Hello everybody! Welcome back to my blog.
In today’s post, I am going to answer a question that a lot of people ask: Is it worth to hire a PT? I am going to give you 5 reasons why the answer is yes, it is!
- We are QUALIFIED
The number one reason, and I want to be very clear with this: not every qualification should be valid. Ask the PT where did they get their qualification from. There is a lot of unqualified practice in the fitness industry, people claiming that they are a qualified PT because they have trained for a long time, or they have done a couple of online courses. Do not trust someone that doesn’t have a higher qualification. Think about it like this: if you need a heart transplant and your life depends on it, would you trust a surgeon with only a couple of online courses, or would you rather have a highly qualified surgeon?
Too much of an example? Let’s give another one. You want to fix your car because there’s something wrong. You go to a mechanic’s workshop, and you find out that the mechanic has learnt everything from a blog about cars. Would you stick to them, or would you rather go to a properly qualified mechanic?
If something happens to the car while you drive, you can have an accident, with all the consequences. Nonetheless, hiring a non-qualified personal trainer might have disastrous consequences: injuries, mental harassment (those trainers that call you anything they want because you can’t do the last rep), misinformation, overtraining, loss of motivation, just to mention a few. All these examples of consequences might lead to even worse consequences, like deciding not to do exercise anymore.
2. We know about the number 1 principle: individualisation.
Unlike all the fitness gurus you follow on Instagram, those that give you their own routines without taking into consideration that you’re a completely different person, a PT will ask you all sorts of questions to know what is best for you: how long have you been training for, if you have any current or past injuries, what kind of activities do you enjoy, what is your lifestyle like, what do you do for work. These are some of questions I ask my clients. A top level PT would like to know how active your life is, where you’re coming from, what your limitations might be in order to understand how to approach you. This conversation reveals a lot of detail about you, and we can use it to build a framework personalised to you.
I’ll give you an example: you follow that fitness guru, someone that has been training probably from a young age or for long enough to be where they are right now, and this guru gives you their own routine (impossible shapes, heavy loads, exercises your body has never done). The best you’ll get from this guru is frustration, the worst being long term injuries from a lack of strength, form and flexibility. You may not have done any exercise since high school; you are in your 30s and you work in an office. Your perfect weekend consists of having long naps because you have been very busy during the week. Do you really think you can do that guy’s routine?
A personal trainer is there to give you something that works for you, that fits in your life, something you will enjoy with time and will make you feel better, not frustrated.
3. You don’t know where to start or what to do.
This is the reason number 2 why people approach me asking for help. Number 1 is losing weight.
Some people go to the gym for the first time in a long time or for the first time in their life, and they have no idea where to start or what do to. When you go to a gym or similar, think about that place as a health centre. Find the professional and ask them any question you may have (if they are available, as you would do in a hospital).
This part might be a bit tricky. Some people think that the personal trainers would attend them no matter what, and they forget that they might be attending someone else. A personal trainer is a paid service, we pay them for their time and knowledge. Find out about the gym policies are, which kind of services are included, and if you are interested in having some time with the PT, ask for the prices and availability. If you have a quick question for them, such us how you can use one piece of equipment, do not hesitate on asking. But if you want to have a full conversation or if you want a personalised program, make an appointment as you would do for any other health professional.
4. Technique and health.
A personal trainer will not only give you a plan with a series of exercises with its reps, sets and resting time. They will spend some time with you teaching you how to do the exercises without getting hurt. Doing the technique correctly might be the difference between hurting yourself the second week and having to stay at home and going to the gym 5 days a week with a noticeable improvement over time.
Technique is important not only for the gym, but also for your everyday life. An a thorough personal trainer will explain you why it’s important to do the exercises. Every time I do squats with one of my new clients, I tell them that having a strong squat will help them sit down and stand up without any help as they get older.
5. Mental support.
At this point, you have found a PT that has a professional qualification, has given you a personalised program and has been with you to show you the technique. Yet, a personal trainer can be more than a source of information. An energetic and motivating personal trainer might be the key for you to keep going to the gym.
You must be transparent with your PT; we need to know how you feel at all times. It’s the best indicator to know if we are doing a good job.
There are some feelings that we get when we start doing exercise, some are very pleasant, and others are a bit less pleasant. Motivation will fluctuate through the time, and we’ll have ups and downs. We can’t rely on this feeling to stay consistent, especially when the task still hasn’t formed into a habit.
Sometimes we don’t need to find the motivation to do exercise, but rather the motivation that comes because of the exercise. For example, I want to exercise now because I want to be healthy always. Maybe today I’m not feeling quite motivated to go for a walk, but when my motivation goes beyond the way I feel right now, I put my shoes on and go for a walk. You don’t need motivation to brush your teeth before going to sleep, you just do it. It’s something you have interiorised in your life since you’re a little kid. Exercising should be the same.
When you have just started, you don’t have this habit on you. Your PT may be that extra push you need until those 45-60 minutes daily exercise becomes an important part of you.
Your PT is not a psychologist and most likely it’s not a nutritionist, but we have learnt about psychology and nutrition. We can’t give you a personalised diet, but we can give you some tips and recommendations, as well as encouraging you to see a nutritionist. We can’t sit down with you and give you professional advice about your mental health, but we can support you and guide you to achieve your goals. The relationship that exists between you and your PT is very intimate (come on, we see you sweating your ass out!). We are there to help, guide, listen, adjust, correct, motivate, and celebrate with you.
Is it worth it to spend time and money in someone that will bring you all these things and more?
You have the choice!