Are Personal Trainers Really Worth the Expense?

All of us can use help when it comes to physical fitness and living a healthy lifestyle. This holds true for those that may just be beginning to train as well as those that have been doing it for years.  While many people could probably benefit from hiring a personal trainer, there are those that will not even consider it because they don’t think they can afford one or they really don’t know if hiring a trainer will help them. After all, people can exercise on their own without having to pay someone to stand over them, can’t they? One of the biggest questions that people may ask is, are personal trainers really worth the expense at all?

Personally, I had those same exact thoughts for a long time when it came to hiring a personal trainer. I wasn’t sure what one could really do for me and I didn’t think I could afford to hire one. After making feeble attempts to start an exercise program on my own and completely failing, more than once, I knew I needed to do something and I finally sat down one evening and looked over my options for getting in shape and living a healthier, more productive lifestyle. I just was not sure if I wanted to spend my hard earned money to pay someone to tell me how to exercise. I also didn’t want to be judged. That’s right, as a human being I did not want someone stacked with muscles to stand over me telling me how to exercise while possibly thinking about what an overweight, out of shape and muscle lacking woman I was. Even the mere thought of walking into the gym was almost horrifying to me in every way imaginable.

Young woman weight training. Camera angle view./ Photo Credit Richard foster
Young woman weight training. Camera angle view./ Photo Credit Richard foster

I imagined the “fit” gym members laughing at me, whether in my face or behind my back. I thought about the hundreds of “shame” videos I’ve seen on YouTube and Facebook where some super good looking man or woman has secretly videoed the fat lady at the gym using the equipment the wrong way. Instead of helping them, of course, they laugh and post the video to shame the gym newbie and get a good laugh with a few hundred of their closest social media followers. I did not want to be THAT fat lady using the weight machine the wrong way or walking on the treadmill at 2 mph for all of 5 minutes (and that would have been pushing it to the extreme at that time!) when the woman built like a brick, you know what, was running between 6 and 10 mph on the treadmill next to me. Nope, I did not want to feel inadequate. I did not want to feel fat.

I needed to start training but I had no idea of where to begin. I had started working out on my own several times in the past year or two but I never seemed to be able to stick with it. I would do great for a week or two and then, back to my old habits of a sedentary life and no exercise at all. It finally hit me that I needed to go to the gym but I needed to find one that I was not going to feel inadequate at if I worked out. I needed a non-judgmental atmosphere to get in shape but I also needed someone to be in my face telling me what to do! I knew I could not do it alone no matter how much I thought I could.

I started checking local gyms out and quickly found that many of the gyms just did not seem like great places to lose weight and really get in shape at all. Can you imagine losing weight at a place that offers free junk food at the end of the week? To me, that sounded a little crazy. I found women only gyms that had a couple treadmills and maybe some ultra-light weights and a line of stationary bikes but this was not what I wanted. I also found gyms for everyone that wanted far too much for a monthly fee and signed contracts, cancelled checks and your soul signed in blood on a dotted line. Okay, maybe not the soul, but they definitely had ridiculous contracts and wanted far too much to join their gym when they had small spaces and limited equipment.  I wanted weights! I wanted to work out in a place where I could replace flab with muscle and after a long search, I finally walked into a real gym in my local area.

Evolution Sports Gym/Facebook
Evolution Sports Gym/Facebook

I found a place called Evolution Sports Gym and quickly found out that this gym was the real deal. They have the weights and plenty of them. They have the weight machines, an indoor football field and plenty of cardio machines as well. They host wrestling events and I mean, championship wrestling! I ended up signing myself up for a year and at the same time, signed my son up as well. Once I signed up, I talked to them about training and they referred me to a local trainer that was always at the gym.

There are quite a few reasons to work with a personal trainer. For many people, myself included, it is a good idea so you can have a program that has been designed just for you. Just as with clothing, one size does not really fit all and one workout is not going to be suitable for all people. This is true whether you are just embarking on your fitness journey or you have been training for years. A personal trainer may be exactly what you need to prevent yourself from stagnating, failing or doing it wrong and really being able to amp it up and take it to the next fitness level entirely.

Photo Credit/ Vu Bui
Photo Credit/ Vu Bui

Here are some of the best reasons for hiring a personal trainer:

  • You have no idea where to begin

When you first embark on a fitness journey it can be very overwhelming to figure out how to get all of the training you need from cardio and weight training. A trainer can really help with this because they can ensure that you use your time wisely and don’t try to do more than you are capable of doing. They can help you set realistic goals and work out a great training schedule while making adjustments and increasing things as needed.

 

  • Personalization

A personal trainer should be able to make sure your workout is tailored to you and what you need. They will take your goals into account but will also be able to schedule things based on your ability. If you have a goal to run a marathon in a year but at the moment you can barely walk from the parking lot into the gym, a trainer will be able to schedule the right training to get you where you need to physically be within a safe amount of time.

 

  • Motivation

Motivation is something that a great deal of people, myself included, really lack when working out on our own. A personal trainer is an investment and when you make an investment, you expect to get something in return. A trainer will be there at every scheduled time but will also want to check into what you are doing outside of your sessions. If you only work with a trainer one day each week, they will expect you to be working out on the other days alone and they will be a great source of motivation to go through with the training. Keep in mind that if you want to really get in shape, one day of training and 6 days of sitting are going to do nothing at all for you aside from cause weight gain and health problems. When you know that you have a trainer that expects you to be present during the time you have paid for and also expects you to do your part when you are working out on your own, it definitely makes it tough to miss your workouts whether you are at the gym or at home on your own.

 

A trainer can also help you if you are already athletic but need to train for a sporting event that you may have never participated in before. For instance, if you are training for a marathon, football or a lifting event, the right trainer can help you determine the precise routine you need to work on to be able to accomplish your upcoming event. They can also help reduce the risk of injury during a workout by showing you how to do particular exercises the right way. For instance, if you have a knee problem, they can modify your workouts so you can put less weight on the knee while building strength that will eventually help you do your workouts even harder without hurting the knee at all.

 

If you have a pretty tight budget, it may seem like a big expense to hire a personal trainer but if you really need to get in shape or you need to get the most out of your training time, hiring a trainer is really a great investment for your life. When I hired my personal trainer, Doug from 4:13 Barbell Club, I had no idea what to expect. It’s been several months now and I not only find that I have far more energy now and am sitting less while at home, but I actually love going to the gym every day! We started with 3 days each week and eventually moved up to 5 days weekly. I even hired him a week ago to train my teen son as well and after just a couple sessions, my son is really enjoying training now!

4:13 Barbell Club/Facebook
4:13 Barbell Club/Facebook

The overall expense of a personal trainer is far outweighed by the improvement of your physical fitness as well as your health. In just a few months, I have been able to go from having extremely high cholesterol to having great cholesterol levels and it is all because I am training and eating right. My trainer goes over what I eat and he structures my training sessions based on my individual goals and health and fitness needs. When you spend money on a personal trainer, you are not merely spending money. You are investing in your life. There is no better investment strategy than one that helps improve your health and gives you the strength you need to stay fit for the rest of your life.

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