don’t know what to look for when selecting a strength and conditioning coach. We’ll get to that in a second.
Working with a qualified personal trainer has many benefits. For one, research shows that subjects who worked with a trainer lifted heavier weights than they would have normally lifted on their own (1). Heavier weights are an indicator of training intensity, so those who worked with a trainer simply worked at a higher intensity and had a better chance of reaching their potential.
Another study focused on personal training over 12 weeks; those who worked with a personal trainer managed to increase strength in the squat and bench press significantly more than those who worked without a trainer (2). The correct term for this is referred to as loading parameters; but the average person could refer to it as a trainer that knows how to “push them.”
I once worked at an establishment that was personal training only. A lady came in one day and asked for a membership; when I explained that this studio only provided personal training, she balked at my response. She exclaimed, “I know how to work out. I just have to lose the 50 pounds I’ve gained in the last few years.” If you’re thinking what I am thinking, then you realize what a ludicrous statement that was.
However, that’s most people’s opinion on the matter. Many will struggle to lose weight, and those that do, normally put the weight back on in only a couple of months. You have to have an understanding of basic anatomy, physiology, and how the hormones respond to food and lifestyle factors in order to get, and stay, in shape.
In order to get the most from a personal trainer, look for the following qualities:
-They have an education in health sciences (exercise physiology, kinesiology, etc)
-They practice what they preach (they don’t have to resemble a Greek God but they do need to look like they know where the gym is)
-The can answer your questions in a polite and courteous manner
-They can explain the rationale behind their training practices
-They carry themselves in a polite and professional manner
Most people just need to push their ego aside, find a qualified personal trainer, and trust their process. Those are the ones who enjoy the benefits of a personal trainer.
2. Mazzeti, S. et al. “The Influence of Direct Supervision of Resistance Training on Strength Performance.” (2000) Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise. 32;6, 1175-1184