Today we are going to answer a question we’ve both asked ourselves, and have had people ask us in the past… why should I hire a trainer or coach? That’s a great question, because there are a million different training methods and trainers out there… ultimately, the decision will come down to what fits into your budget. BUT that doesn’t mean you can’t afford a quality trainer, you just need to know what to look for. We’ll explain why hiring a coach is a game changer, you’ll get better results… you’ll get a personalized approach… there’s more to it than just fitness… and some tips/what to avoid in a coach.
YOU’LL SEE BETTER RESULTS (AS LONG AS YOU PUT IN THE EFFORT)
You’ve been working out and eating better for months, but the scale isn’t moving and your pants aren’t fitting any better… we’ve all been there, and it’s hella frustrating.
- Hiring a coach will help you reach your goals by assessing whether or not the goals you’ve set are realistic and achievable… if they aren’t, your trainer will help you tweak your goals to make them more manageable chunks to build up to that big end goal.
- Variety is key… and definitely necessary because when we make our own workouts we often avoid the stuff we don’t like to do… which is usually the stuff we need to do the most.
- For example, with myself, I really hate push ups and pull ups, but I NEED to do them and work on them and build that strength, so that I can attain my OTHER goals, which are mostly centered around lifting more weight
- You’ll know how to do movements properly. GI Joe is right when he says knowledge is power (please don’t sue us!). A good trainer will adjust your training program to make exercises more effective. They’ll do that by pointing out mistakes in your movements, then suggest more efficient and better ways to perform specific movements. Don’t take it as an attack… that’s literally why you are paying them. You need to be receptive to some level of criticism… how much? We will talk about that more in a little bit.
- They’ll help you stay motivated and avoid burnout. If you’re working with a trainer, you’re WAY less likely to be fucking around while you’re at the gym because you have money invested, and because someone is around to keep you on task. They’ll help you stay motivated during plateaus, because they WILL happen, and they will help you avoid burnout by switching up your workouts periodically to keep you from getting bored.
- A trainer will help you avoid excuses and scheduling difficulties. A good coach will help you create a program that fits into your schedule, including very detailed instructions on what to do on days when you want to train by yourself or your coach can’t be there.
- You’ll avoid injury by working with a trainer. As we mentioned earlier, you will learn how to do movements properly, that alone is THE biggest component of avoiding injury. You’ll also have someone around to spot you if you can’t get that barbell back onto the rack, or prevent the bar from crushing your chest, someone to hold your feet while you’re learning handstands so you don’t fall on your face… you know, that kinda stuff… it’s invaluable.
YOU WILL RECEIVE AN INDIVIDUAL APPROACH FOR YOUR NEEDS
- When you are hiring a coach or a trainer, you should be getting someone that’s an authority in their field, and with that, you should receive a completely custom-tailored training plan to fit your body type, your goals, and your abilities.
- Your trainer or coach will likely help you clean up your diet, that will help a ton if you have a hard time with putting the right foods into your mouth… it’s okay, it happens to all of us. They’ll also help you fuel your body in the best way possible for the work they’re going to make you do.
- That alone was the most valuable part for me. I had no idea how much I would need to eat, what types of foods and everything else that comes with training for something. It was invaluable, worth the money, and tools that I still use to this day
- They will evaluate your movements to see what needs work first… this goes back to setting you up for your success as well. There will ALWAYS be introductory stuff you’ll have to do, because you need to have a solid base when you’re ready to really dig into whatever training style you picked.
- Whether they are in person, or a virtual coach, I always recommend that you film yourself for two reasons: 1: you can keep track of your progress, a where it started, where it’s going type of thing, and also you can look back on what NOT to do if you’re doing the movement inproperly
- They can (and should) program around injuries. As long as it doesn’t hurt your entire body to move… you should try to move your body in some fashion, even when you’re injured. A trainer can help you with some rehab exercises, and can also help you train around that bum foot or angry shoulder.
- On the same token, they provide programming to AVOID those injuries, and can offer mobility training for areas that may be tight, like your hips or shoulders
- You always have a built-in support system. Your coach is as invested in your success as you are, they’re your teammate, so you always have someone to vent to when stuff sucks or someone to ask when you have a question.
- They’re setting you up to eventually be able to train on your own. There will always be exceptions, but for most people, they don’t want to work with a trainer forever… and that’s okay. It’s your trainer’s goal to arm you with the best information possible, so that when you do go out on your own, you’re ready to kill it.
IT’S MORE THAN JUST FITNESS
Yeah, yeah, that sounds cheesy I know… but it’s true. There are so many other benefits to hiring a trainer or coach than just fitness stuff.
- Your trainer will turn into your defacto therapist… you can put them in line with your hair stylist and your tattoo artist… you’ll get to know your trainer really well if you hang out with them a lot, and after long enough, I bet you’ll be friends.
- Coaches help build confidence, both inside the gym and out. The gym can be a scary place if you don’t go there much, so having a trainer will help make that terrain a little more manageable and a whole lot less scary. Your trainer is also your biggest cheerleader when it comes to self-confidence, cheer you on when you’re crushing your PRs, and overall be a confidant on your journey. the confidence you gain in the gym translates outside the gym tenfold after a while, you just gotta stick with it long enough for it to happen, and having a coach in the beginning I think definitely helps you stick it out when it gets tough. It’s an accountabilibuddy.
- It’s about aging gracefully. Life’s rough sometimes, so why make things harder on ourselves than we need to? Our bodies change as we get older, so maybe the exercises you used to do aren’t the same anymore… a trainer will help you adjust your program as you age to help maintain functionality and strength in your training.
TIPS/THINGS TO AVOID
First, a couple of tips:
- Set your expections up front. Go into your first session knowing what you want to get out of the program (for the most part), or if you really don’t know, at least write down a few small goals to give your coach an idea of what you’re looking for. Be honest!
- Do an intro session if possible… most gyms will offer a free first session, take advantage of that. You want to make sure the person you train with has a personality that meshes with yours, otherwise it’s going to be miserable for both of you.
Some things to avoid, if any of these things happen, leave:
- Anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself.
- If they don’t listen or care when you have pain/discomfort.
- They don’t check in with you often enough, both mentally and physically. Both parts are equally important.
- They can’t or won’t explain why the workout benefits you.
- They spend more time on their phone or talking with other trainers.
Hiring a trainer or coach doesn’t have to be a scary endeavor, and now that you have all the proper tools to pick the right one, it won’t be! Remember, anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself isn’t worth your time. Your trainer should be your biggest ally, not a bully. If they say or do anything to make you feel nothing but awesome about yourself, don’t go back.
In order to get the most out of utilizing a trainer, you have to be honest and be willing to put the work in. Coaches provide individualized training for your goals and to maximize your journey on your way to attaining them. Don’t forget how important your nutrition is on this journey, when hiring a coach, they provide insight on the nutrition part of this whole deal also. And don’t forget, having a coach helps keep you accountable.