Benefits of Personal Training Vs Class based training or DIY fitness
by Jonathan Gainey and Timothy Basich
"Why do I need personal training? I can do stuff on my own and I get a lot out of the classes I already take..." - Beginning
"I feel like I'm not getting anything out of my workouts! I'm not losing weight like I was even though I'm doing double the workouts! This doesn't make sense! - 4 Months into training
Fitness professionals see it every day. The client or clients struggling to make progress on their own or in a group class. As trainers, we know and understand the benefits of personalized workouts and programs. There's a reason why the top athletes, teams, and clubs all encourage the usage of personal trainers to help accentuate what that person already does. The teams understand this, as do the individuals. It is a necessary piece of the training/fitness puzzle. In a perfect world with no restrictions, everyone would have their own personal coach...
....But when you get into more main stream fitness, the reasons often become overshadowed by real world problems that face many individuals. These include, tighter budgets, time restraints, physical limitations, family obligations amongst other things.
So why do Personal training? How can it help you get to your goals?
1.) The biggest reason to do one on one training is to reduce the risk of injury. If you've ever wandered onto the internet wasteland of exercise fail videos, then I'm sure you've see someone trying to change up their routine or incorporate some new creative movement they saw on the internet....Listen, do yourself a favor and pay for a few sessions with your gyms personal trainer. They can help you master the movements that always "hurt your back for some reason" or "destroy your knees". Like most people, you have to work the next day so injuring yourself on an improper dead-lift doesn't make you look like a gym warrior....you're just hurt and cant go to work now.
Verdict - Go hire a trainer to show you how to lift properly. Estimated cost - $199-$499 depending on how many sessions/months you choose to do.
2.) If you walk into a gym or a class and feel lost...like...why the hell am I here doing this and that then you're experiencing the second reason why hiring a personal trainer should be on your too do list. A trainer is an educated (well most times) individual with whom you place your trust into guiding you on your fitness career. They are the ones making the workout and can envision the end goal. Its also their job to explain to you why you are doing these movements/programs. If you don't understand why you're in the gym in the first place you need a trainer or you may need a new trainer
Verdict - Personal Trainers (good ones) can help you understand why this movement over that movement. Estimated cost - $199 - $350/monthly range just because you are most likely going to be enrolled in a long term program
3.) The beginning is always the easiest. If you are disciplined with your eating, the pounds are dropping and you are happy. Then comes the slow grind. Its right here where many individuals lose sight of their goals and fall off the tracks. A trainer is also a coach. A personal motivator that often times makes the difference between getting that last rep, or last evolution done and calling it quits early.
Verdict - Get a trainer that also forms a connection with you as a client. You will be more inclined to stay disciplined and consistent with your program. Cost - Motivation is priceless. It can get you everything if you have it and will result in nothing if you don't.
4.) Our 4th reason is goes hand in hand with #2. Lack of structure in your workouts. Many individuals will add things into their own routines because, "I saw this really in shape person doing it" or "it looked cool" or I'm bored with this so lets try this. Getting to your fitness goals isn't just about doing random shit to burn calories. You need structure!! A good trainer will bring to the table, a structured program catered to you and evolve it as you progress. It involved many aspects not just limited to your goals but also your physical activity level during the day, your type of job, age etc etc. Bottom line is if their is no structure it can be like walking into college when you skipped out on Middle School because it didn't look to interesting. There are necessary things that need to be done before you progress. You cant just go and do what you please....then you'll end up at our first reason...you'll be hurt
Verdict - Trainers can get you a structured program. Cost - You get what you pay for. Don't let the initial costs of a well thought out program that can help you achieve anything scare you off. It is well worth it in the long run and will save you lots of time and headache in down the road.
5.) Dysfunctional Bio-mechanics. You need to have a good, solid foundation to build off of. No, I'm not talking about 15% body fat starting off and able to deadlift 300lbs. I'm talking about decent posture, quality range of motion, a strong enough core and legs that are stable enough to support what you will be doing. Common misconceptions lead weekend warriors to believe that more is better, faster is better. Thats not true. You must address bio-mechanical flaws before you look to build anything. Dont build a sky scraper over a sink hole....Proper assessments can be done by your trainer that will expose this flaws. A structured program will help fix these flaws, all the while progressing at a safe rate you can live with.
Verdict - You have to learn to crawl before you can walk. The same mentality must be taken when addressing bio-mechanical flaws. Get these things taken care of first so you can be the fitness animal you want to be later! Cost - Depends on how much your trainer charges or how much time you feel like missing from work if you get hurt because you elect to not go with a trainer that can recognize underlying issues. I dont know about you but if I have instability in my knee, I'd rather address is early on...then tear my acl/mcl/pcl later.