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6 Reasons Why A Personal Trainer Does More Than Just Count Reps

2nd September 2021

2nd September 2021

By Innermost

Even if we’re super competent in the gym, we could all do with a bit of help from time to time. Unfortunately, we keep doing what we believe is correct, but never seem to make the progress we want.

Seeking the experience of a personal trainer might seem like an expensive and intense thing to do, but there are so many things a personal trainer can help with and it’s much more than just counting how many reps you’ve done!

1. They hold you accountable.

We all know that when we book an appointment or event in our diary, we’re much more likely attend. Well this works brilliantly with having a personal trainer. Each session you’re meeting someone to help you workout. Not only have you booked the appointment, you’re paying for it, so there is also the financial commitment.

Booking in an appointment with a personal trainer also creates routine, and building exercise into your routine means you’re much more likely to stick to it. When exercise is slotted in around the rest of your busy life then it is usually the first thing that gets thrown out.

2. They are able to check your form.

A good personal trainer not only assists you in progressing towards your health and fitness goals, but they can keep you safe and avoid unwanted injuries. We all want to make progress in the gym, but if we’re doing things wrong and we get injured, that puts us further back than where we started.

Not only does ensuring you’re performing the exercise correctly keep you safe, it ensures that you’re maximising the workout. A few tweaks to your position highlighted by a personal trainer watching you can be the difference between really working a muscle and just going through the motions. The difference between pushing through your heels on a squat or letting them lift can be the difference between an injury and progress.

3. They can provide an individual progressive plan. 

A good quality personal trainer will make sure you have an individual progressive plan. This shouldn’t be something that you can just pick up online without having a prior assessment and consultation. A training plan should be tailored to not only your goals, but to your body and how it currently works and moves. A good trainer will be able to identify any imbalances or weakness and incorporate that into your program, alongside exercises that help work towards your goal. 

4. They help you add variety into your sessions. 

Personal training is a great way to keep your workouts interesting and varied. Although a workout plan should be followed for several weeks before you change exercises, over time, a personal trainer can write new, interesting and varied exercises into your plan to keep you motivated. While it’s a myth to ‘shock you body’ by changing exercises regularly, it can definitely help with motivation and help avoid boredom in your session. We’ve all had that feeling like we’re just going through the motion with our training and we just are no longer motivated. Well a trainer will keep it varied and interesting, as well as making sure your program is progressive.

5. They make it personal.

A personal trainer will make sure you’re making progress. They should keep a track of all the reps, sets and weight you’ve completed and ensure that each session gets progressively harder. A good trainer will also help to understand when you’re in the mood to push things hard, but also when to hold back. Remember, this is personal training and should be what is right for you. Essentially, they take all the thinking and guess work away from you. So you just turn up on the day and put in 100% effort. 

6. They ensure you are performing the correct exercises for you.

Not all exercises are created equally. Although some exercise might look good on instagram, it might not be the best exercise for both you and what you’re trying to achieve. It’s a personal trainers job to understand how your body works and select appropriate exercises which will maximise your time in the workout. A good trainer will include exercises that you enjoy, but also exercises that are going to give you the best bang for buck and help reach your goals. A barbell back squats might look impressive to perform, but if you’re new to training a goblet squat might be much more appropriate. A good trainer can help with this. Your trainer should have a big bank of exercises which they can swap in and out depending on where you’re at in your journey.

Interested in finding a personal trainer? Trainify offer a wide range of trainers, both in-person and online. They also offer 1-2-1 Yoga and Pilates session.

Click here to sign up to Trainify and from the 20th September, you can get 14 days of wake up workouts completely free.

