Many people view personal training as a luxury – not necessary in daily life, but quite nice to have…like a bread-maker or a fancy watch! Others, however, see personal training as an absolute necessity!!

I am with the ‘others’…Not just because it’s my job, but because I believe that everyone deserves the best for their body….and that’s something, that I believe you won’t get by sitting at home munching on whatever takes your fancy from whatever leaflet just dropped through the letter box, or by joining a gym and paying a monthly membership fee but never actually showing up (or when you do show up, hanging around on the elliptical for a bit, picking up a few dumbbells and then heading to the sauna for half an hour)!

Assuming for a moment that you use a gym (I assume you do, otherwise you probably wouldn’t be reading this!!) I’d argue that you’re probably not getting the most out of your time there – it’s possible that you just go through the motions, get a bit of a sweat on, and leave feeling absolutely done in (physically and mentally)!

I would also hazard a guess that the workout you did in the gym was a possibly ’one size fits all’ workout from men’s health, runners weekly, women’s fitness or whatever magazine had the healthiest looking person on the front of it (this person probably has a trainer and the chance that they even did this workout ONCE, let alone on a regular basis is quite slim!!).Now, don’t get me wrong, the workouts advocated in magazines or online are ok – they make you work, you will sweat, and they target all the right areas, but they are very generic, and, YOU are not! For a workout to be truly effective it needs to be specific to YOU, not specific to thousands of other runners, body builders etc.

This is where personal training comes in, a good personal trainer will be able to assess your body and how you move, what works, what doesn’t, where you might be in pain, what might cause pain in future, and, most importantly, they will be able to assess how to get optimal performance out of you and your sessions!

None of us like being in pain but many of us experience a small amount of pain everyday pain – It’s a stiff shoulder, a sore back, maybe hamstring cramp, or a ‘niggle’ in the knee…these things can be so simple to get rid of if you have the right knowledge, so why do we put up with them? You wouldn’t drive your car if it was broken – you’d take it to a mechanic and get it fixed – so would you not do the same for your body? Sure, maybe you go to the doctors and get a check-up, you go to the dentist to ensure your mouth is clean, and you may even ‘treat’ yourself to a massage every now and again. But why do so few of us invest the same time and money in our fitness and physical health?

Now, admittedly I may be biased (I wouldn’t have become a personal trainer if I didn’t believe it was a worthwhile and necessary service) but it really is puzzling for me –that so many people see personal training as a luxury. Personally I have helped out so many people by getting them out of pain, improving their performance in the sports they love (whether they play professionally or just for fun), and just generally helping them feel a lot better in themselves….and all through designing a training programme specific to them as individuals!

Exercise is a great thing, and your body loves it! You get a massive rush of a hormone into your brain when exercising called endorphin (I like to think of it as the ‘happy hormone’), and it leaves you feeling on a high! After a good session, you should feel alive, revitalised and ready to take on the world!! You probably shouldn’t feel like you want to die (whether from boredom or exhaustion)! Again, this is what a personal trainer can give you – they can design a training programme that will challenge you and help you reach your goals, but that doesn’t leave you drained and exhausted, or that bores you so much you need to watch the in-gym TV while you train.

I could go on and on about the benefits of personal training, but I’d rather you experience it for yourselves (and then tell me about what you felt!) – I’d recommend that anyone not currently working with a personal trainer should go and try at least one session. It is important to get a good trainer, however, (a bad trainer is potentially dangerous and can give the whole industry a bad reputation) so do your research before signing up – ask for testimonials, call a few and speak to them on the phone; talk to some of their clients and ask them questions! Plus, any personal trainer worth their salt should be able to offer you a free trial session or consultation and this should help give you an idea of what you can expect from them and their training.

I believe that everyone deserves the best quality training, whatever their budget, and if you’re really serious about improving your health, fitness, performance or physique, investing in a personal trainer is certainly not a luxury – it’s a necessity!

Charlie