Working out to lose fat or gain muscle is hard work. It’s not just the physical activity that makes it hard – it’s equally hard figuring out a routine, getting the right number of sets and reps, and figuring out the right weights to use and how long to rest between sets. All of these variables depend on your fitness goals and if you do it wrong, you could ruin or stall your progress.
If you’re just starting your fitness journey, or you’ve been working out for a while and you’re not seeing the progress you hoped for, here’s why you need a personal trainer.
#1) A good trainer will tailor your plan to your needs
The best personal trainers don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to fitness with their clients. Good trainers will take the time to assess each client and find out where they are, what their goals are, and will create a custom plan to achieve those goals within their abilities and limitations.
Great fitness trainers motivate their clients in a way that leaves them feeling respected even while being pushed to work harder. Not everyone responds to the same type of motivation, and experienced trainers will know when to tone it down and when to crank it up for each client.
While not all personal trainers are certified in nutrition, some are, and if you get a trainer who is also a nutritionist they’ll create a custom meal plan to help support your goals.
#2) Effective training methods are deceptively simple
Some training methods don’t seem like they’d get results and you may not be willing to try them if not recommended by a trainer. For example, time under tension (TUT) is a popular training method to gain muscle fast with short workouts. It sounds too good to be true, but it works, and people are usually shocked to see fast, big gains.
TUT works by lifting heavy weights with fewer reps, often taking your time with each rep where you go to muscle failure. For instance, you might do just one set of bicep curls with 7 reps using a heavy weight to bring your muscles to complete failure. As long as you actually go to failure and time your sets to be at least 30-40 seconds, you’ll achieve the desired result.
Another deceptively simple training method is using resistance bands. Many people are stuck on “pumping iron” and don’t see the value in bands, but they can be just as effective and sometimes more effective depending on the exercise. Bands also preserve your joints, strengthen stabilizing muscles, and give you additional tension on the way down, which you cannot get with weights.
You might not be inclined to believe certain methods like TUT or band training really work. However, when recommended by a personal trainer, you’re less likely to dismiss simple workouts.
#3) How long you rest between sets will impact your results
Your actual workouts are just part of the equation for results. In addition to eating properly, you also need to pay attention to how long you rest between sets. For example, if you’re working out to increase power and strength, you want to rest for 2-5 minutes. To grow bigger muscles, you’ll want to rest between 30-90 seconds. However, if you’re going for endurance, you’ll want to rest for 30 seconds or less.
It’s critical to have the right combination of a targeted workout routine and the right time to rest between sets. If you try to figure this out on your own just by researching, you may not get the results you want. A personal trainer, however, can help you dial this in according to your needs.
#4) You might be lifting too light
Most people end up lifting too light when they first start working out. It’s natural because the body hasn’t been conditioned to lift heavier weights, so even light weights can feel like they’re too much. However, if your goal is to lose fat or build muscle, you need to lift heavy.
What makes a weight heavy will be relative to your goals and abilities, but generally speaking, if you can perform more than 20 reps with a weight, it’s too light. And for protocols like time under tension, if you can perform more than 7-10 reps, the weight is too light. A personal trainer will help you find the right weight for your specific workout plan.
Get better results with a personal trainer
At the end of the day, a personal trainer can help you meet your goals faster than Google. Don’t risk following bad advice. Get a trainer and start getting the results you want.