If you remember, towards the end of last year I was starting to feel really unmotivated going to the gym. I discovered that a large part of it was the atmosphere I was working out in! I was regularly going to my neighborhood gym which was great in terms of equipment, but I wasn’t really surrounded with people that had similar fitness goals. You know, when you’re around like-minded people it definitely helps keep you motivated and focused! So I decided to join a “real” gym. I tried a few different gyms and ended up joining O2 fitness, and as part of their welcome package, you get 2 free sessions with a personal trainer.
To be honest, my first thought when they asked if I wanted to meet with a personal trainer was “Thanks, but no thanks!” Not to be rude but I feel like so many trainers at gyms don’t look like they’ve ever worked out a day in their life LOL. Sorry but just my experience! But then I thought it over, and decided that I was probably being a little close-minded. Plus, it was free so what did I have to lose? Also, even though I’m fairly experienced in the gym there is still a lot I have to learn. I figured that there was no harm in doing it (except a wasted hour of my time haha) so why not? Before fully committing though, I made sure that they were going to pair me up with someone that was experienced with weight training. I wasn’t going to waste my time or someone else’s doing an hour of something like plyometrics (nothing against those type of workouts, but they just aren’t my thing!)
So I will just go ahead and say that after my first session with Scooter (my trainer they set me up with), I was really impressed. One, we did legs and I was literally sore for 5 days (don’t remember the last time I was that sore). Two, he knows macros. BONUS! So given that we talked a lot about macros during the first session and that the workout itself basically murdered me was a good sign. To be honest, after that first session I wanted to continue to go for at least the next month so I signed on for my first month right away.
Now that I have a couple of months down of working with a trainer, I wanted to share my experience with you! Granted, it hasn’t been super long but I already have a few takeaways to share.
Keep in mind that prior to working with a trainer, I’ve only followed online programs. I’m not a big one for group fitness classes, so my workout routines have pretty much consisted of me solo in the gym working my way through an online (weight lifting) guide. That being said, I feel like I’ve come a pretty long way! Physically, my body has changed a lot since I started training–I’ve learned a lot about macros and weight training and have learned through a lot of trial and error what macros and exercises seem to work best for me. Overall, I feel like I’ve made a lot of great physical progress and clearly haven’t needed anyone to help keep me accountable and coach me.
If you’re with the right trainer, I do think that it has its benefits. For example, I definitely push myself harder when I’m working out with Scooter in a few ways. One, I build more stamina and endurance because I’m taking much shorter breaks in between sets. When I workout alone, I don’t feel guilty about taking longer in between sets if I’m really tired, and I definitely get distracted being on my phone. I go to change the music and the next thing I know I’m responding to DMs–oops! When I’m with Scooter, I get in a great workout in an hour flat vs. an hour and a half if I went on my own and did the same exercises. I also push myself more because I am actually lifting more. When I’m alone, I don’t have a spotter so I don’t feel comfortable increasing my weights past a certain number. When you are with a trainer, they can help spot you and help push you through those extra heavy sets. It’s also been nice to mix it up when it comes to workouts. Even on the days I don’t meet with my trainer, he sends me workouts to do. Most of the exercises he’s shown me are ones I’ve never tried before or they are variations of workouts I’ve already done. So that has definitely been a plus, and has definitely helped keep things interesting! The other benefit of working with a trainer is accountability. I personally don’t need this aspect but I definitely think it’s worth it if staying accountable and motivated is something you’re struggling with!
So those are the pros, now the cons. Honestly, in my opinion, the only downside is the cost. For me, it’s about $280 a month. That includes 1 in person session a week, plus all my other workouts to do on my own. The other upside (for me) is the macros. Even though I’ve gotten very comfortable adjusting my own macros, it’s been nice to have someone who is very experienced as a sounding board. You know that I’ve worked with Paola consistently in the past to calculate mine, and on top of calculations she’s a great friend who is always willing to help me with them when I have questions. But, being able to work with someone in person where you can bounce ideas off each other, and have them see your progress in person and how your responding to your numbers is nice.
That all being said, for me (at this time), the $280/month is worth it. It’s been fun to mix things up and I feel that extra support with macros, plus motivation to push myself harder is currently worth the extra money. Will I do it forever? Probably not, but it works with my schedule, goals, and budget for now. Do I think you need a personal trainer to reach your fitness goals, though? No. Absolutely not. I get that it may be a nice luxury to have, and it may make things easier, but if you are dedicated to making a change you don’t need anyone but yourself! There are so many resources online when it comes to macros, nutrition, proper form when lifting, best exercises for XYZ, that you definitely do not need to pay someone 1:1 to help you.
Have you had a personal trainer, or have you had one in the past? Do you think it’s worth it? Would love to hear your thoughts!