Coaches and personal trainers must have the easiest jobs, right? They get to help people work out for a living — fun! But wait: There are a lot of preconceived notions about trainers and coaches. In reality, fitness coaches would love for you to drop those stereotypes. There are quite a few things that we, the average athletes, are blissfully unaware of.
In order to get the most out of your workouts and really connect with the fitness professional who's guiding you, here are a few things that trainers and coaches want you to know.
5 Things Personal Trainers and Coaches Want You to Know
1. You Should Probably Choose the Nearest Gym (Not the Fanciest One)
Signing up for a gym membership is a big commitment. At first, it might be tempting to join the nicest gym you can afford — those saunas and hot tubs sure sound cozy, right?
But how do you make sure that you’re still going to show up after, say, seven months? Heck, even just one month, when the sparkle and novelty wear off?
Once you factor in your work schedule and your personal life, you’ll realize that there's going to be one reigning factor determining whether or not you make it to the gym: how fast and easy it is to get there. If you have to drive 30 minutes, you'll probably go home instead. Find one by your place of employment or your home for more convenience.
Trainers and coaches understand that sometimes, we can be, well, lazy. It's understandable. We're busy, tired, and stressed out. Don't make the gym seem like one more errand or chore. Make it easy.
2. Results Take Time — No, Seriously
Have you spent the last year falling out of shape? Yes? Then why expect your coach to help you change the situation in just a month? They can't, and it's not because they're unqualified. It's because it's not possible.
Getting unhealthy takes time. And so does getting healthy.
Plus, unless you've got a ton of time on your hands, you're probably attempting to squeeze the gym in between the 200 other responsibilities you have in a 24-hour period.
We hate to use this cliche, but we're going to regardless: Rome wasn't built in a day. Trainers know that you're antsy to see results, but all you can control is your own actions.
Just keep showing up to the gym, and the results will follow.
Patience is key. Remember, you want long-lasting, sustainable results. "I'll just eat 500 calories a day and then go work out for five hours!" you say. No. Stop.
Insane workout plans and crash diets might bring faster results, but they don't last. (And they're also dangerous for your health, but we'll save that for another blog.)
3. Perfection is the Enemy of Progress
A lack of confidence or a bit of uncertainty can make it difficult for any individual to take the first step on their journey. But everyone, including fitness pros and your coach, started from the beginning and learned along the way. No one woke up with a perfect bod or endless knowledge without working for it.
In reality, pressuring yourself to be perfect only leads to self-sabotage. Perfection is not a requirement nor should it be the focus of any goal.
So, let’s put things into perspective a little more.
First of all, your coach wants you to stop comparing yourself to others. It's corny but true: There's nobody quite like you, and we're all beautifully unique. Gymtimidation is real but if becoming healthier is your goal, heading to the gym should be your priority. The hardest part is getting there. Do that and you're golden.
Next, nobody — not even your personal trainer or coach — is judging you. You decided to take your health seriously, and fitness experts are there to help you succeed. That's their job. Work with them to map out your short- and long-term goals. Your coach will hold you accountable so that you will be more consistent with your efforts.
Third, trainers want you to stop saying "as soon as." We're all guilty of it. "I'll start working out as soon as..." "I'll start eating healthier as soon as..." Spoiler alert: That day, when all of the stars align and everything is perfect, will never come. Start now!
4. "Eat Less, Exercise More" Doesn't Tell the Whole Story
Oh man. Here's one that coaches and trainers are really tired of.
To put it simply, if we are undernourished, we cannot workout at an optimal level. Extreme hunger and lack of nutritional intake are not factors that improve a healthy body. Moreover, if you focus too much on size and weight, it robs your joy and fulfillment of fitness.
It’s hard to imagine getting through a hardcore workout routine with a hungry stomach because you haven’t been eating enough. It’s unhealthy and it only sucks the energy out of you. When you eat better, you train better. And when you train better, you eat better.
Remember, too, that poor diet is said to be linked to disrupted insulin, abdominal fat gain, systemic inflammation, and a higher risk of metabolic syndrome, according to research published in the journal of Health Promotion Perspectives. When your metabolism is at the risk of slowing down, it makes it harder for your body to reduce significant weight and produce a healthy amount of energy. Yikes.
Do you need to adjust your calories to lose weight? Probably. Just don't assume that it's as simple and straightforward as eating less and moving more.
5. There's a Reason the Greatest Athletes in the World Have a Coach
And it's because this stuff is hard. Really hard.
Whether you're a pro athlete competing in the playoffs or a stay-at-home mom taking care of three little ones, we all need someone to guide us and keep us accountable. It doesn't mean you're weak. It means that you're human.
Plus, with the insane amount of information available online telling you how to get healthy, how could you possibly know what to roll with?
Your coach is there to help you find the right path, faster.
Personal trainers and coaches have a big job to do. Find one who you really connect with and your entire fitness journey might be more fulfilling because of it.