How To Know If (And When) You Actually Need A Personal Trainer

According to a personal trainer.

personal trainer

Deciding on whether or not you need a personal trainer can be tricky business. Considering how expensive some of them can be, it is a big investment after all.
It’s been a few weeks, months—you’ve been giving it your all at the gym, but those last couple of kilos aren’t budging, you’re getting bored and your abs are still nowhere to be seen.
So, what now? Do you keep going and hope for the best or you do enlist the help of a pro?
Here are some things you should consider if you’re contemplating recruiting a personal trainer, according to one of Sydney’s best, Ben Lucas of Flow Athletic.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are your goals and what is your trainer’s specialty?

“If you just want to get lean then you may not need to be with a body building coach. On the flip side, if you enjoy cross fit style workouts, then you may not want to be with someone who specialises in Pilates,” says Ben. “Find a trainer who does exercises that you would enjoy because doing something you don’t enjoy is going to make it hard for you to maintain motivation to keep attending.”

running treadmill gym personal trainer
Image via iStock

“A good trainer should be able to put together a specific action plan to help you achieve your fitness goals. For example, with my NYC marathon running squad, I have a 5 month plan to help get them over the 42KM finish line as we don’t want to start too hard and cause injuries, we want to build up their kms and strength gradually.”
“If your goal is weight-loss related, a trainer will help you get there—but remember that diet, mindset and sleep is also just as crucial to helping you achieve that goal.”

  • Do you and your trainer get along?

“Sure, health benefits are a major factor when it comes to engaging a personal trainer, but if you are spending 45 minutes to an hour with someone, make sure you like them. There is no reason why training shouldn’t be fun,” says Ben.

  • Are they reputable?

“Ask around, has anyone else trained with your trainer before? What did they think? Was he/she qualified? Did you enjoy being there? Did you keep coming back?”

  • Where is your PT located?

“If you’re travelling too far or if the time frame is not really suitable then there’s a good chance that you will end up backing out of sessions,” says Ben. “So your trainers location and available times is something to consider. Make sure that it’s taking place at a time and venue that suits your schedule.”

woman lifting weights
Image: iStock

What are some instances where recruiting a PT can be beneficial?

  • If you have a performance related goal for example, a marathon, a body composition goal, you want to get into the Cross Fit games, whatever it may be—a trainer is a great way to help you get there.
  • If you want a personalised plan or if a trainer helps you stay motivated. A lot of clients like to have a personal trainer because they want someone to hold them accountable. They may also want a program that is tailored to their specific needs and goals, or they want a coach who can help them perfect technique or they just want to be free to train when they want to train and not be confined to a class environment.
  • Injury is another big reason why people hire a PT, so that they can work their way back to where they want to be in a safe and monitored environment.

When is a PT not entirely necessary?

“If you are training for general health or just for fun and you want to be in a more social or group environment, then group classes would be more suitable,” advises Ben. “If you want to train for fun but you don’t want a crowd around you, then a trainer is more suitable.”

What if I have financial constraints but believe I can benefit from a PT?

“I would get someone who can write a 4-6 week program for you and they can do a session with you once or twice to correct your technique and monitor your progress,” suggests Ben. “However, you can also look into small group classes—either at a studio or you can bring your friends into your PT session with you and split the cost.”

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