A lot of people I meet are surprised to hear that I have a trainer. They say, “Aren’t you a trainer? Why can’t you just train yourself?” To which I reply, “If Tiger Woods still needs a golf coach, then I sure as hell still need a trainer.”
I love saying that. It’s my favorite answer to a frequently asked question.
Once up on a time, personal trainers were considered luxuries of the rich and famous. But now, ordinary folks like you and me can have someone come to our homes or meet us at the gym to make us work and sweat and groan for a fee. I’m not talking about celebrity trainers like the ones on Biggest Loser who constantly scream and verbally abuse their clients. That kind of behavior might make for good TV, but in the real world, I doubt many people would be willing to pay for that kind of treatment. What I’m referring to are fitness professionals who want to be your partner/coach/teacher while also showing you some respect.
Why should you hire a trainer, you ask? To which I reply, “Why not?”
There are many reasons why we should all have someone to train us. Here are a few to consider:
It’s not hard to imagine Tiger Woods’ coach telling him to hit another 100 balls when Tiger thinks he’s done for the day. After all, we are only human, and pushing beyond our limits doesn’t come naturally to most of us. Our minds start telling us that it’s time to quit long before our bodies are truly ready to give up. It’s the trainer’s job to tell your mind to shut up and tell your body to do 10 more reps. Without that kick in the butt, we won’t see the results we want. And usually when we train alone, most of us will work out on Easy Street.
I’ll bet that Tiger Woods has some days when he’d just rather not be golfing at all. Maybe for a change, he’d like to catch a movie or go bowling. On those days, his coach has the critical role of saying, “No. That’s not what we’re doing today.”
A big part of the trainer’s job is making sure their client actually works out when they’re supposed to. Tiger Woods might tell his coach that he’s going to practice, but instead, he decides to sleep in or go out on the town with friends. Tiger may promise himself that he’s going to get back to it “tomorrow”. But unless his coach is there waiting for him, there is nothing stopping him from putting it off for yet another day. And another. And before you know it, 3 weeks have gone by, and Tiger’s golf shoes are collecting dust.
The amount of fitness advice and tips available on line is abundant – and not always entirely reliable. Everyone with a cell phone (which is pretty much everyone) can shoot a video of themselves doing some crazy ass move and post it online. This does not mean it is a good idea for you. A good personal trainer puts the “personal” into your workout and designs a customized program that makes sense for your body and aligns with your goals. It would be pretty silly for Tiger Woods to spend all his time in the gym pumping iron and skip all mobility exercises. You simply can’t play golf if you aren’t flexible. Unless you possess the technical skills necessary to know what your body needs and can design a challenging program using random bits found on line, I can almost guarantee that you are going to hurt yourself. Your trainer should know how to make you work hard without having you end up in traction the next day.
“Almost there!” “Just 3 more reps!” “It’s all you!” “You got this!” “Great job!” “Nice work!”
When you are digging deep for your last bit of strength to push through an exercise, these phrases are music to your ears. Without this kind of encouragement, few of us have the intestinal fortitude to push beyond our perceived limits. Your trainer is there to provide the voice that is louder than the one in your head – the one that says you can’t possibly do another rep. The trainer’s voice brings you across the chasm and then celebrates your success by pushing you even harder the next time.
If you need someone to help you break out of your comfort zone, hire a trainer. If you currently have a trainer that isn’t giving you all of the above, then hire a new trainer.
Some people think the cost of personal training is prohibitive, to which I reply, “You’re wrong!” If you add up what you spend at Starbucks in a week, I am sure you will find that a session or two per week is quite affordable. And if you don’t feel that you’re worth the investment – to which I again say, “You’re wrong!” – let me remind you that it’s holiday season. Think your family doesn’t love you enough to give you such a thoughtful gift? “You’re wrong!”