If you have made the decision to get fit, finding a trainer may be your next step. One option is training at home by following a video or using an online trainer to save money. For some people, this is enough to get in shape. But others feel a personal trainer will get them better results and help them stay accountable.
Do you even need a trainer?
There are multiple benefits to working out on a regular schedule. From losing weight to having more energy, exercise has many positive outcomes. If you are not convinced, consider the following benefits. First, working out helps you burn calories and manage weight better. Second, you can improve some chronic health conditions and diseases, such as high blood pressure. Third, you improve your mood and boost energy. Fourth, you sleep better at night after working out during the day.
Although you may realize that working out can help you, it can still be a struggle to get out of a chair or couch and head to the gym. Some people find it hard to work out because they cannot force themselves to do it. Others have a strong will and are extremely self-motivated to exercise. They may schedule it into their day or treat it like another job. They may feel accomplished by working out daily.
If you need external motivation to exercise, you could benefit from having a trainer. To find out if it would be the right fit, consider taking a free personality test that determines which of the four tendencies you have: upholder, questioner, obliger or rebel. The test shows how you respond to outer expectations and inner expectations. Outer expectations are external and come from other people like your boss or family. Inner expectations are internal and come from you.
If you are an obliger, then you need accountability. This means you need someone or something motivating you to meet external and internal expectations. An obliger has an easy time meeting a work deadline but can find it hard to get off the couch to work out. You could benefit from having a trainer while you exercise because they would keep you accountable and motivate you at the same time.
Obligers need supervision, monitoring and consequences when they do things. It keeps them on track and prevents them from creating excuses that stop them from exercising. Some obligers can only accomplish things when there is another person involved, so having a trainer is essential for them.
Benefits and downsides of using an online trainer
If you are on a budget for exercising, then working out at home with an online trainer is an easy way to save money. Affordability is a huge advantage since there are many free videos and programs online. You can find trainers who charge online, but you do not have to choose them. This is a great option for people who are on a budget.
Another big benefit of online trainers is the great diversity you can find. From yoga to cardio, there are videos and programs designed for a variety of work-out styles. There are also many trainers with diverse backgrounds and experience.
An additional benefit is having instant access and the ability to work out on your own schedule. You get to decide when you exercise and how much. You have complete control over your schedule and the ability to choose from thousands of trainers online. The options include signing up for online programs, watching videos on social media or websites and YouTube.
There is also no limit to how often you can repeat a video with an online trainer. There is no need to worry about the trainer's schedule and trying to find time to see them. You can create your own Excel spreadsheet to track the videos you use and your progress. You can even use the Excel mobile app.
One of the disadvantages of using online trainers is the lack of personalization. You do not have someone working closely with you who will understand your body. The online trainer is creating content for a wide range of individuals. He or she cannot take into consideration your background, injuries, medical history and other information, which a personal trainer would know.
Another disadvantage of online trainers is there is no one to correct your form or stop you from hurting yourself. You are following a video or list online. There is usually no accountability if you skip a session or stop working out completely. An online trainer cannot push you the same way one does in person.
It is also more likely that you will find a trainer online who is not certified or experienced. Since there is no one policing online programs or uploaded videos, there is a greater chance of encountering people who should not be teaching others.
Benefits and downsides of hiring a personal trainer
A personal trainer usually has certifications and experience to be able to work in a gym or other fitness facility. They tend to have references you can call or can offer background information. A personal trainer can offer more than checking your form since they have knowledge of nutrition, coaching and human anatomy.
The real-time support you get from a personal trainer is important. You are able to ask questions and get feedback right away. They can correct your form, prevent injuries and make a workout plan for you.
Working with another person can motivate you to stay on track and accountable. They will not let you skip sessions unless there is a valid reason. They will make sure you are training the right amount of time and not overdoing it.
One of the downsides is the expense. Hiring a personal trainer tends to cost a lot more than using an online program or video. Another problem can be scheduling. Some trainers are busy, which makes it hard to find a time for a session.
The quality of the help you receive can also vary greatly from trainer to trainer. Some are more involved and care deeply about their clients. Others take a more hands-off approach and do not get involved. You have to consider the training style of the person you choose.
Picking the right trainer
Whether you choose an online or personal trainer, you should be careful about who you pick. First, you want to find someone who is certified and experienced. You want to make sure they have studied and passed the ACE exam. The ACE (American Council on Exercise) test is a personal trainer exam that shows the person has met the required guidelines.
Second, you want to read reviews and check the references for a trainer. Make sure their customers are real and not fabricated bots online or fake profiles. You may want to call actual references and talk to them.
Third, consider interviewing several personal trainers before picking one. They should be comfortable answering questions and showing you how they handle training.
What you can do to improve your home training
The first thing you can do to improve your training at home is to educate yourself about health and fitness. Read research, take an online class and ask questions. Then, you can use this knowledge to create your own fitness plan and program.
You want to schedule your workouts like meetings. This will help you remember to exercise and make sure you take it seriously. You want to treat exercise like an appointment with a doctor or another important person. Picking at the same time every week can also turn working out into a habit.
You also want to track your progress to stay motivated. One option is to use fitness apps to see your improvement over time. Another option is to journal and write down how your body changes. You may want to share this information with a close friend or keep it private.
Working out with a friend is also a good choice for people who want accountability and support. Friends can make sure you stay on track and do not skip workouts. They can encourage you to get in shape. By working on goals together, you are more likely to achieve them.
Combining both: online and personal training
A combination of both online and personal training is a great compromise. You will have the benefit of a face-to-face trainer to correct you when you are doing something wrong. Then, you can take that knowledge and apply it in your online training sessions. This can also save you money by reducing the number of in-person sessions you need with a trainer.
Online trainer vs. personal trainer: Which is best for you?
The right answer depends on your goals and self-motivation. If you have the self-discipline to plan and stick to your own program, then an online program will work. For those who want to become a professional in their sport or simply need accountability, a coach or personal trainer is necessary.