Should I get a personal trainer?

Just over the last weekend, I was in the midst of a serious discussion with four good friends of mine who wanted to get serious about weight management. One of them is getting married, one of them wants to start conceiving, one is planning to get engaged and another is having chest pains because of the excess weight in general. All of us are exploring various options to actually lose weight. Most dread the option that I’m considering which is bariatric surgery. 

Amongst the various topics of discussion,  one of them shared about how she spent over 2000 SGD to lose weight only to gain it all back in the last two months. Out of curiosity, I asked her what it was for then? It was for her to be pushed by someone cute to workout. 

Isn’t that the most ludicrous idea ever? Why would one ever pay money to a cute trainer, to be embarrassed about not being able to do simple exercise in front of them? 

Apparently, lots of people actually do that and it seems like physical trainers are earning quite a bit especially during Phase 3. With that in mind, I delved online to find out 5 reasons why engaging personal trainer is crucial to a fitness journey, 

1. Structured Fitness Goals

A personal trainer helps you define individual fitness goals and creates a roadmap to get there. They  take into account your current fitness level and discuss what you ultimately want to achieve. A professional will help you focus on smaller goals that are specific and realistic; they’re more attainable, setting you up to achieve the larger, more audacious goal.

This means no more finding online workout routines with awkward strenuous movements like spiderman crawl or doing weight training that is repetitive but doing nothing for your muscles. So, is this a good enough point for me? Yes but the possibility of an amateur personal trainer picking tough HIIT sets and pushing me over my limits which may lead me to vomit in public, does not reassure me.

2. Create a Personalized Workout

Personal trainers plan a specific workout schedule for you based on the goals you want to achieve. It will never be a one-size-fits-all exercise you would find on Youtube. The customised plan is tailored to your goals, needs, and allowances for your current physical condition and medical background. Your trainer can make accommodations to the program if you have an injury.

This translates to no efforts on my end prior to working out. No need to save videos or refer to any of my sports apps to see what’s next for my routine. While that is tempting, if only I could opt for this option and have them personalise the setting for the workout at home. 

3. Trainer Teaches Proper Form

A professional trainer teaches the proper way to perform each exercise movement in your routine by demonstrating the movement. While you actually physically do it, they may correct any issues with your posture or technique.

Learning how to perform exercises properly reduces your risk of injury and increases the movement’s efficiency. So short term engagement with a personal trainer is tempting as I can exercise correctly which in turn increases the possibility that I will do it on my own at home or at the gym.

4. Motivation and Commitment

Motivation is often difficult to sustain whenever you are on the solo fitness journey. Regular sessions with a personal trainer create accountability, which is a real motivator to not let down yourself or them. But there’s also something to be said for feeding that part of our brain that craves praise.

Having an external being/trainer celebrate your consistency, progress, or even proper technique can be a real boost when you feel like throwing in the towel. With someone to be accountable to, that sudden coffee treat or jelly snack can be easily refused instead of consumed. If you lack self-motivation to kick start the routine, a personal trainer could be key to getting fitter.  When you exercise on your own, it is easier to skip a session here and there (like me) and worse is to fall off the wagon completely. Since there’s no one to hold you to your words, you are free to give up, 

When engaging with a trainer, you don’t want to lose the investment or emotional attachment (don’t want to let them down) so you are bound to show up and do the work.

5. Efficiency and Efficacy

If your workouts have previously felt complacent, an experienced trainer ensures you won’t be bored anytime soon. They teach a variety of exercise methods and no two sessions will look the same.

Trainers also make adjustments as your fitness level improves to ensure continued progress; so you won’t plateau or feel stuck in the same old routine. Additionally, they will make the most of your workout time, which increases the efficiency of your exercise program. This is especially beneficial when you have a limited amount of time to exercise. They’ll know how to optimize every minute you have available in the gym to get the biggest burn for your session.

With all this in mind, should I get a personal trainer?

I am in the stage where my motivation has depleted but at the same time, I do not have a fixed schedule to kickstart a new routine. I will probably work out for another 4-6 months and see what my progress is like and if it leads to nowhere, hello Mr Fuad Kim (as if I could ever engage him!).

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