If there is one thing this generation lacks, it is accountability. I was a student-athlete, I know how difficult it can be juggle school, practice, homework, social life, and get to the gym for a workout, but I made it a priority. A personal trainer makes sure that even on your busiest days, you get into the weight room and put your work in. They will keep you accountable for making sure you get every set and rep in and that every rep is performed with the correct form at the appropriate weight.
Individualized Strength Training Program
I see it all the time at the gym. High school athletes walk into the gym, they don’t stretch or warm up, and their everyday workout routine consists of bench press, barbell curls, triceps extensions, texting, and crunches. It’s hard to blame them, I didn’t have the slightest clue how to train like an athlete until college. A trainer will take the specific goals of each athlete and design an individualized strength training program with periodization to help athlete’s reach their goals.
There are two main reasons why athletes fail to see results both physically and in their performance. First, they don’t know how to train like an athlete. Second, they know how and choose not to because it isn’t as appealing as lifting like a bodybuilder. I played collegiate athletics so not only have I acquired the knowledge to design a strength training program and train athletes to execute those programs but I personally have executed them myself.
Similar to athletes lacking knowledge of how to train, they also lack knowledge of how to properly nourish their bodies and how to adjust their diet to peak performance and reach their goals. I once had an athlete ask me in the middle of a double header why it wasn’t good to eat a cheeseburger before a baseball game. I had another athlete ask me to write him up a meal plan and asked if bacon was good for you because he eats it with breakfast most mornings. Can’t make this up. Nutrition is a large factor in any strength training plan. Your body is like your vehicle, don’t put bad fuel in it and expect it to perform well.
It’s difficult for us to challenge ourselves. Challenging ourselves makes us uncomfortable because we often find out what it feels like to fail. For example, maybe you’ve always thought your squat max was 225 but the reality is that you’ve never tried to do more because of the fear of failure. Personal trainers will push you past that point and move closer to your goals. Their support alone can help you break through plateaus and help you become comfortable with being uncomfortable; that’s where the magic happens.
Many athletes see progress in physical appearance, but that’s not always where you will see progress. Most progress will be seen in strength gains. Athletes will complain that they haven’t gained any weight or muscle mass but they will have gained 50 pounds in their max squat and 3-5 mph on their fastball. Personal trainers will monitor the weight you use for each exercise from start to finish and be able to show you how much you have gained in strength. Athletics is more important than aesthetics.
Intrinsic motivation is obviously the best motivation you can have. I always tell my athlete’s, if you don’t have self-motivation you will never make it. You simply cannot rely on others to motivate you to work hard. However, it does help to have motivation from the outside and support from people showing that they believe in you. As a personal trainer, if you are giving me an opportunity to help you then you are investing in yourself and that alone gives me reason to support you and believe in you.