A word from our clients:
Talking with one of my clients this week, an article I made sure to save came up.
As a trainer, obviously I think what I do is incredibly valuable and it seems important to me to understand what parts of it might seem like a waste; the better to negate that concern in how I operate my services. Aka: continue to go above and beyond for my clients, making them the best versions of themselves and performing my best to deliver! The title alone seemed enough to peak interest and inspired my client to offer a response. Who better then those who pay? It may be helpful to read the article in the link above for reference.
A point-for-point personal response, or Why Hiring A Personal Trainer Was Not A Waste Of Money For Me:
1. We were immediately on the same page during that initial consult, certain that the BMI is mostly useless for determining physical fitness. Yes, my body fat was measured in several places with a wand and ultrasound gel, and I got a full multi-page printout of the results, broken down into detail. We discussed how relevant (or not) those details were to the goals that had driven me to set foot in a gym to find a trainer in the first place. I wouldn’t know what gaining three percent extra body fat even looks like, let alone concern myself about it. Fat loss was not my goal. It still isn’t. I’m bigger and heavier than I was when I walked in. I am also much, much stronger.
2. I’ve been tired after gym sessions, sure, and have experienced next-day soreness that made a challenge out of just getting out of bed. I was guided toward building strength where not much existed before, putting muscles to use that I barely knew I had until they made themselves known in a big way. That stiffness happens a lot less as we’ve progressed, and I’m coming to see the wisdom in regular use of the foam rollers. She’s never pushed me to complete failure, and we’ll modify an exercise to focus on form if I waver. She’s been a great cheerleader and morale booster, even on days when I’ve been completely burnt out. Weak points are simply charted as things to watch for and build up, not as anything to feel badly about. Ever.
3. Dietary habits were covered in our very first interview, and it’s an ongoing discussion. For the most part, I’ve got that covered and tend to eat pretty well. I’m not a lean, mean, training machine, but I like kale and chickpeas just as much as red wine and chocolate, and have had the audacity to ask my trainer where I might find an ice cream cake in proximity to the gym without fear of reprimand. It’s about balance, and I got a few tips on how to maintain that balance when I was working away from home where meals were provided without much input from us staff. Communication has been clear, and I am comfortable asking her questions about nutrition, caloric intake, and portion sizes if any arise. To counter that, I know either of us can be bribed into early morning sessions with a dairy-free mocha.
4. We had set goals that were relevant in three months and checked in. We reviewed at six, and at twelve months we completely redid the initial physical assessment routine. My progression with regards to strength, balance, and endurance were amazingly obvious. Even outside of the gym, I moved easier and was able to help with bigger tasks at home, take on more at work. Friends started calling me to help move heavy furniture. I could pick up my nephew and play with him for longer periods of time. Even if some of these things weren’t formally tracked, I noticed. It added up to an increase in confidence, too, secure in the knowledge that I am capable of far more than I was a year ago.
5. I had a backup plan. I supplemented my training with yoga and lengthy walks with friends. I spent nine months of that first year doing hard physical labour on long shifts away from home, and training on almost all of my days off. If we had deemed an unsupervised workout list necessary, one would have been made available right away. She noticed the changes in my shape and movement (courtesy of work) and modified our workouts as needed. Again, we communicate pretty well.
6. Yes, personal training sessions are expensive. So is custom tailoring anything. So is time off of work due to injury. It’s relative. What are you getting out of it? What are your goals? How experienced are you with fitness equipment? Do you know how to correct your form? When I first walked in, I had a goal and a deadline and no idea where to even start. In short, I humbled myself and knew I needed professional adult supervision. My needs may change over time, and I may decide to scale back the personal sessions and swap in some group training. For now, I’m seeing results and things are good. Everybody’s different, as is every body.
7. I did my homework. I asked for personal recommendations. I went for consultations and conducted interviews. I watched how the other trainers interacted with their clients in the spaces I visited. Initially, accountability wasn’t a concern. I still don’t give a hoot about weight loss. I want form and strength and endurance and balance, and to see where that takes me as I begin a new career that will demand all of the above. I’m just starting out, a year and a half in, and found a really good personal trainer who has brought more of these things to the surface in an environment where that sense of encouragement is the norm. So far, the benefits have absolutely been worth it.
– D. MacDonald