I get asked often whether or not I work or have ever worked with a personal trainer. The answer is no, never have and probably never will. I have outlined my own personal observations about why it absolutely benefits some people and also is not the best option for others. This month, we are talking about personal trainers, the pros and cons of working with one, and what you should consider both short and long term.
Happy October! Pumpkin spice candles are burning and cinnamon brooms are all over the house! We just got back from Maine and wow was it nice to enjoy some cooler weather. Now we are back in the desert a.k.a. Florida! At least we have tons of sunshine. There’s always something to be grateful for. This month, we are talking about personal trainers, the pros and cons of working with one, and what you should consider both short and long term.
Something crucial to remember when reading this and ANYTHING ON THE INTERNET (yes, anything), is that we are not cookie cutter species! Every single person is different and what works for you may not work for other people. What is important is that you experience enough in this life to figure out what makes you feel great, healthy, mobile and vibrant. Your perfect regimen is different from anyone else’s!
Pros of Working Out with a Personal Trainer
Let’s start with the pros of working out with a personal trainer primarily because most people probably only assume there are pros. Well listen here folks…
This is probably the primary reason people pursue a trainer. If someone makes me show up, then I have to show up! If I’m paying someone to train me, I definitely will be there! One of the biggest issues with making fitness a lifestyle versus a temporary roller coaster ride is accountability. We have created such strange aversions to working out and in some cases, have actually convinced ourselves we hate working out! I can’t wrap my head around it. Here’s the deal, our bodies were MEANT to move. Guess what else? The stories we tell ourselves over and over are what become our reality. Guess what else? No one else on this planet can tell your story for you. Shocking right? Sharing a favorite quote of mine from a well-known Crossfitter and current residency student, Julie Foucher.
“Someone told me before to listen to the story that you’re telling yourself…Because a lot of the times we make our reality by the stories that we’re telling, and you can tell any story in a positive way or in a negative way, and so it helps to stop and ask yourself, ‘OK, what is the story I’m telling myself: Is this really a reality, and how can I change this story to make it a better reality?’”
How powerful is that?! So YES, working with a trainer can help keep you accountable and create positive habits for yourself. There’s nothing negative about it.
I’ve heard it a million times and have also been there myself. You show up at the gym. You’re ready to rock and roll. Crickets. What do you do?! Do you go to the treadmill for some cardio powwow? Do you head to the big free weights with all of the other muscle men? I get it. Figuring out WHAT to do can be really overwhelming and challenging. This another huge positive about working with a trainer. The workouts are totally crafted for you. I support this!
Higher Intensity Workouts
This is not always the case but in most cases, I’d argue that someone standing over you, pushing you further, adding extra reps and motivating you will lead to a better workout than if you were doing this on your own. Another great pro.
Everyone Starts Somewhere
This definitely overlaps with number 3 above. If you are just starting out on your workout journey, it can be challenging to know not only what to do, but how to not injure yourself and overdo it. Personal trainers are qualified and educated to get you started in the best possible way. Any fitness is better than no fitness. If you need to start with an expert, go for it.
Cons of Working Out with a Personal Trainer
Lack of Self-Sufficiency
This is a biggie for me. Working out with a personal is great for all of the reasons above but it can also create a dependency. If you only work out when you have a scheduled training session, that’s not a great thing. You should be able to, eventually, get in a workout on your own accord, regardless of where you are or who you are with. This is why I mentioned above that’s it’s good for those just getting started. When you show up for a training session, you should be ready to learn as well. What can you take away from that session that you can do on your own? Also, if something changes in your life that requires you to stop seeing a trainer, it shouldn’t be a reason to stop working out!
Trainers can be expensive! In fact, most people I know who work out with one only do so 1-2 times a week. This is a great addition to a workout regimen but should NOT constitute your entire workout regimen. This should be done in addition to your own gym visits, long walks or runs, biking, Zumba, etc. If you are relying solely on your training sessions to enhance your fitness, that should be a red flag.
Lack of Variety
I do want to preface this by saying that not all trainers fall under this category. I am confident that there are plenty of amazing and well-rounded trainers out there. In my own personal experience, the trainers I have encountered and seen do not offer enough variety during the training sessions. In their defense, I think the people they are training are not coming often enough to really be able to take them outside their comfort zone. If you are going 1-2 times a week, they don’t have as much time and experience with you to increase your routine, weights etc. Generally speaking, if you aren’t doing the things that really push you outside your comfort zone, then you are likely not making enough progress. If working out was easy as pie, you everyone would be doing it all the time! Challenge and struggle come along with being better. If you choose to work out with a trainer, don’t ever hesitate to tell them you are ready for the next step, harder workouts, heavier weights etc.
Working out is AWESOME. A healthy workout, with or without a trainer, is exactly what we all need every single day. Yes, every day. It doesn’t have to be an hour and a half long intense session at the gym, but we all need to be moving every single day. Take the pups for a longer walk. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Go for a hike. Do SOMETHING to move that body. This should be the story we tell ourselves!
A personal trainer isn’t for everyone but it can be an excellent starting point. Don’t be afraid to get out there and start challenging that body to do better. You are so capable. Follow me on Instagram @Daffnee and check out my other blogs on DaffneeCohen.com
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