Personal Training: The History, Benefits, and How to Choose

Written on: February 24, 2020

Written by:

Ryan McIvor

First, A Little About the Author

My name is Ryan McIvor. I have been a personal trainer in the fitness industry for over 3 years but have been involved in the gym for almost a decade at this point. Honestly, growing up, I never thought I would be a trainer, let alone having a career in fitness. I was always the kid that played sports but was out of shape. I had a decent high school baseball career, but when college came around, I chose to focus on academics and just go to school.

This left me lost as far as my own exercise, not having to report to team lifts for baseball anymore. By the time I was halfway through my freshman year, I had chosen to pursue exercise science as a degree. This was not to become a personal trainer, but instead to use it as a stepping stone into medical school. Then, it all changed.

One day, I had come home and was talking about how I needed to figure out how to get fit. My mom suggested a personal trainer she had heard him talking on the radio earlier that day about his studio. So, I made an appointment for a consultation, thought he was awesome and could help me reach my goals, and the rest was history.

The more time I spent in the gym, the more I loved it. I made friends there, which really became my social outlet in college. I began to crave fitness on a daily basis and didn’t feel like I could go a day without it. By this point, personal training had completely changed my life for the better. I realized that if I too became a personal trainer, I could fulfill my dream of having a career I enjoy every day while helping people that are in the situation I once was!

Now, I stand here having been in the fitness industry for over three years, still coming to work excited to help people reach their goals. So, coming from where I have been, I can say with certainty that if you haven’t tried training yet, you should! What are you waiting for? Let’s go on this journey together and get in the best shape of your life!

Personal Training: What is it?

In a nutshell, 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. However, they amount to so much more than this! They are a coach, mentor, listener, and so much more. They are there to get you through the hard times. They motivate you when you’re down. They build you up. As personal trainers it is our job to help you build a sustainable lifestyle that extends past the four walls of the gym.

The relationship between trainer and client can take many forms, depending on your goals. For the professional athlete, the exercise program prescribed by their coach is going to look vastly different than that of the everyday person. It may be more specific to their sport and what they need to do to be successful. For the general public, things look different. At NoCo Fitness, we primarily work with everyday people working on everyday goals. Working with a personal trainer can vary in its’ frequency from 1 to 6 times per week, depending on the individual, time, budget, etc. But here is what it all boils down to: personal training is a means of guiding you through your goals; you are the captain of the ship and we are the navigators!

The History of Training

Where It All Started

Personal Training History | Greeley, CO

The earliest forms of fitness training were actually seen in ancient Greek times. Dating back to as early as 776 B.C., the ancient Greeks were known for holding athletic events, most notably the Olympic games, in which we still have to this day. They had to train for each event with hopes that they would bring their country honor by being the best.

Although the ancient Greeks were familiar with training for fitness, training throughout history has been tied to both religious and military groups, where the goal of training was most likely to be ready for an event or in many cases, war.

Onto Today

Fast forward to present times, more specifically the 1990s. This is when personal training really began to pick up steam. Stemming from the popularity of bodybuilding and fitness icons like Arnold Schwarzenegger, hiring a fitness coach was starting to become popular in the general public. The personal trainer would be able to individualize a program for you, take you through that program, and eventually help you to reach your goals.

The Benefits

So, why would you ever want to think about paying someone to take you through exercise, in which is usually uncomfortable, comes with a lot of sweat, and will have you questioning why you do this to yourself? Well, I think there are multiple reasons as to why you should look into personal training, so let’s lay them all out!

It Provides You with Direction.

noco gym membership with personal trainer

Maybe the most important reason for hiring a fitness coach, having a direction in your training routine can be beneficial in so many ways. Many times, when somebody walks into the gym, bright eyed, ready to crush those New Year’s goals they set, they are immediately overcome with fear and intimidation once they see all of the equipment and all of the “gym rats”. So what often happens? They turn around and quickly walk out. But, as a personal trainer, part of my job is to help you be comfortable in a gym setting and empower you. I want you to feel like you belong. Everyone has a right to be in the best shape of their life!

It Provides You with Your Own Team

Just imagine what you could do with a team around you. It has been seen in the workplace. It has been seen on sports fields. In pretty much any situation, having a team around you can help you take on any challenge. By committing to personal training, you begin to build your team for achieving fitness goals. There is no better feeling than to know you have someone in your corner. On a daily basis, I go to work knowing that I am part of my clients’ team. Together, we will be able to pave the way to their goals. We may not know everything and what the process will look like, but it is our job to navigate the way for you.

