If you were completely honest with yourself, I'm sure you would most likely acknowledge that you're not there yet in terms of your health and fitness goals; you want to look fitter, feel stronger, be healthier and overall, boost your health and fitness levels — after all, a better fitness level is something we should all aim for.
However, the truth is we're mostly either too lazy to do something about improving or totally going about it the wrong way. Then there's the big question most people ask: “where exactly do I start?”
People are becoming increasingly obsessed – in a good way, mostly – with looking good and living a healthy lifestyle. Cosmetic surgery, weight loss pills, day spas, dietary supplements, personal trainers, keto diets - the list goes on.
The major reason for our limitations is that we postpone/reschedule/delay what we know must be done for as long as we can, especially if it involves making big lifestyle changes like weight loss. For instance, walking as a physical exercise is simple, stress-free and straightforward – yeah, all you have to do is just walk – but we still choose to hop into our cosy cars just to grab something from the local Tesco store a few streets away.
Most people who struggle with their fitness goals experience a huge boost by obtaining the services of a personal training professional. Personal trainers work closely with you towards easily achieving your set goals. You can usually find them in almost every gym around or you could just go ahead and call a cardiologist (basically a heart doctor) who would refer you to one.
Now, let's talk about why hiring a personal trainer would be great for your fitness goals.
Personal Training (1Hr/£30)
Why You Should Hire a Personal Trainer?
Accountability: when it comes to laying aside “earthly pleasures" and going cold turkey, a certain amount of resistance is expected — not from the outside but your own self. Your body identifies a change in its physiological/psychological environment and then does what? It kicks against this perceived change, labelling it “unfavourable" and totally rejecting it.
More often than not, you end up right back where you started; you feel like a quitter. Repeat this several times and you could start doubting yourself. Don't let it get to that: a fitness trainer will create a personalised health and exercise plan and then closely monitor your progress. This is exactly what you should aim for; someone to hold you accountable. By having someone to keep you in check, the chances of reaching your fitness milestones will increase exponentially.
Reduced risk of injury: two common causes of injury are not knowing the right exercises to perform and how to perform them. Having a skilled personal trainer to help out will improve your exercise execution and agility so that your risk of getting injured is greatly reduced. It will also help you get maximum results from every activity you perform.
Relatively lower rates: compared to purchasing a gym membership, personal trainers are pretty low-cost. On average, a personal trainer will charge around £30 per session, and some would even go ahead and offer you discounts on their training packages. If you purchase a training package offering 5 percent off four one-hour sessions per week at £114, that's £494 monthly. You most likely spend more than that on luxury items every month. Just check some stuff off the list and you'll have more to spend on improving your health.
Motivation and moral support: along the years, it may get harder to stay focused on boosting your fitness levels. Having a support system in the person of a personal trainer will ensure that you're on the right track and give you the motivation you need to keep going. Certified personal trainers will usually do all the thinking for you and create the right structure so you need only follow their directives. Initially, you may need to attend a personal training session or two to “sync" with your trainer. However, once you have mastered the exercises and how to perform them, you could reduce the frequency of your personal training sessions to three or four times a month.
If you're a fan of group personal training, then your fitness experience may very well be a fun challenge. You're part of a group of people aiming for the same results as you are: you could work with one another and support yourselves to make things easier, or you could choose to go solo and make someone your rival — the idea of losing to a rival could prove to be motivating.
Workout efficiently and effectively: you might be spending countless hours at the gym and you're still not getting results you wanted. This could be due to the fact that you're either doing the wrong thing or you're doing the right thing wrong (make sense?) Hiring a personal trainer will save you a whole lot of the time and energy you'd spend doing inefficient workouts. They'll show you step-by-step how to maximize your efforts and get results much faster.
Easily burn excess fat: as we grow older, burning excess fat and building lean muscle can become a bit difficult. This could be due to several unrelated reasons (for instance, weight gain through diet, increased calorie intake, transition from active to sedentary lifestyle, and deviation from normal hormone ranges could all contribute to this).
A personal trainer can help you with an effective fat loss plan to build and maintain lean muscle mass, increase your rate of calorie usage and even refer you to the right healthcare professionals to address any perceived medical issues (e.g. hormonal imbalances, anxiety and depression) standing in the way of your success.
Non-exercise referral opportunities: a trainer who knows what they're doing will most likely have a network of healthcare professionals in other fields (think dieticians, psychologists, chiropractors, massage therapists, etc.) If you have non-workout health needs even remotely related to your fitness lifestyle, you could ask your personal trainer to refer you to the right specialists.
Now that the personal training niche has become more popular, you definitely wouldn't be worrying about getting one; what you'll probably be worried about, though, is finding the right one. Getting the right personal trainer who is better suited to your needs may seem a bit stressful so, we'll be talking briefly about pointers to look out for when interviewing prospects and finally hiring one.
Personal Training (1Hr/£30)
Why You Should Hire a Personal Trainer?
Be honest with yourself.
I see a lot of people make this mistake when looking to hire a personal trainer. Getting fitter isn't something you go to the supermarket to buy; it takes time and effort — lots of it. And yes, I know you're probably squeezing a few hours out of your super-busy schedule already but you can't go expecting instant changes. Same goes for your potential trainer: look for one who isn't interested in turning your life around overnight. The best personal trainer is one who sees the little progress you make and works on turning them into major lifestyles changes.
You'll gradually become fitter and stronger which you wouldn't even notice, and when you do? It'll blow your mind.
Outline your fitness goals.
Equally important as the previous point is having a clear plan of exactly what you're trying to accomplish. Do you just want to become fitter generally or you have specific targets for your training? Maybe you want to add more arm strength for your overhead swing in tennis, or you want to improve your agility and endurance when running cross-country — list them all out. You can even revisit them or come up with new ones when you start speaking with candidates.
Bottom line: don't start clueless or you could end up with a trainer who will do little to help you reach peak performance.
Qualifications speak volumes.
I could wake up tomorrow and start thinking just because I work out like a beast, I'm qualified to be a personal trainer (nah… doesn't work that way). I'd have to get the required certification(s) from approved institutions.
Basically, you want to be looking for someone who has several alphabet groups in front of their names (if they got those alphabets through degrees in health sciences from accredited institutions, that's a plus).
Also, it’s important to ask for their area of expertise and find out what works best for you. Simply ask the trainer to explain what types of exercises other clients typically perform in their programmes and you'll know if their training regime is aligned with your goals.
Consider what you have in your pocket.
Hiring a personal trainer will cost you money (nothing's free in Freetown, after all). Prices sometimes vary based on a number of factors. Are you in different locations? Do they have a proven track record? Is the trainer standing alone or pegged to a gym? You could even end up paying more, especially if the trainer is extremely qualified or has hordes of followers on social media (which, by the way, isn't a yardstick for hiring a trainer).
Before you go rushing in, set a fixed budget and try to negotiate once you find a trainer who meets your requirements. Don't be afraid to ask for a discount; they mostly always offer something to sweeten the deal.
Check if you're comfortable with them.
Finally, make sure their personality is compatible with yours. To have an optimum working relationship with your trainer, you should both be a good psychological match. Trainers have different ways of motivation and/or getting the job done. Ideally, you should hire a trainer who is encouraging without coming off as rigid, and at the same time criticises you constructively and pushes you to achieve your fitness goals.
Of all the reasons to hire a personal trainer, the most important reason will always be living a healthier and happier life. Keep in mind, though, that there's only so little a personal trainer can do for you; your willpower and willingness to make these changes must be present.