How to get the most out of a personal trainer?

Avatar for Mish Khot By in exercise, fitness goals, personal training on 24/09/2023
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Signing up with a personal trainer is a big step in your fitness journey and one that should pay off in great results if you do it right. So how do you do it right? Here are Avaana’s top eight ways to make the most of your time with your personal trainer.

8 ways to make the most of your personal trainer:

1. Choose someone you are comfortable with, and establish a rapport

A personal trainer will be working very closely with you for the duration of your training. This will mean teaching you to push your boundaries, making you work out even when you don’t feel motivated, and seeing you at your crankiest worst. It’ll be easier for you to work with a trainer that you like, and whom you look forward to seeing. When booking a personal trainer, you should meet a few first and see whom you get along with best.

2. Be open about your goals and your progress

When you book a personal trainer, they will usually spend the first session asking about your health, medical conditions, what your fitness goals are, and what your diet looks like. Some of the questions may be personal, and some might be hard to answer truthfully. But being honest with your trainer helps them to plan the most suitable exercise and food regimen for you, and helps you achieve your goals sooner and more effectively.

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3. Respect the time you get with your personal trainer

Most of us get only an hour per session with a personal trainer, and that should be treated as sacrosanct. Switch off your phone, disconnect from your distractions, and spend the hour listening, learning, and focusing on your body and your well-being.

A personal trainer will usually have a packed schedule and is likely to have the next client coming in shortly after your session is over. No matter how accommodating your trainer is, you should respect their time and make sure your session doesn’t spill over because you just had to take that call from the office.

4. Don’t be rigid about the personal training process

All of us have some exercises we love, and some we don’t like. Legs day, anyone? However, your trainer is asking you to do something for a reason, and when you refuse to do it, you might lose out on some serious calorie-burning or muscle-toning goodness. A personal trainer is also making sure your workout is balanced and that you get to train all your muscle groups.

If a specific exercise causes pain or discomfort, you should tell your trainer in case there is an underlying injury or weakness that they need to be aware of. If you’re just bored by that exercise, you could consider asking your trainer to switch it out with something more fun, or if you could do less reps of one and more of another.

5. Ask for lifestyle recommendations and rest-day advice

Most personal trainers are passionate about fitness and exercise and will be delighted to share their knowledge with you. Ask them whom they follow on social media for inspiration. What to do on your rest day to keep your metabolism up. What foods do they eat on their treat days. How to reduce post-workout soreness. You can learn a lot from your personal trainer while you’re doing your lunges, and it’s all valuable information.  

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6. Don’t be hesitant about asking for your trainer’s credentials

When you choose a fitness trainer, you should be confident that you’re working out with someone you trust. This makes it easier to listen to your trainer’s advice, even when you’re ready to stop. This is especially important if you have a health condition like chronic back pain when you need a trainer who specializes in this area.

7. Commit to it with everything you’ve got

When you decide to sign up with a personal trainer, spend some time thinking about why you’re doing it and what you hope to achieve. There is no point in spending money on a trainer if you’re going to cancel your session because you’re not motivated. When you do decide to work out with a professional, give it everything you’ve got. That means practising diet and portion control, making healthier lifestyle choices, and showing up for your sessions on time.

8. Be practical about your expectations

When you sign up with a personal trainer, you’re taking a huge step in your fitness journey. However, you have to make sure you’re not expecting magical results and quick fixes. Losing weight and building muscle are slow processes that take time and commitment. A big part of your personal trainer’s role is to help you understand what you’ll do during your sessions, what results you can realistically aim for, and how to monitor your progress. Make sure you cover this at your initial meeting so that you both are aware of each other’s expectations.

Schedule your workouts at times that work for you. If you get ambitious and plan on 6 a.m. workouts when you find it hard to wake up at 7:30 a.m., you’re going to end up cancelling at the last minute (and possibly even paying cancellation fees, depending on the policy of your trainer).

If you would like to book the services of a personal trainer, Avaana can help you get in touch with a professional nearby.

Avatar for Mish Khot

Mishana Khot is a fiction author and co-founder of The Great Next, an adventure travel company. She has been featured in National Geographic, Forbes magazine, and other publications, and has over 15 years of experience with health, travel, and lifestyle brands.

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