Let’s not limit the idea of community just between you and your personal trainer, however. Other clients working with the same coach should also become part of your fitness team. All of you are working on your own goals, but collectively, it’s great if you are all able to push and motivate each other. This is one of the unique and probably my favorite aspect of being here at NoCo Fitness. If you have ever had the chance to be with your trainer during one of our busy training times, then you have experienced the high energy and fun that training around similar minded people has created. We all begin to motivate each other to be better!

It Provides You with Accountability

Maybe the most important aspect of having a personal trainer or coach is that it provides you with a level of accountability to not only yourself, but to that coach as well! As the day gets busy, it becomes easier and easier to throw in the towel on your workout for the day. But, if you have something scheduled ahead of time that you may have already payed for, that can serve as the extra little push to get you there.

Personal Training with a Fitness Coach at NoCo Fitness in Greeley Colorado

Once you get to the gym and get going into your workout, you’ve already won 50% of the battle. Training gives you a person that will push you to that last rep; that last set; the final minute. On a daily basis, I tell one of my clients at least once, “That’s what I am here for.” And, I truly believe that. It is my job to push you to or even past your limits. If we are able to push you a little harder each time you are here, then we will be making progress!

Don’t Just Take My Word, Take Theirs!

NoCo Fitness has been in business for 5+ years, and over that time, we have had the pleasure of working with 100’s of clients with a variety of goals. Below are just some of the testimonials we have had over the years:

NoCo Fitness testimonial from Lindsey Baker

This place feels like home to me. The trainers and patrons are my fitness family. Everyone is kind, supportive, and even entertaining at times. I laugh a lot, have fun, and am not scared to give my best no matter who is looking. There is never a dull day or workout at this gym. The equipment is also high quality and provides the right level of variety. Highly recommended!”  –Lindsey Baker, Member Since 2017

NoCo Fitness testimonial from Crystal Payne

“NOCO Fitness is certainly changing my life and I believe that it can change your life, too—If you’ll let it! What are you waiting for?! Come workout with us!” – Crystal Payne, Member Since 2018

NoCo Fitness testimonial from Marcos Munoz

“Chris and Ryan have gone above and beyond to help our son to achieve his goals. We are very grateful!–Marco Munoz

How to Choose Your Personal Trainer

Taking the time to find the right personal trainer for you is so important. They need to be the right fit on a personality level. They should have your best interests in mind. And, it should feel like a good fit from both sides. You should find someone that motivates you to be better and that leads by example. This is someone that you will be looking to as a role model and so the person you choose for personal training to represent that.

Picking a Gym

Sometimes overlooked, choosing a gym that you vibe well with should be your first step into finding a coach. The gym you choose should reflect your personality, shouldn’t feel “scary” to you, and ultimately should feel like home. You will be spending a lot of time there, so you should feel comfortable.  Look for a gym with friendly staff, people that ask how your day was, and an environment that puts you, the client, first.

Proximity to Home and Work

Another important aspect to consider is how close your personal training sessions will be to your home and work? Is the gym right in your commute from home to work? Is it within a reasonable time from home? If not, are you willing to make that commute to the gym? Making your sessions with your coach shouldn’t feel like you have to go out of your way to make it there or as an inconvenience to you! If this is something you want to commit to, then finding somewhere that fits your lifestyle should be considered!

Assess Your Budget and What You’re Looking For

As with any service, there are always cheaper and more expensive options. When choosing a personal trainer, think about this as an investment to yourself. Now, not everyone has the same budget. But, does that gym or those trainers have options to make training budget friendly for you, while not compromising the results you can get?

Finally, Be Picky!

Your personal trainer should be someone that you feel you can fully entrust to help you reach your goals! Your personalities should complement each other. You are going to be creating a relationship together that is built on trust and communication, so make sure before you sign a contract with a trainer, that it will be the right fit for you! If it isn’t, that doesn’t mean they are a poor trainer, it just means that there is another one out there that is better suited for you! If they offer a free consultation like we do at NoCo Fitness, utilize it as a time to evaluate if this will be a good fit for the both of you. It will be a great opportunity to talk through your goals, what your history has been, and what your visions are going forward. It also allows for the trainer to give you an idea of what a game plan could be going forward.

Free Consultations | Greeley, CO

Still Not Convinced?

Personal training is surely not the only way to get fit. But, it can be a great tool for you. At the very least, having some professional guidance can help to identify things you can improve upon in your routine. Remember, it is a personal trainer’s job to keep exercise fresh, fun, and interesting. Having help with navigating your training can sometimes be the difference between success and giving in. If you aren’t sure it is for you, at least set up a consultation. Maybe they have something to offer that you never thought of! As always, if you ever need help at NoCo Fitness, we are always here for your personal training needs!

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