The number one reason why most people have a personal trainer?
And that includes me…
Exercising for many people amounts to being an uncomfortable, boring, uninteresting experience.
Hence the key is to find a way to make exercise enjoyable/satisfying to the extent that getting fitter becomes more easily attainable and that exercise adherence becomes a life habit.
Research shows that training with someone a little fitter or stronger than yourself will help you reach your fitness targets.
So, who are you going to train with?
One very effective way to increase the gains from your workout efforts is to exercise with a personal trainer, or find a training partner who is fitter than you to help push you up the fitness scale.
Research has shown that if you train with someone (a PT, partner or friend) you are more likely to adopt the exercise habits of that fitter person.
A team from the Santa Clara University in California divided 91 college students into 3 groups:
- biking alone
- biking with a high fit partner
- biking with a low fit partner.
The results, although limited, reveal that students who trained with a high fit partner, exercised harder than those in the low fit categories.
The study team found not only physical differences emerged between the high fit and low fit groups but also emotional differences. Mood and energy levels improved and generally participants in the high fit group tried harder than the other groups.
Our perceptions of fitness also influence our exercise.
Many people, whether new or experienced to regular exercise, generally acknowledge that having a personal trainer or training buddy who looks fit has a huge bearing on how well they exercise themselves(execution of movement, intensity and duration).
So it seems appearance of fitness helps people adhere to exercise and adopt a healthier lifestyle. Now while this is not a ground-breaking point, it reinforces the view that whether we like it or not, image counts for a lot when it comes to helping people get fit and healthy.
Personal trainers are true fitness adherents – a group of professionals who love to exercise most days and are passionate beyond belief about helping others get fit. Over the past 20 years, the growth of personal training worldwide has become a booming business.
Personal trainers can provide huge inroads to breaking down the emotional/psychological barriers that someone may have to exercise.
So if you feel a little intimidated by the gym environment, having a Personal Trainer can help break down those barriers helping you to become more comfortable with your surroundings, your ability to exercise, and ultimately how you perceive your fitness.
A PT can help you improve your perceived competence. Research shows that when a person improves their perception they exercise more regularly because they begin to enjoy the act of exercising and the benefits it gives them.
There are many studies revealing the importance personal trainers have on a client’s exercise adherence. Invariably results show that personal training clients demonstrate a higher rating of perceived exertion score than those without a trainer.
Several other studies reveal similar findings suggesting beyond a doubt that personal trainers provide valuable motivation, structure, accountability, and encourage a healthier lifestyle.
Here are six ways a Personal Trainer can help you
When anyone undertakes a life altering path like one to physical change it can be difficult at first. The hardest part in the beginning is staying accountable. Knowing that you have someone who is going to keep you honest with yourself is very important. Personal trainers are like the personal accountability police. They know when you aren’t pushing yourself and they also have the ability to tell you when you are cheating yourself.
If you need someone to keep you accountable to your nutrition make sure you hire a personal trainer who has experience with the body shape goals that you have in mind. For example if you are looking at fat loss, a personal trainer who specializes in fat loss is likely to have the best advice.
Accountability with workouts comes in two packages. The first is the frequency in which you are working out. The second is the way that you work out. Having someone who questions you as to why you didn’t take any exercise on a certain day is a great motivator to get off of the couch and head to the gym. Someone who tells you that you aren’t pushing yourself is also a great accountability measure. It is very easy at the gym to set the treadmill, or bicycle to the lowest setting and coast through your “workout” any personal trainer worth their salt won’t let you do this.
Many people reach a plateau stage in their routine. This is when you go into auto pilot when you get into the gym and you seem to go through the motions. The auto pilotprocess ultimately results in a plateau because it is impossible to give it your all when you aren’t mentally present for your workouts. Personal trainers prevent this from happening by keeping you engaged and by switching up your workouts.One of the popular ways to keep your muscles growing is by confusing them. Muscle confusion is achieved by not going through the motions of the same boring workout each time you step into the fitness zone. Personal trainers know this. This is one of the primary reasons that a personal trainer will vary your workouts and help break you out of your plateau.
- Ideal training for goals
Many people think that because they are not training for a specific event that they do not need a trainer. While it is true that a personal trainer is ideal for those who may be training to run a marathon or compete in a triathlon, personal trainers can help you achieve a variety of goals.If your goal is to trim the fat personal trainers can help you with this. They have the knowledge and training to make you do things that you never thought possible. A personal trainer should be able to get your muscles to burn fat much faster than you can on your own. Even if your only goal is to stay healthy a personal trainer is a valuable asset that you should keep in your fitness arsenal. After all an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
- Boredom with current workouts
The final way a personal trainer is going to help you is if you are experiencing boredom with your current workouts. If you dread going to the gym or working out a personal trainer is what you need. Personal trainers have the knowledge of a ton of different training methods. Introducing a new lifting regimen, circuit training or maybe even some TABATA training is the perfect way to avoid the boredom at the gym.If you are motivated enough to work out on your own, but suffer from the ever present workout boredom then scheduling with a trainer once a week may be the perfect prescription for you to be able to continue to produce results without the extreme boredom that can come from working out with the same workouts over and over and over again.No matter what your goals are a good personal trainer is going to be able to help you achieve them faster. Hiring a personal trainer will be the smartest decision you make with regard to your fitness routine.
So the next time you decide to exercise and you need some extra ‘bang’ to your workout to keep going, find yourself a training buddy to workout with. Even better, get yourself a personal trainer to put some real ‘zing’ into your session.
The facts don’t lie – exercising with someone will give you the edge you may be looking for in your fitness.
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- Journal of Social Sciences 6 (1): 50-54, 2010 “Effects of Perceived Fitness Level of Exercise Partner on Intensity of Exertion” Plant T, Madden M, Mann S, Lee G, Hardesty A, Gable N, Terry A, Kaplow G. Department of Psychology, Santa Clara University Santa Clara California.
- “The Importance of Perceived Competence in Fitness/Exercising Programming” Abney, T. B. 2010: The Sports Digest – ISSN: 1558-6448 – U.S. Sports Academy.
- “Relationship between perceptions of physical activity and health-related fitness” Shepherd RJ, Bouchard C. 1995 9; 35 (3): 149-158. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness.
- Ratamass NA, Faigenbaum AD, Hoffman JR, Kang J. 2008: “Self-selected resistance training intensity in healthy women: The influence of a personal trainer” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 22(1): 103-111.
Rachel Law is a personal fitness trainer based in New Malden, Surrey. Qualifications: ActivIQ Level 3 Personal Training; Burrell Education Pregnancy Exercise Prescription; Burrell Education Advanced Pregnancy Wellness Practitioner; Burrell Education Advanced Post Natal Exercise Prescription; Burrell Education 3rd Age Women Optimal Health and Nutrition; Burrell Education Peri Natal Athlete; Burrell Education Pelvic Flow and Freedom; Olympic Weight Lifting; Premier Global Kettlebells; FIE Level Assessment and Mentoring