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Do I Need a Personal Trainer?

Joe Pietaro

Joe Pietaro

Joe Pietaro Contributer
May 30, 2014
Regardless if you're a novice, expert or somewhere in between when it comes to the fitness lifestyle, there's always going to be someone who knows more about it than you do. Even the person who has been doing it for decades and reaching major heights of success may have missed out on something that would have made them just a little bit better. Or performing an exercise from a certain angle to alleviate what ended up turning in to an injury. However you slice it, there's always going to be something new to give you even the slightest advantage.

For those who are new to the gym, it's imperative that you do some homework if you do not have an experienced training partner nor personal trainer. They will tell you the ins and outs of what to do - correctly and safely - and be there to give you a spot when necessary. The gym can be quite the intimidating place if you are not familiar with those surroundings. And the inhabitants known as "gym rats" can be assholes at times. They feel that they are the only one who counts and hogs up multiple pieces of equipment at once. Here's our soundest advice: stay away from this type and do not even bother trying to learn anything by watching them other than what NOT to do.

That segues us into a part of what we meant as homework in the prior paragraph. Sure, you can do plenty of research at home and it is even easier now with people posting videos of every set they do; check out and compare styles and more importantly the form. That is where you are going to sink or swim - using proper form regardless of the amount of weight you are lifting. You should observe what different people do in the gym and how even one particular movement has different variations (especially grips - close or further apart).

Do not be shy to ask someone in the gym a question. You'll be able to feel them out and ensure they are not one of the aforementioned assholes and will be more than happy to show some courtesy to talk to you about your inquiry. That person may be doing something you have never seen before but it looks interesting and of course you want to try it. But don't go in blind and know what it's for. Especially if it's something that puts you in an awkward position and may cause you to pull a muscle or feel some joint pain if doing it wrong or with too much weight.

A personal trainer may be the best way to go, but even then it comes with variables. How much does this person really know and are you just getting the same workout as the rest of his or her client list? It takes some time for even an experienced PT to know a particular client and works for one may not work for another. So you have to feel out the trainer the same way they do the same to you.

The bottom line is the bottom line - can you afford a PT? If so, then you may be ahead of the game. But if you cannot, then take the steps we have suggested to give yourself a good solid base to succeed. And keep your eyes open in the gym for live time tips.