LOW PRICES. All of us are attracted by low prices because we want to work within a budget. But can you really put a price tag on your health? When you work with a personal trainer, you are putting your health and body in the personal trainer’s hands. Wouldn’t you want the highest quality personal trainer? Someone with experience, a degree, credible certifications and who understands your unique health challenges?
If you want someone like that, it is a good idea to pay more. A good personal trainer should not be cheap. A good personal trainer can be WAY more valuable than your doctor because WE ARE preventative medicine and will help save you THOUSANDS, if not tens of thousands, in medical costs down the road.
In addition, your improved good health could add many more healthy and happy years to your life.
Remember, medicine is in the dose. Too much can be damaging and too little won’t stimulate results. That is why you pay for a personal trainer that understands the science and the art of coaching and training. There is a fine line when it comes to producing results that are healthy in the long term and can be sustained. More on this later.
UNSUPPORTED CLAIMS SUCH AS “THIS TRAINING METHOD IS THE BEST.” Remember this: the method that’s best for you is the method that achieves your desired goal. The best personal trainer is the one that is emotionally intelligent, listens to your wants/needs with an open heart, and uses his/her knowledge and experience to get you to your goals in the safest, fastest and most effective way.
Many people out there are doing random exercises that are NOT the best for their intended goal. There are also people who use a competitive method for achieving their goals, but at the same time are putting themselves at risk of injury. They are wasting time, energy, and quite possibly compromising joint health. What could be the end cost of that? The cost can be way higher than most people can even imagine.
Imagine you have a personal trainer that can decrease your biological age, decrease body fat, increase muscular strength and toning around the joints, and add healthier years to your life. Or… imagine you have a personal trainer that doesn’t have a clue what they’re doing and opens you up to injury, stopping all the listed benefits above dead in their tracks.
There are nightmare stories of people not properly vetting a trainer that changed their lives for the worse in just one session. So… the training could not only be a TOTAL waste of your time, money, and energy, it could also be severely detrimental to your health.
You could also take into account the money you paid, the opportunity cost of doing something else, and the cost of having to get a problem fixed that was created by the personal trainer. Bottom line, there is a major difference between value and price.
I want to give you a real life example: A large, cookie-cutter fitness company assigned a personal trainer, who was not experienced and not certified, to an older client who was new to personal training. The unskilled personal trainer pushed the client so hard that the client had a stroke. That company had to pay out millions in a lawsuit, because they hired an unqualified personal trainer with limited experience.
EXERTAINMENT. Undereducated personal trainers who don’t understand the foundational principles of exercise science, biomechanics, physiology, at best lack clarity. At worst they have absolutely no clue of what they need to do to get an intended result. Because of their insecurity, they will attempt to “entertain” their clients through exercise by making the training more entertaining or fun. This is dangerous because only one variable should be changing at a time during each training session. When more than one variable is changed at a time the risk of injury goes up dramatically. How do you know when a trainer is doing exertainment? They have you doing overly complex exercises that are too much of a stimulus too soon. That becomes a threat. When you feel threatened, your movement becomes restricted from fear. When fear is present then the risk of injury goes up. So, good training and coaching is all about removing threat.
As an example of exertainment, my very own 60-year-old mother had a ‘free’ training session with a ‘personal trainer’ at her local gym. During that ‘free’ session, the inexperienced and uneducated trainer directed her to do plyometrics by jumping from the floor to the top of a box. Plyometrics are explosive movements designed to tap into the stretch-shortening cycle of the muscle (similar to the mechanics of an elastic band). This exercise is only reserved for athletes who can perform them accurately. Only a very small percentage of the general population can execute them correctly. There is typically no reason to do them because the risk of injury is great and the reward is small. Not surprisingly, she hurt her knee.
The cost to my mother for that ‘free’ session was pain, delayed progress, restricted movement, doctor visits and a negative perception towards personal trainers. The personal trainer was not following a program. He started a beginner with an exercise that needed months of prep work. He should have started her with a basic strength and endurance test.
There are actually three phases of learning exercises:
- COGNITIVE. When you are shaky and your body has a hard time adapting to the exercises.
- ASSOCIATIVE. You are less shaky and your body is starting to learn and understand the movements.
- AUTONOMOUS. You can easily do the movements without experiencing any problem.
Only a few variables should be changing in your first four to six weeks in a training program. If your trainer has you doing complex or over stimulating routines, then it’s possible he/she does not understand regressions and progressions of exercise science.
An example of regressions and progression is:
You are new to personal training and you haven’t learned to do a squat properly. You should only be doing bodyweight squats until your movement pattern is mastered. Any faulty movement that is progressed to a more complex or challenging exercise will only create problems later on that may lead to a joint issue or pain. If you go into a training session and you don’t feel completely confident with your squat movement, and the personal trainer has you doing more weights or a squat to a shoulder press on a bosu ball, then he/she just made the exercise more complex without making sure you have mastered the basics.
How do you know are doing something that is overly complex or stimulating to your nervous system?
Your level of mental stress will go up. In other words, you won’t feel successful with each movement. Something feels off. Subconsciously, you know when you are moving correctly, but but you consciously don’t know how to get yourself to move correctly. You need proper direction and guidance from an experienced and educated personal trainer.
Discover the variables that you should work on:
Step 1: Master the 7 core basic exercise patterns which are:
Step 2: Once you have mastered the movements you can begin to progress in a few ways:
- Load: The amount of weight or load you lift with each exercise.
- Volume: The number of reps and sets of the exercise you do.
- Intensity: The amount of physical power that the body uses when performing an activity. For example, exercise intensity defines how hard the body has to work to walk a mile in 20 minutes.
Other variables that can be manipulated are:
- Complexity: An example would be doing compound movements like a squat to a row.
- Reducing stability: An example of that would be doing a one leg shoulder press.
Step 3: Progress and train properly: Below are typical progressions when it comes to strength training.
- Start off with muscular endurance. 12-20 reps, 2-3 sets
- Progress to hypertrophy training. 8-12 reps, 3-6 sets
- Progress to strength training. 4-8 reps, 4-6 sets
- Progress to power exercises. 2-5 reps, 4-6 sets
The example above is the most basic training model. But when you work with the right training professional, he/she can manipulate the variables to maximize results in a short period of time.
At EarthFIT, we use a unique training method where we incorporate the 7 core exercises with strength, endurance, aerobic, anaerobic, flexibility, mobility, recovery and cool down training throughout the week. These compact 30-minute sessions produce optimal results. Because of its success, this formula has produced a cult like following by our clients.
I AM IN GREAT SHAPE AND LOVE WORKING OUT, SO NOW I AM A PERSONAL TRAINER. It’s not uncommon for a person to want to become a personal trainer because they love working out and are in great shape. But these are not qualifications for being a trainer.
EarthFIT only employs personal trainers with a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in a related field, a high level national certification, and successful completion of a 3-month intensive in-house training program where they acquire the two in-house certifications to ensure they have the emotional intelligence (along with the science) and right-brained activity to execute programming properly. (More on the right brain and left brain later.)