You’ve joined a gym, bought sneakers that make you look really fast, and added a whole collection of cute workout clothing to your wardrobe. So why aren’t you in better shape?
Despite your best intentions to get back on the fat-burning bandwagon, the reality is that you simply might need a little more assistance toward meeting your goals. Think of it like filing your taxes. If you’re terrible at math, if calculators confuse you, or if you simply want to be sure the IRS isn’t going to audit you down the road, you call in an accountant. There’s no shame in asking an expert to lend a helping hand. And the same can be said for a personal trainer.
Personal trainers sometimes get a bum rap due to how expensive they can be. While money is a factor for their services, remember that you can’t put a price on good health. If he or she can lead you toward looking and feeling better, it might be time to call in a professional. If you’re unsure, see where you land with the following.
Looking Lost: You’ve been told over and over again that strength training is a great way to tone up, slim down, and achieve the results you want. However, every time you walk into the weight room, you feel like a fish out of water and make a beeline back to the cardio machine corner.
A trainer can help: Show you the ropes. Barbells, squat racks, plates, and press machines may be a foreign language to you, but it’s familiar territory for a trainer. You’ll learn what the equipment is, what it can do for your body, and the proper technique when using it.
Missing Motivation: Can’t seem to get out of bed for another spin class? Decide to head home for the couch after work instead of going to the gym? Call it quits on the treadmill sooner than you had planned? If these sound familiar, a lack of motivation might be the problem.
A trainer can help: Get you in the door and keep you moving. Sometimes just knowing that there is a person at the gym waiting for you to show up can help you to at least get your foot in the door. Once you’re there, motivation or not, the trainer can get you moving and ensure that your workout session is not time wasted.
Bored No More: When it comes to working out, you do what you know. But if you’re going to make exercise a regular thing, you’re going to need some variety or else you’ll get burned out doing the same old, same old.
A trainer can help: Mix things up. A trainer’s job is to make fitness fun for their clients, while also teaching new skills. He or she does so by using the many exercise tools that are available. Lift weights one day, do yoga the next, throw some boxing punches later in the week–things you might not be comfortable doing on your own are now part of your fitness plan.
Plateaued: In the beginning you were dropping dress sizes with ease, but when it comes to those final 15 pounds, you seem to be making no progress at all.
A trainer can help: Get you over the hump. When you first start working together, the trainer will help you identify your goals and put workout plans in place to best achieve those goals. What you’ve been doing may have been working great, but a stubborn plateau may mean it’s time to amp up the intensity, try a new type of exercise, or even take a break if you’ve been going too hard for too long.
Food Failures: What you eat can have more of an impact on how you look and feel than any exercise you do. Good nutrition is a crucial factor in fat-burning, but it can also be confusing.
A trainer can help: Advise you on what to eat and when. He or she can review the foods you’re currently eating, and offer tips to cut back on carbs while increasing lean proteins and healthy fats. A trainer can also introduce you to foods and recipes that you never thought you’d enjoy.
If any of these sound familiar to you, reach out to a personal trainer for a consultation. You’re going to be getting sweaty in spandex in front of this person, so shop around and be sure to find someone who is not only qualified but also makes you feel comfortable to be around. If you’re worried about cost, see what kind of plans the trainer offers. And don’t forget that you may not need the assistance forever. You’ll be learning a lot along the way, and over time, you’ll feel more comfortable doing it on your own.
What is your opinion of personal trainers? Tell us in the comments.