A Look at Personal Training

Shelley’s comment yesterday that hiring a personal trainer would top her fitness wish list got me thinking about my past experience with personal trainers and I thought I would discuss it on the blog.

First off, I am a huge fan of GOOD personal trainers. Recently I have been excited about the idea of getting certified myself. Some day…

I have had both excellent and horrible experiences with trainers and I have learned from my encounters. The worst example was when I signed up for my current gym 4 years ago and with my membership came a handful of personal training sessions. The gym did not bother to ask me any questions about my workout preferences, experience or history. They just matched me up with whoever was available. My trainer did not seem to care much about me and would not pay any attention to how I was feeling. I dreaded going to each session, and after one particularly awful session where I thought I was going to die because I was dehydrated and exhausted and my trainer could have cared less, I actually started going to a different gym just to avoid seeing him. Trainers are supposed to encourage and motivate clients to come to the gym, not drive them away.

On the other hand, I have had wonderful experiences with trainers on every other occasion. I had a trainer in high school while I was playing water polo who I still remember and still use exercises from. You know someone is good at what you do if you are still following their direction 12 years later! Almost two years ago was the last time I worked out with a trainer, and he was probably my all-time favorite. His name was Ryan and I would drive 45 minutes each way after work to see him. I was always so excited to train with him and I completely saw my body composition change. Motivation and results are the two biggest things I expect from a trainer.

Enough about me! Here are some pros and cons (in my opinion) about personal trainers – you make up your own mind!

– Set schedule turns workouts into appointments
– Expert advice prevents injury and ensures
– Keeps things fresh by mixing up your routine
– You will most likely work harder with someone looking over your shoulder the whole time

– Is pricey. Think of it as an investment
– You never know how well you will connect with your trainer

– Look into packages where you can train with a friend or significant other to save money
– Ask for recommendations. Knowing how your friends mesh with their trainers will be a good gauge of how you will connect.
– Once you find a trainer you love, keep them!
– Ask your trainer about his/her certifications
– Work with a trainer for a few sessions and write everything down. Then you can do the exercises on your own.

What has your experience with personal trainers been?


One thought on “A Look at Personal Training

  1. Shelley says:

    I constantly battle with whether I should hire a trainer or not, which is why I said it’s on the top of my WISH list (not “to do” list). My main deterrent is the cost. However, after reading your pros and cons I am thinking about it again. I’ll keep you posted if I decide to take the plunge into hiring a trainer. Thanks!

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