More about the value of Personal Training:
In case you haven’t read this article yet:
Why Hiring a Personal Trainer was a Waste of Money for Me
The writer here is great about identifying that her needs might be different than any one else’s. I would never take that away. Part of being a personal trainer is sympathizing and validating how clients are feeling. In fact, her words are remarkable and eye opening to me; there can be so many misconceptions in the industry and I feel an impulse to shed some light on these matters.
In point-for-point response:
1. Measurements should be taken with a grain of salt. The scale, fat, and inches all measure completely different things and they are far from the be all/end all of your fitness and personal progress. The only way to measure body fat is using a machine. There are a variety of machines that can do this and their cost and accuracy often vary. As does the capabilities of the person operating the equipment and reading the results.
Not everything is created equal.
A increase in 1-3% body fat is minuscule and could be anything from dehydration skewing the readings to the time of the month or more unseen technical difficulties.
However a jump of 5-10%, believe it or not, is actually very important and should be taken seriously. First of all: redo the test to make sure it wasn’t a mistake.
Second of all: if that is how your body is responding to your efforts to change your lifestyle and be healthier, this is a warning sign and should be further investigated.
Are you eating enough? Has exercising stimulated your appetite to indulge more than you normally would? How is your health/hormone balance/stress?
It might be discouraging but if you have the right professional, I am confident they will do as much as they can to make sure you are taken care of, supported, and successful.
2. My spouse once said to me that clients should leave their sessions feeling successful. I try to keep this in mind during every session. I want to empower my clients. As Danielle (from the previous post) always says, “dead clients don’t pay.” Ain’t that the truth!
That isn’t to say I have never over estimated a workout. Our job involves being able to to read your body, but we can’t read your mind. If you are feeling over exerted PLEASE do address this issue with your trainer. Again, the right trainer will validate your feelings and make adjustments. Being over trained is a serious concern that impacts your body and health. We don’t think you’re a piece of crap and out of shape, we just made a small error and it’s not our favourite but we are human.
3. Okay, so it’s true that you can’t out work a poor diet. Exercise isn’t limited to weight loss! In fact you can continue to see strength and endurance performance improve (mostly) regardless of what you put in your mouth. Every little bit counts and if your diet isn’t well managed, exercise certainly helps.
Having a well balanced diet will give you the best benefits from your training and in your overall health. Bear in mind that I said balanced! Personal trainers are educated for exercise, not nutrition, so unless we are coaching along the food guide and it is pertaining to your goal specifically- we’ll actually need to refer that out.
4. Performance goals are amazing. We have a whole board of them! I find performance goals to be a lot more encouraging to work with and very easy to measure. Today you did 10 push ups, last time you could do 5. Does it matter how much you weigh? I have never had a client leave me less strong than when they started and it’s the very direction I have taken my training. Talk about empowerment when you can literally see yourself get stronger!
5. This one is touchy and will bleed into the next a bit. Stay with me.
Yes, I can whip up a workout in a snap. The problem is, how will you know what a pallof press is if we’ve never done one? What about a ground pound? What about a superman push? I mean, there are lots of exercises in the world so your best bet (and what I do with my clients) is take the workout we did today, write it down in a way you’ll remember, and practice what we worked on.
Repetition can do a lot to make your workouts go the extra mile and see very real improvements.
If you want a program to do on your own, that is a separate cost and it’s no problem to accommodate at all.
6. Personal training costs money. Yet people easily spend more on their car. If your car breaks tomorrow: you can buy a new one. People are bending over backwards to sell it to you.
If your body starts shutting down, I don’t need to really explain to you how much of a waste your car will be when you can’t go to work anymore.
Here’s what you pay for: an hour of my undivided attention, expertise, and encouragement. Other things we do include making the workout for that hour and periodizing your goals over time, support and motivation to do things on your own, recommendations, scheduling, texting, research, driving (because rarely are clients back to back). I would say for every hour I spend training, I easily match that hour PER CLIENT interacting and preparing for the session. I only get paid when I see you. I HAVE to value my time so that you can value the investment. If I could train for free, I would, but then I wouldn’t have any clients.
7. Not all things are created equal and each person’s experience is unique to them. Finding a trainer that is a worthwhile investment isn’t about having “a trainer”, it’s about having the right one for you. When you explore your options, make sure you do your homework and ask the hard questions to find out what will make the most sense for your goal, state of change, and budget. Cheaper isn’t usually better but often it is good enough and that’s okay too. Find what works best for you and feel good about what you’re doing!