Alarming Things I Learned From Having a Personal Trainer

Having a personal trainer is a luxury. Getting a professional to spend 30 minutes with me showing me how to properly perform exercises is a godsend. Before this, I’d be wandering around the gym not really sure what to do. Now, thanks to my personal trainer, I know how to use the machines. Find out what else I’ve learned from having a personal trainer, ahead.

Finding a personal trainer

pilates exercises with an instructor

Do you really need a personal trainer? | iStock.com/VladimirFLoyd

After some internal arguments with myself, ie Should I spend money on a trainer? No. Yes! I deserve this. Will it be worth it?, I booked an appointment at Retrofit Studio, a well-known gym in my area. Six months later, I’m still working with Kevin Gunther, an NCCPT certified personal trainer who has a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Health Science. For those interested in getting a personal trainer, make sure they’re a legitimate professional.

I’ve been doing squats wrong until now

Woman performing squats

Are you sure you are performing squats correctly? | LarsZahnerPhotography/iStok/Getty Images

I’ve been doing squats wrong my entire life. My chest tends to collapse as I bend my knees. Thankfully, with a tip from my personal trainer, I can now perform a squat correctly. The trick is to puff out your chest. Doing this keeps your back in a straight line, avoiding the dreaded slouch.

Form is really, really important

man in sportswear doing squat at gym

Form is everything. | iStock.com/g-stockstudio

While this isn’t exactly alarming, I learned just how important form is by having a personal trainer. “If one uses bad form, then most likely they aren’t targeting the muscles they should be, this can lead to certain muscles being over developed while others are underdeveloped,” Gunther said in an email. “Proper form prevents injury. Second, proper form targets specific muscles which helps build an aesthetic physique.” Prevent injury? Check. Help to achieve a good looking bod? Check. Form is that important.

Eating right trumps everything

Healthy Lifestyle Diet

A great diet is extremely important. | iStock.com/Rawpixel Ltd

More important than exercise is eating healthy. Before I started working out with a personal trainer, the gym’s owner sat down with me to explain what my food intake should look like. What I learned is that eating right is more important than exercising. I had an idea about this before but never fully grasped just how much good nutrition helps with results. My trainer drives home the point. “I always say you can’t you can’t out train a bad diet,” Gunther said.

Not eating healthy 24/7 is OK

Three milk cake

It’s okay to veer off the path as long as you get back on. | iStock.com/AnnaPustynnikova

During my training sessions, I talk with my trainer to make the time pass quicker. Food comes up in conversation. What I’ve learned from discussing food with my trainer is that it’s ok to eat candy or brisket (in moderation, of course). Around Halloween, I mention Halloween candy. Expecting a reprimand that didn’t come, my trainer chimes in with his favorite candies. This simple exchange has taught me that even trainers eat WarHeads and that no food is off limits.

I’m eating way too much sugar

Young girl eating a lot of food

It is very easy to eat too much sugar. | iStock.com/KatarzynaBialasiewicz

I knew going into this sugar’s bad for you. What I didn’t realize was how much sugar I was actually consuming. I learned at the most I should be eating 40 grams of sugar a day, crushing my vanilla yogurt-loving soul. This is double the recommended daily intake, but because sugar is in everything, 40 grams is a realistic goal. Since then, I’ve switched to a vanilla yogurt with less added sugar. Sugar is practically a food group for me, making this especially difficult.

Not having to plan your own workout is GREAT

Female workout in gym with barbell.

Not having to plan your own workout is very helpful. | Jacob Ammentorp Lund/iStock/Getty Images

Deciding which muscle groups to work on which day can get exhausting. Working with a personal trainer, all I have to do is show up. No longer do I have to scroll through Pinterest to find a workout or stare at the machines in the gym deciding which one to use. My trainer demonstrates a move, then I replicate what he did but much less gracefully. Believe it or not, having a personal trainer is a nice mental break.

By eating healthy, you don’t have to exercise very much

Happy young women talking in gym.

You don’t have to exercise every day if you consistently eat healthy. | iStock.com/Jacob Ammentorp Lund

One alarming thing I’ve learned during my time with a personal trainer is that you don’t need to exercise every day to achieve a healthy physique. This is where eating healthy comes in. If you’re working out six or seven days and a week and not seeing results, chances are your diet’s to blame.

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Read more: 6 Healthy Snacks That Are Perfect For Eating at Work