If you have been following my journey of fat loss, you will know that I lost almost 30 pounds of fat in 10 months. In Part 3 of this series I will delve into the training aspect of my commitment to fat loss.
The first thing I did when I set my goals for fat loss was to select a quality gym to workout in. An exercise facility can only help you if you frequent it. I chose one according to my taste and standards. I knew that for me, I would only feel comfortable in a facility that did not cater to singles looking for a date more than to exercise.
While making a profit is important and necessary, I also wanted a club where it was obvious that the management was sincerely interested in health and fitness for their members and not just their bank accounts. I found all of that at a Larry North Fitness near my home.
Upon joining the fitness club, I immediately set up an appointment for an assessment with a personal trainer. The next day I went in to verify what I had previously not wanted to face. It was confirmed that I was a whopping 31% bodyfat. Since I had already mentally prepared myself for the ugly truth and was determined to move ahead, I took that information as simply a starting point to never see again.
Even though I had never worked with a personal trainer before, I was so determined to lose fat that I hired one on the spot. I will admit that I was initially concerned about the cost, but I assure you that it was indeed an investment in myself that has been worth every penny!
I worked hard with my trainer for an hour, three times a week and did cardio activity on my own for about 45 minutes four times a week. I really tried to push myself in all areas. Even though I could not even jump twice in a row with a jump rope at first nor perform two consecutive push ups, I really did try and put all my effort into it.
I also pushed myself in my cardio activities. I progressed to getting my heart rate up to a nice working level for maximum benefits. (I purchased a heart rate monitor so that I could always monitor my heart rate. For motivation, I bought a model which shows accurate calories burned during an exercise session).
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While I would love to be able to share with you the exact training routines we performed, that would be impossible. That is the benefit of having a personal trainer. What I can tell you is that my trainer started with me where I was initially and we gradually increased the intensity of my workouts. I did a full body workout every week with an effective progression of difficulty.
This is where I will emphasize the importance of hiring a personal trainer to help you reach your fitness goals. It is truly an investment in yourself and one of the best places you can put your money.
A good personal trainer will start by helping you identify your likes, needs and goals. They will create an effective training routine for you so you can concentrate on your workout, thereby saving you time designing routines on your own. This is a must for those of you who go into the gym with no plan at all and just randomly start doing exercises.
Your trainer will act as your coach and motivator; pushing you to really do the best you can! It always seems that you can do one or two more good repetitions with someone's coaching than you could do on your own. We tend to work much harder for someone else than we would on our own; especially when we are getting constant feedback of our results.
We just don't give up as easily when cheered on by someone else. They will encourage you and keep you from getting de-motivated when you want to give up. You will also be accountable to them since you have an appointment. Accountability is a great way of making sure you get to the gym at an appointed time!
A trainer will keep varying your routines for effectiveness. The body is amazingly adaptable and if you continue to do the same few exercises all the time, they will cease to produce the same positive results. I'm sure you have all seen some people in the gym who come in every day, do the same routine and look exactly the same months later. Your body needs constant challenges to keep making gains. A trainer can do all of that work for you.
A trainer will track your progress. Many trainers use multiple methods of tracking your progress and can present it to you in numbers as well as graphs. On going, constant feedback not only displays your progress, but will encourage you to keep going. Also, as stated previously, their efforts in changing your routines will help prevent you from becoming bored with training.
Perhaps the most convincing reason to hire a trainer is that they will ensure that you are using correct form and technique. Doing an exercise incorrectly will not give you the results that you are expecting and you could waste a lot of time and energy in the gym.
Likewise, maintaining the correct speed and tempo during an exercise will also improve your results and help prevent injury. Preventing injury should be a major concern and is best addressed by having a professional assist you.
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Okay, so you agree that hiring a trainer is an excellent idea! Do you think that you can't afford it? Consider some of the following points:
- What would it cost you financially, physically, and mentally if you got injured learning to train on your own? Getting injured could be costly in many ways. It could also discourage you from ever attempting to work out again. The risk can be reduced by having a professional teach, help and monitor you.
- How much time would you spend spinning your wheels at the gym not making much progress on your own? You've heard that "time is money" and who really wants to exhaust themselves for nothing every day?
- Do you have any health issues such as being overweight, diabetes, or high blood pressure? How about depression, anxiety or stress? The help of a professional trainer could quite possibly save you money in the long run if you could eventually eliminate some prescriptions and doctor bills by strengthening your body and heart.
Getting fit with an effective exercise program could also aid in preventing potential health issues in the future and a trainer could make your efforts more efficient. A well developed fitness program can also potentially save you some lost sleep by helping to reduce your stress level.
- How much money do you spend on junk food and eating things that are sabotaging your fitness goals? Eating out can really ad up and is an easy expense to cut out when trying to save money. Why not apply that money toward training sessions? You'll gain a much bigger reward than just gaining a larger waistline.
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- How much money do you spend on luxury services such as getting your nails done, fancy haircuts and buying extra nice clothes? I now these items are great and I wouldn't want you to give them up completely. However, perhaps you could find ways to reduce their frequency or economize on the cost of these services. Wouldn't you truly prefer to have a nice body to go with your pretty hair, nails and clothes?
- How about the money you spend on supplements? If you are just starting a training program, a trainer can help you weigh your supplement choices carefully to help you make wise decisions with your purchases. (If you need help finding what supplements work, check out Diet Supplements Revealed.
- Why not ask for training sessions for birthday, anniversary, and holiday gifts? It is truly a gift to improve yourself for life! Unlike many gifts that we forget about after time, getting fit will remain close to your heart. Who knows, you may even motivate someone you love to also get fit and healthy?
- If nothing else, if you are new to training, consider purchasing a minimum of 25 sessions to at least learn proper form, technique and tempo. Even one month of professional training can make a huge difference in learning how different exercises affect your body and their effectiveness.
Additionally, it will give you a chance to have many of your questions answered. It can also give you a starting point to monitor your progress. Even a few sessions, if you can't afford many, can really help get the ball rolling toward your ultimate fitness goals!
Finally, take a good look at your checkbook and credit card statements. Where are you really spending your money? It is a healthy exercise to actually look at the statements and not just assume you know where your money is going. Quite often we spend more money on purchases than we think.
It is said that we spend our money on our priorities and where our heart really resides. Shouldn't your health and fitness really be your top priority? Imagine how much more effective you could be in all areas of your life if you felt better physically and mentally; if your self-confidence was up and you had more energy!
I know that I would not have made the progress I did if I did not hire a personal trainer to assist me. I can only speculate on what the outcome would have been if I had tried to learn on my own.
However, knowing myself, I think I may have become discouraged easily and I am confident that I would not have made the gains that I did in as short of a time span.
My biggest training advice is to hire someone to help you for as long as you can afford it. After that, you will have a great knowledge base and improved motivation to continue working on your own.
Bodybuilding.com has a vast array of effective workout programs on their site that are wonderful to bring into the gym! I simply encourage you to ensure that you are comfortable, confident and use good technique before you workout on your own so that you can reap the full benefits of those programs. Click here for over 400 workouts.
Train often and train with your goals in mind. Don't just go through the motions; put your all into everything you do in the gym. You will see the payoff!