To begin our discussion from our last blog about exercise, I wanted to start with the last point first, the importance of a coach/trainer. These can be two different people or one person doing both.
In sports, a coach is a person involved in the direction, instruction and training of the operations of a sports team or of individual sportspeople. A coach may also be a teacher.
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.
Bill and I believe that a personal trainer is key to injury prevention. We have been to and/or watched many trainers (and especially the new “boot camp” type training) that don’t watch your form, assess your body for weaknesses or uneven strength, and are even on their phones more than they are watching you – that is the recipe for injury leading to the untimely ruination of your exercise practice. That trainer MUST be versed in observation, knowledge and skill of anatomy. Lifting too heavy weights, twisting incorrectly or just doing it wrong will do more harm than good. Better to pay upfront and be injury free than pay later with injury and more. Too expensive – re frame your mindset. Prehab prevents Rehab.
I also use a coach for my running practice. The coach(s) I use now are virtual (I actually use two: The Run Coach APP on my phone and Lisah Hamilton of Conscious Runner http://consciousrunner.com (yes, she’s a real person and has great podcasts to get you motivated). I use to train with Coach Tom, the founder of Run Coach https://runcoach.com in person, but I moved away from the area. Tom was able to assess my running form and push my abilities while preventing injury – so he was my trainer and coach. My coach develops a plan for how I will run for my races. Those plans, like an education teaching plan for learning math, English, or a new language is designed to build a foundation and then build and fill in the gaps so you eventually become proficient and hopefully expert in the task at hand. Without that training plan, my running would become very static, times slow and distance unchanged.
That’s why I like both! Someone to watch my form and build my muscle strength and someone to develop the plan. When you watch elite athletes, they have their team! Why shouldn’t we?