Years ago, I paid a small fortune to a personal trainer who did little for my overall fitness but got me hooked on kickboxing. As a biweekly release from 16-hour days in a fast-paced corporate pressure-cooker, it was worth every cent.
The truth is, many highly motivated self-starters, who set their minds to achieving something – anything – are able to do it on their own. For such an individual, who’s seeking to get fit and/or lose weight, there’s no shortage of resources, from DVD’s, cable TV and apps, to gyms and group classes. Long before I decided to certify, I got into shape at home and on my own, which is where I still do some of my favorite workouts. So, far be it from me to tell anyone who’s getting results that I could do better.
As you’ve probably figured out by now, getting and staying fit is as much about the science as it is about self-discipline and consistency. If you’ve tried to go it alone and failed, perhaps a personal trainer is what you need to stay the course. Bear in mind, though:
- Your PT won’t be able to keep your hand out of the proverbial cookie jar, and
- Unlike your last gym membership, this kind of commitment requires that you actually show up.
Perhaps you are eating right and exercising regularly but not reaping the rewards of your hard work. Both fitness and weight loss plateaus are as common as they are discouraging, often to the point of despair. This is where the science comes in. This is where an astute trainer can help.
- Above all else, personal training should be just that – personal. I tackle programming with the same creativity and precision that once characterized my marketing campaigns and lesson plans. This sort of attention to detail is as much a product of my personality and professional background as it is the dividend of many years’ training in dance and competitive swimming.
- Although the programs I design for my clients combine both cardiovascular activity and resistance training, the time I spend with them is devoted only to the latter. Accordingly, they are expected to have warmed up on their own before I arrive for our session.
- With a mere 60 minutes at my disposal, I’m always mindful of maximizing the efficiency of every session while minimizing the risk of injury. To this end, you’ll become familiar with such phrases as “planes of motion” and “multi-joint movement.” You’ll learn to ignore me when I crouch down to study your form and performance of an exercise to ensure that it’s flawlessly executed. Weaknesses and/or difficulties will be recorded and consistently worked on in future training sessions.
- Finally, accommodation is what your muscles do when you follow an exercise routine that offers little or no variation. This is a common cause of most plateaus. Like you, muscles need to be challenged, and, in a well-designed training program, this takes the form of adaptation – the personal trainer’s creative solution to boredom (yours and your muscles’). Done properly, this is a safe and measured approach to sustained muscle and bone growth, which also translates into improved protein utilization as well as strengthened ligaments and tendons.
So, is personal training right for you?