If You Are New to Fitness, Should You Hire a Personal Trainer?

Consulting a fitness professional can't hurt, but an injury that results from inexperience or improper form sure will.

working out with personal trainer in gym with masks on
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If you're new to fitness, and looking to get the most out of your workout, you might want to consider hiring a personal trainer—longterm, they are more than worth the initial investment. According to Kristina Jennings, a performance and certified functional strength coach with Future, trying to create and follow your workout as a beginner can have some serious consequences. Ahead, why meeting with a fitness professional before you begin a new exercise regimen is key.

A personal trainer will tailor a fitness program to your needs.

A personal trainer or fitness coach can help you identify your fitness goals and reach them in a safe and timely manner. "When you enlist a professional, you're partnering with an expert to manage your ongoing fitness and help keep you on track, which requires having deeper context on your schedule, obstacles, and goals," Jennings says. "Fitness and performance coaches know what exercises will be most effective for you and what you're trying to achieve, whether that be getting back into a regular fitness routine or training for a triathlon." Calling in an expert can eliminate the guesswork of which movements are effective (or not)—and save you from harm down the road. "Coaches can help you manage any past injuries and avoid future ones by building a plan that is designed specifically for you," she adds.

They will keep you motivated.

Starting an exercise routine isn't just about hitting a goal—it's also about staying motivated. An expert will "hold you accountable, keep you on a consistent program, and make adjustments where needed," Jennings says, noting that she checks in with her clients daily to discuss progress, touch base about any pain points, and provide guidance on nutrition. "With a one-on-one relationship, you are looping someone else in on your goals and progress. People don't want to let people down."

They drive better results than an online or group workout program.

While turning to the Internet for fitness advice can work, says Jennings, a professional is more effective. "There are tons of [online] fitness apps, workout studios, and gyms, but actually being on a program that is designed specifically for you by a professional coach taking into account your goals, possible injuries, specific equipment, and the amount of time you are able to dedicate daily or weekly is what is needed to set you up for success," she says. "The goal should be that your fitness routine is enhancing the quality of your life both in and out of the workout."

It's this level of personalization that really drives results. "There is no downside to movement, but group classes, whether virtual or in-person, aren't tailored to each individual's body and fitness level, or to the other workouts you're doing before and after," she says. While you can get a lot of good pointers online, you don't get the same direction on modifying workouts that aren't working for you, corrections on form if you're trying something new, or feedback on why you have to do certain exercises—even the ones you hate—that a coach will provide.

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