When to seek help from a personal trainer


Have you ever worked with a personal trainer? If not, you might be wondering when and why it could help, or you might be apprehensive about reaching out.

I still remember my first session with my PT (yes, I have a PT, it helps me to keep motivated), I don’t mind admitting I was pretty nervous. The unknown is unsettling, and I did not want to feel embarrassed about not being strong, there are times in our fitness journeys when working with a professional can really help! And it did help me.

Have your new year’s efforts to get fitter and stronger slipped or not started yet?

Firstly, you are not on your own, it happens to us all, we are often motivated to get started, but life happens, and suddenly it is March, and we have not made any progress. Finding time in a busy week to work out can be tough, but adding in some accountability and making a financial commitment shows that you are serious and outsources the motivation and planning of your workout.

As a mobile personal trainer, I plan clients’ sessions, adapt them, and then I go to them, we train either in person or online.  This flexibility enables my clients to fit their exercise around a busy work or home life.  Having the accountability of meeting someone to do a workout that will challenge you is just one last thing to worry about.

Is it that you do want to start exercising but don’t know where to start?

If you are new to exercising, working with a fitness professional will help you to identify a couple of goals and outcomes of your training. They will be personal to you and might range from increased flexibility, fewer aches and pains around your joints, training for an active holiday or being able to run around with your children and not get out of breath.

They can then work with the limitations that you might have, tailoring your programme accordingly.  Limitations could include being short on time, old injuries, not enjoying certain types of exercise to soreness or restricted movements around joints.

Once you know what your aims and limitations are, a personal trainer will structure your sessions around your goals and plan challenging but achievable exercises. As your fitness and strength then start to improve, they can add in more complicated movement patterns, heavier weights, or higher intensity sessions to keep the challenge going so that you continue to see improvements over time.

The other main benefit is that they will be there to correct any technical issues that present themselves to keep you safe and injury free.

Is your training inconsistent?

It might be that you have a good couple of weeks, and you manage to fit in a couple of exercise sessions, but then you get busy, go on holiday or travel for work.  Then nothing happens for a couple of weeks (or months).  Having a session or two with a trainer will give you consistency in your training to make progress. They will get you back on track as soon as possible, they might even give you some homework to work on while you are away or busy to keep you ticking over.

Making improvements in your fitness and strength is all about consistency, and that’s where being answerable to someone else keeps you on track when a busy life gets in the way.

Do you do the same workout over and over and then get bored?

It is easy to fall into a pattern of doing the same thing repeatedly. It starts fun, doable and challenging, but over a couple of months, your body adapts, cardio fitness improves, and muscle builds.  It is likely you will find that workout easier without really noticing or being inspired to vary it.

How many of us then opt for a harder workout of our own accord? I suggest not many.  A personal trainer should vary your workouts to continue to challenge you, and then you can start to move closer to your goals. They should ask you how intense the movements feel and watch you to see if they think you could work harder and build that into your sessions. Over time they should also check that your goals are still relevant.  Variety and progress keep things interesting, so you keep returning to fitness and achieving your goals.

If any of the points above have resonated with you and you would like to chat about how working with me can help you meet your goals or keep consistent, please reach out – I would be happy to help.

Sara McDonnell

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