If you’ve followed my blog or Instagram for a while you’ll know that I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the gym. In that I love signing up to a gym membership but then actually hate going. I’m not alone here though, as us Brits waste a staggering £558m a year on unused gym memberships, with more than one in 10 people saying they hadn’t stepped foot inside their gym for a WHOLE year. Don’t get me wrong, I always join with the best intentions but then ‘life’ gets in the way, or distance. I also have a very short attention span and I need something exciting, which I guess is why Zumba classes was the only form of exercise I liked for so long.
I signed up with a personal trainer via Instagram a few years ago. His profile was the typical motivational quotes and transformation photos of his clients and he looked the part. I signed up and he sent me over a training plan and a nutrition one. I must add that when he did the training plan he didn’t really ask me about my goals, injuries or history of any injuries. The nutrition plan consisted of ‘bro foods’ aka chicken, rice, sweet potato and broccoli…but every damn day! Safe to say I lasted about 3 weeks before I gave up and face planted into a pizza.
I was annoyed at myself for not doing enough research on this guy and started following more qualified PT’s and speaking to my PT friends about what to look for in a good PT.
Skip forward a few years and my second experience of using a PT has been much more positive. I joined The Gym Group a few months ago and on a trial visit got talking to one of the PT’s who came across really well and very approachable (something you need in a PT). I spent some time looking at the other profiles in the gym and booked in with the PT I had already met (my first impressions never let me down). During my first consultation/session we talked about my goals, which for me were to build strength and confidence after my pelvic related pregnancy issues stopped me from being to able to exercise properly. We also discussed nutrition and he set my macros whilst giving me the flexibility to plan my own meals through a method called flexible dieting. We then had a circuits session so he could see my level (of lack of) fitness and promptly put together a strength and conditioning workout plan for me to follow. What impressed me was how fun the session was. The investment has been worth it so far. I know many people will be contemplating whether or not they should invest in a PT. If you are on the fence, these tips may help with your decision.
- Accountability– This is the main benefit in my opinion. Knowing that you have to send over measurements, photos, fitness tracker logs or food diarys can encourage you to stay accountable. This is helpful, especially in the early days.
- Pushes you harder- I know that I work better with my PT and I can’t stop and give up when I have someone there motivating me to use the 8kg or 10kg kettlebell, when I want to use the lighter option. Naturally you stick to your comfort zone, so having someone there to take you out of your comfort zone can get you better results.
- Confidence- A PT will look at your form and show you how to get the best out of your workout and how to prevent injuries. I have messaged my PT when I haven’t been confident in a particular workout, which he would then incorporate into our next session. This is better than attempting it myself and causing a potential injury.
- Improve your weak areas- I have weak core muscles, thank you again pregnancy, and to be honest this was something which I didn’t think to mention to my PT, but something which he picked up during one of our sessions and which we are now working on.
- Improves your mental health– So much is said about endorphins and how exercise can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. For me it can also lift my mood, I have come out of every session with my PT feeling happy, confident and proud of myself for lifting heavier than before or for managing a workout which I had been anxious about.
The above has also meant that when I can’t get to the gym I am confident enough to do a good workout at home using the traning methods which I have been shown. Having a strength goal means that I’m not obsessing about the scales but rather on how I feel and changing my mindset to make this a lifestyle change rather than a quick-fix weight loss aim.
Do you use a PT?