If you’re contemplating whether or not to start working out with a personal trainer, here is some information that may help you make your decision.
Working out can be very intimidating, especially if you’re new to the fitness world. Entering a gym that has an abundance of machines that you’ve never seen before and seeing people using them like they were born to do so may make you want to wheel out of there as fast as you can. There are so many questions you may have – how do I do it? Do I transfer onto the machine? Do I need to transfer? Should I not try to transfer? What machine do I use first? That’s where a personal trainer fits right in.
“If they are new to the physical fitness world with a spinal-cord injury (SCI) it could be very intimidating, especially if they are just coming from outpatient rehab and now they’re trying to find a good place to work out,” says Brandon Bailey, a personal trainer at Ability360, an adaptive training facility in Phoenix, Ariz. “The trainers can kind of help guide that individual to what equipment they can use, what they should use and just kind of help them be more comfortable around this stuff.”
Trainers are very knowledgeable and know how to get you started based on your level of fitness. They will know whether or not to start you with 800 meters on a rowing machine or 400, what machines to begin with and will show you how to use the equipment the proper way so you avoid any further injuries.
“The ability of the trainer is to know what to give them and how much to give,” says Mike Norris, a personal trainer at Ability360. “It’s a team – it’s definitely a team effort because that person feels it. A lot of times if someone feels like they are doing this wrong or it’s too hard, they’ll just quit, where the trainer has all this knowledge of other things to do and how to modify it.”
Not only do trainers help you feel more comfortable with the machines, they are also a source to keep you motivated. They will help keep you accountable for your exercise by checking in with you about what days you’ll come into the gym, how you’re feeling and making sure you not only attend your sessions, but make you enjoy your sessions. If one work out seems boring and you don’t like it, odds are the trainer knows a way to switch it up and make it more fun for you. The trainer’s purpose is to make you feel comfortable enough where you don’t need them anymore.
“The trainer kind of helps build that self-esteem with them as well, and over time they might say ‘I feel comfortable, I’ve gained a lot of improvement, I would still like to see you, but is there anything I could do on my own when I come in here?’ and that’s probably the best thing I’d like to hear from a client,” says Bailey.
Working with a personal trainer doesn’t have to be forever, but it will definitely help you get started. Before working out with a trainer, you must find the perfect person who you feel will benefit your needs the most. Here are some good questions to ask your training before you start your training:
- Do you have experience working with people with disabilities, specifically spinal-cord injuries (SCI)?
- Do you have an educational background about my injury?
- Do you have a Personal Training Certification? If so, which one(s)?
- Do you have a Specialty Certification? If so, which one(s)?
Once you find the best fit for you, don’t be afraid to get started. Trainers are there to help and guide you through your fitness journey. Build trust, pick their brains and most importantly have fun while being healthy.
Disclaimer: Fitness is important for your health, but please consult with your physician before you engage in any strenuous physical activity.