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Try-It Tuesday: Who Me, Hire a Trainer?

personal-trainerGo ahead, say it. You know you want to, so just get it out of your system.

“Ugh, you’ve got to be kidding! Me, hire a trainer?!? They’re so expensive!”

Feel better?

Good, now we can move on.

I’ll address the cost (and why it’s not as expensive as you may think) in a moment, but first let’s look at some of the reasons why having a personal trainer is so beneficial.

A trainer can:

  • Create customized workouts based on your ability, interests, goals and any injuries or other limitations you may have.
  • Watch you carefully, teaching you correct form and ensuring you get the maximum benefit out of each exercise. (If you’re doing it incorrectly you either won’t get the benefits or you could hurt yourself.)
  • Build accountability and structure into your workouts. You know s/he’s there waiting for you, and you already paid so you might as well go!

How to find a trainer:

  • Ask at your gym or ask for a referral from someone who uses a trainer.
  • At your gym, watch how the trainers interact with people. Talk to them; they’re always walking the floor. Ask them questions about your workout or specific exercises.
  • Eavesdrop on their training sessions with others. Do you like what you hear? Are they encouraging? Do they offer modifications? Are they attentive (under no circumstances accept a trainer who is not!) and engaged?

What about credentials?

  • Some trainers have formal higher education degrees including Bachelor of Science in Exercise & Sports Sciences or even a Master of Science in Kinesiology. Trainers are required to do continuing education to update their skills, but each organization’s requirements vary on this.
  • Keep in mind, they pretty much all look good on paper. You must watch them interact with people to determine if you think they’re a good fit for you.

Okay, what’s it cost?

  • One-on-one training typically costs $40 – $100 / hour, depending on where you live.You: Gasp, wheeze, choke!!!(Must you be so dramatic?)

Ways to get the cost down:

  • Buy training packages (for example, you may be able to buy 10 sessions for $400 instead of buying each session for $45).
  • Some trainers offer small group training (3-4 people), so your cost could be as little as $20 per session.
  • Training doesn’t have to be on-going; buy a specific number of sessions (say 6) to learn proper form and discover new exercises. You’ll get loads of ideas that you wouldn’t have thought of on your own!
  • Use the “Your Strength Training Workout” that my trainer put together! Most of the moves require no equipment, just your body weight. (Disclaimer: I may have a certain bias because my trainer’s truly wonderful and she’s convinced me that strength training is magic.)

One final note: if you hear a voice in your head saying (in a very sour tone), “Sure, I could lose weight if I could afford a trainer! That would make it so much easier!” I’m going to have to stop you right there.

A trainer is no panacea; they can help you, they can show you proper form and introduce you to new exercises, they can encourage you and maybe give you accountability, but they cannot do the work for you. That’s still all you. You must be the one to show up, give it your best effort. Sweat, learn, grow.

In my experience, personal trainers are wonderful people who are interested in helping you reach your goals and will find fun, creative ways for you to get fit. Is it expensive? Ummmm, yeah. But so are doctor’s appointments and premature death.

Sorry. Now who’s being dramatic?

There’s a cost to everything. Only you can decide if having a personal trainer is something you can afford and will help you in your weight loss efforts. But there are ways you can do it without breaking the bank!

C’mon, we got this!

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