Nobody likes being told what to do. If you look around the office, in lessons at school or notice people picking each-others form apart in the gym, it goes to show that orders, critique and advice are things that may often be disregarded due to delivery. Orders can often be opposed by reluctance, critique can come both constructively or destructively, advice can be untimely and often, unwanted. These three components have the potential to misinform just as much as motivate, which is why a lot of people misunderstand the role of the personal trainer in the midst of all the egotistical narcissism and one-size-fits-all approach to clients. There are not many people out there that can take criticism comfortably, especially when initially confident in their own ability and experience, in things that may or may not have worked for them in the past. Nobody wants to be told that they don’t know something or what they are doing is completely wrong, but it is their response to such occasions, that will determine whether they will progress or remain somewhat stagnant. Do I need a Personal Trainer? Well, ask yourself these questions…
What are my current goals?
Do these goals require assistance?
Are these goals time-sensitive?
Do I have a clue what I am doing or the direction I need to be going?
Am I doing this exercise correctly?
Am I benefitting proportionately to the amount of effort I am putting in?
It could be a matter of attaining the knowledge from someone else, applying it to your current approach to training and nutrition in order to experiment what works best for YOU. This knowledge can absolutely be attained from the many online outlets and information available on social media, but it can often be difficult to successfully recreate or apply said training advice on your own without the critical eye of someone else. Critical in the sense of aiming to perfect and make the most out of each relevant practice or exercise and not to a fault. Training partners and friends in the gym with a particularly good knowledge or awareness of ‘what’s what’ can be useful in providing assistance with form and work ethic, but not everyone may have this facility. 9/10 there will almost undoubtedly be one person in your group of friends that wants to know or may think that they know the BEST things for you to eat or how to train, but be aware of the possible misinformation. Said advice and application from friends may likely reinforce potentially damaging habits and traits that may have much more of a detrimental effect to your body than it would to theirs.
Ultimately, and this stems from the last question above ‘Am I benefitting proportionately to the amount of effort I am putting in?’ this ratio of benefit:effort if you like, is one that may often be skewed by the sweat scale, in that ‘If I am sweating, it must be doing something right?’ In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t always the most accurate and credible indicator. Could the high effort exerted in one area for something like cardio possibly be channeled into something else to satisfy a particular goal, reaping many more benefits than just fat loss or as I said, obsessing with the calories burned on a treadmill or the buckets of sweat on the floor.
This is most definitely a game of trial and error, thus improvement, failing to recognise the error makes the trial part almost redundant. It has taken me over seven years of trail and error to make considerable progress, see results and recognise what was particularly beneficial and worthy of doing on a regular basis. This wouldn’t have been possible without identifying problem areas, resulting from applying the very theory of sweat as currency, only to be able to buy a few months of results in a year of hard graft.
As much as I should probably try and convince everyone that they NEED a personal trainer in order to progress and see results, be aware that this is not always the case. More often than not, people do have a good base of knowledge, the passion and the work ethic for self improvement but are lacking the confidence to put it all into practice effectively. Do not feel obliged to have to shell out the cost of a gym membership every week just to be put through a good workout, all of the above should come to serve as much more of a priority. The desire to build up your 1RM on compound movements, consistently reinforce solid technique on lower body exercises for independent training or having a limited time to get beach ready are all short term opportunities that do not require long term financial obligation. Ask yourself all of the above, make a conscious effort to absorb as much knowledge and information from other outlets as possible, but if the answer to the title is going to be YES, do not hesitate to contact the relevant man/woman for the job.