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From the Bedroom to the Gym: Is Your Sex Life Affecting Your Workout Performance?
The relationship between sex and workout performance is one that’s long been debated by scientists and fitness fanatics alike. It’s complicated and multifaceted, so answering the question of whether your sex life is affecting your training is difficult. That said, today we’re going to take a look at a variety of evidence, both academic and anecdotal, as well as several different scenarios and at least try to reduce some of the mystery around the subject. First, it helps to understand what’s actually happening to the body, both physically and psychologically, during both activities.   The Effects of Sex on the Body Sexual activity causes several changes to occur in the body:   Physical Changes That Occur During Sex During sexual activity and the lead up to it, the human body undergoes a process known as the sexual response cycle. This is the case for both males and females, though the cycle can be highly individual and may not be the same each time for each person. Describing the full sexual response cycle is beyond the scope of this article, however it consists of 4 phases: Desire Arousal Orgasm Resolution Factors such as elevated heart rate, increased blood flow and pressure and heightened muscle tension all come into play. If you’d like to read about the sexual response cycle in more detail, check out this great article from Cleveland Clinic.   Psychological Changes That Occur During Sex Several psychological changes occur both during and after sex. Most notable are the release of endorphins and oxytocin, which are associated with improved mood and a better sense of wellbeing. These are also responsible for reduced stress levels, which brings a multitude of additional benefits that are of particular interest to those of us participating in regular training and exercise. Cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress, is catabolic in high levels, meaning it can cause the breakdown of lean tissue. So, whilst it is unclear whether sex itself affects workout performance, the reduction in stress levels it may bring is definitely beneficial for preserving our results!   The Effects of Exercise and Training on the Body Exercise and training also cause the body to undergo a number of changes. These occur both during and after the physical activity. There are in fact a number of similarities in changes that happen during exercise and sex:   Physical Changes That Occur During Exercise The physical changes that happen in the body vary based on the type of exercise being undertaken, however, there are some that are common to exercise in general: Increased heart rate Increased blood flow, especially to the muscles Faster, deeper breathing due to additional oxygen needs Heightened activity within the circulatory, respiratory, musculoskeletal and endocrine systems A full summary of the changes that occur within these systems can be found here. More aerobically demanding exercise will, of course, place greater emphasis on the circulatory and respiratory systems as well as causing fat to be metabolised as an energy source. Resistance training, which often relies more heavily on the lactate and creatine phosphate energy systems, instead promotes greater muscular and endocrine (hormone) activity. Note the common physical changes between sex and exercise here, as they do crossover!   Psychological Changes That Occur During Exercise The psychological changes that occur during exercise are similar to those experienced during sexual activity and are mostly related to the release of endorphins and other ‘feelgood’ hormones. These help to regulate mood, and it is common knowledge that frequent exercise and leading an active, healthy lifestyle promotes a feeling of wellbeing.   Does Sex Affect Our Workouts? This is where things become complicated. Though extensive studies have been done on the subject, the results of these have varied massively. We must also take into account the experience of individuals, and this anecdotal evidence again has huge variance. Let’s look at both:   Sex and Training: What the Science Says Scientific studies on the relationship between sex and training are contradictory at best. There’s no denying the positive benefits of both activities, particularly from a psychological perspective, but as for the effect of sex on actual performance in the gym the results are inconclusive. A study, published in April 2021, by Kirecci, Albayrak and co. examined the effects of sexual activity of 50 men in the 24 hours prior to training on lower body strength. The study measured effects by having the men perform 3 separate squat sessions, each at the same time of day. Each of these sessions occurred after participating in or abstaining from sexual activity the night before. The men performed 5 sets of 5 repetitions of their maximum squat weight during these sessions and the difference in weight lifted was observed. The study concluded that ‘sexual intercourse within 24 hours before exercise [has a] detrimental effect on lower extremity muscle force, which suggests that restricting sexual activity before a short-term activity may be necessary.’ Aside from this study, most others found either no notable relationship between sex and athletic performance. A meta-analysis of 9 crossover studies, conducted by Zavorsky and Brooks and published on 16 September 2022, confirms this. The analysis concluded that ‘The results demonstrate that sexual activity within 30 min to 24 h before exercise does not appear to affect aerobic fitness, musculoskeletal endurance, or strength/power.’ This is perhaps more notable, because these studies incorporated different types of exercise and were not restricted purely to a strength/power based activity like squats.   Anecdotal Evidence: What About the Experiences of Real Gym Goers? The anecdotal evidence is, as expected, highly individualised. However, there tends to be a bias against the results of most studies, particularly in those participating in sports involving strength and aggression. For example, many fighters claim that they perform better when they abstain from sex in the days leading up to a contest. Similarly, bodybuilding forums are full of debate on this topic and many claim they note a significant decrease in motivation to train at maximum intensity after sexual activity. It has been hypothesised that this may be due to a downregulation in testosterone production after sex; during orgasm the mineral zinc is released in the body and this is also a precursor for natural testosterone production in the body and may, therefore, provide some reasoning as to the experience of many trainees.   Key Takeaways The relationship between sex and workout performance will always be a complicated one. The effects of one on the other in terms of physical fitness and, in particular, mental wellbeing, are clear, but when it comes to actual performance this appears to be highly individual. We’d advise doing what feels best for you but not worrying too much about it. Instead, prioritise your nutrition and make sure you’re fuelling your workouts properly. While you’re here, why not take a look at the Innermost range? We’re proud to be completely transparent about the ingredients in our products and we always ensure they’re of the highest quality. Check us out, and be sure to get in touch if you have any questions! Read more