Whether you want a little focused expertise to fine tune your workout routine, or you have absolutely no idea where to even start, you may want to consider hiring a certified fitness coach. Only a formal education can teach someone how to be an expert on all types of bodies (including yours) and having one in your corner can help you stay on track and achieve your goals faster than you thought possible.

1. Personalized approach

     - Most people look two places when developing their workouts: they take the advice of a resource they trust, like a website or magazine, or look to a person who's body they want to emulate and copy their workout. At first glance, it makes sense; if they got that body doing that workout, if you do that workout you'll get that body, too. But the problem with that is 1) not all fitness advise on the internet is accurate, nor is it all meant specifically for you and 2) most people in the gym have no idea what they are doing and even if they do, every body is different and, thus, every body has different needs. Nagging injuries, medical conditions, muscular imbalances and mobility issues: these can all not only affect your workout results, but your safety as well. A fitness coach can help develop a plan and create a routine specifically tailored for you – your body, your goals, and even things like your schedule and your likes and dislikes, which are just as important to your success. 

2. Cue for proper form

     - Form should always be your number one focus and concern. You can lift as much weight or workout as hard as you can but if your form is off, you aren't targeting the right muscles, or you aren't targeting them in the way you intended. While watching your form is crucial, checking and adjusting your own form is one of the hardest things to do: you can't see yourself from all angles, and trying just throws your form off further. Over time, proper form will become second nature as muscle memory kicks in, but to learn the basics (even if you've been in the gym game forever), a fitness coach can make sure you are building a solid foundation which can make all the difference.

3. Reliable, science-backed, up to date information

     - If you open a magazine or turn on the TV, chances are, you'll hear conflicting health and fitness information. Perfect example: Carbs are great and you need for energy! Carbs will make you fat- never eat them and you'll have the body of your dreams! That's because the media is only interested in getting you to tune in, so it will spin tiny bits of information to sound like new and exciting breakthroughs: ie. you can't trust it. And while the basics will always be the same (strength train, cardio, eat right, drink lots of water) the fitness industry changes a lot as science continues to teach us more about how our bodies work. Part of being a fitness professional means you have to take continuing education courses to stay up to date with new discoveries in the field. While the information in the articles and magazines you read may be out of date, or have a hidden agenda, a fitness coach will always have the latest insight.

4. Accountability

     - A lot of people seem to think that plunking down money will be incentive enough for them to show up for their workouts, but in actuality, for most people, once the money is out of their account it's considered spent whether you workout or not. Knowing there is someone waiting on you, who then will control the workout the next time they see you, however, is often that extra push you need to keep your appointment. They will also hold you accountable outside of the gym by having you track your meals and by doing frequent check-ins. You’ll feel more supported and have someone to answer to.

5. Future, continued success

     - The point of having a fitness coach isn't to have a fitness coach forever. A fitness coach (a good one, at least) won't just tell you what to do, they will also teach you the why's and how, educating you on the basics of nutrition, biomechanics, and kinesiology so that you feel confident in continuing your healthy lifestyle for the rest of your life. Fitness is progressive, so your routine and the way you challenge your body will need to constantly change.  Things like increasing intensity of exercises, when to up your weights, how many reps to do, and how to structure and time your workouts are all things you'll learn so you'll feel confidence and independence moving forward.

by Kelly Turner

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