Should you hire a personal trainer? l have so many friends who always ask if they should or shouldn’t, and I asked Matt Crane, owner of L.I.F.E. Fitness why anyone should hire or need a personal trainer Here’s what Matt had to say, “I’m not a fan of the title, “Personal Trainer.” Technically, I am one, but that is such a small part of what I do. “Coach, therapist, counselor, and friend are only a few of the titles that comes from being a “trainer.” I pride myself in improving and reshaping my clients quality of life while helping them live life to the fullest, full of purpose, meaning and with boldness. The name of my business, L.I.F.E, means Living in Fitness Everyday, and I have a passion to spread this message to as many people as I can.
1) Personal Trainers create safe, effective, and efficient training programs: First and foremost, your health and safety should be at the forefront of any exercise plan. I see it all too often. People get excited about working out and getting in shape and try to do it on their own, but commonly end up with frustration, feeling lost, or worse, injured. My clients go through an extensive initial assessment to identify areas of weakness/strength, fill out medical/past injury/background information, and complete a par-q (physical readiness questionnaire). Taking all of these variables into account, I sit down with everyone and devise a customized plan designed specifically for the clients’ unique needs, goals, time constraints, and other influencing factors. Once you have a plan in place, a trainer can ensure that you are getting maximum results out of the effort you are putting in. By following a challenging, dynamic, and efficient training plan, you are ensured to constantly be evolving and overcoming plateaus when you reach them.
2) A trainer can provide guidance with your nutrition: Regardless of your goal, nutrition is by far the most important piece of a successful training program, easily being 75-80% of what will determine if you achieve the goals you have set for yourself.
3) A trainer helps you set REALISTIC and attainable goals: Many times people set goals for themselves that aren’t feasible. When they fall short, they get disappointed, discouraged, and can lead to their quitting the program altogether. A trainer, through experience and knowing your individual needs, can help you set, adjust, and track your progress through a number of different ways. By setting realistic, attainable goals for yourself, you set yourself up for success by achieving small milestones that add up to big change. I preach to my clients, “SMALL CHANGES, BIG RESULTS!”
4) A trainer provides accountability: As with anything else we do in life, when you have someone you are accountable to, you are more likely to complete the task at hand. Having that person there (that you have paid for), waiting for you to show up is a huge motivating factor for making it to the gym to get your workout in. Let’s face it, there never seems to be enough time in the day and we can always find an excuse NOT to do something, it is crucial to have that built in accountability.
5) A trainer provides guidance and knowledge beyond the gym: The reality is that we only get to see our clients an average of 3 hours or so per week, so the overwhelming majority of your success depends on how prepared you are the other 165 hours during the week. By having a trainer who helps you during those crucial hours outside of the gym, you are going to be much more likely to make the right choices.
6) A trainer provides motivation and encouragement: In times of frustration, disappointment, or lack of will, a trainer will motivate you to keep pushing when you would otherwise give up. Whether it be that extra pushup, that last 30 seconds of cardio, or simply receiving encouraging words via text or through a phone call, a trainer will encourage you to reach your full potential and not give up when you feel you’ve reached your limit.
7) A trainer INSPIRES you: Having a trainer will inspire you to work toward your goals, reach heights you never thought possible, and ultimately be an inspiration for someone else. We can ALL be better, and a trainer should inspire you to be the best YOU that YOU can be! In doing so, you will begin to make a difference in others live as well. I always teach my clients that they should give the gift they have been given and inspire others- a sort of “pay it forward” mentality. You never know who is watching or who may be inspired by what you are doing with your life. Be, live, and give inspiration!
Matt trains clients at Icon Performance. For more information, you can contact Matt at:
Everyone wants to have a lean body, but how do we achieve it? I did some research to figure out what I am personally doing right and wrong, and here’s what I’ve found. If you have any other tips to offer, please share in the comment area below.
1. Strength Training-Adding strength training to your exercise program will help build lean muscles. Whether you use free weights, machines, body weight, or resistance bands, you will increase lean muscle, reduce body fat and burn more calories efficiently.
2. Eat more protein-Eating protein will help create lean muscle. Create your meals around protein. Identify what protein you are going to have and work your meals around that.
3. Do more yoga-In yoga, muscles are strengthened and elongated so you will not bulk up as much, but get a tone and flexible body.
4. Front-load your carbohydrates-Reduce the number of carbohydrates you eat as the day goes on. Studies show that your body’s ability to metabolize carbs drops as the day goes on, so more can end up stored as fat. My trainer, Jeff Green, from Icon Performance, says “Cut out all carbs after 3 p.m.” Wow is that hard, but if you can do it, you will see a difference.
5. Limit sugar, white flour and alcohol-These foods are quickly digested which causes blood sugar to rise. This stimulates the release of the hormone insulin, which signals your body to stop burning fat (and storing it instead).
6. Eat more frequently and eat smart-Nutritionist and Fitness Expert Sandra Koulourides, of “Fuel Plus Fitness”, suggests eating lean protein, good fat, veggies and fruit. Also, eating more frequent smaller meals with help curb cravings and splurging
7. Drink more water-Staying hydrated with water will help your body stay energized as well as help you cut down on soft drinks and caffeine.
8. Cardio and Interval Training-Do at least 30 minutes of cardio at least 5 days a week and stay consistent. Mix this with interval training, and you’ll rev up your metabolism even more.
9. Get more sleep-Refueling and resting your body often helps muscles rebuild. Get at least 8 hours of sleep (and 9 if possible) and take a day or two off a week.
10. Read labels-Don’t just look at protein and carbs, but take note at fiber, sodium, fat and how much sugar is in what you’re eating.