If lifting weights at the gym or a weekly run after work is reaping the results you're looking for, enlisting the help of a fitness professional might just be the ticket that gets you over the line.
Director of Athlete Performance at Woodford Sports Scientist Consulting Christian Woodford told Triple M that engaging with a personal trainer, performance coach or fitness coach is actually one of the best investments you can make.
“Hiring an appropriate fitness professional is a big one. Someone who has a knowledge base and someone who actually get results,” he said.
“Not just going off and doing it by yourself, but having some sort of structure behind what you do.”
Develop a compelling plan
While many people make well-intended New Year’s resolutions to get healthier, fitter or lose fat, Woodford says most people don’t follow through, but implementing a compelling plan can provide crucial focus and purpose.
“There’s a difference between training and exercising. Training is when you actually train with a purpose and a goal, exercising is just for the sake of it,” he said.
“In 99 per cent of cases, where people exercise and there’s no structure to it, they lose motivation.
“I think the big thing you need to do is get a professional to at least write you out a program, a plan moving forward where it’s periodised, what I mean by that is you’ve got some sort of goal, you’ve got some sort of structure, you have a plan.
“When you have that and you hire someone to implement that plan it might be once a month, once a week, once every fortnight but at least they’re showing you the proper exercise and the progression that’s needed.
“You have structure. Instead of exercising you train with a purpose, and you can reach your goals.”
How to find the right trainer for you
If you’re on the hunt for a trainer, Woodford urges people to do their research, asking about the trainer’s qualifications and experience, alongside testimonials and more specifically their style and approach.
“You don’t just go to a personal trainer because they’re big on Instagram or they’re Facebook famous or they train a celebrity,” he said.
“It’s your money, you’re paying for it, make sure you’re paying for the right person and their personality fits with who you are as a person as well.
“Not every trainer is going to sit with each individual client. Ask around, do your research first of all, figure out what you need and how you’re going to get the best out of that.
“You’re going to pay for that, a trainer is going to structure a plan for you, because once again, training versus exercise, you want train each time because you have a structure and a progression to that.”
Is your trainer bringing out the best in you?
Once you’ve found the right fitness professional – the next step is making sure the program they provide brings out the best in you.
“If you’re training once, twice, three, four times a week – I have some athletes training with me four times a week – I need to write a program to maximise those sessions,” Woodford said.
“When you’re in the private sector, you might only see your trainer for one hour a week, so they need to program and coach for the best value for your money, to get results for whatever it is that you want.
“Whether it’s fat loss, muscle gain, strength or rehab, whatever it is they have to be willing to get the most out of it.
“And if they can’t get the best out of you, you need to find another trainer who can.”
Breaking up with a trainer
If your trainer is not providing the value or results you’re chasing, it may be appropriate to move on, and Woodford says ending the relationship should not be awkward whatsoever.
“At the end of the day it’s your money, you’re paying your hard-earned cash and you should decide what works and what doesn’t work,” he said.
“If you feel you’re not getting the right attention, if you feel like they’re not delivering on the service they promised for the price they set out, you can just say it’s not working out.
“Nothing disrespectful, it’s just business at the end of the day, you’ve paid your money and you want to get the most out of that session.”