Why Personal Trainers Are Worth the Investment

Wednesday, September 6 2017 8:00 AM

Personal Training Session Burpees“Why don’t we ever do those”? a client asked me. She pointed across the fitness floor to another PT client performing burpees, as prescribed by his trainer.

“Because you don’t need them,” I replied. “Why would we waste time on exercises that aren’t beneficial to you and your goals?”

I’m a personal trainer. I charge by the hour. I’ve taken it upon myself to ensure that every single one of my clients have the most efficient 30-60 minute sessions possible. I don’t do anything for “fun”. Now, don’t get me wrong here -- we have a good time. Some of my closest friends were first my clients. All I’m saying is if there’s not a good reason to do an exercise, then guess what? You’re not doing it. At least not on my watch.

Regardless of who you are or what your fitness goals are, three basic training principles will apply to the design of any well-constructed program: specificity, overload and progression. Failure to apply these properly, or at all, will yield suboptimal results and increases risk of injury.

Specificity involves carefully designing training programs specific to the individual needs of each client. For example, if a client suffers from thoracic kyphosis (upper back rounding) as a result of imbalance between the chest and back, corrective exercises should include rowing variations that target the rhomboids, latissimus dorsi and posterior deltoids.

Overload refers to prescribing exercise of greater intensity than the client is used to. This is accomplished by increasing load, sets or reps. The goal here is to put more stress on the body than the time before. This can be as simple as back squatting 225 for sets of eight as compared to the previous week’s sets of six.

Progression is very similar to overload in that it requires constant modification of a training program in order to continuously produce results. Examples of this include increasing training frequency, adding more or new exercises or changing the difficulty of exercises currently prescribed. An easy illustration of this is gradually taking a client from push-ups on the wall to push-ups on the ground.

Google search training programsDuring my new hire training with Genesis, Preston, our VP of Fitness, asked the group to search “training programs” on Google. Today, you’ll find 133 MILLION results in a fraction of a second. So why would anyone hire a trainer? And how can I prove that I’m more valuable than a search engine?

For the vast majority of personal trainers, exercise prescription isn’t just jotting down frou-frou Pinterest workouts in a notebook. It involves application of research and scientific principles to the development of efficient and effective training programs specific to the individual needs of their clients. 

And you can’t find that on Google.

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