One of the benefits of resistance training is that it is simple to perform. Meanwhile, the internet is making information about training programs more accessible and easy to understand than ever before. We are in an era of information OVERLOAD. With so much information easily accessible there is also a bunch of misinformation. Thus it can be tempting to pursue a program based only on personal knowledge and effort. It is true that with the proper motivation and knowledge, you can make gains in fitness and strength while working alone. However, trying to resistance train without a trainer is less effective than you might think.
In 2000, scientists published a study examining the effects of having a personal trainer during a resistance training program. While both groups followed the same program, half the participants engaged in self-regulated exercise, while the other half were supervised by an experienced personal trainer. At the end of the 12 week program, the strength and fitness of the participants was tested and compared to their fitness before the start of the program. While both groups showed increases in fitness, participants who had been supervised by a personal trainer showed a significant increase in strength compared to self-directed participants.
There are several reasons for these results. The scientists noted that participants who worked with a personal trainer increased the intensity of their workouts sooner, such as by lifting heavier weights. Experienced trainers are skilled at gauging both appropriate workout loads, when it's time to make things more challenging, and when it is safe to progress to more advanced movements/exercises. In addition, personal trainers provide external motivation and validation; they can help you set goals and stick to them. Finally, personal trainers, as in the study, can provide critical information about nutrition, rest periods, and workout techniques. In short, skilled personal trainers are essential resources because they know both the theory and application of resistance training.
Of course, supervision is doubly important when you're coming back from an injury. It's one thing to resistance train, it's another thing to build strength without exacerbating an injury. If you don't have much experience with injuries, a self-directed resistance training program could cause more harm than good. Here at Prime Personal Training, we have many skilled trainers, but I specialize in post injury rehabilitation. I can help you train safely and effectively while you transition back to your full routine after being sidelined.
Resistance training is a highly effective way to burn fat, (tone up) increase strength, flexibility, and fitness, but it is even more effective when supervised by an experienced personal trainer. A personal trainer should ensure that you workouts are right for you. Your workouts should include specific exercises or modifications based of your fitness level, abilities, and goals. A good trainer also makes sure that you get enough rest and nutrition to back up your training. In addition, experienced trainers such as those employed by Prime Personal Training can ensure that you pursue a regimen safely, even when recovering from an injury. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that you work with a personal trainer who is right for you.
Mazzetti SA, Kraemer WJ, Volek JS, Duncan ND, Ratamess NA, Gómez AL, Newton RU, Häkkinen K, Fleck SJ. The influence of direct supervision of resistance training on strength performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000 Jun;32(6):1175–1184.PubMed #10862549.