We constantly benefit from the expertise of others. A mechanic can discover what’s wrong with your car and fix it. A pastry chef can create a cake for you that no box or recipe can possibly offer. A barber can take care of your hair better than you can if you simply hacked at it with scissors. So why not seek the expertise of a certified personal trainer?
The buff guy benching 400 pounds at the gym or the girl who just completed her fifth marathon with a new personal record may seem like the people to ask for fitness advice, but the issue here is that—unless they happen to have an education that proves otherwise—they don’t know how to train you. Yes, there are some knowledgeable hard-bodies at your health club or work or school, but their trial and error over the years helped them figure out how to train themselves, and chances are that despite their chiseled muscles and powerful bodies, they are still making plenty of mistakes. A personal trainer will not simply design a challenging workout for you—though that is part of the deal—but this expert will be able to guide you through the twisting maze of fitness while also understanding how to take into consideration any limitations you have. Are you coming off knee surgery? Do you have back issues? Are you taking blood pressure medication? Have you ever picked up a weight before? Joe Buff and Jane Marathon likely won’t know how to answer questions with your best interest in mind, but a certified personal trainer will.
Being successful about fitness goes beyond simply doing “3 sets of 10”. Progression, intensity, volume, frequency, time, and mode are just a few of the areas that need to be considered when designing a fitness program. Should you train for hypertrophy, endurance, strength, or power? How do you improve your aerobic base or anaerobic threshold? How often should you perform a specific type of training? Why should one exercise be chosen over another? What order should you perform your exercises in? This overwhelming body of information is the likely culprit behind why many people avoid the gym they belong to, shirk free weights, and order workout DVDs that collect dust on a shelf.
You don’t need a personal trainer for a lifetime, just as you don’t need to see your dentist everyday or eat at a restaurant all week long, but hiring a trainer to get you started, change your path, or break through that slump is definitely a smart call. Certified personal trainers at your gym can easily answer your questions, but only by hiring one of them can you finally make sense of all the information. Start today, and see what a difference an expert can make!