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It can be pretty darn intimidating to start a new journey. Personal trainers can help you get started without any fear. I’ve had personal trainers on and off for years and each time I’ve experienced something different. Below are six things each personal trainer has done for me.

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1. Instant motivation: During training sessions, personal trainers are cheering you on. Meeting goals can be challenging, but they are right there with you pushing you to do one more set or telling you how awesome you did with this or that! I mean, who doesn’t like having their own personal cheerleader?

>> Want wearable motivation? Try these 20 motivational tanks to wear to the gym!

2. Accountability: Starting out you are motivated, but then you hit a slump or something comes up and your best intentions go awry as your good habits slip. My personal trainers in the past have called me out on my eating habits or not going to the gym when I said I would. I needed that push to keep going. Remember, they want you to meet your goals, too!

3. You learn about healthy eating: I never learned how to eat healthy growing up. You can’t expect to reach your goals without learning how to eat right. My personal trainer would sit down with me and teach me about portion control, eating your “rainbow” and even healthy cooking! I would log my meals or any snacks and then the personal trainer would review and coach me through how to eat better. In fact, I still log my food as it’s such a great tool to see how to eat better by seeing your caloric intake and macronutrients (fat, protein, and carbohydrates) in order to reach those goals!

>> Read more: You Can Actually Train Yourself to Crave Healthy Food

4. You learn how to use the gym equipment: I remember going to the gym and never using anything but the treadmill. Needless to say I would get bored, lose any motivation I had and quit going to the gym because I didn’t see results. The reason why I stuck to the treadmill was because I was so scared that I would look silly trying to learn how to use the equipment on my own. Am I alone in thinking every person in the gym is watching me? During training sessions, my trainer would go over the equipment and show me the proper form, as well as when to increase or decrease the weight. I would then do the moves and be corrected if needed. No more worrying about looking silly.


5. Workout plans help you reach your goals (i.e., losing weight, building muscle, or improving overall health): Gyms have personal trainers who are experts in certain areas. I had one who was also a physical therapist. This was awesome for me as I had some medical issues and they knew what to do to fix me up while we were working on my other goals. I’ve also had a trainer who constantly changed my workouts. My trainer knew I had a tendency to get bored easily, which in turn made me stop going to the gym. Never knowing what to expect kept me coming back and I was able to look fabulous for my wedding!

6. You gain a new friend: I would meet up with my trainer up to three times a week at one point. Spending so much time with someone while training and talking, you end up becoming friends. My last trainer and I still talk here and there even though we live in two different states.

>> Read more: Why a Personal Trainer Is Better Than a BFF

And if you are on the fence about hiring a personal trainer, I encourage you to ask the gym if they will set you up with a complimentary training session. Each trainer has a different style, so be sure to let them know what you are looking for in a trainer. In my previous experience, I’ve had a bootcamp-style trainer and one who kept my sessions “light” with constant laughter. What do you look for when hiring a personal trainer?