People seek out personal trainer’s for many different reasons.
For some, they might view it as a way to stay motivated with their fitness routine, especially for those who view fitness as more of an “acquired taste” rather than a daily essential.
For others, a personal trainer could be a source of guidance to break through a plateau and reach a specific goal whether that be fat loss, gaining muscle, or staying fit during moments like pregnancy or recovering from an injury.
There are even some people who are just complete beginners and don’t want to waste any time by investing in their training immediately and setting off on the right foot.
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Clearly not all clients are the same, or even looking for the same thing, but there are still some key things that everyone should keep in mind when committing to a personal trainer. As broad as the type of clients I see are, the results can also just be as broad. However over the years I’ve realized that whether or not a client gets the results they expect are down to a few key factors.
I believe that every successful relationship I’ve had with a client has been a collaborative effort, where gains are made not just during our sessions but afterwards as well. Seeing results is not necessarily based on the trainer’s responsibility to deliver, but more on the trainer’s ability to set the client up for success.
That being said, here are 11 ways to get the most out of working with a personal trainer.
Every client is different and looking for different results. As a trainer, it is my job to create fitness routines that will help you achieve you unique set of goals.
More importantly, it’s crucial that YOU know exactly what it is you are looking for. Be SPECIFIC with your personal trainer.
Are you trying to lose 5lbs? Or 10? 20? From where? Your arms? Belly fat?
Are you trying to build muscle? Where? Bigger arms? A thicker back?
Of course, there are various factors regarding diet, exercise, and time that we have to consider in order to craft the perfect game plan for you, but a trainer does not know where to start until you tell him or her exactly what it is you’re looking for.
I’ll sometimes ask for clients for photos of people who have the bodies they want. This can be very helpful as for example, some people have different ideas of what muscle looks like. My mum actually thinks The Rock and Hugh Jackman are the same size!
Be specific, be committed, and be ready to put in the work.
If you cancel once, it will likely be easier for you to cancel the next time. And the next time, and the next. This is a known fact, and we are all guilty of it in one way or another. The voice in our head that encourages us to put off our commitments, and instead focus on something more instantly gratifying, becomes louder and louder the more we feed it.
Therefore, what initially starts out as an innocent excuse to not show up for a workout could easily turn you towards a path to slow results.
It’s important for each client to understand that a personal trainer cannot be of any service to them if they don’t commit to showing up. In fact, it’s a waste of your money and a waste of your trainer’s time.
Trust me, you might hate me at the beginning of our session, but you’ll be so happy with yourself once it’s over.
Try to book your sessions when you know you'll have energy and be motivated to work out. I always suggest in the morning - less chance to cancel, and less excuse!
Show up for yourself, day-in and day-out, and apply the same work ethic you might have elsewhere to your fitness journey.
Having a trainer is not just an hour or someone telling you what to di but also a great opportunity to learn about fitness, diet, and how his or her body works.
Don’t just think of personal training as following orders for an hour, but as an hour with an expert who is solely focussed on improving your life. Don’t waste this precious resource!
Think of it like a lesson, take notes! The sooner you remember things the sooner your trainer can move on to more advanced training. Ask your trainer questions about the exercises, why you are doing them, and how they benefit you. Make sure you’ve mastered correct technique in order to prevent injury, and expedite your results.
You are not getting your money’s worth during a personal training session if you’re not taking away key information about how you can reach your goals both safely and effectively. Anyone can research exercises online and take themselves to the gym, but it’s an advantage to have a personalized source of information presented to you by an actual fitness professional who can give you all the pertinent information completely tailored to your body and your situation.
There’s no beating around the bush. The more often you train the faster you’ll see results.
Working with a personal trainer is helpful but not so much if the only exercise you do is seeing them once a week.
I get it, not everyone can afford a personal trainer 5 times a week. However if you’re only seeing a personal trainer two or three times a week, and like most clients you want results yesterday, then you must also try and get at least one other session in the gym by yourself, if not more.
