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How come more people don't get a coach or a personal trainer?

William Kennedy
Developer. General nerd. Always wanted to build an good workout app.
Updated on ・1 min read

One of the best decisions I ever made was getting a coach to help with my powerlifting.

Thanks to his help, I went from a 150KG squat all the way to 200KG squat in a matter of months. He helped with so much:

  • Form
  • Nutrition
  • Feedback on my lifts

Plus I came away with a lot more fitness knowledge. I wrote more about it here.

I recently discovered this community. From reading it, everyone seems to be quite experienced so I wanted to reach out and start a discussion.

I would love to hear your thoughts about this topic. If you tried a personal trainer, did you enjoy it?

If you were considering one, what makes you hesitate?

Discussion (7)

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jayne profile image
Jayne

A personal trainer does sound great, guiding, informing and supporting you to push those boundaries both physically and psychologically. I’m wondering if this is truly subjective, I personally prefer to not engage socially when I work out as I’m trying to really grow in awareness of my body (to avoid injury mainly) and my breath and it gives me a break from people too! It’s a social escape for me.

Whereas I can imagine others can train their best when socially engaged and really benefitting from the expertise of someone. Possibly purely down to people’s individual preference, life experiences and history? Maybe I should give it a go though and actually find out!!

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_williamkennedy profile image
William Kennedy Author

I'm the same. I didn't want the personal trainer that follows you around in the gym.

At the start, it was like that, but after a month, we moved to online (pre-covid). Then my trainer gave me my workout, and I would record my heavy sets for him to give feedback on.

People are different. Personally, I prefer going to the gym alone but I find I'm very bad at making my own workout programmes. So this is where the trainer helps a lot.

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jayne profile image
Jayne

Thanks William, this is so interesting!
It sounds like you’ve really benefited from the expertise of your personal trainer. These people dedicate their professional and quite often personal lives learning about how to get the most out of our bodies when working out. For me, this may mean I do something different, ask for some expertise and educate myself around personal fitness, nutrition and how to grow in my personal workouts! You’ve got me thinking!!

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lee profile image
Lee Wynne • Edited

I have thought about this, really interesting topic. During martial arts training, it’s almost mandatory to have a coach and train as part of a team, you just can’t progress otherwise.

Interestingly though, like @ben when doing any form of general fitness training I do train alone, partly for the same reasons but also money, I have this perception that it’s mega expensive.

Great post 👍 definitely something I’ll look further into

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern 🌱

I think my biggest hesitation is the part of fitness that is so independent to me: Where I don't have to talk to anyone.

I am still considering getting a coach, but as an introvert this feeling is probably one of my biggest true hangups, beyond just being cheap :)

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_williamkennedy profile image
William Kennedy Author

It comes down to goals, I think. I had a specific goal in mind, and I was at a plateau with my lifting. So a coach helped me get to the next level.

For me, it was money well spent. Yet after the experience, I always recommend getting a coach as it can save so much time.

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ellativity profile image
Ella Ang (she/her/elle)

Just a few more thoughts from a personal trainer (I could list the reasons I've been given for people not hiring me for days 😂)

There's a profitable sub-sector of the PT industry that trains trainers to "handle objections", because they're such a staple of #trainerlife. Admittedly, once you have a reputation and/or some visibly "successful" clients (and I use the quote marks intentionally, since some of the greatest successes can be invisible), it's a lot easier to get more, but as a early-career personal trainer you get real good at coping with rejection!

Since my areas of interest are injury prevention, mobility, and stability, in my gym days I would get a lot of injury rehab clients who would then phase out of their need for a trainer once they were back to functional fitness. In my experience, most people aren't willing to invest in injury prevention, mobility, or stability until the damage is already done.

In order to keep our certs active, we need to participate in hours of accredited training every year, so PTs (especially ones who have successfully maintained certification through multiple cycles) invest a lot more time and effort (not to mention, money) on staying up to date on relevant research and exercise science than the average person. You could say that the real value in having access to a trainer is that you have a person who is learning and digesting all that information on your behalf, giving you hand-picked information that's relevant to your goals.

Speaking from my own experience of working with trainers, I see this value in every session where one of my peers trains me as they would a client. I learn new ways to think about how my body is moving, a greater awareness of areas I tend to overlook, and fresh combos, sets, etc that invigorate my own workouts.

From another perspective, as a yoga teacher, I have a daily personal practice, but I notice that the quality of my personal practices is enhanced by attending classes with other teachers. Learning from others makes me more creative, more discerning, and wiser.