If you’re thinking of getting personal training you’re probably weighing up the cost versus benefits. Some of the benefits of getting a personal trainer include:
- Accountability to keep going.
- Provide a plan and structure: rather than come to the gym to do a one off workout a personal trainer can design a training program tailored to help you achieve your goal.
- Moreover, a personal trainer will help you select the best goal for you to work towards. Often people have multiple goals and want to achieve them all at the same time. A personal trainer will choose the best goal for you to achieve.
- Ability to administer fitness testing – accurately monitoring your progress is incredibly motivating.
- Observe any faulty movement patterns that might creep into your technique.
- Personal trainers can challenge you to take your training to the next level.
Let’s spend a bit of time exploring that last one! Typically your default will be to choose exercises and intensities that are comfortable for you. A personal trainer is there to monitor your performance, on the one hand making you push yourself but also designing the program so that you don’t burn out.
Recent research from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (Dies et al 2017) backs up the need for a personal trainer to make you work harder. In this research they observed twenty-one trained individuals complete a strength session (3 x 10 on leg press, bench press, leg extension and arm curl).
In the first session the individuals completed the training on their own and selected their loads. On another occasion the personal trainer chose the load after assessing each individual. You guessed it – when working with a personal trainer higher loads were selected. With the leg press the loads were %16 higher, bench press %27 higher, leg extension %12 higher and arm curl 22% higher.
With this in mind, perhaps it’s fitting to end on the old saying “If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together”. If you find a good personal trainer they’ll help you go further in your training than you could on your own!
by Dr Laurence Houghton (Sports Science)
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