The Importance of Having a Good Personal Trainer

I love to workout.  I can’t imagine a life where I could not get to the gym on a regular basis to keep in shape.  Working out to me is almost as important as breathing oxygen! A few years ago I decided that I wanted to compete in amateur bodybuilding so I hired a personal trainer who had experience competing in the sport himself.  I made it clear from the beginning that my goal was to use the competition as a fun way to improve my health, but that I was not willing to resort to harmful drugs in order to enhance my performance.  From the beginning, I understood the importance of having a personal trainer.  With the added time commitments I now have with helping my wife raise our young children, the only hour that I have been able to consistently find available to exercise is 6:00 am.  That means preparing my business suit and toiletries the night before in order to be in bed by 10:30 am so that I have enough energy to get up at 5:30 am, throw everything in my car, and be in the gym on time to start at 6:00am! The first thing my trainer would ask me to do in the morning was to check my weight and measure my body fat percentage.  These measurements gave both of us a report on my progress as I advanced towards the date of the competition.  If the numbers did not look good, I knew that I had to make some adjustments in my exercise plan, my food intake, or both in order to get back on track.  This regular habit of “accountability” helped keep me focused and aware of my progress at all times.

I gained an entirely new level of appreciation for my Sunrider foods as I trained for my first competition. I had to eat the healthiest food possible to in order have the energy necessary to work out at a high intensity. And I also needed a high nutritional food source that did not include artificial ingredients and empty calories that would prevent me from achieving the lean muscle mass necessary to pose on stage!

Staying motivated and focused for the 6 months up to the date of the competition was not always easy. Sometimes my kids didn’t want to sleep when I wanted them to, so that meant no one got to sleep. Maybe a project at work required long hours in the office in order to complete on time. Time zone changes and unfamiliar hotel rooms during my many business trips also tended to disrupt my regular routine. But no matter where I was or what the challenge, I always knew that when I got back to the gym my trainer was going to be waiting there for me to get back on the scale to check my weight and my body fat percentages and to hold me accountable for my progress! With that type of accountability I was almost willing to do pull ups from the hotel shower curtain rods if necessary in order to work out when I was on a business trip! My personal trainer also provided me with valuable encouragement when I felt discouraged with the pace of my progress. Because I knew that my trainer sincerely wanted me to be successful and that he was available to do whatever he could to help me win the show, I can tell you that part of the motivation that I had to be successful was to honor the my helpful trainer.

And this same principle also applies to any other aspect of your personal development. In middle age we are forced to realize, now more than ever, that nothing is going to stay the same. In fact, my own life seems to be passing faster and faster as each year goes by. And if that is the case for all of us, then that means that either we are going to be moving forward or falling back, now faster than ever! I firmly believe that allowing ourselves to identify good mentors, teachers, doctors, therapists, consultants, coaches, or just someone older and wiser who is willing to offer you advice to help you more successfully navigate the middle age phase of life, will help you and me stay focused on those aspects of our lives to stay in a mode of positive progression throughout our lives as opposed to the alternative.

John Teng

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