Working out with a personal trainer can whip you into shape. Personal trainers keep your exercise routine interesting and diverse. They guide you through tough moves, spot you on heavy weights, and offer encouragement when you need it the most.
They are also really expensive.
While investing in your health is never a bad idea, you can get many of the same benefits of working with a personal trainer while exercising on your own. If your goal is to win a bikini body competition – stick with a professional trainer. But if you want to be healthier and more fit, grab your protein shake and get ready to become your own personal trainer.
How to Be Your Own Personal Trainer
1. Set a Fitness Goal.
Perhaps you want to run for thirty minutes without stopping, whittle your waist by five inches, or be able to do 30 push-ups in a row. It doesn’t matter what your goal is, as long as it’s realistic for your fitness level. It also has to be measurable. Make a note of your starting point and measure your progress every week. Celebrate any progress – and never beat yourself up if you slip backward.
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2. Keep Your Workout Interesting.
The quickest path to quitting your exercise plan is to do the same routine every time. It's not just boring - it can also hinder your progress because your muscles grow accustomed to repetitive movements. Doing the same moves can also set you up for injuries from overuse. Instead, aim for a different workout every time you exercise. Try every machine in the gym. You might feel self-conscious reading the instructions or for asking for help, but in reality – no one is paying attention. Exercise outdoors or in a different room in your house. Use a yoga ball, medicine ball, or TRX straps. Without a trainer, you’ll have to come up with exercises on your own. Find a source that appeals to you: talk to friends, subscribe to health magazines, or download workout videos.
3. Hold Yourself Accountable.
For many gym-based personal trainers, you sign a contract for a set amount of time. Whether you show up for your training session or not, you still have to pay for it – and this is a huge incentive to get to the gym. With a cheap, come-and-go gym membership, the monetary motivation isn’t nearly as strong. So you need to bulk it up. Create an incentive plan of positive reinforcement that works for you. It doesn’t have to be huge. Every time you exercise, put $1-5 in a special fund for travel, new clothes, comic books, or anything else that gets you excited.
4. Be Your Biggest Cheerleader.
Wouldn’t life be great if our struggles were always met with a word of encouragement? If every time you felt like quitting, someone said: You can do it! You’re almost there. Keep going! Life CAN be like that – but only if you become your biggest cheerleader. No one else is going to do it for you. Positive self-talk feels awkward at first, especially if you’re used to self-criticism. You’re so out of shape. You’re jiggling all over the place. You’ll never run a marathon. Would a personal trainer ever say those things to you? No way. And you shouldn’t either. Every time you catch yourself thinking something negative about your efforts, stop and replace those thoughts with three positive statements.
You can do it!