WORKING WITH A PERSONAL TRAINER
Before actually working with a personal trainer there are several things to consider first in order for you to get the most out of the training session and have the best possible experience.
1. Find The Right Match
Shopping around and meeting potential trainers can be a very important first step. Talk with family and friends that are currently working with a trainer or have done so in the past. Also, try to talk to trainers on the gym floor, that way you get a feel for any potential pitfalls that may lie ahead.
Begin by asking about their credentials, how long they have been a trainer, schooling and how broad is their knowledge base (ie. degree in exercise science) and who they have their National Certification through. Since, their are several organizations they can be certified through, some more reputable than others. For example, here are just a few of those organizations: American Council on Exercise, the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association, or the American College of Sports Medicine.
Also, make sure that the certification is current. Most of them you have to re-certify once a year. As you look for a trainer, either in person or over the phone, there are some questions you should be asking.
Here are a few questions you should ask:
1) What’s your experience working with people like me? (Specify your goals: losing weight, training for an event, coming back after an injury, building strength, etc.)
2) What results have you achieved with your clients? Over what time span?
3) Can I talk with some of your clients? (A good trainer should have no trouble providing references.)
4) How would you describe your style? (Some trainers are gentle and encouraging, while others are more aggressive; some direct, others collaborate.)
5) How much do you charge? (Rates vary a lot based on the trainer and location — anywhere from $30 to $300 per hour — but average from $50 to $100.)
6) Do you offer small-group sessions or other services, such as online training?
Finally, if possible try to ask around in the gym that have been members for awhile as well as observe the trainer for yourself. This will help you get a better feel for him or her as well as see how he or she interacts with his clients.
2. Focus On Clear Goal
Prior to your first active training session, discuss your objectives with your trainer so that he or she can come up with an appropriate plan to achieve them.
If you’re out of shape or haven’t worked out recently, your trainer may recommend an initial period of training designed to help you build a fitness base and avoid injury. That’s a good thing, because it will make all your subsequent workouts more effective. But right from the beginning, you should see the connection between the plan your trainer has laid out and the goals you want to achieve.
If there are days you’re working out alone, you’ll need the trainer to map out the specific exercises you should complete, along with sets and reps. “Your trainer should provide you with routines that have a balance of both upper body and lower body, and also focus on the weaknesses you’re trying to improve,” says Goglia. “But you shouldn’t be doing the same exercises every single session.”
If you are new to working out, need motivation and some guidance or maybe have not worked out for awhile. Then, check out my section on our website training with Rock. You can find this at: Train With Rock. Here you will find rates, schedule an appointment as well as find information about what is offered and what to expect.
3. Develop a Strong Working Relationship
During the first few sessions, pay attention to how well you and your trainer sync up. Do you understand what she’s telling you to do? How well do you communicate with one another? Is she clued in to your body language to know when you need to be pushed harder and when you’ve had enough? Do you feel motivated or punished by her feedback?
The important thing, most experts agree, is voicing your preferences to your trainer so that he or she can respond. “Ask yourself, ‘Am I better with this person than I am alone?’” advises Manella.
A good trainer will also be open to answering any questions or concerns you bring to each session. If something isn’t working for you, or you hit a plateau, the trainer should be adaptable and work with you to adjust the routine.
Fortunately, the more you get to know your trainer, the more you’ll automatically hear his or her voice directing you through the moves. After a while, you’ll begin to internalize that advice, and it will become second nature.
4. Know When To Move On
Eventually, all training relationships come to an end. The client has achieved his or her initial goals, has successfully integrated exercise into his or her lifestyle, and no longer feels the need for a trainer.
For some clients, a limited package of training sessions is all they want or can afford at the moment. Other clients are in it for the long haul: “They have the means to pay for a trainer indefinitely, and they like the ongoing accountability and motivation the trainer provides,” says Manella.
Also pay attention to how you feel before, during and after your training sessions. A bit of preworkout apprehension is natural, but if you find yourself dreading each appointment, that could be a red flag. During the workout, you should feel challenged, but not pushed beyond your limits. Afterward, check in with yourself: Are you happy you went? Did you try something new and succeed? Do you feel empowered, or beat up?
An off day here and there is normal, but if you see a pattern of decline or negativity, it could be a clue that you need a change. “If you talk to the trainer and he’s not being responsive or adjusting, it’s time to move on,” Wallace says.
You will be challenged and be in better shape or even casting some bad habits to the wind and develop some new and beneficial habits. Until we meet again, whether through a blog or website or maybe virtually and in person. Make your body work, but with an attitude. Because, that my friends is “a better way to live.
Don’t forget, visit our website or drop us a line at Next Generation Wellness