Personal trainers can be a very valuable help for people striving to achieve health goals -- like losing weight, gaining muscle or becoming healthier overall -- while not experiencing success on their own.
You might expect me to say this since I'm a personal trainer, but it really is true. Even professional athletes often use personal trainers to help them improve their game.
The personal trainer's main job is to use his or her knowledge about health and fitness to push you toward achieving your goals. While not every person needs a personal trainer, I believe that almost any person can still be helped by one. So, if you're considering hiring a personal trainer, for the most part, I say to do your research and go for it.
On this note, I would like to share with you three things your trainer wants you to know beforehand. Understanding these things is going to increase the likelihood of success with your trainer.
1. You may not be ready for a personal trainer yet: A few years ago at the annual Middle Georgia Wellness and Fitness Festival, I had the opportunity to talk with former Mr. Universe Yohnnie Shambourger. Yohnnie happened to be the trainer of the festival's special gust, fantastic over-75-year-old female bodybuilder Ernestine Shepherd.
Yohnnie told me that when Shepherd first approached him about training her, to make sure that she was absolutely ready to do all of the necessary hard work, he gave her a simple workout program to do on her own for a time. She demonstrated her readiness by following the program exactly, after which Yohnnie began training her in person, and the rest is history.
My point is this: When you get ready to train with a personal trainer, you need to already have your mind set to do whatever is necessary. If you don't have this mindset, you honestly may not be ready for a trainer.
2. It's a journey, so buckle up: Our "instant gratification" society inundates us with advertisements featuring fitness models who promote products that promise fitness in no time. Sadly, not only do these products often fail to work as promised, but the individuals promoting the products often haven't used them to get in shape.
Rather, they have spent a lifetime of hard work to achieve their physiques. When you hire your trainer, understand that you are beginning a journey to health that will last for at least several weeks before you begin to see real results.
3. Achieving your goals will be hard: While this is not the most delightful thing to hear, it's true. Getting in shape is hard. If it were not so, everyone would be in shape. Your personal trainer knows this, so as he or she develops a plan for you and encourages you through it, expect it to become difficult at some point.
In fact, if it never becomes difficult, I would be skeptical. Why? Because losing weight and becoming fit inevitably requires that we work against habits that have kept us out of shape and unhealthy -- and that's hard work.
But hey, anything worth something is bound to be hard, right?
I have discussed several more things in addition to what I've mentioned here in a video on my "Your Health At The Crossroads" YouTube page, but let these three points be a good start for those of you considering hiring personal trainers.
Peach County resident Shawn McClendon is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and owner of the health/fitness blog www.YourHealthAtTheCrossroads.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.