Woman works out with personal trainer

You’ve imagined that stronger, faster, healthier, slimmer version of yourself yet the reality sometimes falls short of the vision. Maybe you lack motivation? Maybe you lack knowledge? Sometimes it’s a matter of choosing the right goal. Whatever is standing in the way of your best, healthy self, a personal trainer can be a huge asset.


1. Trainers make great “guides” for creating goals. 

They can help you break down a long term goal into smaller daily and weekly process goals that will help you achieve your long term goal. When setting goals it’s important to think SMART. Are they Specific? Think of running your first 5k versus learning to run or losing 10 pounds instead of “losing weight.” Are they Measurable? Did you register for a race or set a 5k course? Will you weigh in weekly? Is your goal Attainable? Do you have physical ailments that restrict you from running? Do you have the time devoted to training? Are you willing to change your eating habits? Is it Relevant? If you want to run a 5k but your process goal is to lift 3 days a week, you might not have the stamina or endurance to complete the 5k. If you only workout more, but don’t address your nutrition, it is unlikely you will reach the weight loss goal you set. Have you set a Time limit for your goal? Having a set time to accomplish your goals helps keep you accountable, consistent and can assist with motivation.

2. Trainers make great “cheerleaders.” 

You get someone who is always in your corner encouraging you toward success. Trainers are the first to offer high 5’s and fist bumps when you choose carrots instead of chips, when you consistently came to the gym 3 days that week, and even when you were able to reach your toes to paint your toenails for the first time in years. They stress the “non-scale” victories – how your clothes fit, that you were able to squat your body weight, or that your blood pressure has decreased to the point you no longer need medication. There is no victory too small. Trainers also help you forgive yourself when you don’t stick to your program and encourage you to get back on track as quickly as possible.


3. Trainers help you conquer the tough stuff. 

Often when you have a weakness in an area, you avoid working it. After all, it’s hard work and isn’t there a quick fix to magically get you where you want to be. The truth is, it takes hard work and dedication. Your trainer is there to make your workouts more efficient, fun, and challenging. It’s in the challenge that you will find the change you’re looking for. They make you warm up, cool down and stretch to improve flexibility, range of motion and reduce the risk of injury.

4. Trainers get personal. 

Trainers dig into your lifestyle and look at your sleep habits, activity levels, support team and eating habits. They help you identify obstacles so you can find solutions. As you approach tailgate season, they help you navigate the mountains of food options to find the healthiest choice. They help you set morning and night-time routines to keep you on track. Trainers look at your personal health and body alignment to help you stay safe and reduce the risk of injury. They understand exercises that would be contraindicative to reaching your goals. They look at medications and how they might react to certain activity.

Finding the right trainer can make all the difference, as your trust and relationship grows, you’ll find yourself reaching goals instead of dreaming about them.


by Jen Springer, Personal Trainer at the Copple Family YMCA. 


If you'd like to find out more about what a personal trainer can do for you or if you'd like to book a session with a personal trainer, contact your local YMCA branch. See you at the Y!