Personal Training vs. An OPEX Gym
Traditional Personal Training is when you spend your entire workout time together with a fitness trainer, one to one. OPEX Gyms are the revolution of personal training. While you still receive one on one coaching you complete your program in a group environment. To highlight the difference between the two this blog will define what personal training is.
During that time, your coach has you do exercises that should be geared to help you progress forward not just with your fitness in the gym, but also with your life out of the gym. If they didn’t help you enjoy a better life outside of the gym, where would their value be?
Within that definition, let’s further define “what is a personal trainer?”
According to Dictionary.com, a Personal Trainer is “a person who works one-on-one with a client to plan or implement an exercise or fitness regimen.”
According to Wikipedia, “A personal trainer is an individual certified to have a varying degree of knowledge of general fitness involved in exercise prescription and instruction. They motivate clients by setting goals and providing feedback and accountability to clients. Trainers also measure their client's strengths and weaknesses with fitness assessments. These fitness assessments may also be performed before and after an exercise program to measure their client's improvements in physical fitness. They should also educate their clients in many other aspects of wellness besides exercise, including general health and nutrition guidelines. It is very important that a trainer takes their time to evaluate a client’s personal life outside of the gym. This way, personal trainers can figure out what kind of stress their client may be putting on certain areas of the body during their everyday lives.”
What Is Good Personal Training?
We break great personal training - and fitness - into a simple formula of success. Are you enjoying
If you have all 3 of these things consistently, you are likely in a great place for your progress and longevity. If you only have 1 or 2 of them, you may enjoy it for a little while, but you’ll grow weary of it over time. If you don’t have any of the 3, run away!
That is why we have created OPEX Gyms. As the community environment ensures fun, while your personal coach supports your relationships and results.
Results - Personal Training Must Provide Results
As a client, it’s very likely that you have a clear direction that you initially want to head in. Perhaps you want to lose weight and feel great. Perhaps you want to feel better. Or, perhaps you want to learn more athletic skills which require strength, etc... Whatever you want to do, fitness-related, this is why you are looking to a personal trainer; personal trainers are supposed to help you achieve those results. They are supposed to help you reach your goals, not theirs, and certainly not some other third party’s. Without progress, you’re paying out a large sum of money for a suspect reason.
Looking back to the Wikipedia definition of a personal trainer, we found it interesting that it discussed some of the tools that were in the personal trainer’s toolbox. Be them an assessment, lifestyle, or nutrition-oriented, it is saying that your trainer should not just hang out with you for 30 or 60-minutes while you train. Many clients who do personal training never actually receive a real assessment or a coaching consultation; they just have a coach walk them from exercise to exercise day by day and week by week. If that is the experience that you’re getting, we do not believe it will help you achieve great results, so we’d tell you to look for a better personal trainer.
If your personal trainer is properly assessing your past workout and health history - remember they aren’t your medical doctor - your movement and flexibility, and your athleticism or coordination, for example, they will have a much better understanding of where you should begin your workouts. If they then give you a better-training program, you’ll have more likelihood of success during that few months worth of training. After you progress, they should re-assess you and set the next progression plan which should take you to an even better place. This is no different whether the assessment is built around physical movement or nutrition.
Additionally, your personal trainer must measure your results with you along the way. You must be an active participant in this. That means that if you say that if your goal is to lose 10 pounds, if you and your personal trainer agree on how you’ll go about this and when you “should” achieve that goal, you both need to check back in on the goal. What sets your normal run of the mill personal trainer with a great personal trainer, though, is if they are tracking multiple goals with you for years without “forgetting” about them. Many personal trainers don’t track or stop tracking because they are too worried about proving results. Now, don’t get me wrong, if you’re getting older and you’re really trying to resist entropy as your progression plan, you may not progress, but you should be tracking your resistance haha!
The better your coach knows you on and off of the gym floor - within reason, of course - the better they will be able to build your fitness program, and the better they will be able to keep you accountable and happy around your training which will help you continue achieving positive results for years.
Relationships - You And Your Coach Should Have A Great Coach to Client Relationship
Think about how much time you’ll spend with your personal trainer over the course of 1 year. If you do 3 one-hour sessions per week for 50 weeks per year, you’ll be with them for 150 hours per year. Think about that in a bigger context, that is just under 1 full week of your life each year. Would you want to spend that much time with somebody you don’t respect or care for? How about one layer deeper, would you want to spend a week with somebody who doesn’t support your goals and priorities?
A great personal trainer is one who actively supports and guides you to long-term health and fitness results. Notice that I didn’t say that you should be good friends with your personal trainer. That isn’t a coach to client relationship. You and she/he should align on your goals and priorities as well as how you’ll get there, and you should enjoy your time spent on the floor together.
When you feel that support, guidance, and fun from your coach, a lot of the extrinsic stress will melt away, and you’ll actually enjoy better results because your body is able to de-stress. Contrast that with a personal trainer who doesn’t care or doesn’t make you feel supported. You will always feel a sense of loss, and you’ll have too much stress to effectively progress forward.
Some of the ways that you can assess your coach to client relationship:
- Is your personal trainer helping you be more aware about everything surrounding your health and fitness - they shouldn’t just point it out, they should help you become more aware so that you can take charge
- Is your personal trainer helping you identify your priorities in life so that you can enjoy more time doing them vs spending less time doing those things you don’t value
- Is your personal trainer planning out your longer-term plan - do they take the time to think through what training and lifestyle you need to progress forward for years?
- Is your personal trainer explaining your plan to you - you don’t need to be an expert in fitness, but you do need to see your pathway forward
- Is your personal trainer prepared for every session - do they have your workout ready to go before you walk in, and is that workout directly aligned with your longer-term training plan
- Is your personal trainer discussing your lifestyle, priorities, and nourishment with you - if your trainer merely moves you through workouts, that is bush league
- Does your personal trainer actively listening to your goals, challenges, successes, and setbacks - you know what being listened to feels like and what it doesn’t
- Does your personal trainer help you build your own autonomy - a trainer/coach should help you be able to train on your own; is your trainer actively helping you do that?
- Does your personal trainer help you remain accountable if you do slip - even as you build autonomy, does your trainer help when you have those tough moments in your life - within reason
- Do you enjoy your conversations with your personal trainer - again, this isn’t a normal friendship, it’s a value exchange, but you need to enjoy your time with her/him
A great coach to client relationship is a wonderful thing that helps you continue to progress forward. Make sure you’re enjoying that consistently with your personal trainer
Fun - You Need To Enjoy Your Time In The Gym With Your Personal Trainer
We can try to be “tough guys” and say it’s not about fun, but in virtually all cases, clients who have long-term success and remain committed to the gym find what they really enjoy about the gym and consistently do what they enjoy; they have fun!
If you are working with a personal trainer, you are in a one to one environment. You aren’t in a party-like environment of a cycle class. You aren’t in a high-intensity group fitness class that leaves you crushed on the floor with your friends (many people find that highly enjoyable haha). Your personal trainer needs to be a bit of a chameleon and create a different kind of fun environment, and that is often geared on conversation and energy of the training session. If your personal trainer isn’t very talkative (when you want to be), and if you personal trainer always looks lethargic, you’re not going to have much fun in that environment, and if you’re not having fun, you won’t keep coming back.
Don’t underestimate fun. It’s important!
We hope that you have a great idea of what personal training is and whether or not it’s a great fit for you. At OPEX Gyms, we offer The Evolution of Personal Training where you get a fully personalized fitness program and coach but you train in the fun environment of a group with a coach guiding you through your workouts. Come check us out, we think you’ll love it in an OPEX Gym!