Call me whatever you want. Personal Trainer, Sports Performance Coach, Strength and Conditioning Specialist…all just variations on a theme. Regardless, I have achieved a level of authority by devoting myself to the study of human physiology and how it responds to various forms of exercise. It’s what I do. It’s who I am.
Before I got where I am now, I was like most people. Probably a lot like you. You might be an athlete, a fitness-enthusiast, or just “testing the exercise waters” with some exercises at home. You’re also probably downright confused by all the conflicting information you read in various books and magazines and watched on TV.
How many diets do we really need? Can you really flatten you abs in just 8 minutes? How can some little plastic gadget that I can buy for 4 easy payments of $19.99 make me look like the model on TV?
As I look back on my own fitness education, I keep saying to myself…
If I only knew then what I know now!
Haven’t we all said that to ourselves at one time or another?
Wouldn’t our lives be totally different if we could have taken advantage of the advanced wisdom we gain from living our experiences?
There’s a saying that I heard a long time ago when I was a kid…
“Knowledge is what we gain from our experiences, Wisdom is what we gain from someone else’s experiences”
It never struck me how powerful a message that is until I really started to pursue my own personal fitness goals.
Fitness is much like any other form of education. You can take the harder road and try to learn it all yourself, or you can take the easier road seek out a teacher. Someone who’s been there before. Studied the details. Knows what works and what doesn’t.
In this case, we’re talking about a personal fitness trainer.
Now I’m not saying you can’t get to where you want to go without a personal trainer. That would be silly. Everyday, many people successfully achieve their fitness goals.
Unfortunately, in the reality of the world we live in…most fail. Not because they don’t make a valiant effort, but rather their efforts are misdirected by the bad information provided in the popular media.
Recently, I sat down and tried to list all the possible advantages a fitness enthusiast or an athlete can gain from hiring a personal trainer. I had a pretty good list if I don’t say so myself, but as I looked it over (and sprained my shoulder patting myself on the back in celebration), I realized that this was MY list of advantages. I was looking at things from the perspective of a fitness expert. I don’t see things as you do.
So I asked the other experts…my clients.
I asked them what the advantages were to hiring a personal trainer. Here are the top 7 advantages they gave for hiring a personal trainer:
“You give me an objective eye.”
This came from a client who has spent some time educating himself a bit. He had already achieve a better than average level of fitness and set many personal fitness records, but he wanted to get to the next level. He needed the outside perspective. He understands that even the best need a coach. Tiger Woods has a coach. Michael Jordan had a coach. We all need a coach to remind us to live up to our potential.
“You make me workout when I don’t want to.”
Geez, you read that and you’d think I’m some kind of ogre. Can’t you just see me standing over my fitness clients with my whip (hey, no dirty thoughts allowed!)? What she really meant was that by hiring me, she was more compliant to her exercise and eating programs. Keeping regular training appointments kept her on track. After all, consistency is the key to making lifestyle adjustments like regular exercise.
“You make me accountable for doing my best.”
I thought this was kinda neat. This came from a client that I don’t see every week. She’s been at it a long time. She also knows that if she doesn’t keep up with our predetermined program, I’ll know it. She takes exceptional pride in accepting the challenges I set for her and achieving her goals. She also mentioned that if she knew I wasn’t going to be there at our assigned date and time, she’d be on the couch eating potato chips and drinking Pepsi.
“I feel totally safe to push myself as hard as I need to.”
I really liked hearing this response. I’m very protective of my clients and take great pride in teaching proper exercise mechanics. Because of this, my injury rate sits at a comfortable 0%. Nothing is more disappointing than to hear of someone getting injured while trying to improve their aesthetic appeal and their health.
“You motivate me.”
This came from one of my athletes. We get along great because I tend to look at things from an athletic perspective. I know what he’s going through and I know when to “push his buttons” to get the performance he needs. I think he’s going to be great, and I take great pride in being a part of his development.
“I learned faster.”
This lady is a real go-getter. She does her homework when it comes to her personal health issues. She always says that she could have gotten to where she is now, but thanks to me, she got there faster than she ever expected. That’s quite a compliment.
“I got faster results.”
Sometimes I take on clients who have attempted to reach their fitness goals on their own as well as those who have worked with another trainer. This client worked with another trainer. Now I know that fitness enthusiasts who seek out the help of a personal fitness trainer are more successful than those who try to go at it alone. I also know that there’s solid research that agrees (Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000 Jun;32(6): 1175-84.). It’s just nice to hear clients say that.
I find it fascinating that in every aspect of our lives, the impact of one person can make a tremendous difference. That person is typically a leader, a teacher, or a coach. Your personal fitness success is no different.