You don’t have to be a candidate for “The Biggest Loser” television show or a professional athlete to work with a personal trainer, according to Robert Peterson, M.D., orthopedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine.
“Everyone can benefit from their expertise,” he notes.
Dr. Peterson’s goal is to help the athlete or weekend warrior return to competition or to their former level of physical activity as quickly and safely as possible. And if that means working first with physical therapists and then personal trainers, all the better, he adds.
“For most people, working with a trainer is a good option, although it is an added expense,” Dr. Peterson notes. If you’re curious, don’t let expense be a barrier. Check to see if your insurance will cover it, or keep an eye out for deals or incentives being offered through your local gyms.
It was another sort of incentive that got Jennie Courtemanche, a nurse at NorthBay VacaValley Hospital, working with a personal trainer. She won a series of sessions at Gold’s Gym in Vacaville when she enrolled in NorthBay’s CORE Wellness program for employees.
“I was hoping I would win that prize. I’m not overweight, but knew I was not as lean and muscular as I once was. I just needed a kick-start to my fitness quest.”
Because you’ve made this commitment to work with a trainer, you’re going to feel better, sleep better and have more energy.
Her initial goal was simple. “I wanted to decrease fat, increase lean muscle and develop a routine for fitness that can really become my new lifestyle,” she explains.
Her trainer, Todd Reifsnyder, did just that. “Even after my free sessions were over, I continued with him, because he is motivating and supportive.”
Just as if you were going to do 10 repetitions with a five-pound weight, here are 10 reasons why Jennie and Dr. Peterson say working with a personal trainer might be a good idea:
1. A personal trainer keeps you accountable. You have a set, paid appointment, and the trainer is waiting for you. It’s hard to shirk away from that.
2. A personal trainer keeps you motivated. He or she has developed a plan of action for you, believes you can do it even when you think you can’t, and has the words to keep you going. “They encourage and push you, just like having a high school coach,” Dr. Peterson adds.
3. He or she has developed a personalized fitness plan just for you. It’s created after you undergo a screening test to determine baseline measurements, current weight and personal fitness goals. With this information in hand, the trainer will build a routine that will help you achieve those goals. “Todd built a specific nutrition and work-out plan for me that included cardio and weights,” Jenny explains.
4. You will see results faster and this in itself is a great motivator!
5. You will learn proper technique and form on equipment you might not be familiar with. “A trainer will be a good guide into that world of weights, and show you around,” Dr. Peterson agrees, assuring that you are using the equipment correctly and making the proper adjustments to maximize results.
6. You’ll be challenged. How many times have you planned to walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes, for example, and decided to quit at 10? Your personal trainer will keep you on track and accountable.
7. You’ll learn new skills. Your trainer can show you how to properly use an array of equipment, such as kettle bells, foam rollers, Bosu balls, weights and other gym equipment that looks so intimidating. “Todd encouraged me to try out a fun stretch and cardio class at Gold’s Gym, and I’m surprised at how well I’m doing,” Jennie says.
8. You’ll learn fresh new perspectives on diet and nutrition. Your trainer will have tips for what you should eat and drink before and after a workout to maximize the changes you’re creating in your muscles.
9. This time is just for you. How often do you have a half hour or hour to devote just to yourself, to concentrate on how you feel, what your personal goals are and how you want to achieve them?
10. You will feel better, sleep better and have more energy.
“I would not have signed up for the gym if I hadn’t won the prize,” Jennie admits, but advises others to not wait for a chance drawing to begin their healthy quest. “Just do it, start!”