Is a Personal Trainer Really Worth It??

I have considered at one time or another getting a personal trainer. I always felt like the expense was too high and that I couldn’t afford it at the time. I also wasn’t sure what I would get out of a trainer, considering I had some education in fitness already and had a general idea of what I should be doing. When I re-joined the gym a couple of weeks ago, I decided to go ahead and put out the expense for the introductory personal training sessions, which consists of three sessions. I had my first session today. I was a little nervous and excited going into the gym today, not quite sure just what to expect. Was my trainer going to expect me to do a bunch of reps of a bunch of exercises at high weights I wasn’t comfortable lifting? Were they going to put me on a treadmill at a pace too fast for me? Were they going to push me like a drill sergeant?

I left my house early, wanting to get to the gym before my appointment time. I arrived, asked the best way to find my trainer at the appropriate time, and went to the locker room to put away my bag and get ready. I had about 35 minutes before meeting my trainer, so I decided to get in a light warmup on one of the recumbent bikes. I went for 20 minutes and kept my average difficulty level low (5) because I wasn’t sure what was to come. At my appointed time, I went over to introduce myself to my trainer.

My trainer is a woman in her mid-50’s (at a guess) who is in amazing shape! She mentioned that she is running the Seattle marathon tomorrow and has run numerous marathons in her life, included Boston and New York several times. She is a master trainer and also teaches some Cardio Pump and Spin classes at the gym. The first thing she did was get my medical history and take my measurements. She checked my posture and looked at my shoes to see if they would work. We talked about my goals and what I had been doing as exercise. My fitness knowledge came in helpful because I already had established solid goals, her philosophy and the information she provided  were completely in line with my philosophy and knowledge as well. I felt very in sync with her from the beginning.

After we took care of the administrative tasks, she wanted to get me started on some basic warmups and strength building moves. Since we had to devote the first part of the session to the paperwork, we knew the workout itself would be pretty small today. First we did some warm up on the step~ step-ups and side squats, then moved on to the ball. With the ball we did some squats, torso twists and some deep squats against the wall. For all of the warm ups we did 1 set of 12. After that it was time to get started on the machines. The first machine was low-mounted pull, I did a squat with a triceps pull-back, 2 sets of 12 at 50 lbs. Next we moved to a leg press, again 2 sets of 12 at 40 lbs. The final machine was a cable machine what we used for chest press, 2 sets of 12 at 15 lbs. She kept my weight and sets low today just to get a feel for what I can do. We finished up with some core exercises~ plank, side plank and bridge. I have never been able to hold a plank before on my toes, but today I held it for 30 seconds, same with the side plank on both sides. It was awesome.

I finished my session really pleased with the results and already trying to figure out how I could come up with the money to cover additional training sessions after I finish these three. I think that it will really help me to remain focused on my goals, push me to accomplish them, but not push me so hard that I overtrain (which is something that I am guilty of doing to myself from time to time). While I finished up with another 20 minutes on the bike (this time at an average difficulty of 10), I reflected that yes, for me, personal training really is worth it!

Have you ever worked with a personal trainer? Do you feel that its worth the expense?

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