Article submitted by Anytime Fitness and American Council on Exercise. 

Here are six myth-busting reasons why you need – and can now afford – a personal fitness coach:

Myth #1: “I can’t afford a personal fitness coach.”

One-on-one personal training typically ranges from $30-$60 a session.  For most people, that is simply too expensive.  But most fitness clubs offer more affordable options, including small-group training (four to eight participants) and large-group training sessions (nine to 15 participants).  The small- and large-group sessions are led by one or two certified trainers and the cost typically ranges from $10-$20 per participant.  You get the same sort of exercise education that you get from personal training, a watchful eye on your form, and additional motivation from the group – all without breaking the bank.  Plus, you might find a new friend or workout partner.

“The support and camaraderie experienced by people who exercise together in groups cannot be overstated,” said Cedric X. Bryant, Ph.D., FASCM, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise (ACE).   Unlike other gym members who work out alone and quickly lose interest, those who participate in group exercise programs tend to stick with it “because they feel supported and a sense of cohesion to others in the group,” Bryant said.

Myth #2. “Personal trainers are all obnoxious dudes with necks like tree trunks.”

According to data from ACE, 55 percent of all certified personal trainers are women and the vast majority of all certified trainers have four-year college degrees.  ACE and other nationally-recognized personal training certification organizations are also providing trainers with new information on how to coach with more empathy and encouragement.  Screaming trainers who resemble nightmarish drill sergeants might be good for television ratings, but they have no place in today’s health and fitness centers.  The truth about most personal trainers is that their biggest muscle isn’t their biceps – it’s their heart.

Myth #3.  “I don’t have time for a personal fitness coach.”

A personal fitness coach can build a program designed to meet your hectic schedule, providing short – but effective – workouts that can be completed in less than 30 minutes.  Most trainers will also incorporate activity trackers and fitness apps into their service offerings.  That allows them to provide you with programming and support to help you live a healthier life, not just when you’re at the gym, but outside of the club as well.

“When used effectively, technology enhances and supports the personal fitness coach experience, but it can’t replace it,” Bryant said.  “The data gathered from personal wearables can be great for coaches who follow their clients’ progress and provide feedback and support.  Another thing that technology does is enhance the connection between people who are pursuing similar goals in fitness.  The beauty of social media is that it seamlessly connects people with very distinct interests who can support each other in their goals.  Importantly, the fitness professional can be integral in connecting people who can support each other.  For example, a client preparing to run a 5K can be introduced to others planning to compete at the same event, or a group of clients who desire to lose weight can share recipes and encourage each other on a private Facebook page created by the personal training coach.”

Myth #4.  “Personal fitness coaches will measure and assess me, even if I’m not comfortable with it.”

Good coaches “understand the importance of meeting clients where they are, rather than putting them through unnecessary or even demotivating assessments,” said Bryant.  “Other than evaluating a client’s health risk for beginning exercise, which can be done with a simple questionnaire, there is no requirement for measuring fitness if it makes a person uncomfortable.”

Myth #5.  “I’m going to embarrass myself in front of others.”

One of the most common reasons people give for not participating in fitness programs is the fear of embarrassing themselves.  That’s largely why one of the biggest trend in exercise has been the popularity and importance of functional exercise.  Functional exercises are designed to mimic the daily movements you perform at home or work and they are highly effective using only your body weight.   This will improve your balance, flexibility, muscle tone and overall health.  Best of all, the movements are adaptable for beginners and experienced fitness enthusiasts, alike.

Myth #6.  “I don’t need a personal fitness coach.”

Despite the ubiquity of fitness apps, health clubs and on-demand options, a “Do it yourself” (DIY) approach simply doesn’t work.  For most people, exercise is a chore and excuses are easy to justify.  That’s why you need someone to hold you accountable – to reinforce your willpower.   In a world where everyone’s exhausted and unhealthy eating options are everywhere you turn, even Michael Phelps, the greatest Olympic Athlete of this generation, needs a coach to bring out his very best.  And so do you.

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