Importance of instructor, personal trainer


Innocent Choga Fitness
A good start builds a strong foundation in exercise. A good beginning creates good results, instils a proper mindset and discipline to train regularly and to execute exercises in a proper way.

If one starts well they are most likely to succeed in their endeavour to get fit since good training principles and proper methods of training rapidly produce good results and reduce the chances of getting injured as well.

Most people drop out during the early stages of training due to injuries, when they see nothing happening fast, or when they compare themselves to other gym members. It is the instructor’s role to be able to motivate a client internally by producing good results and externally through feedback, reassurance and by pushing the client where it is possible.

Immediate positive results motivate us and push us to continue exercising in order to see more positive results. Thus we might want to consider joining a gym with effective gym trainers or we might want to engage the services of an expert personal trainer. Sometimes we cannot see the immediate physical outlook changes but we feel different inside. An effective trainer is able to see and interpret such results to us.

By engaging the services of a trainer you do not have to worry about what you are going to do in the gym. You think of other things. You also do not have to worry about changing you routines.

You just have to turn up at the gym and someone has the duty to gauge your strength levels on the day, asses your mood at the time and prescribe what is best for you on the particular day.

The trainer can also advise you to take up any other physical activities if there is need to. If you are an athlete in any other discipline and you are training for strength or any such attribute you can allow your strength coach to watch you perform during matches so that he can spot your strengths and your weaknesses.

So many times I have had comments like: “How can he help me when he looks like that?” Do not expect the trainer to look the way you want to look. Trainers are also human beings; they can have the knowledge of what one must do but they also like to live the way they want. A trainer may also have a condition that makes it difficult for them to look fit.

You might want to consider the qualifications of the instructor. You need to be aware that there are some unqualified but experienced trainers who can deliver the best results.

It is important to critically analyse if the trainer can apply experience effectively. Some instructors talk about measuring fat levels etc. and yet some experienced trainers simply look at the definition on your calves or forearms and they can tell if something is happening.

If one is in the rehabilitation process or training for post rehabilitation fitness it is imperative that they engage the services of a qualified trainer or an expert in motor skills.

You might also want to consider age or maturity of the trainer, remember being young does not mean immaturity and vice versa.

We cannot stereotype according to age because some young trainers are very respectful. But sometimes the elderly trainer has to endure the childish pranks of younger clients and sometimes the elderly clients have to endure the embarrassing jokes of younger trainers. I have often heard comments like “Hey old man squeeze that big tummy”.

This depends on the individual, some clients do not mind at all they like joking around but some value mutual respect. I suppose one will never make jokes without the approval of the other party. During workouts as they unwind, clients like to talk. Confidentiality is a trait that trainers are taught to adopt, one can opt for a confidentiality clause in the contract.

Personal trainers usually have indemnity contracts between them and their clients. The purpose of the contacts is to protect the trainers in the event the client is injured or falls ill naturally or as a result of workouts.

Therefore it is advisable for clients to disclose any illnesses, age and whatever information the trainer might require. This will enable the trainer to design appropriate workouts and consider the client’s limitations.

Being linked to a popular trainer can also make the client popular or boost one’s image in that environment and it can also pave way for enhancing our networking, if we are into business.

Sometimes we end up being good friends with our trainers but we should not let friendship get in the way of business, we should demand results.

Personally I do not believe an effective trainer pushes every client to the maximum. I have observed that there are three groups of people. The first comprises of people who are very physically active and these are self motivated they enjoy being pushed to the limits.

The second group is made up of people who can be active but sometimes need to and can be pushed; the third is made up of individuals with no inclination to physical activities whatsoever but they want to do something.

An effective trainer will not push this last group, but dance to their tune and use compound exercises that work the whole body within a short period of time.

Generally some people in this last group like to chat a lot during any workout. An effective trainer will listen whilst making sure the client does something at the same time.

Positive results may motivate them to shift up their gears. A good trainer should not apply military training standards on all clients regardless of their physical capabilities.

In comparison to a personal trainer, a gym instructor has many people to attend to and cannot be expected to know your personal routines and capacities. A gym instructor might not be results oriented because they share responsibilities with other instructors. Besides, normally there are no management processes that are set in place to determine the effectiveness of an instructor.

I think a gym trainer is more effective in assisting gym clients to do exercises with perfect form. They can point out any anomalies when they see some and they are there to ensure we do not injure ourselves or damage the gym equipment. If funds do not permit one has to settle for a gym instructor.

The services that we get from the gym are different from the ones we get from the shops, so as clients using gym instructors we also have to play our part to get the best services. In the shops we buy definite items but in the gym our packages are personalised. If we are friendly, we are likely to get good assistance and therefore good results. If we are always grouchy and enjoy tormenting the gym instructors they will not assist us wholeheartedly. A personal trainer might tolerate our grouchiness only if they are starting out or stranded will they take in anyone.

I would like to digress a bit and take this opportunity to pay tribute to some of the people, who motivated us to train during my early days as a youth. We started well, thanks to the knowledgeable gym members at our club in Mufakose, which at that time was way ahead in terms of weight training. As a result Mufakose gym churned out many successful athletes during that time.

  • Innocent Choga is a six time National Bodybuilding Champion with international experience .He is studying for a science degree in Physical Education and Sport.

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