With more than one third of the US population now officially classed as obese and the rest of the developed world following closely behind, it seems that effective and lasting weight loss remains the holy grail for hundreds of millions of people across the developed world. Yet the sad truth revealed recently by the University of Tennessee is that the average adult takes less than 5,000 steps a day (below half the recommended amount) with many taking less than 2,000 steps every day.
Despite these rather dire statistics and our every increasing waistline it seems we have a constant hunger (excuse the pun) to try new ways to get in shape. Topping this list it seems is personal training. This is an area that has experienced explosive growth over the past decade, with consumers listing personal training as one of their top reasons for joining a health club.
So just what exactly qualifies a personal trainer as an expert in weight loss and how can they help you? First and foremost it’s important to realise that personal trainers do not carry a magic wand in their gym bag. So simply hiring one will not somehow make you slim – you have to work for it and they will expect you to work hard.
It goes without saying that a personal trainer will be able to bring you valuable insight that they have learned and developed from having helped many other people to reach their weight loss goals. This qualifies them to know what exercises are the most effective, what you should be doing, how often you should be doing it and even what you should be eating. This in itself can be an invaluable tool in accelerating your fat loss.
However, beyond that, personal trainers have innate skills that are proven in helping others to achieve successful weight loss and believe it or not the ability to yell at you is not one of them! The three keys skills all personal trainers bring to their sessions are:
Good personal trainers are expert motivators. They realise that most people are not that keen on exercise and they understand the psychology behind driving people to reach their goals. They will have predefined behavioural strategies that they will implement to help to keep your motivation high throughout your program, from setting you mini-goals (so you stay focused) to calling and texting you regularly so that you keep your eyes on the prize.
Whilst reality TV shows regularly portray personal trainers as nothing more than heartless drill sergeants, in reality good personal trainers can emphathise with what you’re going through and they know when to push you and also when to step back. Understanding the difference between when you’re just making excuses and when you really cannot do one more rep is a skill developed through experience.
Finally personal trainers are fundamentally passionate about what they do. Without this passion they couldn’t do their job properly. It’s this passion that they hope to transfer to you. They do this by using their skills to make exercise fun, engaging and appealing and they have the skills to put together varied programs that will challenge you whilst keeping you interested all the way.
Scientific evidence has shown that we are far more likely to adhere to our program of exercise with someone there to support, motivate and encourage us. There’s absolutely no doubt that a great trainer will keep you accountable, helping you to achieve your weight loss goals and develop the skills for life-long change.
About the Author: Matthew Rowe is a Regional Personal Training Manager for MotivatePT - the largest personal trainer provider in the UK. The Company works with a wide range of customers to help them to achieve lasting weight loss and better health. Managing a team of personal trainers in Newcastle, Matthew overseas training and development, ensuring that each trainer attains the highest educational standard in their field.