Most gyms have a team of trainers who you can hire (usually for P500 to P800 a session). It’s not cheap, but as they say, it’s an investment in your health. “It all boils down to your goals and personality type,” says Dan Israel, trainer and martial arts instructor. He breaks it down to 5 simple questions
Is this your first time to use weights?
Many people don’t maintain the correct posture during weight training. This leads to injury and slower gains, since you’re not exercising the right muscle groups. Not all gyms have spotters who can correct or help you — in fact, most of the time you’ll be left on your own. “A trainer can teach you the basic moves so you can safely take heavier weights or more difficult moves,” says Dan.
Have you hit a plateau?
You’re getting bored with your routine, or haven’t seen any significant improvement despite several weeks of regular exercise. A trainer can introduce new exercises or tailor a routine that pushes you past your comfort zone. “Sometimes all it takes is someone standing next to you saying, ‘Five more! Don’t stop! Come on, lift it higher!’ There will be moments when you think you can’t do it, but the trainer knows you can — and then you surprise yourself and break past your imagined limits.”
Do you have special time or health concerns?
Dan has a 40 year old client who was 80 pounds overweight, borderline diabetic, and very stressed and tired from his demanding corporate job. “He had been a gym member for years but rarely went because he was too busy or too tired.” Dan created a fitness program that suited his schedule and health issues — “just 60 minutes but burned enough calories and didn’t strain his back, because he had back issues” — and a simple 15 minute stretching routine that could help him relax at home between gym visits. In 8 months his client lost 30 pounds, experienced less back pain, and had more energy. Most of all, Dan’s guidance and encouragement helped him overcome unhealthy diet and lifestyle habits. “Most people know what they need to do, they just need someone who will remind them, sometimes scold them, but usually cheer them on.”
Do you usually skip gym because you’re feeling lazy?
Let’s be honest here. There are often dozens of reasons to skip going to the gym — you’re tired, traffic, your friends are inviting you to dinner, you’re feeling bleh. The fact that you’re paying a trainer P500 an hour will give you that motivation. “Manghihinayang ka sa pera. That’s your initial motivation. Then when you’re working out that shifts and you realize you’re doing this for yourself. It’s just to get you to the gym. That’s where the struggle is.”
Do you need to lose xx pounds by a certain date?
Dan says that he has clients who wanted to lose weight for their wedding, high school reunion, and even their 40th birthday. “When you have very concrete and strict fitness goals, then a trainer is absolutely necessary. It’s more effective than going on a crash diet or exercising blindly to the point that you are too tired or in pain to exercise at all!”
Your trainer will be able to create a regimen, and work with you and the gym nutritionist to create a holistic plan for losing weight. “That way you don’t just lose slim down for one event, you actually create lasting results. It’s sad if you go through so much pain and sacrifice and then gain everything back within a few months. As I always tell my clients — it’s not easy, but make it count.”