Exercise is about being involved and being responsible for your own health and fitness. Even if you take on the expert guidance of a professional, qualified Personal Trainer, that's not a reason to surrender your thoughts and feelings about your own body. In fact, quite the opposite, what you need to show from the outset is a real interest in making sure you get the most out of your PT sessions by integrating with your fitness plans!
A big mistake many people make is that they think that by just meeting with a Personal Trainer they will lose weight, get in shape and transform their body. However, personal training is a process which you need to be part of. You don't just buy a diet book and expect to lose weight without putting in some effort yourself right?
From the get-go make sure you're asking the right questions. Not only will it create a clear picture of what is involved in training sessions, but what results to expect and even if you have the right PT onboard too. As well as your own set of questions, here are some general queries you might want to raise so you can be on the ball!
- What style of training do you recommend and why? If you understand why you are doing certain exercises then you are more likely to connect with your workout and stick with it. You might also have strong ideas about whether you agree with the fitness philosophy behind the personal training too.
- What commitment can I expect from you? You need to not only set boundaries about access to your Personal Trainer but also get a sense of whether they are flexible and how easy they are to reach. If a PT visits now and again then that might not be as attractive as someone who is easier to reach.
- What level of commitment do I need to give? Are you expected to train X times a week or to exercise outside of the personal training sessions? If you find out what's expected you won't disappoint yourself or your PT.
- Do you offer nutritional advice too? If you want to change your lifestyle you might value guidance that reaches beyond exercise and looks at what you eat. You don't want your good work being undone with a bad diet.
- What type of monitoring will be involved? Find out exactly how your progress will be assessed and the feedback you will get, and whether this will be fed back into the training program, perhaps instigating some workout changes.
- What if I feel uncomfortable with an exercise or that it's not right? While you want to be challenged and pushed outside your comfort zone, there are limits. One size does not fit all and that's the point of personal training. Find out how customized your workout is and find out if there's room for your views in the mix.
- What results can I realistically expect? You might have an end goal but you need to establish what is possible in what time frame. It is up to you and your PT to make sure that goals are realistic and achievable, otherwise this undermines the whole process.
- Where does the training take place? When it it? For how long? Take a look at the space you will be working out in, the schedule that's available and session length times, to get a practical sense of what you're getting involved in.
- I have a personal goal, how will you help me achieve that? Your Personal Trainer might have an idea of what you need in terms of fitness but you also need to speak out about what you want. It could be that you're not happy with certain physical attributes that are not immediately apparent to a Personal Trainer. Speak out and find out what can be achieved, when and how.
- How will the workouts change over time? Not only do you want to ensure you don't come down with a bad case of burnout or boredom, or simply get stuck on a plateau, you really want to feel that there is movement and variety in your sessions and you're not doing the same exercises over an extended period of time.
A Personal Trainer can guide you and point you in the right direction but you do need to take an interactive attitude and approach too. Is it time you took control and found a certified fitness buddy?