HEALTH & FITNESS
Recently I joined a new gym and it seems like everyone there is working out with their own personal trainer! I find myself watching and wishing that I too had someone to coach me and push me to work hard at the gym. Too often I find myself shuffling through my music and wasting time between exercises, only to leave earlier than planned because, “eh, that’s good enough for today.” And that’s on the days that I even actually have the motivation or time to make it to the gym after work.
It seems like the simple solution would be to invest in a personal trainer. I have used a personal trainer before, and I knew that if I was paying for an actual appointment time with someone, I wouldn’t skip out on it. Plus, once I got there I would have meaningful workouts all preplanned for me. Sounds perfect, right? But wait, the six weeks of personal training I had was a gift, so I paid $0 for that, whereas now a personal trainer is extremely expensive! So... I found myself deciding whether a personal trainer was worth it and necessary for my fitness goals. The main perks of a personal trainer (at least for me) are: accountability, expertise, and companionship. So I found myself thinking of other ways to get those three attributes in a more frugal way.
A trainer keeps you accountable by not only having you attend set appointment times, but by checking in with you on your nutrition habits and keeping track of your fitness progress. He or she might have you keep a food journal that gets checked every week and if your goal is to lose weight you might do a weekly weight-in and your trainer would keep track of the stats, as well as other things like body fat percentage.
The simple solution here is to find a friend or family member with a desire to reach a fitness or health goal as well, and together, become accountability partners! Schedule set times to meet and work out together, keep and then check each other's food journals, have weekly weigh-ins, etc. The kicker here is you have to make sure that this person (and you) are serious about your goals so you don’t let each other skip out on a workout or not work hard enough at your scheduled meet-ups at the gym. If you can find a friend to keep you accountable then you’re all set and you don’t need to pay a trainer to do that!
Trainers know what they’re doing and can help you learn proper technique and form when doing exercises. This keeps you safe and helps you reach your goals more efficiently. This is hard to beat, and the biggest thing you pay for when getting a personal trainer. However, in this day and age of the Internet, it is indeed possible to learn these techniques in other ways. There are whole training videos free on Youtube that will show you exactly how to properly squat or curl or run or practice yoga. You can also find entire fitness plans spanning weeks and months on Pinterest and other websites that will help you so you are confident in knowing what to do when you go to the gym. All it takes is a little extra time and some diligent searching. And perhaps your accountability workout buddy has past experience exercise knowledge that will be a bonus!
Trainers can become quick friends when you are working with them consistently, and it can be nice to go to the gym with someone. Zoning in on your workout with music and pumping some iron has its place, but it doesn’t replace having someone to talk with as you workout. It makes those super tough leg days that much quicker when you have someone cheering you on. This is an easy fix from trainer to workout buddy, because your friend can do this encouragement for you for free! No need to pay someone to talk to you while you workout, when you can find a friend who you need to catch up with anyways to do it with you.
Instead of paying for a personal trainer, try finding a friend you can trust who can take your fitness goals seriously. If you have someone like that who can give you the accountability and companionship you need, and doesn’t mind searching the Internet with you for workout plans and techniques, then there really is no need to pay for a personal trainer. If you feel that you would like the help of an official expert, another option might be to pay for just a couple months of training and really take some good notes. After that you may be able to go it alone, or better yet, find that workout buddy and teach them everything you learned and expand upon it!