- Exercise & Fitness
Should I hire a personal trainer?
When it comes to losing weight, the battle of the bulge is a difficult one most people find themselves failing. So, they ask the question, “Should I use a personal trainer?”, hoping that maybe that is the missing ingredient to their weight loss plan.
However, is using a personal trainer really necessary? Can you be successful without one? Is a personal trainer the key to finally beating the battle of the bulge?
Recently I signed up for a gym membership. After all the paperwork had been completed, including listing off my personal goals, I was signed up with a free trial with a personal trainer. Now I have never really used a personal trainer, so I thought it couldn’t hurt anything. After all, it was free.
Using a personal trainer
The next day I went to my appointment where I was introduced to a young male personal trainer. The gym was loud and he talked quietly. The start of the session was rather irritating considering I couldn’t even hear a word he was saying. What was even more frustrating was that as a female, I would be much happier with a female trainer trainer who could relate to my specific condition - womanhood!
My appointment started at 9 a.m. and I was already walking out of the gym at 9:45 a.m. I left feeling a tad on the disappointed side.
The first step was more paperwork - more specifically, filling out another worksheet about my personal goals. If I am thinking correctly, I did that the day before. He then measured my body fat percentage by using a hand held bio-impedence electrical machine. After telling him that I am very serious about my goals and I could commit to a minimum of 5 days working out in the gym, he outlined a very minimal schedule for 3 days a week at only about 45 minutes a session.
The worse part was, every bit of information he handed me was nothing new. If I am not learning anything, does it make much sense to pay someone to give me information I already know. Then the first workout began.
We walked up to the treadmill to do a warm up. I walked for about 13 minutes on incline, which was enough time for him to take off and wonder for awhile giving me a guesstimated time for his return. So I was warmed up, not challenged, not even winded… but it really was just a warm up.
He finally came and rescued me from the treadmill. I would have assumed the next step would have been some stretches, but we went straight to the machines. Since the day’s objectives where to work out the legs, we started with some weighted leg lifts. The first machine I went on fit me well and I was comfortable, but since he didn’t particularly care for that machine we moved to another machine that would not adjust correctly to my height. In fact, he threw me into the machine without any attempt to adjust the machine at all. I ended up getting off and adjusting it myself.
Now having to adjust the machine doesn’t really bother me. I know how to fit myself to the machines. But for someone who doesn’t use these machines, that could be a guaranteed way to obtain an injury! Shouldn’t the personal trainer adjust the machines for the person. After all, if you have hired a personal trainer, this is what you are paying for!
The rest of the workout continued with some walking lunges, a form of bouncing your butt off a ball, and planks. Then we repeated the circuit and we were done. My legs did feel like jello afterwards, but I am highly qualified to do that to myself. I have in the past and continue to do so without the need of paying for someone to torture me.
My disappoint was really due to the personal trainer not using the gym equipment. After all, we are in a gym and doing most of the exercises that I could do at home. If that is the case, I should save some money, cancel the gym membership and just have someone visit me at the house and torture me!
Pros and Cons of Using a Personal Trainer
When it comes to working out, there are always pros and cons to any method that you choose. Whether you decide to workout with a personal trainer or workout on your own, depends a lot on the person who has set their weight loss goals. Therefore, it is a personal decision. With the pros and cons outlined, hopefully that will help you choose whether spending the extra buck will actually give you a little more bang.
- 1. If you have struggle with weight loss and have a hard time being successful, personal trainers can offer you good advice. After all, it is their field of expertise. They know what will work best for you. They know the types of exercises that work and they can set up a plan that will help you.
- 2. A personal trainer is a source of motivation. When you are trying to finish that last set, someone yelling in your face will help you pull through. After all, look how successful contestants on The Biggest Loser are, and it is all because Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper are there to push them just a tad bit harder.
- 3. You are going to be more accountable. If you have an appointment set up, you are less likely to skip a workout because you just don’t feel like it or because you just don’t have the time. By having that set appointment, you have set it in your schedule. You are now setting up other things around that workout instead of skipping it because something better came up. After all, it is a hassle to have to call and cancel and reschedule.
- 4. When it comes to using gym equipment, we are not all considered pros. Some of us don’t know the proper technique to setting up the weights, nor do we know proper techniques to use free weights. Having someone there to watch our workout technique can prevent injuries. It can also make the exercise more beneficial. After all, 50 incorrect squats will not be as beneficial as doing 25 correct ones.
- 1. Personal trainers come with a price tag. When you are trying to lose weight on a budget, not only will you be paying for the cost of the gym membership, but also for the additional training sessions. According to an article on costhelper.com, a personal trainer charges around $60 to $70 an hour. Some may go as low as $25. If you check out an online personal trainer, it can cost up to $50 for a six month period, yet you do not have the trainer in your face to yell at you. At a gym, and prices do vary according to location, you can expect to pay almost $100 a month for just 4 sessions. Ultimately, will the cost of being healthy eventually wear you down to the point where you return to your old habits and start the vicious cycle all over again!
- 2. If you already have knowledge of the gym equipment, having a personal trainer may not prove beneficial. If you have studied plenty of information on diet and exercise, most likely, the personal trainer will not give you any information that you don’t already know. This can be rather disappointing if you were hoping to learn something by attending these sessions.
- 3. Working with a personal trainer can be boring. You will probably be stuck to a certain type of workout and will be encouraged to not add anything else. After all, they are counting on you letting your muscles rest for a prescribed amount of time. This means there 3 day schedule might not be what you are looking for. You might be looking for variety and they will give you a very cut and dry schedule to follow.
- 4. While not all personal trainers are created equal, you may find some personal trainers to be more about their own needs than your own. Therefore, they may be impersonal and they may also try to slow down your results to elongate their paycheck from you. Once you have hired a personal trainer, your future really is in their hands, and you have paid them to control you.
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Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
Now that you know the pros and cons, you should be well armed to decide whether having a personal trainer is for you. Personally, after my experience with the trial personal trainer, I have decided I am better off working on my own. The goals I have set up are very specific and pretty hardcore. The personal trainer was trying to steer me to their own goals. I also like a little variety in my workout and would easily get bored after doing the same routine week after week. As for the motivation, I can easily grab a workout buddy and push them, which will result in them pushing me.
However, I do feel that if you are a person with little knowledge and possibly little motivation to get into shape, a personal trainer can be a good step into fighting today’s obesity epidemic.
Getting into shape is a difficult journey. The tools are there to succeed but as a person you have to make that personal decision yourself. If you want to help fight the obesity epidemic, hiring a personal trainer might be the first step. However, if you are already highly motivated and know the tools needed, maybe you just need the gym membership instead.
Effective exercises to do either at home or the gym.
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