Whether you’re considering lacing up a pair of running shoes for the first time or are a longtime fitness junkie, you will likely evaluate your exercise routine as you begin or maintain regular workouts. What is and is not working for you, your body and your busy schedule? Is it time to increase intensity or slow down? Would you benefit from joining a gym, trying a new location, or are you a self-motivated home athlete?

While there are many different strokes for different folks, it’s hard to deny the advantages of working one-on-one with a professional trainer, either to kickstart or reinvigorate your fitness approach. Especially if you are new to working out in a gym setting, have recently started a membership at a new-to-you gym, or are getting back in shape after a long hiatus, a personal trainer can help ease you into the groove. Perhaps the most effective strategy is a combination of scheduling regular weekly sessions with a trainer and supplementing that regimen with home training on off-days. Regardless of frequency, here’s the best of what personal training has to offer.

1. Personalized plan

One size does not fit all when it comes to exercise, and building a relationship with a personal trainer can allow them to customize a unique blend of cardio, strength, flexibility and core workouts that caters to your individual fitness goals. Got a bad back or trick knee? Your trainer works with people with all kinds of backgrounds, fitness and experience levels, and will tap into their expertise to work around any health or ability concerns. When you and your trainer work together to select only equipment and methods that are a good fit, you can better achieve your desired results.

2. Help with technique

Any fitness progress you’ve made can be completely undone by injuries resulting from improper execution. A trainer can provide you with effective stretches to help warmup and cooldown your muscles, guide you through safe lifting techniques that protect your muscles and joints, demonstrate proper posture and much more. He or she will push you to succeed, but only to the best of your ability, prioritizing safety throughout each component.

3. Accountability and motivation

It’s much easier to cut your workout short or skip it entirely when it goes unnoticed by all but you — but when sessions are scheduled in advance, you’d hate to keep your fitness buddy waiting… or stand them up entirely. One of the most priceless perks of hiring a trainer is the boost to your accountability and morale. If nothing else, count on a professional to help you follow through on your commitment to getting in shape.

4. Variety

A bewildering realm of possibilities opens up once you have access to professional equipment. At a typical Soul Fitness personal training session, this means workouts can include any combination of free weights, body weight, cardiovascular equipment, strength machines, Olympic equipment, dumbbells, kettlebells and more check these guys out. Your trainer will first demystify the purpose and uses of each, and from there you can work together to pick and choose the most applicable methods.