How many times have you told yourself you are going to make it it to the gym at least three times a week only to find that your best-laid plans have been torpedoed? You know you need to work on your fitness goals but somehow the time and/or motivation just isn’t there?
In addition to my regular job as a marketing executive, I am an executive coach. I’ve noticed of late that all of my clients share a common struggle – taking care of themselves in the midst of managing a demanding career and busy home life. Their struggles resonate deeply for me because it was (and continues to be) my struggle. How is it that most of us can squeeze in another meeting request but we can’t make time to tend our own well-being? I believe that working professionals (and especially busy working moms) really benefit from working with a personal trainer on a regular basis. Think about it. You wouldn’t tackle a major project at work without putting a team in place. Why should it be any different for one of your most important projects – you?
What about group fitness you ask? I love exercise classes like Zumba and Spin but the challenge is that those classes happen on someone else’s schedule – not mine. I’ll have all the intention of going but work or home life gets in the way. So how do you know if you need a trainer?
1. You need extra support to set and stick to your fitness goals. Ideally you have in your spouse or a best friend the perfect work-out companion. Years ago when I lived in New York, I had a small group of friends whom I regularly met up with at 5:30am a few times a week to run in Prospect Park near my Brooklyn home. Some mornings I didn’t feel like going but knowing my friends would be there waiting kept me feeling accountable. A trainer will do the same thing for you. He or she will encourage you, light a fire under your rear when you need it and hold you accountable to the goals you’ve set.
2. You don’t like to work out or you haven’t had a fitness routine in years. If it’s been ages since you’ve seen the inside of a gym or you simply hate working out, a personal trainer can really help. Your idea of fun may not be grinding it out on the weights but a good trainer will have a whole tool kit of exercises that may range from boot camp-type calesthenics to plyometrics.
3.You keep losing and gaining the same 5 pounds over and over. I’ve been a victim of this one more than I care to admit. One week you eat well and get all of your scheduled workouts in and the next week you go off the rails. A trainer who is knowledgeable about nutrition and exercise can provide great guidance on how to best eat. Equally important, she will switch up your routine frequently to make sure your body doesn’t adapt to your workout.
4.You’ve been doing the same workout routine for months and have stopped seeing results. Let’s face it. We’d all love to do as little as possible to stay fit. The reality is that our bodies need to be challenged. If you’ve been logging your same 30 minutes on the treadmill or elliptical trainer or doing the same weight circuit with diminishing returns – it’s time to switch it up. A good personal trainer will monitor your progress and alter your workout periodically.
5. You want to challenge yourself to accomplish a major fitness goal. Maybe you’ve set a goal to run a marathon, compete in a triathalon or sign up for your first body building competition. An experienced personal trainer will tailor a program to optimize your fitness and prepare you physically to meet your goal.
I know what you’re thinking – that you can’t afford a personal trainer even if you wanted to hire one. A personal trainer can run anywhere from $65.00 to $100.00 an hour depending on where you live in the country. To keep it affordable, you can do what I do and meet with your trainer once a week. I workout with Quincy on Fridays and he gives me a five day workout plan that I do for the rest of the week. Some trainers offer special discounts for buying multiple workout sessions. You could also go in on a trainer with a friend and workout together. Finally, you can find a qualified trainer who is just starting out and looking to build a client base. Newer trainers often will lower their rates to develop their new client roster.
Still at the end of the day, it’s going to be up to you make the commitment. Even the best trainer can’t turn you into a California beach goddess if you aren’t willing to do the work. Think about it. For all that you do for others, aren’t you worth the investment?
What do you think? Is a personal trainer worth the investment or a waste of money? Have you ever hired a trainer? How was your experience and what advice would you share?