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What is a Personal Trainer?

man standing next to a woman with suspension trainers

A personal trainer is more than just a meat-head trainer at the gym. A personal trainer is a fitness/exercise professional whose job is to coach you through exercise programs that are usually specific to a sport or fitness goal. The word “Personal Trainer” is a broad term but generally does refer to basic exercise training in general and is specified otherwise. No matter who you are and/or what you do, everybody can benefit from some form of exercise training whether it is with or without a professional. 

What Are the Benefits of Working With a Personal Trainer?

  1. Program Design. Most of us go to the gym with honestly no idea what we’re really doing. Initially when you signed up for your membership, it looked and felt so inspiring and motivating when thinking about using some of the equipment, but when you finally made the time to go to the gym, motivation diminishes along with lack of interest. The urgency to get it over with and be done sets in and nothing happens  the way you wanted it to. It’s ok because guess what, most of the people in there don’t know what their doing either, or are going through similar issues with motivation.  
  2. Accountability. You’re trainer is not going to put up with the excuses that you yourself, put up with. First and foremost, this is never about the trainer, but it’s always about you overcoming the obstacles that are holding you back from reaching your fitness, health, and or nutrition goals in life. 
  3. Consistency. Part of reaching any goal is consistency. Your training frequency and consistency is what will help make exercise a regular part of your life. Every time you do a workout or show up to an appointment is another step towards building that consistency you need. Your trainer is going to be there or show up, it’s your job to just take it one day at a time and to be there, willing to work.
  4. Motivation. Your trainer should inspire or encourage you in some way, or in their training, otherwise training with that person is not going to be effective. Something about their training, the people they’ve helped and trained, or even their own journey should motivate you to want to get out of your comfort zone and push harder to get results. 
  5. Education. During your time working with a trainer you should learn from your trainer to get a better understanding of the exercises your doing and their benefits. You should learn the importance of proper exercise form and about injury prevention. Time and money can be saved with the purchase of a few pieces of functional fitness equipment (ie. BOSU Ball, Resistance Bands/loops, Jump Ropes and the like)  than paying for a gym membership.
  6. Individualized. When training with a trainer, your program should be individualized or at least for you and for where your fitness level is. Your training program should be yours and specific for your goal in training otherwise you can take a generalized group fitness class and let your focus shift to calorie expenditure and cardiovascular health where a “Personal Trainer” isn’t necessary. 
  7. Tracking. To help you track your progress and results your trainer should be using one of several ways to track either your weight, measurements, BMI, Body Fat %, and/or your waist to hip ratio. Many trainers nowadays offer programs or can suggest programs to help you track your food. Your trainer should also track your stregnth and endurance progress to show your improvements overtime as well. 
  8. Nutritional Counseling. 80% of fat and weight loss is diet and then the other 20% is exercise. Finding the perfect balance is not easy but definitely achievable with dedication to your diet and nutrition. Finding functional ways to maintain a balanced diet without skipping meals throughout the day is a big part of a trainers job especially when your goal is weight loss or training to lose a significant amount of body fat. 

Ultimately, working with a personal trainer might be little intimidating for some people and you want your experience to be one of the best investments that you could of made in yourself. Because yes we all want to look good, but we should really want to feel good and be healthier. One of our biggest challenges is to stop telling ourselves all the negative things about exercise because really there is nothing wrong but everything good and right with moving your body more and making it stronger. Diet is usually always everyone’s biggest hurdle to overcome.

Love Yourself,

Camlin Jackson, Functional Fitness & Health Coach for Functional BodySHOP Fitness and Health Studio in Puyallup, Washington.

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