Personal Training: Myths, Misconceptions, and Truths!
Originally Published: Oct 15, 2015
By Leigh McCready, CSCS, HKC
acac Personal Trainer Leigh McCready has put together a list of common myths that sometimes scare people away from personal training. She responds to the myths with truths that may help you decide if working with a trainer is right for you!
Myth: All personal trainers stay in perfect shape (think 6 pack abs and glutes you can bounce a quarter off of) and eat perfectly (naked chicken and kale, anyone?) 100% of the time.
Actuality: Let’s face it, we’re all human – and that includes personal trainers. We are regular people with regular problems and limitations. Just because fitness is our profession doesn’t mean we don’t fall short and struggle at times. We may decide to go in late, skip our morning workout and spend time with our family – or simply SLEEP IN! I may even indulge in a second cupcake if I’m feeling feisty. So although we may be more aware of our diet and exercise and have more overall knowledge than the average person, we still have to work at it. It’s a lifestyle, and no one is perfect. Try not to compare yourself to others – we are all experiencing a different walk in life – just strive to do your best! And, true story, personal trainers often times seek personal training themselves!
Tall Tale: Trainers just want to kick your butt – aka, make you super sore.
Reality: Ok, this one might be true. NO! It’s not, it’s not! Although some clients DO enjoy the occasional butt-kickin’ session, our job is to get you to move better and feel better. Sure, there may be some soreness associated with your workouts, usually resulting from a change in routine, duration, or intensity; however, pain and soreness do not have to be present in order to achieve results. But don’t get me wrong, we absolutely want to see you sweat, and we will push you where you won’t push yourself – but that doesn’t have to end with you bending over a trash can or being sore for two weeks. NO. WAY. There is a fine art to progression and it’s our job to challenge you without overwhelming you.
So UNtrue: You need to be in shape before you hire a personal trainer.
The Honest Truth: First of all, being “in shape” means something different to everyone. A trainer’s responsibility is to meet you where you are. It is not my job or my desire to JUDGE your current fitness level; rather, I simply assess it so we have a starting point from which to work. I don’t care (well, I really DO care but not in an “I can’t wait to tell my friends” kind of way) if you’re having trouble getting up and down from the floor or if you get winded going up a flight of stairs. This trainer can’t do pull ups without assistance (I know, I know, shocking, right?)! You deserve, and will get, my nonjudgmental support. That’s one thing I love about my job – no two people are the same and what works for one may not work for another. As trainers, we want to get you to your ideal fitness level – you have to start from somewhere and that “somewhere” is different for everyone.
Misconception: Personal training is too expensive.
More Accurately: Well, let’s just acknowledge this right up front. Personal training IS an investment. Any time you’re receiving someone’s undivided, individual attention, it probably won’t be the most inexpensive experience. Personal training may be something you have to budget for, but I believe when something is important enough, you can find a way to make it happen. So let’s talk benefits: accountability, motivation, injury prevention, proper technique/form, sport-specific training and results – not to mention the long-term benefits of stamina, strength and flexibility. Training is cheaper than say taking a tumble, spraining your ankle, going to physical therapy, missing time from work … you get the picture. As I mentioned earlier, our goal as personal trainers is for our clients to move better and feel better … well into their golden years. There are also several options for training aside from one-on-one sessions. Partner and small group sessions can totally help with cost control! Believe me, I understand budget concerns. Rest assured that whether you schedule one session with me or one hundred, the service you receive will be no different.
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