October 18·6 min read

Debunking the 3 myths that push people away from personal training

See why any person who wants to train is worthy of a personal trainer.

From building healthy habits to feeling empowered to take on life’s challenges, there are many reasons why a dedicated fitness routine is worth the effort. 

While it’s certainly possible to embark on an exercise journey by yourself, teaming up with a personal trainer can help you shoulder some of the burden and make the road to your goals more efficient and less lonely. Not only can a coach create a well-laid plan, but working with them keeps you accountable to the consistent habits you want to create and provides someone who can cheer on your progress. 

Though good personal training feels more like a relationship than a transaction, it isn’t free. It’s an investment. In this case, it’s worth taking off the rose-colored glasses and scrutinizing some of the assumptions people have about personal training. But it also means playing devil’s advocate in cases where people assume personal training doesn’t make sense. 

That latter task is what we’re here to do today. As you’ll soon find, some of the assumptions that scare people away from working with a personal trainer don’t hold up. By dispelling these common myths, you might just realize that there are more advantages to having someone in your corner than you might think. 

Myth: Personal trainers only help people lose weight. 

Reality: Personal Trainers help people with all kinds of goals.

A lot of folks who start a workout routine for the first time (or for the first time in a while) do so in order to lose weight. Some of them wisely decide that those initial steps might be easier with the motivation and guidance of a personal trainer. But there are just as many folks who decide to use trainers for longevity, strength training, and more. So in reality, the only part of this myth that isn’t actually true is the “only”. It turns out, you can be perfectly happy with your weight and still reap the rewards of personal training. Just because everyone you know mainly uses their smartphone to text doesn’t mean it’s the only thing that particular tool can do for you.

Even if the number on the scale never crosses your mind, there are plenty of positive changes that can come from personal training. Love skiing, golf, or any other active recreational activity? A coach can devise a workout regimen that improves your performance and prolongs your enjoyment over the course of the day and the course of your life. Already hit the weights regularly but feel like your progress has plateaued lately? Working with a personal trainer can improve your form and technique to unlock the next level. Training for a triathlon? You can find someone who will get your mind and body ready to cross the finish line. After improved mobility, a healthier heart, or just a well-earned sense of confidence? A coach can help you check any and all of those boxes. 

There’s nothing wrong with aiming for a smaller number on the scale. But the desire to lose weight ultimately isn’t about the number itself: it’s about how that accomplishment will make you feel. The benefits of a well-directed exercise plan are much farther reaching, and getting active can get you feeling good in ways that aren’t always easy to quantify. Rest assured that if you have a goal and know that you’ll need to move your body to achieve it, there’s a personal trainer out there who’s ready and willing to help. 

Myth: Personal training is only for elite athletes. 

Reality: Personal Trainers can work with people at any point in their fitness journey.

Logically, it can’t be true that personal training is both only for people who want to lose weight and only for elite athletes. As it turns out, neither is true. 

Yes, even Olympians who are already at the 99th percentile in their sport find value in coaching. In reality, the criteria for being someone who can benefit from personal training are both incredibly loose and easy to remember: you have to be a person, and you have to want to train. 

Just because some trainers are masters of the specialized knowledge it takes to train elite athletes in very specific movements doesn’t mean that they can’t also help someone conquer the basics. If you’re just starting, a coach can provide the external motivation and accountability that helps you establish — and stick to — an exercise routine. If you’re already putting work in by yourself, personal training can connect you to the expert guidance that maximizes the output of your efforts, pushing you to new heights by bringing a fresh perspective and integrating new elements like proper nutrition or recovery into your routine. 

If your goal is getting off the couch instead of winning a gold medal, it can be all too easy to feel like you’re not worth the time of a coach who works with all-star clients. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Those athletes may be competing against the best in the world, but in reality, they’re focused on competing against who they were yesterday — just like anyone else can. So as long as you’re ready to take direction and put your best foot forward, any personal trainer will be thrilled to work with you no matter where your starting line may be. 

Myth: A coach will demand  long, exhausting, daily workouts.

Reality: A good personal trainer’s programs fits your schedule — and incorporates rest days.

There’s no getting around the fact that personal training means committing to your goals. Without dedicating some of your time, energy, and effort to working out, you won’t achieve consistent progress. However, there’s a big difference between devoting some time and energy to self improvement and spending all of your time and energy on exercise.

Just like you only need to be a person who wants to train in order to work with a personal trainer, any competent coach knows that they’re training a real person with plenty of other wants, needs, and responsibilities. Even if your explicit goal is to win bodybuilding competitions, no sane trainer will force you to restructure your life, quit your job, or ignore your family in order to spend every waking hour working out or feeling too exhausted to move. 

A good coach is realistic about logistics. It’s totally normal if your schedule doesn’t allow for an uninterrupted hour of gym time every day (or even most days) of the week. Working out only works if it works for you, which means fitting together the puzzle pieces of your goal and your schedule into a flexible, realistic plan that can take short-term snags and scheduling quirks in stride. Once you have that, it’s easier to put in the consistent effort that leads to long-term results.

Just as your personal trainer will get to know how fitness best fits into your schedule, they also understand what your body does and does not need. Even if you did completely clear your calendar to make time for long, grueling workouts every day, exercising too hard and too often will inevitably do way more harm than good. You’ve probably heard that there are no shortcuts to success. That mantra’s usually meant to keep us from taking the easy way out, but it also applies to overtraining. Doing too much too fast won’t decrease the time it takes to reach your fitness goals. In fact, it can often lead to injuries that push them further out of reach. 

The body can certainly benefit from a little bit of low-impact movement every day, and working on flexibility through mobility and stretching can set you up for your next workout. But no matter what kind of path your personal trainer puts you on, there will always be pit stops for rest and recovery on the road to progress. Just like you need good nutrition to refuel, appropriate recovery is an important part of both consolidating your progress and recharging you for whatever’s next. Without it, you’ll eventually end up physically spent and mentally exhausted. 

Getting an extra push is one of the most valuable parts of working with a personal trainer, but their ability to know when it’s time to take your foot off the gas is just as crucial to keeping you in it for the long haul. When you pair that burnout-busting approach with the flexibility and accountability you need to stay on track, you have the recipe for consistent, sustainable progress — even if it may sometimes feel like you’re taking one step back to move two steps forward.

Move from myth to progress with the right personal trainer. 

There’s no shame if you’ve let these misconceptions give you the wrong idea about how personal training works. If you only remember one thing, let it be that any person who wants to train is worthy of a personal trainer who can push them in the right direction. You don’t have to be starting from scratch. You don’t have to be the best in the world. It doesn’t matter what you, your schedule, or your goals look like. All it takes is a desire to work with someone who can help you be a little better today than you were yesterday. 

With Future, all you need to start working with a real, human coach is a goal and a smartphone. No matter where you are, when you have time to exercise, or how you define your goals, you can access truly personalized training that moves you on your terms. For every type of exerciser, there’s a Future coach ready to create a personalized plan that always puts you in position to succeed. Pair that with always-on motivation, instant feedback, and genuine connection, and the value of this relationship will be impossible to miss. 

Speaking of value, you can score a deal on your first month of personal training with Future. Sign up and see how easy it is to start leaving those myths about who you are and what you can accomplish behind.

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