Finding out who we really are.
You’ve been with your trainer for about 2 to 4 weeks and you’re contemplating cutting the cord. Ahh, the pain, how dare you! Ok, I will get over it. Being a personal trainer I know I’ll have clients that need me there every workout, and I know I’ll have clients that don’t. That’s fine. I’m not in the group that feel everyone needs a personal trainer every workout. So you are ready. You feel that you are ready to work out on your own. You have your schedule, your exercises and you are confident you have the technique down.
But you are a little hesitant. There are questions on your mind. Will you be able to perform as well without your trainer being there to push you? Will you remember how to do every exercise you were shown? Will you remember all the nuances?
All valid concerns.
It comes down to
I think it can be said that if you are someone who needs to be pushed, who isn’t a self motivator when it comes to exercising, you may want to rethink the decision to start out on your own without a trainer. A personal trainer plays many roles, one of them being a motivator. The motivation can come in the form that you are paying for their services so you want to get your monies worth, or your trainer knows what to say and do to get the most out of you. Probably the latter, I hope so since that should be happening.
There’s nothing wrong with this. It’s ok to have to have someone there to push you. If that’s what it takes, that’s what it takes.
Technique is another area that a trainer services are invaluable. Improper technique can lead to short term or long term injury. Some people pick up proper technique fairly quickly, just like some people learn to ride a bike fairly quickly. If you aren’t one of those people be sure you talk with your trainer. Your trainer should be able to tell you that she or he is comfortable in you doing your workouts on your own, and that your technique is satisfactory. If your trainer has concerns they should be voicing them. If you choose to ignore those concerns that could be a risky decision.
Something you can do to help you understand the proper technique for the exercises you are doing is to ask questions. Remember, you are responsible for your health and well being, not your trainer. If you aren’t asking questions when your trainer is there you are passing up a great opportunity to better understand technique. Questions such as ‘where do I keep my elbow?’, ‘should I lean forwards or backwards’, ‘what if I can do more reps when I hit the number I’m supposed to do?’. If you can’t think of anything to ask when doing the exercises, try to think of questions after the workout when you are home and can reflect on the workout. There aren’t any stupid questions, well, there is. The question that doesn’t get asked. No one is going to ask the questions for you, it’s up to you.
So how do you know your workouts are working now that you are on your own? A journal is a great way to keep track of your progress. Keep track of weight used, number of repetitions, number of sets. If running keep track of time and distance, elevation if running on a treadmill. Also enter into your journal how you feel during and right after your workout.
When working cardio by running, biking, etc., the length of time it takes you to get your resting heart rate back is a good indicator of your fitness. If your heart rate returns to resting in around 1 minute you are doing really well.
Keeping a journal of these things will allow you to see if you are progressing, plateauing, or regressing. If you find a couple of weeks go by and you aren’t making any progress it might be the right time to call your personal trainer and talk about a reengagement.
No right or wrong
It’s alright to use a personal trainer bits at a time. A personal trainer does not have to be a year long commitment, for most of us. Understand your needs and goals and if you are meeting them than that’s great. That’s the goal, isn’t it?
Yours in health,