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When you think about personal training it likely conjures up images of athletes pushing their physical limits. Tough workouts that would leave you out of your depths. Heavy looking weights that fill you with dread. And unnecessary amounts of sweat!
But trust me, all is not what it might seem.
When it comes to personal training you certainly shouldn’t judge the book by its cover.
Let me explain why…
I recently asked all my clients to tell me what they thought about personal training before they started working with me.
The answers they gave me were so insightful, I had to share them with you in this article.
Because, if they were thinking it, then I knew others would be too.
Let me set the scene…
The majority of clients I work with are over the age of 50.
At some point they have struggled with their weight, have had a niggling injury that has stopped them being active, have lost all confidence in their ability to stay fit and healthy.
The problem wasn’t that they didn’t care about being fit and healthy anymore.
They did care.
The problem was they had run out of ideas and reached the point where turning up to the gym or attending a class wasn’t getting them the returns they wanted.
They just didn’t know how to change their situation for the better and had got sick of trying to figure it all out by themselves.
If you can relate then I urge you to read on…
Going to the gym
It’s an unfortunate truth that most gyms do very little to help their members feel comfortable in a new, and somewhat daunting environment.
The minute you walk through the door you’re greeted by rows of treadmills, bikes and rowing machines lined up…
…but no real direction on how to get the most out of using them, or how to press the right button to get the thing working in the first place!
And those weights racked up in front of the mirror with all the young lads sitting around chatting on the benches?
…are you ever going to head over there and start using them?
I very much doubt it.
In short, I don’t blame you for being put-off about joining a gym and getting fit…
Just stepping through the door into a gym is a big win for most people.
Taking the time to learn how to use the equipment whilst also wanting to see quick results within the first week is where it all comes unstuck.
And before long you find yourself ‘playing it safe’ by sticking to the stuff you know.
10 minutes on the bike, 10 minutes on the treadmill a few stretches you remember seeing someone else do in passing and that’s it.
Or even worse, not bothering with the gym at all.
A client’s perspective
Now I want you to hear from some of the amazing people I work with every week so you can learn about personal training from their perspective.
Let me start by introducing you to Anne.
When I asked what was holding her back before starting personal training sessions she told me this.
“I had a lack of confidence and a fear of failure”
Before she started training she was attending the gym regularly but wasn’t making any progress…
“I felt the work I was doing on my own wasn’t getting me anywhere, I needed encouragement and advice on technique, it’s easy to give up when no one is overseeing you.
I feel that at my age it would be easier to just accept the aches and pains as part of the aging process.”
2-years on since we started working together…
“I feel so much more confident about exercise. The fact I’ve never been made to feel out of my depth or inadequate has been a really big help.
I look forward to each session and feel ready for the day afterwards”
Feeling more confident about your ability to exercise is without doubt one of the most empowering things a trainer can do for you in the long run.
The same was true for my next client Jane…
Jane was already going to a local gym but had lost her way a little. Here’s what she said…
“I lost confidence in using the local facilities and thought personal training was for more serious athletes”
“I had no routine to my exercise, I’d started feeling uncomfortable and was gaining weight”
12-months on from her decision to take up weekly personal training sessions…
“I now have some routine back in my life, I have weekly personal training sessions and feel confident in using gym equipment which means I use the gym outside of my sessions too.
I now feel much fitter and more confident in accessing exercise. My sessions set me up for the day.”
Knowing that you’re getting structure and routine in your fitness sessions is vital to making progress.
What’s more important is that the structure of your sessions is right for you.
Not a one-size fits all programme.
This has been fundamental to Clare’s success so far.
Having a long-standing Rheumatoid Arthritis issue to contend with Clare was already working hard to stay active and move as much as possible.
But that wasn’t quite what she wanted…
“Before I started personal training I was going swimming once a week and doing exercises given to me by hospital physios that were helping.
The problem was though, it was a one size fits all kind of routine and whilst it was keeping me going I knew I could improve and feel healthier and happier”
“I thought personal training was totally not my thing and just for elite athletes or the already fit”
Fast forward 2-years on from that point.
“Personal training sessions have really helped me more than I could imagine. To be taught how to do something correctly for you and your own personal difficulties taken into consideration is great.
I’ve had more energy and stamina…and fun.”
“It’s been a real boost to take part in a normal activity that I used to think was beyond me”
Regaining control of your own health and wellbeing through structured and personalised activity can be as big of a boost to your confidence, if not more so, than looking good in the mirror.
How can PT help you?
Here’s my take on what personal training can do for you;
Assessing and understanding
Understanding your own movement mechanics and current limitations combined with a clear picture of what you want to achieve from your personal training sessions means a truly bespoke programme can be designed for you to start with.
And best of all, you can finally say goodbye to one-size fits all programmes, whilst massively reducing any risk of injury too.
Guidance and feedback
Knowing you’re lifting a weight in a way that will not lead to injury is very important. Particularly if you want to build momentum in your fitness journey, as injury can put a stop to things pretty quickly.
Understanding your limitations through assessments before completing a training session is key to reducing injury risk too.
This initial process also means that your sessions can be pitched at the right level, and helps make you feel comfortable instead of overwhelmed when you first get started.
Structure and progression
Walking into the gym with intent is great, but without some form of structure or programme to follow that initial intent will quickly wilt away.
Before you know it you’ll be back at square one having made no real progress.
With a structured programme in place your progress can be assessed and sessions tweaked consistently, making sure you keep moving (at the right pace) towards the goal(s) you want to achieve.
Support and confidence
Remove all the guesswork from your gym sessions and turn up knowing you’re doing the right thing each time you exercise.
Outside your sessions you will also get support when you use the gym or complete a session at home by accessing my training app on your phone or tablet.
Load up the app and follow the programme, it’s that simple (there are even video demonstrations for each exercise).
This means when you’re not in a session you’re still 100% confident that what you’re are doing is going to be beneficial and productive.
Let’s face it, you don’t invest in a personal trainer unless you want to change something about your health and wellbeing.
Getting to your desired target of losing weight, feeling stronger, fitter and moving without discomfort or being confident that you’re doing something that is good for you in the long-term is a vital piece of this puzzle.
All the above points will set you up to achieve the desired results you want to achieve.
From there you just need to put in the hard work and be a little patient too…
After all, anyone offering you effortless success and results overnight isn’t giving you a realistic picture of how this whole health and fitness thing works.
To learn more about how you can start your own journey with me at Real Food Function head over to the personal training page to complete an enquiry form and get all the information you need.
P.S. If you want to start making a difference to your health and fitness levels right now then get hold of my no-nonsense 5-step guide below…
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