I’m not knocking personal fitness videos, group classes, or even solo athletes, but I do think there is something to say for having a personal trainer or coach at least once in your life. And I don’t mean an online coach, I mean a face-to-face trainer that can correct your posture, encourage you to do that extra set of push-ups, and knows when you’ve hit a mental wall.
For some people, videos work. But I’d be hard pressed to find someone who can’t say they’ve avoided pressing play once or twice because they “didn’t feel like it” today or are “just too tired” to do a 10-minute workout. And even so, most video workouts aren’t tailored to you as an individual, they’re meant for the masses. So if it’s your first video, how do you know it’s not too hard for your body, or for that matter, too easy?
I had never had a personal trainer until I took the On Ramp program at Everproven Crossfit. Too many reasons stopped me, from it being too expensive to thinking having a personal trainer was only for elite body builders. But the one thing I’ve learned from having a trainer, is that it’s taught me that I’m capable of so much more than I thought I was.
I’m more a runner than anything else, so walking into a Crossfit gym isn’t exactly a warm mental welcome. There’s anxiety, questions if you’re lifting weights correctly, and an overwhelming fear that this group is well more in-tune with their bodies than you are with yours. Which is where having a coach made a huge difference, for me anyway.
You’re Doing It Right
Maybe all you need is a little tweak in your form, but you can do it. And having a one-on-one personal trainer, even if only for the On Ramp program, has given me much more confidence to walk into a Crossfit class and give it my all. A few months ago, I was nervous and even shed a few tears after I thought I wasn’t cleaning the bar correctly (even though I was told I was). Sometimes all you need is a professional to make sure you’re doing it right to give you the confidence to want to do it again. Seriously, how many times have you done a workout video, couldn’t follow along, and gave up halfway through because you were frustrated? That video probably never saw the light of day again in your house, am I right?
You Are So Much Stronger Than You Think
Coach Kate has taught me that I’m so much stronger than I think I am. And no, she’s not throwing huge weights on the barbell for me, she would never do that. But she taught me a mental trick that has helped so much – micro-plating. Meaning, instead of jumping up to huge weights, we’re adding 5 pounds at a time, adding two tiny little 2.5 pound weights to the bar at a time. I would have never thought to do that on my own, I would have struggled through until I hurt myself. And seriously, when I started Crossfit, I had NO IDEA where to start with weight.
You Can Speak Up
In a class, I’m scared to say something. Scared to say “I’m not ready for this” or “Is there an easier way to try this workout before going all the way.” But with a personal trainer, I can ask that. I can ask how to scale down pull-up and learn that I can use a band. And my personal trainer will tell me exactly which band to use, no guessing games! (Did you know there are multiple kinds of bands??? Those colors actually mean something!!?!} If I didn’t ask, I’d never know.
You’re Held Accountable
So many times I’ve told myself I could be doing crunches while I watch TV. And do you know how many times I actually do that? Maybe 5 % of the time. Why? Because there’s no one holding me accountable for my actions. But when I set a time with a trainer, I have to be there. And when I go to my class, I have to workout. It’s a buddy system when you don’t have one.
Friends are great, but even I have been known to drop the ball. It’s hard to motivate a friend when you need motivating as well. And if you’re both reaching for that piece of chocolate cake with no intention to ever work it off, well… you can only blame yourselves.
You Don’t Need A Personal Trainer Forever
Yes, they’re great, and I would love one-on-one workouts every time, but you don’t have to have a personal trainer forever. But I do think learning the proper way to workout from someone who does this for a living and is certified is an excellent place to start. There are so many personalities out there, that you’re bound to find a trainer that works well with you. Some are harder on you, some encourage your ego, others know how to find your breaking point. The point is, you don’t need a trainer forever, but seeking one out might be the best way to kick bad habits.
Plus, if your coach teaches group classes, it’s a great way to still work with them, but feel a part of a group.