Personal Trainers can get a bad rep. All too often they are imagined as muscle rippling, body pumping, protein-shake guzzling macho heroes who have no understanding of the common unfit / unhealthy / rather large / wobbly (delete as appropriate) mortal being like us. But, and it’s a big BUT – find the right Personal Trainer and they can set you on a path to healthiness forever. I’m not saying they will turn you from ‘hello-heffer’ to ‘howdy-doodie’ in a nanosecond, they will however work with you to help you be the best you can be – to be healthier, fitter, slimmer (hopefully for me anyway) and ultimately happier.
Working with Instinct Gym & Wellbeing – a fitness and wellbeing centre offering personal training right in the heart of Tarporley, Cheshire – I’ve had the pleasure of learning just how fantastic a Personal Trainer can be for all of the above – I’ve lost inches from my waist, pounds from my weight and I can plank like the best of them! I’ve had a great experience with their fitness trainers, so here I am to put your mind at rest, and bust some of those common myths…
Believe this and you might as well believe that unicorns are alive, and rainbows really do have a pot of gold at the end of them. Personal Trainers are human beings just like you or me, they just happen to understand the body better than we do, and how to fuel it and work it to keep the engine ticking over as it should. We imagine that personal trainers eat healthily all day every day, that their abs are a perfect 6-pack and they treat their body as a temple. Yet, they have the same temptations as we do; they like a takeaway or a night out as much as the rest of us.
The difference between a personal trainer and us is three-fold: understanding, motivation and choice-making. Understanding in that they are more conscious of what they put into their bodies. Motivation in the fact that their job is their body, they need to look and be healthy, so they will put the time in to work out. And finally, choice-making; with understanding and motivation, they are able to make the right choices regarding food and exercise to maintain their health.
This doesn’t mean to say they live by a rigid diet and exercise 24/7. Believe me, I’ve seen it the flip side! So before you say “yes but…” and dive into all of those reasons why you don’t want to see a Personal Trainer, I’m here to bust a few myths:
When I walked into Instinct for my first ever session with my new Personal Trainer, the biggest fear in my mind was, “what will he think”. Seconds after, my fears completely diminished as I realised that I wasn’t being judged, my Personal Trainer was the epitome of the consummate professional and got the information he needed without so much as a rolled eye or a patronising word about my general state of unhealthiness.
Since that day, he has supported me on my own personal health and fitness journey. He celebrates my successes, and he shares my challenges. He has taken the time to get to know me, to understand my motivations and knows what makes me tick. Never at one point would I say I have been judged, and if you ever feel that way with your own trainer then I would suggest you need to find a new one.
Whilst we think of Personal Trainers as self-proclaimed heroes of the gym, we also imagine them standing over us shouting numbers from 1 to 10 as we lie there in pain trying to complete the impossible reps that have been forced upon us. Happily, neither is true.
Yes, a Personal Trainer WILL make you work. They will push you, challenge you and make you do things you never believed possible with your body. But, none of it should feel impossible, and it certainly should not cause you any pain, except for the good old next day aches (known as DOMS – delayed onset muscle soreness), if you are using muscles you haven’t used in long time. Your Personal Trainer should work with you to set you a programme that is specifically tailored to you and your level of fitness.
A Personal Trainer will have worked long and hard to get to where they are, some will have higher education qualifications such as a degree or diploma in both sports and nutrition. They are highly qualified individuals. But this does not mean that they are all-seeing, all-knowing demigods. Just like any field, there is always more to learn, and the best Personal Trainers will never stop learning whether it be new nutritional advice, new technologies or a new fitness programme.
Sure, hiring a Personal Trainer is a great step to the land of healthiness, but it is just like buying the ticket – you still have to go on the journey. Your Personal Trainer will work with you at the gym to make sure you understand as much as you can to achieve your own personal health and fitness goals. They will give you a great workout, push you, help you and guide you. They will give you advice on what to eat and how to exercise at home. But as for the rest – it’s up to you. Just think, if you work out with your Personal Trainer 2 times a week for an hour each time, that’s still another 166 hours that you’re on your own. Your commitment to the programme outside of the gym is your key to success, so don’t blame your Personal Trainer if things don’t go the way you want them to – although they will most certainly help you put things right if it happens.
Ultimately, the most important thing is to find a qualified Personal Trainer who has a fitness philosophy that you can identify with and as such will work for you in the long term. Hiring a Personal Trainer is a big commitment, both regarding your budget and time, but find the right one, and you’ll be wanting to keep them forever.
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