Okay. You’ve vowed to stick to your New Year’s resolution to get back in shape. For many, that means going back to the gym after months or even years and for others, setting foot in the gym for the first time–ever. Whichever category you fall into, you need a personal trainer.
Read Related: 7 Ways for Moms to Set & Keep Realistic Fitness Goals
I’m not a personal trainer, and I’m not married or related to or friends with any personal trainers. So I have no ulterior motives for pushing the benefits of working out with a personal trainer. I just have my own experience, and the most fit and healthy periods of my life have been when I’ve worked out with a personal trainer. This has proven to me that for real fitness and weight loss goals, you need a skilled professional at your side.
Here are seven reasons why you need a personal trainer.
Learn to do it right. Free weights and weight machines. Medicine balls, balance balls, kettle balls. Straps and steps and bands. Do you really know how to use all that equipment correctly, so that you’ll get the most out of your workout? Your personal trainer will show you correct form with the equipment you use—so important for getting the maximum benefit from your effort and for preventing injury.
The routine you need. Do you need lose a lot of pounds? Then sticking just to weight lifting isn’t going to get you there. Do you need to bulk up and build muscle? Then maybe an hour long run on the treadmill is not the ticket. A personal trainer will listen to your fitness goals and create a workout program designed to meet them.
Prevent injuries. Challenging exercises, when done properly, will make your little-used muscles ache. Challenging exercises done improperly can put you in the hospital. Your personal trainer will teach you proper form so that you get the most out of the exercise but don’t hurt yourself in the process.
Stay motivated. Knowing that you have someone helping you meet your fitness goals—even if you’re paying the person to help you—is a big motivator. A good personal trainer encourages you, pushes you to work harder, and keeps you focused on the long game, the one you only win through persistence and dedication.
Accountability. It’s hard to blow off an appointment with a personal trainer. Working with a trainer brings accountability, and not just for the hour your work out together. Your personal trainer is going to be asking you questions about your diet, lifestyle and whether you’re sticking to your workouts when he’s not around. Go ahead, you try lying to him.
Learn new moves. Even if you’ve been a gym devotee in the past, that doesn’t mean you know everything you need to know about working out. Case in point: The last time I had a gym membership, no one was planking and doing crossfit. Times changes, and new exercises and equipment are developed, and your personal trainer is there to teach them to you.
Buddy system. It’s always better to have company when you work out. Your personal trainer will help you get through your workout by talking about things other than fitness, helping you count reps and giving you a pat on the back when you’re worked hard. The time passes faster with a trainer, and the buddy system makes it more fun.