Personal trainers are all the rage with celebs whose careers lean heavily on their personal appearance. They were once seen as a luxury rather than a necessity but now more and more people are turning to one whether its to give themselves an initial kick up the backside to get motivated to engage in more exercise, or using them to accomplish their long-term fitness goals. I’ve never really gone down that route of hiring a PT (personal trainer) because I’m extremely motivated but with more and more of my readers asking me about the topic, I decided to allow a PT to put me through my paces. So after a recommendation via a work colleague, I decided to go for the kill and have a one on one with fitness trainer Niko Algieri on a cold and miserable Friday afternoon in Hyde Park.
Fitlass meets the mighty TRX Suspension
Now I prize myself on being super fit because of my healthy eating and gruelling exercise regime. But even I could not have been ready for the workout that my muscles got. I actually discovered new ones too! Now each trainer is different so has their own unique way of getting you to do a series of exercises. After a warm-up, I started off with a series of boxing moves. Jab jab cross, upper cut, hook! I engage in regular boxing sessions but this was tough!! After my arms felt like they were going to fall off, Niko introduced me to the TRX Suspension Training. (It looks like a harness and when I first laid eyes on it I have to say the mind did boggle!! 🙂 ) This is a versatile piece of exercise equipment with which you can perform hundreds of exercises that you can do virtually anywhere. It helps build power, core strength, flexibility, balance and endurance. So I engaged in press ups, biceps, triceps, squats, lunges, the plank, all to Niko’s instructions. When I felt I couldn’t do any more, Niko pushed me that little harder. Had I been on my own doing these reps, I certainly would have cheated! But that was the beauty of having the trainer there – he was not going to let me off easy. And even though I wanted to kill him while my body was in some position I never knew it could get into, I was happy with the end result and after the long hard session, I’m please to say Niko and I are still friends 🙂
So, that was my experience, but if you are seriously looking for a regular PT, or just want one once every month, how do you go about getting one? Here’s some things you may want to consider before you make an important investment.
What are the benefits of a personal trainer?
Primarily, they give you a customised plan. A lot of people know they want to lose weight, but they have no plan or direction. Sometimes, people with gym memberships just let their emotions, or their likes and dislikes, choose what they do at the gym that day. A trainer, will help plan a session that is different every time so that it will help keep you on track and relieve boredom.
Have you established your personal goals?
Most people want to lose weight, but ask yourself specifics. What do you want? Do you want to build muscle, compete in an event or a 5K, prepare for a wedding? Look at your goals, then look for a trainer who either specialises in those goals or discuss them with one to see how they can best help you achieve them.
What is a session like?
You’ve had a snapshot of mine but trainer sessions vary from one trainer to another. On the whole they typically last an hour. The trainer will literally take you through a workout – warm up, the strength, cardio, or whatever training you do, and the cool down. They help you perform the more technical workouts, so they probably won’t accompany you on a mile walk, but will help you one-on-one with resistance training and weight lifting. They’re there to motivate and encourage you all the way.
Give a trainer a few sessions to see if they fit. If you don’t feel comfortable, listen to your instincts. If they aren’t personable and interact with you then that will make for long, awkward sessions. If they aren’t professional — leaning on equipment, taking phone calls or texting, talking to others while working with you — you should sprint!! Just for the record, Niko was professional, made me work hard but still made me feel it was fun. The hour flew by!
But can I afford it?
I know so many people who take annual memberships out at the gym and then never go. This is what I call wasting money! We’re talking about between £500 and £1000 plus annually. PT sessions do vary and depending on where you live cost from £45 upwards. Some trainers sell bulk sessions, so the more you book, the less they cost per session. Even if you can’t commit to regular PT sessions, it’s a good idea to have one every few weeks to keep you on track and for a change of routine.
Everyone’s different when it comes to what they want out of their health and fitness goals. But if you lack motivation and have set yourself long-term or short-term goals, a PT could be the answer for you!
For more info on Niko, look at his website http://www.nikoalgieri.com/