Working with a Certified Personal Trainer or Instructor: The Benefits of an Individualized Program
Updated: Apr 7
If you want to get the most out of your workouts and avoid injury, working with a personal trainer is an excellent place to boost your efforts. Everyone’s fitness and performance goals are different. Everyone’s athletic and injury backgrounds are different. Everyone’s strengths and weaknesses are different. But one thing we all have in common is we don’t like to get hurt.
A personal trainer can help address all of this. They streamline the trial-and-error approach many of us take toward strength and mobility training. They make certain your workouts are efficient and effective.
Personal trainers help us create balance where there is imbalance, and they ensure that we’re moving through our workouts in a healthy way: these are both key elements in injury prevention.
For many, the accountability aspect of having a personal trainer makes staying consistent in fitness pursuits that much easier. Having a regular appointment is that extra bit of motivation that helps keep us on track.
But before we dive more into why you should hire a personal trainer, let’s take a moment to address how to hire a personal trainer.
Finding the Right Personal Trainer for You
All licensed personal trainers have met a base level of knowledge and ability. Beyond that, however, they come with their own athletic and fitness background, and they likely have specialty training or interests. Fitness and health means very different things to different people.
Before you start your personal trainer search, be clear about what you’re looking to get out of your training sessions. Then ask the questions that will make sure you find the trainer who will be best to get you there.
Also, different trainers have different styles for motivating and encouraging their clients. Find someone who inspires you, who you’re excited to learn from and work with.
To that note of learning, your personal trainer relationship will provide you with wellness information and insights that you’ll utilize long after your sessions are over. These are lessons you can take with you for life-long wellness.
Let’s Get Back to Injury Prevention
Getting hurt: no one wants that! Injuries come in two primary forms: acute and prolonged or overuse. An acute injury is something that happens quickly, say from a fall. Acute injuries may also result from prolonged imbalances: your body can compensate, but only for so long until something gives. And sometimes that give happens in an instant, but it’s been a long time in coming.
A prolonged or overuse injury develops over time. These can be caused by imbalances, too: instead of something just giving way, it may just get overused because it’s being called on more than it should due to, say, a poor movement pattern. Or, an overuse injury can result from simply doing a particular motion too much.
A personal trainer can help start to correct imbalances that can lead to overuse and acute injuries. And they can help keep you in check if you’re headed toward simply overstressing certain parts of your body in some way.
An astute personal trainer will assess how you move and learn about your activity habits. Based on that, they can devise a program that addresses your specific weak and strong spots, as well as mobility issues.
The added upside of injury prevention is that it’s also pain prevention. Many of us live with daily aches and pains that are precursors to those acute and overuse injuries. And they’re preventable. When you are on a path to more balanced and healthier movement patterns, you're on a path to living with less day-to-day pain.
There Is No One-Size-Fits-All Training Program
Now an obvious question that arises for many people considering a personal trainer is: Couldn’t I just exercise on my own? Well, sure. But what does that look like?
Following a plan you find online or in a magazine or borrowed from a friend simply won’t be able to address the specifics of you. And leaning back on that routine you learned from your high school track coach . . . just, No. There is no one way of doing anything for health and wellness that works for everyone. And what worked for you a long time ago won’t necessarily do the trick now.
The other reality is that most of us don’t have the knowhow, perspective, or patience we need to do the best job for ourselves. Even those of us who are knowledgeable about fitness and health aren’t the ideal people to train ourselves. It’s difficult for you to be objective about you. And someone else is simply going to bring a different outlook and knowledge set.
Besides, most of us aren’t movement and fitness experts. Maybe we know about running or swimming or golf, but we don’t know about the intricacies of setting up the incremental program that’s going to keep us moving well over the long haul.
And what about those of us who get our fitness from activities outside the gym? A personalized cross-training program will help that crowd, too, in a couple ways. There’s that injury prevention component, which is huge. A whole body routine will ensure that any weak spots don’t become injury spots. Also, counteracting dominant movement patterns is excellent for mobility and overall well-being. If you want longevity in your sport of choice, a comprehensive exercise regimen two to three days a week is key. One final note here, if you’re moving better overall, you’ll be performing better, as well.
Fitness With a Purpose, In a Community
Personal trainers aren’t just there to run you through a bunch of exercises. Their goal is to help you reach your goals, following a path that’s as healthy and enjoyable as possible. And you’re not just working in isolation: you’re part of a training community.
A gym like Tahoe Fitness Loft is a place where people come to better themselves, where you’ll be surrounded by others who are seeking and sharing in wellness. It’s a positive feedback loop that spirals out into your everyday life.
This all adds up to a final bonus, which is that working with a personal trainer can really just be a lot of fun.