You’ve invested in your gym membership, new gym clothes and running trainers; Your fridge is stocked up with healthy food and you have been progressing nicely for the last month or two. You can now lift more weight, run further, you feel fitter and you have reduced your body fat percentage.
It’s leg day and you’re 10 minutes in, you suddenly feel a ‘pull’ in your lower back. You’re unable to continue due to the pain and there is nothing else to do but hobble home, hoping there is a bag of frozen peas in the freezer.
Injuries are a trainee’s nightmare, but they can be avoided. Hiring a personal trainer will put you in the best possible position to ensuring those niggles and strains don’t come your way. Here’s how:
Initial movement screen
When you begin your fitness journey with a good personal trainer, they will have you complete an initial movement screen. This screen is used to flag up any asymmetry’s, imbalances or weaknesses. Your trainer will then know what to address first in order to improve your movement and function to make sure you get the most out of your program.
When you hire a personal trainer, they will use the information gained from the initial movement screen to program specific exercises which will optimise your movement. Not only this, your trainer will also consider your other commitments in your life; work, family, past injuries, training age. All of these factors will be considered and as a result, your trainer will smartly put together your training program to maximise your results and keep you injury-free.
Ensuring correct technique
So you have completed your movement screen, your trainer has created an intelligent and effective training program for you, what else do you need them for? To further reduce the risk of injury, your trainer will be there with you to make sure you’re doing all the exercises with the correct form. This is important because poor form leads to limited results and inevitable injury. You don’t want to have a few week’s rest forced upon you when you’re still paying your gym membership do you. Not only this, but poor form can also be the cause of an issue at another joint or muscle. Having a personal trainer will allow them to notice this often subtle compensation and they will be able to find the problem and correct it before it gets worse.
Always there to spot
You want to get maximum results? Then you must be able to push yourself to the max every time you train. What if that means you need to lift as heavy a weight as possible because your goal is strength? Or what if you need a little assistance to push out that final rep because you want to build more muscle? Well, when you hire a personal trainer, they will be there to spot you. If you’re not familiar with the term ‘spot’, it basically means provide that little bit of assistance if needed during an exercise to either avoid dropping the weight and potentially causing injury, or help you crank out those final few reps when you’re working to fatigue.
If you’re just about to start a new training program, then I’m sure you want to just go for it. Train every day, as intense as possible and get as much as possible from the program. Well, going from limited exercise to training every day will just not work. Your body is smarter than you, and it will adapt, but it needs time to adapt gradually. Your personal trainer will educate you on how your body adapts to new stresses placed on it, when to train and when to slow down a little. Your trainer is there to pass their knowledge on to you, to ensure that you don’t burn yourself out, lose motivation and end up where you started.
So there you have it, hiring a personal training offers more than just having someone shout and yell “One more rep” at you, it ensures your injury risk is minimised so that you’re able to continue training, stay on track and perform to your maximum potential each session.
About the author
Matthew Healey is a Fitness & Performance Specialist, Sports massage therapist and owner of Synergy Fitness Systems. Matt has worked with some of the best coaches, physiotherapists and athletes in the UK, USA and Australia. Matt’s aim is to bridge the gap between rehabilitation and performance and to help as many people as possible improve their movement, performance and recovery, and getting fitter and healthier along the way. Matt has an established online personal training system as well as being a fitness and performance coach at a leading strength and conditioning facility in Brisbane, Australia.