Why I Use a Personal Trainer When I Can Teach the Class

by Don Smith

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My personal trainer was sick the other day, and I found myself filling in and helping the other people he usually trains through all the exercises. I knew them by heart after doing it for years, so it felt natural to take over.

So why do I continue to work with a personal trainer?

A guy like me who has completed three full Tough Mudders and written a course on healthy habits working with a personal trainer is like highly profitable companies spending boatloads of cash on people like me for their company board. It's an investment in outside accountability and perspective.

This is a Tough Mudder…

One of the best basketball players in the world, LeBron James, reportedly spends over $1.5 million per year on taking care of his body and has two trainers follow him around.

Do you think LeBron doesn't know how to shoot a basketball? That's a rhetorical question, of course he does! People would pay him a fortune to have him come to run a basketball camp. I would be shocked if he's not better at the game than his trainers.

He knows he needs an outside perspective to be at the top of his game and that little extra push from time to time. You don't make $89 Million in the first half of 2019 like LeBron James did without some outside help. He's learned the power of Warren Buffett's advice on the best investment you can make.

“Ultimately, there’s one investment that supersedes all others: Invest in yourself. Nobody can take away what you’ve got in yourself, and everybody has potential they haven’t used yet.” – Warren Buffett, Multi-billionaire Investor

Saturday Morning

I went into the gym on Saturday morning, and about forty minutes in, I wasn't feeling it anymore. I've been dealing with a bad shoulder for years, and my shoulder was hurting. I couldn't push through the shoulder presses, it wasn't happening. I was done. Not a little done, I was DONE.

If Jeremy hadn't been there, I would have walked out the door and gone home. Instead, he listened to my whiny little whimpers about my shoulder hurting and agreed that we needed to stop…that exercise.

“Rack that and let's see what we can do about that shoulder. Give me three sets of 15 dips, superset that with pull-ups. Set it on 100.”

I so wanted to say “F*** off” and walk out the door, but I didn't. I knew what he was doing and that it was a good idea as much as I didn't want to do it.

Instead, I dutifully set the pin on 100, and pushed through the 90 rep series.

My shoulder was hurting but felt a little better than it did when I started due to the low weight and new exercise. Thank you Jeremy. I still wanted to walk out, though.

“One more thing. Give me three sets of 12, triceps pull down, straight bar.”

Great, almost done. I could do this.

I pushed through.

“Last thing.”

Oh F*** you Jeremy…

“Three sets of 12, triceps pull down, rope. Then you got abs.”

End in sight, I started flying through my final sets. I could do this.

“Slow those down.”

I gave him a dirty look, but slowed down and finished the exercise.

Pushing through abs, I gave Jeremy a high five as I walked out the door.

The Extra Push

I would have missed out on a significant chunk of my workout without Jeremy there to push me.

That's why I continue going back, even though I know what to do. That's why top performers hire trainers, coaches, and people like me to help them with their business, and keep them around.

Superstars like LeBron and major companies know that having a little bit of accountability and some outside insight can push them to go from good to great. They've invested in themselves, and are reaping the rewards. Will you?

About the Author 

Don Smith

Happily married with five kids, Smith owns a technology company, is the founder of this site, has served on the board of directors for multiple companies, and loves playing soccer, hiking, and mentoring.

  1. Fabulous lesson here Don. Lebron is one of the top 2 players of all time and far and away the most durable superstar late into his blogging career because he works with trainers, rests his body and trains like a beast. He is incredible because it is a team effort, versus him trying to train solo. Smart post!


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