If you can’t manage that, don’t feel bad, many people can’t! Just know that the more often you are in the gym putting things into practice the faster your results will come.
Not all of us can afford to work out with a trainer every day. In fact, most clients average around 1 to 2 training sessions a week. Not only does that mean that we are responsible for our fitness routines throughout the rest of the week, but also how quickly we reach our goals. Ask your trainer if he or she can build workouts that you can do on your own throughout the week. Not only is this a great use of your trainer’s knowledge and service, but you can make sure you are doing everything you can do to stay on track. Depending on how your trainer structures thier prices this is likely to cost extra, but it’s worth discussing and building it into your rate.
Successful training takes time. If you’re going to be spending time with someone on a weekly basis, and breaking a sweat with them while you’re at it, you better make sure you get on with them!
View your trainer as not just a service, but also someone who is rooting you on. They are there to support you on your fitness journey and supply you with tools you can use to get to where you want to be.
Your trainer is on your team. You’re partners. Be transparent and honest with them. Tell them what your diet looks like when they’re not around. Let them know if you’re not putting in the hours in the gym on the days you don’t train with them. Not only will this honesty give your trainer a good indication of where you’re at in your progress, but also allow them to give you the advice you need to stay motivated.
Yes, I did just emphasize the importance of being comfortable and transparent with your trainer, but that does not mean your next training session should be confused with a lunch date. As much as I enjoy building a relationship with my clients, I want to make sure they are getting the absolute most out of their sessions with me and breaking a sweat. Not only does this prove that I am doing my job, but it guarantees that my clients get results they want. I’d love to hear about how your week at work is going, but it’s more important that you get the proper workout you are paying for. Less talk, more training!
It’s crucial that you give your body the rest it needs in order for it to perform optimally. Make sure that you get adequate sleep everyday so that you can wake up with the energy the next morning for your training session. More importantly, our bodies need time to recover from previous workouts and prevent future injuries
Come ooooon! You know this one already :). Body’s aren’t made in the gym, they are made in the kitchen. The gym is where the designing takes place. Make sure you speak to your trainer about nutrition. At they very least they will give you some tips and point you in the right direction. Any trainer worth their salt will make sure your are following a diet that is not only copacetic with your training but right right for you and your lifestyle. You can’t train away a bad diet!
Results take time, and are dependent on many factors. Someone’s body type, diet, age, or preexisting health conditions can all determine how his or her body reacts to training. It is important to be realistic about how factors like these will affect your results, but also accepting that as part of your fitness journey.
What a trainer is looking for in a client is commitment, consistency, and patience. If you consistently put in the work, the results will come. Let a trainer act as your guide, but it is up to you to follow the necessary steps.
Training is hard work. Most likely, you will be giving up some of your favorite foods to eat, waking up early on a Saturday morning to train, and even dishing out a substantial amount of money for this service. A good trainer will work you hard, and at times you will be left feeling like a pile of jelly on the floor. Your muscles will be sore, and parts will ache. So besides the results, what about this sounds appealing?
It is up to you to find those excuses. Pay up front to give yourself the financial incentive to get your money’s worth. Pick a trainer with a great sense of humor who makes you smile during your sessions.
Vocalize to your trainer what kind of music you want them to play during sessions, or whether you prefer outdoor or indoor settings. Customize your experience to you, because at the end of the day it is your time, your body, your money, and your fitness journey.
Hiring a personal trainer can be a game-changing decision for anyone who wants to take fitness seriously. Even people who don’t think they need a personal trainer long term would gain from having just a couple of sessions with a professional.
I’ve worked with clients who have been training for years and not one has ever left their first session without having their mind blown at least once. Not one has never not signed up for regular sessions.
Understand why you need a trainer. Is it just for accountability? Motivation? Expertise? Or variety?
Figure out your ‘why’ and tell your trainer. You’ll be glad you did.
Also check out:
6 Training mistakes that are costing you your 6 pack
13 Ways to get the most out of your personal trainer
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