Written by Boris Belmar, Personal Trainer at AUT Millennium Gym.
If I am sick, need to fix my car, cut my hair, or repair a problem with the house, I look for a professional. We are each responsible for the most complex machine in the world, our body. That’s right, the brain, nervous system and musculoskeletal system all need to work perfectly and in harmony to make us feel productive and happy. So, why not find a professional to achieve that?
Modern personal training is all about providing an absolute, one hundred percent focus on individual client needs. A professional personal trainer is highly qualified and delivers an all-rounded, personally-tailored health and lifestyle package. As well as assessing different elements of your fitness (such as strength and flexibility), a skilled trainer will devise and deliver a programme built specifically around you and your goals while also factoring in nutrition, injury prevention and rehabilitation where necessary.
A personal trainer will continually adapt your programme to incorporate variety, ensure it remains fresh and that the focus is completely on you. A personal trainer is also effectively your ultimate training partner, matching your commitment to your workout.
Typical personal training services include:
- Nutritional Programmes: Nutrition plans tailored for your lifestyle, whether it be for general everyday living or specifically for performance and competitions.
- Health and Fitness Assessments: Every personal trainer will seek to evaluate your baseline fitness using a variety of criteria which can include health screening such as blood pressure, resting heart rate, lung function, grip strength, cardiovascular and muscular strength testing. Assessments may involve some other analysis, for example, looking at issues such as diet, hydration, alcohol consumption, musculoskeletal function, posture, and flexibility.
- Gym and Studio Training: Guidance on how apply correct technique with resistance equipment for both safety and maximum gains. Also, flexibility, cardio, swimming and core training.
- Home and Workplace Training: Sessions in your own home or workplace if convenience or privacy is a key factor, with all equipment brought to your front door.
- Event Training: Preparation, coaching and training programmes designed and paced for competitive events such as a marathon or triathlon.
- Exercise Injury Therapy: Assessment and treatment of soft tissue injuries (muscles, tendons and connective tissues) using sports massage techniques, developmental stretching and ultrasound.
- Lifestyle Advice: Support and advice on lifestyle issues such as stress, smoking and work-life balance. Some personal trainers are also additionally qualified as life coaches.
What to look for in a personal trainer
As with any industry, there are good and bad personal trainers, so if you’re thinking of working with one, check that they are fully qualified and insured. Your trainer should also be knowledgeable and personally experienced over a wide range of disciplines, from different types of cardiovascular exercise to creating nutrition programmes.
Last but by no means least, they should be excellent communicators, personable, attentive, professional, focused and capable of delivering the goals that you want to achieve. This may seem like a long checklist, but you want to ensure you benefit from an optimal professional service.
Is the price of training right?
Session fees vary widely. Price is largely dependent on the area of the country where you live, and the experience and qualifications of the trainer. Many trainers will offer discounts for block bookings or memberships, so it is always worthwhile asking.
If you are considering working with a personal trainer, price should not be your sole criteria for selection. Do consider other important factors such as knowledge, experience and range of services, otherwise, your economy sessions may effectively be less beneficial than a slightly more expensive alternative.
Pros and cons of personal training
- Inherit expert advice and support across a wide variety of health and fitness disciplines.
- Receive personal advice tailored to your goals.
- A positive change to your mindset can prove beneficial to other areas of your life.
- Provides motivation and strengthens confidence.
- Constant workout variety.
- Experience fun, enjoyable workouts through the introduction of new and unheard-of exercises.
- Take out the stress and time from having to plan your workout where instead, all you have to do is complete it!
- Highly suitable for beginners.
- Enjoy fast, safe progression.
- Can be expensive.
- Not all personal trainers are good — even those with the correct qualifications.
- Personalised training plans can be purchased online for a cheaper cost of a personal trainer.
- Some people don’t work well, or prefer not to work under the supervision of another person.
Is personal training for you?
Only you can decide if you feel that a personal trainer can help you towards your health and fitness goals. However, in making your decision, consider what you want to achieve, how you propose to get there and whether you have the level of expertise necessary to achieve your aims. While the cost is an influential indicator of your decision, remember that a personal trainer is an investment in your health and fitness. Whatever your conclusion, nutritional, conditioning and flexibility advice, wrapped up in a professional, motivational and tailored one-to-one service, makes a formidable package.