So You Hired a Personal Trainer

Have you ever been fired up and ready to go? I know the feeling.  You’re reinvigorated, refreshed, embodying a new attitude, and ready to take on whatever it takes to finally get in shape, lose that last bit of baby weight, work on that six pack, run that 5K, etc.  On top of that, you are completely over whatever it is that you have or have not been doing and ready to take on whatever necessary to get the ball moving in the right direction. And so, you make up in your mind to hire a personal trainer to get on with it!

I applaud your tenacity. I admire your commitment and your grit is sure to pay off. A personal trainer is a wonderful investment and the right one has the capacity to guide you along your path to reaching your health and fitness related goals.  So, how should you go about finding your trainer and, realistically, what should you expect?

1. Do your due diligence to find a trainer that aligns with your values.

Every trainer is different. You will find some who specialize in weight-loss, muscle gain, athletic performance, amongst other things. If your goal is general fitness, a trainer who focuses on athletic performance may not be the best match. Shop around, conduct a couple of interviews, inquire about a trial session and be open and honest about your wants and needs. In fact, a good trainer will be upfront and let you know if she or he is a good fit for your goals. I am also willing to bet that most trainers have a network that will allow them to recommend out in the event it’s necessary.

Cardio, strength, flexibility, performance and mobility goals can be met with a trainer.

2. Have realistic expectations.

There is no magic in showing up for your sessions a couple times per week. Please be aware that working with your trainer is a two-way street. She can help you develop and articulate your goals, but the few hours you spend together in the gym are no match for habits developed and maintained throughout the rest of the day and week. Not only is your trainer spending quality time developing workouts that support your goals, but you must also hold up your end of the bargain by adhering to the agreed upon expectations in terms of nutrition, habit development, and honest accountability. Communicate, communicate, communicate. You are, in fact, stronger together.

3. Your trainer does not have to have the perfect aesthetic to coach you.

Personal trainers are people. We all have a history, and our fitness goals may or may not align with yours. Overall health is important for those of us in the industry; however, we may not feel compelled to adhere to the strict dietary demands and fitness regimen required of fitness models, body builders, etc. That does not mean we are not committed to our work, nor does negate our capacity to assist you on your journey.

A number of modalities or those of your choice can be used for success.

4. Trust the process and your trainer.

Nothing is easy. Reaching fitness goals takes hard work, determination, a few steps forward, and even a few steps back. Your programming is done with your goals and current level of fitness in mind. What you “used” to do or even want to do exists on a continuum and there are steps (sometimes many!) involved in getting you closer to your desired level of fitness. Remember to have fun and enjoy the course. You are bound to learn a lot about yourself and what is truly important to your health and well-being. Be open and receptive to the experience and watch yourself blossom and soar.

Have you ever worked out with a personal trainer? What was your experience?

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