Monday, February 6, 2012

5 Reasons You Should Work with a Personal Trainer

Have you thought about working with a Personal Trainer to accomplish your fitness goals? Here are 5 reasons why it might be a good use of your time and money. 

1) Get results. Certified Personal Trainers have gone through an extensive certification process which involved learning a lot of technical, scientific details of anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and program design. They know how to design fitness programs to help you accomplish your goals. Think of it like this... most people don't take a road trip without having some form of navigation system to help them get to their destination, be it a GPS, a map, or directions from MapQuest et al. Think of a Personal Trainer as your GPS system... guiding you step by step on the quickest route to get to your fitness destination, helping you avoid pitfalls along the way.

2) Avoid injury. Along with all the technical knowledge listed above, Certified Personal Trainers also learn about contraindications associated with various forms of exercise as well as how to design workouts for various needs (eg. individuals with diabetes/arthritis/back pain, youth, older adults, etc). They have the knowledge to help you avoid injury as you begin and maintain a workout program.

3) Accountability. Being accountable to someone has been shown to be a helpful agent in weight loss success and/or accomplishing your fitness goals. Knowing you have to check in with someone who is invested in your success can be key to sticking with your program and ultimately seeing the results you want.

4) Motivation. It's nice to have an ally in your quest for fitness. A Certified Personal Trainer can help you brainstorm motivational techniques to keep yourself on your program and can help lift your spirits when you're struggling. A good Personal Trainer will also add variety into your program so that you don't get bored and your muscles don't get used to the same old routine.  Also, a lot of Personal Trainers are in this profession because of a personal connection they've had to health/wellness/fitness. Think of the Biggest Loser contestants who successfully lose the weight and become fitness consultants themselves.  Even Jillian Michaels is famous for overcoming issues with weight as a teenager. Whatever their personal connection to fitness may be, this drives them to want to help others achieve their fitness goals. So your ally is truly someone who may have been on their own fitness journey and understands what it's like to have ups and downs.

5. Expert knowledge. Health and wellness are popular topics today. It seems a new fitness trend or diet scheme hits the market every 4-6 months. Certified Personal Trainers keep up with these fitness fads and can tell you if they're fact or fiction before you spend time, money, and energy trying them out yourself. A good Personal Trainer will also keep up with current research so that they can continue to provide their clients with programs that provide efficient and effective results. Lastly, this expert knowledge helps Certified Personal Trainers design workouts that will specifically accomplish the goals you have.

** Note: An astute reader will notice I continue to say Certified Personal Trainers...the fitness industry is not yet regulated to require everyone who wants to be a Personal Trainer be certified. Therefore, make sure any Personal Trainer you work with is certified by a reputable fitness association (eg. ACE, ACSM, NASM, NSCA). Certification requires that the aspiring Personal Trainer study for and pass a comprehensive assessment on all things fitness-related, maintain CPR/AED certification, and also enhance their knowledge through continuing education courses to maintain the PT certification.

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