The Benefits of Working with a Personal Trainer: A Physical Therapist’s Perspective

As you guys know, working with a physical therapist is one of the best things you can do for yourself. However, once you’ve completed your plan of care, working with a trainer is a great decision to maintain what you gained with your PT. Additionally, trainers can help you continue to work toward your strength goals. As a therapist, my goal is always to get people to move better, get them out of pain, and teach them how to use their body safely and efficiently. Unfortunately, even though our clients receive a thorough home exercise program for sustained success, some will fall off of the program and may eventually have a return of their pain.

A great mentor of mine explained it best… “In the absence of support, environment will always win”. Basically, people will often fall into their poor movement pattern habits. With a support system or support program, people are better able to maintain their good movement patterns, leading to longer lasting results. While we have developed a maintenance program to keep our patients with chronic conditions healthy long term, another option that many people benefit from is working with a trainer. Personal trainers can help people maintain their mobility, progress their strength, work toward their other fitness goals, and provide consistent support and accountability.

Enter Your Information Here to Download the Free Ebook!

Putting your training sessions on your calendar is a great way to stay accountable to doing your exercises, as well as acquire the support of an experienced trainer.

     On the subject of accountability, Natali Kummer, head trainer at Crossfit Valley Park says “There are a lot of benefits but the most crucial and on that the sea of other online workouts don’t have is that we already know our clients personally. This grants us permission to hold them accountable, personalize their workouts, and gives us the flexibility to take this uncertain time into consideration.” This quote, of course, coming during the COVID-19 crisis. Crossfit Valley Park has a wonderful facility in Valley Park, MO and works with folks in-person as well. Accountability can be very valuable, and having a good working relationship with your coach or trainer can be a great thing to helping you achieve your objectives.

     Choosing a trainer who is invested in you as a person, and your goals is important.  Owner of Pursuit Fitness and Performance, Ryan Morgan says “Personal trainers help you get outside your comfort zone and make the best use of your time. It’s easy for people to do what they know or what they are comfortable with but that oftentimes does not match up with their goals. For example, we have had members come to us who had been walking 10,000 steps for years as a way to lose weight however they never achieved their weight loss goal.” Ryan makes a great point here, because often people know what they want, and they’re willing to put in the hard work, they’re just not awake of what they need to achieve their goals.

     In addition to focusing on goals, focusing on HOW you move is vitally important. Co-owner of R3 gym, Stephen Shinn, states “good trainers understand that the quality of the movement is more important than putting someone in a cookie cutter program. A good training program should support a good rehab program. The two should be intertwined, providing the best possible experience.” I couldn’t agree more, as often folks going through rehab often don’t have perfect strength. At Judice Sports & Rehab we focus on their mechanics, making sure they can move well without pain. Consistent, good quality movement will allow people to build strength safely. Working with a trainer concurrently with and/or after rehab is crucial to reinforce good movement patterns. 

     Another factor to consider is time! Knowing how to efficiently progress towards your goals is crucial, and working with an expert is key to achieving your goals. Doug Schlenk, owner of Evolve Personal Fitness says, “Consider it to be your cheat code to getting the results you want faster.  You can, by all means, go to the gym on your own and go from machine to machine week after week. But what has it cost you to see little to no progress or still with the mindset of getting through exercise and not getting anything from it? Your TIME. TIME is the most important asset we all possess, once we spend it, we can’t make any more of it.”