About a year ago, I decided to invest in getting a personal trainer because I wanted to become more active and become less intimidated by the gym. It was pretty cheap for a trial off-campus at first. However, everyone knows anything personalized isn't cheap. So I switched it up and tried my university's personal training services. 

What is a personal trainer

A personal trainer is — a personal trainer is someone who coaches you to set fitness goals and assists you in achieving them. They also plan workout routines for you to do and/or meal plans. My own trainer didn't plan my meals, but he did give me numerous suggestions that I will elaborate further. 

1. Technique and form

grass, exercise, Friends, squats, two girls, workout, outside, outdoors, working out
Julia Gilman

One of the first things I learned were the different exercise techniques and form. This is critical to ensure you avoid injuries, target the appropriate muscles, and effectively work out. This actually was a hassle and really demeaning at first as I was not used to such detail in my form. Its results were, however, quite worth it. 

2. Have variation

carrot, kale, greens, Healthy, juice, cleans, detox, Vegan, glutenfree, Wrap, snack, wine, spinach
Vy-Anh Nguyen

It's important to change up your exercise routine and your meals. As a person who gets easily bored by exercises, this was crucial to keeping me motivated. For food, you can't just only eat a salad. Switch it up by finding low-calorie or non-processed versions of your favourite food.

3. Treats are okay

chocolate, candy, cake, m&m
Alex Frank

Among the many tips my trainer gave me was about meal prepping. He told me it was okay to add in a treat here and there, but obviously in moderation. Just because you ate one unhealthy thing doesn't mean it's the end of your "clean eating" day. Cap it a maximum of 20 per cent of your day.

4. Bad days happen

Remember that everything is a work-in-progress. Don't give up although you're having that one bad day. You can get back in and no one will judge you. 

5. Consistency

LuiXia Lee

This was hard. Like honestly, I struggled so much at first going to the gym two other times a week without my trainer. What I found help to change that was scheduling it in. Once you've established that consistency, remember that you've challenged yourself and need to keep working on it.

6. Have a goal

Know the reason you're working out — whether it's just trying to be more active or getting those gains. They help you visualize and solidify your motivations. Keep them specific, measurable, realistic, attainable, and time

7. Meal tracking

LuiXia Lee

Having an app to show you what you're consuming is revolutionary, especially the macros. This habit has transformed the way I eat. I'm more conscious of what goes into my body and control what I eat. It's great that there are tons of meal tracking apps to choose from.

8. Don't let pain persist

Don't ever forget this. You don't want to permanently injure yourself. Resting for one day for you to recover is so much better than exercising through the pain and hurting your ability to exercising long-term. Don't also forget to mention it to your trainer so they can alter workouts for you.

9. Check the ingredients

beer, wine
Rose Ferrao

Remember it's not only about the calorie count, it's also about the macros and that's why ingredients are key. Processed food has tons of preservatives inside so whenever you're reaching out for them, inspect the ingredients and ensure it isn't just sugar. 

10. Stretching is important

yoga pose, girl, stretch, Yoga, namaste, Blue
Julia Gilman

After an epic workout, it's important for you to stretch. You don't want your body to be incredibly sore after that workout. If possible, take a little time to do some stretching as it'll make you feel rejuvenated.

As you can tell, it's not all about going hard for each workout or clean eating 24/7. Getting a personal trainer is a huge investment and you don't want to waste your money for something unrealistic. There's still a lot for me to learn, but I'm very happy with what I've learned so far. I believe I got my money's worth. I can't wait to get back to working out with my trainer.