A recent enquiry asked a fairly simple question: ‘What does hiring a personal trainer offer that a gym membership doesn’t?’ It’s a question that my business is based upon, but one that I haven’t answered in any of my blogs…..until now.
For anyone reading this blog who works hard alone in the gym and believes that they push themselves to the max, I’ve got news for you: You don’t. Without question the single largest benefit to hiring a personal trainer is that we can motivate and push you into achieving gains that simply aren’t possible alone. An excellent personal trainer will be able to develop a programme which will help you to achieve your goals in the fastest realistic time possible. I say realistic as it is likely that you can reach your goals slightly quicker than any personal trainer will let you. Why? I hear you ask! ‘Probably to make as much money out of me as possible’ declare the oh so cynical ones. The truth is that a well structured programme will have certain dips in intensity. This is for the purpose of long-term health and lowering the risk of overtraining – a problem that is likely to result in illness and/or injury.
A personal trainer offers motivation in the gym, but also offers motivation to arrive through the doors in the first place. Booking a session anywhere is a commitment. Sure you can cancel – and some do – but the vast majority of people naturally attend appointments. However gym memberships are ongoing payments which can be utilised at any stage. The freedom often is taken advantage of by not attending at all. It makes very little sense but is understandable. Lots of my clients come in to see me after a tough day at work. They may be tired, angry, frustrated, but certainly not motivated for exercise. It’s their commitment to an appointment which has made them arrive…..and my wonderful personality of course! However depending on how they are feeling and their goals, I put together a session to ensure that their frustrations and anger are released and they go off home with a wonderful endorphin release.
For some of my clients, I do offer a small counselling service. They often vent their frustrations and then apologise for moaning. Personally I am more than happy for clients to use me as a sounding board if they feel happier because of it. It is important to not let chatting get in the way of the session – which many personal trainers are guilty of – but offering a service which ensures your clients are happy and stress free is a valid service in itself.
The gym is a place where vanity is almost encouraged. Lots of mirrors, lots of checking one another out – lots of physical envy and let’s be honest a little bit of perving. However it is only those who are really in the know that can use the mirrors as a way to assess their technique and correct movement patterns. A personal trainer, however, should offer detailed technical advice to ensure that your technique is tip top, effective and should promote an injury-free workout. What’s more, an effective personal trainer should reiterate these points until they become second nature. An investment which is invaluable were you to then choose to ever go it alone. Motivation is difficult alone, but remembering the technical advice should be well within your capability.
I have a mix of clients. Some what ownership over their programmes, yearning to know why movements and exercises are included – how do they benefit, what are the mechanics, which muscles are working etc. Others simply want to switch their brains off and complete a set of exercises as prescribed by the trainer and enjoy the rest periods permitted and then reconvene when instructed. Ask them what they have done over the last hour and they would struggle to tell you. This may not allow them to take ownership in the long-term but what it does allow is for an effective session to take place that wouldn’t have without your input. Whichever of the two approaches, there is one constant – a personal trainer is needed. Not required, but needed!
Now here is another key difference between the life of a gym goer and a personal trainer client. In many gym, particularly in London, everyone remains anonymous. No eye contact and god forbid any communication of value. Taking the mood of the tube into the gym – that’s the London way right? Well personal training is just that – personal, or possibly personable is a better description. Your trainer will be someone who you are interested in and who is genuinely interested in you. You will make each other laugh, share in your successes and enjoy one another’s company – essentially you will be gaining a friend.
So there are just a few of the benefits of hiring a personal trainer over that of simply attending a gym. But by way of a quick review:
If I have tempted you, surely I have?! Then why not contact us at Dynamic Fitness Training for personal trainer sessions in your home, parks or studios in Hampstead and Muswell Hill. Don’t wait, start getting fit today!
About the autor
This blog article has been written by Darren O’Toole, founder and lead personal trainer of Dynamic Fitness Training. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin.