5 Benefits of Personal Trainers I Only Realized After I Got One


Outdoor Voices

The first summer after I started grad school, I was in the best shape of my life. I was working as a swim instructor at the YMCA and snuck off to the gym during breaks to run and do Pilates. I'd even worked my way up to running a whole three and a half miles straight without stopping, which, believe me, was a huge feat for someone who approached the mile run in high school gym class with trepidation.

But after graduating and getting a full-time job, my progress came to a screeching halt. I was working late hours, drinking more alcohol, and couching hard. The most exercise I got was a monthly yoga class and/or lifting my wineglass from the table to my mouth. I hardly even recognized my body and weighed the most I ever had. As cutting as this realization was, I continued to decline my boyfriend's invitations to the gym while simultaneously giving a monthly donation to New York Sports Club. I was stuck in a vicious and sedentary circle, and I needed to do something about it soon.

The thing is, whenever I used to get into a fitness groove, I Ioved it. I felt so powerful after an intense and sweaty workout, which consequently ignited my confidence, so the fact that I'd grown to "hate" the gym had me disappointed in myself, despite constantly perpetuating this hatred. I knew I had the ability to be a gym person, I just had to get there. I'd soon find that what I needed a third party to kick my ass into gear, so I signed up for my first personal training session with Simon Lawson, a trainer and Lululemon ambassador at The Fhitting Room in New York City.

To say I was nervous was an understatement. I'd heard horror stories about drill sergeant–type trainers who shouted in your face and worked you until your fingers bled, which I was certainly in no physical position to do. Thankfully, that wasn't the case with Lawson. As soon as he entered the lobby to greet me, instead of immediately whisking me into the gym, he sat down next to me and asked me a series of questions, from my current fitness schedule to what I'd hoped to get out of the session. There was no sense in sugarcoating any of my answers, so I told him I was unhappy with my body and wanted to tone up, particularly in my thigh, stomach, and arm areas, as well as lose weight. I saw the wheels spinning in Lawson's eyes as I explained my grievances, as if he were calculating our entire session in his head, and then we made our way into the studio for what would end up being an incredibly transformative and pivotal session. Take a look at some of the incredible benefits I took out of the experience below.

The Final Takeaway

I'm so happy I took this session. Not only was my gym of choice, The Fhitting Room, an incredibly accommodating and friendly environment, but Lawson is one of the best in the biz, and every single discussion we had and move I learned resonated stronger than any other fitness session I've taken part in. And the worst part, seeing my body fat percentage pop up in large digital numbers in front of my face was probably the most important lesson I took away from all of this. Sitting at a desk for hours, then going home to lounge on the couch and sitting even more, all while having an unhealthy amount of body fat, is a recipe for disaster. I went into the session hoping to learn new moves but came out of it completely awakened. This is the start of a new chapter.