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Should you hire a personal trainer or jump on the bandwagon of group fitness? If you truly want to get fit, learn how to work out, learn how to eat right, and feel your best, you need to hire a trainer. They equip you with life-long, practical knowledge.

When you commit to losing weight and leading a healthy lifestyle, meaning dieting and exercising consistently, you have a plethora of options when it comes to the types of exercise you can choose from. Many people struggle with one decision: whether to invest in a personal trainer or participate in some type of group exercise. I’m here to tell you that you will find far greater success with a personal trainer because trainers offer a wide variety of services to meet your individual healthy-living goals.

Let’s look at the benefits of hiring a personal trainer in more detail.

Personal Training Is Individualized

Larry Shaw, a personal trainer, WNBF and NFF professional bodybuilder, bodybuilding judge, and gym owner says, “Personal training ensures that each training session is tailored exactly to the client’s needs more effectively than group fitness.” He would know. Shaw has been in the fitness industry for over five years. His clients will tell you that he has taught them to lift weights properly, believe in themselves and their strength, and how to eat properly to attain their desired fitness results whether that is to just get healthy or to compete in bodybuilding.  

Your personal trainer will form a specialized relationship with you. They are your motivator and your coach for up to an hour each session. They understand your goals, strengths, weaknesses, or any special requirements you might have due to your current health. Your trainer will customize each workout to your specific needs and hold you personally accountable for the hard work ahead of you. Plus, they are there for you every step of the way.

Why Not Group Exercise?

Frank Flores, certified personal trainer for 9 years who specializes in CPR/AED, ACE Pre/Post Natal exercise and TRX Training says, “Every ‘body’ works differently. If you have specific goals, your training regimen should be specifically designed for you.”

He explains the difference in personal training and group fitness with a great analogy. Flores says, “If you live in Texas and your final destination is California, why would you jump on a bus with a bunch of sweaty people heading to New York City? If everyone has different fitness goals, why are you jumping on a bus with a bunch of people going in the opposite direction?”

We get the point!

Personal Training Is Best If You Have Medical Conditions

Different trainers have different certifications. You can find one that meets your medical needs. For instance:

  • If you have had a knee or shoulder surgery and have limited range of motion, your trainer can modify exercises and help you rebuild strength in the area you had surgery.
  • If you have a chronic illness such as diabetes, asthma, osteoporosis or heart disease you should exercise because it can greatly benefit you.  Mayo Clinic states these conditions can make safely exercising a challenge and to talk to your doctor about what exercises are safe for you. There is another solution. A trainer who is a certified medical exercise specialist can close the gap between the doctor’s office and the gym. They are specially trained to help those with chronic illness. Their techniques serve as therapies that prevent the onset of disease, that relieves the symptoms of chronic illness, or helps heal and overcome it.
  • Are you elderly? Some trainers have a certification in senior fitness. This certification specializes in working with you if you are 55 or over. Trainers with this certification use techniques that help improve bone strength and density, prevent the deterioration of muscle, and help create an overall improvement in your quality of life.

Group Fitness Is For The Masses

Group fitness, on the other hand, is made for the masses.

Each session provides one pre-determined workout for a class of people with mixed levels of fitness. The benefit you get from the workout is solely based on the amount of effort you put into it, if you even show up. No one is actually holding you accountable to be there. It becomes easy to skip.

During class the group instructor will demonstrate variations of an exercise to make it easier or harder, but your needs will never be the focal point of the class. No one is guiding you on how to properly perform the exercises and your needs are not taken into account.

Flores says, “In group exercise classes, individuals and their goals tend to get lost among the crowd.”

Continue reading after recommendations

  • "Fitness." Exercise and Chronic Disease: Get the Facts. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 2016. Web. 30 June 2016.
  • Flores, Frank. "Why Is Hiring A Personal Trainer More Beneficial Than Group Fitness?" Personal interview. 1 July 2016.
  • McClaran, Steven R. "The Effectiveness of Personal Training on Changing Attitudes Towards Physical Activity." Journal of Sports Science & Medicine. Asist Group, 1 Mar. 2003. Web. 30 June 2016.
  • Shaw, Larry. "Benefits of Personal Training." E-mail interview. 27 June 2016.
  • Photo courtesy of midwestnerd: www.flickr.com/photos/20553990@N06/15708218699/
  • Photo courtesy of drjimiglide: www.flickr.com/photos/drjimiglide/2496216440/
  • Photo courtesy of drjimiglide: www.flickr.com/photos/drjimiglide/2496216440/

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