For years, we’ve been strictly a CrossFit gym. We’ve offered primarily group classes and have always made the assumption that anyone joining would be best served by joining the group. We never denied the benefits of personal training, but we never really promoted them either. For members who wanted personalized attention, we offered a service called the Coach’s Corner where members could receive personalized programming. Our coaches would design this programming specifically to help members reach their goals. While we still believe in the power of group classes, and the benefits of personalized programming, it is really hard to match the personal development that comes from personal training. Personal training has benefits that can’t be maximized in any other format. Why? Because the attention is all on you, the member, the individual with goals and needs. In this article, we are going to break down some of the most common benefits of personal training.
Personal Training Defined:
When we are talking about personal training, we mean you are working out, or performing exercises, under the supervision of a trained coach and programmer. We are talking about one coach assigned to you who is going to get to know you, understand your needs and desires, design a program for you, and then actively take you through that program. This coach is going to take the time to understand your limitations and have the knowledge to program around those limitations to help you overcome them. This coach is going to be able to help you with a full range of services from fitness, to mobility, and even diet.
We are not talking about someone who stands with a clipboard (or iPad these days) and watches you go through the motions of a program that someone else wrote. That is a personal supervisor.
Your fitness needs are individual to you. Those needs may be similar to someone else, but they are still individual to you. If you are paying the price for personal training, your personal trainer needs to be providing you with that personal level of service.
One of the biggest benefits of personal training is being able to address your mobility and flexibility limitations. We defined mobility as the ability to move a joint through a full range of motion. We define flexibility as the ability to lengthen a muscle in order to provide a joint the ability to move through a full range of motion. For example, you need mobility in the hip joints to perform a below parallel squat. You need flexibility in the hamstrings, glutes, quads, etc. (all the muscles involved) to be able to stretch into that end range of motion.
Most of our mobility and flexibility is not great these days. We spend hours in a seated position hunched over in front of a computer. We almost feel cliche pointing out, again, how bad sitting and working at a desk can be. However, it is the biggest correlation to poor range of motion that we see today, and possibly the leading a cause of knee pain, back pain, pulled muscles, and strains.
One such mobility issue is the a posterior tilt of the pelvis (Sorry for the science stuff). This is when the pelvis turns under when we are standing tall. From sitting all day, we lose the ability to use our hip flexors to pull our pelvis into proper alignment (we are being a bit general here). You can see this as a slight rounding of the low back during a loaded deadlift. This poor position can lead to low back pain when performing squats or deadlifts.
Through personal training, we can address issues like a posterior tilt head on. We can identify something like this in the group class, and provide some broad suggestions on how to fix it. However, often times, personal attention is necessary to make sure you are performing the therapy movements correctly to maximize benefits.
We’ve mentioned a couple of times now, but a solid personal training program must involve personal programming that is designed for you. In a group setting, you will receive programming designed to get the group generally physically fit. This is good more the majority of the population. However, let’s assume you want to run a marathon, or climb a mountain. Now, your fitness needs are different than those of the general population.
Personal training doesn’t have to be an entire fitness program. Sometimes, you may have a limited or specific goal, and need some extra help. Maybe you simply want to add 15 lbs to your back squat. A personal trainer will be able to do more than give you a bunch of squatting homework and send you on your way. You might have some of those mobility issues we mentioned above. A personal trainer will want to address those first while also giving you appropriate squat work. Perhaps your personal trainer also noticed that you don’t have great form in your back squat. When you are reaching the limits of your strength, form can become incredibly important. Your personal trainer needs to see you move before he or she can correct.
If we made a dollar for every time someone new starts at the gym, looks super motivated, and then trails off after a month of so, we’d be rich. We do a lot at Industrial Athletics to try to keep people coming back for more. However, we can’t be at your house making you go to the gym.
The group class setting does a lot to help with accountability. When you make friends in a class, those are the people who are looking out to make sure you are showing up. When you don’t, they call or text you to find out why you aren’t coming. When those people become your friends, you show up sometimes just to hang out for a social hour.
Now, multiply that feeling of accountability by like ten when you are working with a personal trainer. You aren’t left to your own devices to come to the 4:30pm class, or whatever time you would attend the group class. Instead, you are sitting down with someone and scheduling a day and time for YOU! You can’t hope your coach won’t notice if you don’ show up today because that was your specific time.
More of What You Want:
As much as we like to pretend (and we have for years) that everyone loves a motivating group, the reality is that some don’t love it. There are a ton of reasons why someone may not want to join a group of ten to fourteen other people all working out at the same time. If that’s you, personal training is built for you. It is your time. Your trainer is focused on you, motivating you, and making sure you are doing everything correctly. No more relying on your brain to push you through a workout, your trainer will do that for you. Starting to slack off in your intensity? Your trainer will see it and encourage you to keep going. Getting lazy with your range of motion? Your trainer will remind you to adjust your movement patterns. Having a hard time getting going today? Your trainer will know that, because he or she will know you, and will know how to get you pumped up.
For more information on how personal training can benefit you, reach out. We will have a coach contact you ASAP to answer all of your questions.