What is personal training?

I work in Singapore as a certified personal trainer and pilates instructor providing sessions to people in their homes or condo gyms. With work and family commitments combined, many people find it hard to make time to exercise. This is why I find being a mobile personal trainer is a great option for many people juggling a busy schedule.

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With repeated reports in the media that heart disease, cancer, obesity, osteoporosis, and alzheimers (to name a few) are on the rise,  people are starting to take their and their family’s health more seriously. They are looking for prevention techniques rather than cure. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported that 23.3 million people will die annually from cardiovascular diseases by 2030. This number could be significantly reduced if more people became active. Cardiovascular disease (CVD)  is caused by disorders of the heart and blood vessels and includes heart attacks, stroke, and raised blood pressure. The WHO states that the major causes of CVD are tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet and harmful use of alcohol.

People are now understanding more fully the need to exercise and watch what they consume. Unfortunately the media often sensationalises and distorts information  relating to food, exercise and illness. People are left confused about how exactly they should be exercising and what they should be eating. This is where a  personal trainer can help and provide guidance.

Who uses a Personal Trainer?

Some of my clients are mum’s to be and post natal women looking for specialised  personal training to keep them in good health in the run up to the birth, and after the baby’s arrival. However, just as many of my clients are people who have taken a step back to assess their health and their fitness goals and have decided  they want to embark on a new fitness regime and make it part of their lifestyle long term.

We know that leading a sedentary lifestyle of driving to work or sitting on a bus or train, then sitting at a desk for the best part of a day for five days a week, going home and relaxing on the sofa watching tv, is not going to be of any benefit to our health. Grabbing food on the go, multiple coffees, fizzy drinks, fast food, and sugary sweet treats to keep us going is also having detrimental effects on our physical and mental wellbeing.

People used to view personal training as a luxury for the rich and famous or as something that only body builder type fitness fanatics and athletes used. This is no longer the case. Whether you have weight loss goals, have been told to increase your exercise by your doctor, are training for a running challenge you have set yourself or just want to take care of your heart and get stronger and leaner, then a personal trainer is a great place to start.

Why use a Personal Trainer?

Expert Knowledge and Customised Workouts:

Personal trainers are qualified in assessing your ability and providing you with a programme that is going to get you the best results more efficiently than if you trained on your own. You may have seen that person in the gym who turns up religiously but does the same routine, for the same amount of time, week after week and never seems to improve? Personal trainers can help avoid the mistake of getting into a workout rut. They are experienced in a wide range of training methods and have an immense variety of exercises and techniques at their disposal to help you achieve your specific goals. They will spend time understanding your needs and will tailor sessions based on your abilities. They will be able to adapt and modify exercises depending on your targets and will progress your workouts to ensure development and improvement.

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Safety:

A trainer will ensure you train with correct form in order to avoid injury and will be able to adjust and increase the programme safely as you improve. Personal trainers understand the correct heart rate you should  work at and the correct intensity, frequency and length of time you should train. If you have any medical conditions or injuries they will be able to advise appropriately on how to train safely.

Motivation and Results:

They will encourage and motivate you to work much harder than you are likely to work training alone.  This can be one of the main reasons people work with a personal trainer. It will get you results that you might not achieve working by yourself. Having someone to instruct you and cheer you on can make sessions fun and varied. Many people suffer from boredom during workouts on their own and working with another person who is rooting for you can help you focus. If nothing else having a session booked in ensures you get out of bed, turn up and do the work. Sometimes that’s all someone really needs!

What happens when I get a personal trainer?

When you first meet with a personal trainer they will sit down with you to find out more about your exercise history and lifestyle.  It is important that you find a personal trainer you are comfortable with and one that listens to you. If you decide to proceed with booking your first session then you should be asked to complete the following:

a Physical Activity Questionnaire (this will run through your medical history);

a Lifestyle Questionnaire (this will run through your day to day activities etc); and

a list of fitness goals (to keep you and your trainer focused on what you want to achieve).

It is important you are completely honest with your answers and feel able to discuss any concerns or questions  you have about training. This is why it is important to take the time to find a trainer that ultimately you like.  Your answers will help the trainer to design a programme for you that fits with the profile you have provided.

Your first session will often be an opportunity for the trainer to  get an idea of your fitness level.  It is important for the trainer to understand the correct starting point for building your training programme. They will look at your cardio ability, stamina, strength, balance, flexibility and mobility. It is quite normal for trainers to take your blood pressure and if you are in agreement to take body measurements.

During your sessions the trainer will introduce you to different exercises and techniques. Overtime, your goals should be assessed and new goals agreed as you progress.

Nutrition is key to any health plan.  It is often said that you cannot out train a bad diet. I believe this to be true and there is honestly no point in spending your time and money on a trainer if you are not prepared to make some adjustments to your diet where these are deemed helpful. I always asked new clients to keep a food diary for a week at regular intervals. We discuss the diaries and see if there is any room for improvement and how best to go about this. It is important to find methods that are realistic and to make changes step by step. If changes can be agreed that the client is likely to stick to then this will result in long lasting results.

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Personal training sessions are likely to help you in a number of other ways you may not have expected. I am delighted every time a client tells me that not only are they thrilled because they have  reached their goals (for example, lost weight,reduced their back pain, or improved their running distance), but that they also feel more energised, happy, confident, they are sleeping better, have better posture, less headaches, or less irritability. The list goes on and should give everyone good reason to consider making exercise part of their everyday lives. Working with a personal trainer could be your best investment in your long term health.