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Exercising with a Personal Trainer

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The Complete Guide to Personal Training

Exercising with a Personal Trainer - Personal Trainer and ClientHave you set your fitness goals and determined your budget for personal training? Did you use multiple avenues to search and find the best personal trainers in your area? Have you already met personal trainers for consultations, used the data you collected to choose a personal trainer?

If you have already completed the previous 3 steps in the guide to exercising with a personal trainer (above) you are truly ready to start training with a personal trainer.

Benefits of Exercising with a Personal Trainer

Motivation, Motivation, Motivation
Different things motivate different people. All good personal trainers specialize in motivation techniques for a wide variety of people.

At the very least a personal trainer will be standing right next to you encouraging you to get everything perfect for the duration of all your training sessions.

Large Exercise Selection
You can count on performing a huge variety of exercises when you work with a personal trainer. Constantly changing exercises not only keeps your body adapting to new stimuli but it will allow you to have more fun as your workouts will never be boring.

Dynamic Program Design
Another great benefit of exercising with a personal trainer is your workouts will be dynamic rather than static. An example of a static workout would be if you ripped out a workout from a page of the latest edition of “Muscle & Fiction” magazine.

The exercises stay the same regardless of how you and your body responds to the workouts. With a personal trainer, dynamic program design means your workouts are constantly changing, tailored by your trainer, based on the feedback which you provide.

Goal & Progress Tracking
Your personal trainer will help you set realistic and measurable goals. After you exercise Your personal trainer will measure and track your progress.


Keys to Success: Tips to Maximize Exercising with a Personal Trainer

Exercise on your own Time
Ask your personal trainer what to do for exercise in between training sessions. Depending on your physical fitness goals and how often you train with your trainer you will likely also be asked to exercise on your own time. These exercise sessions (usually cardio) are just as important as your personal training sessions and should not be skipped or taken likely.

Show up Early to Every Training Session
Your personal trainer will show you various warm-up and flexibility techniques you should do before more intense exercise. If you show up early to each session you can get these done so your body is ready for the more intense exercise the trainer has prepared for the training session. If you show up on time or late you are not maximizing your time & money spent on exercising with a personal trainer.

Listen Closely & Follow Instructions
You are exercising with a personal trainer for their fitness knowledge and know-how. Most personal trainers are constantly giving you tips and encouragement for each second of each exercise.

If for example, your trainer tells you to slow down your exercise tempo they are not saying it for the sake of saying it, they are saying you’re moving the weights too fast so you should follow instructions and slow down for best results.

Challenge Yourself, Challenge your Personal Trainer
You signed up for exercising with a personal trainer because you knew they would challenge you but this shouldn’t stop you from upping the ante. Your personal trainer will set proposed limits for each exercise during each workout.

Challenge yourself to push it to the limit, surpassing your expectations at the same time you surpass your personal trainer’s expectations. This attitude will not only help you get the maximal results from each exercise and personal training session but it will make your trainer become better in the process.

Above all: Honor your Commitment
If you are investing your time and money in exercising with a personal trainer you should go all out to achieve your goals. This includes first and foremost arriving on time or preferably early to all your training sessions and canceling only when it is 100% necessary.

Last but definitely not least your diet is going to need to be healthy & consistent with your goals. If this includes not having drinks for happy hour every weekend with your friends you should honor your commitment.


What to Watch out for while Exercising with a Personal Trainer: Red FlagsPersonal Trainer Red Flags

Just because you went through an analytical process to find and choose a personal trainer doesn’t mean everything will workout as planned.

Here are some things to watch out for when training with a personal trainer. REMEMBER: Your personal trainer relies on the feedback you provide so if you feel it something is wrong it is very important you talk to your trainer about it.

Constantly Late or Canceling Sessions
The most basic part of the personal training profession is scheduling appointments for training sessions and training clients for those training sessions. If the personal trainer cannot make the training sessions on time or is constantly canceling on your for whatever reason you should plan to find another trainer.

Doesn’t Pay AttentionExercising with a Personal Trainer - Terrible Personal Trainer
If you are struggling in the middle of a tough set and instead of spotting you, your trainer is answering their cellular phone or sending a text message, it may be time to find another personal trainer.

Examples of the personal trainer not paying attention do not have to be so blatant. If you sense your trainer’s mind is elsewhere during your training sessions it is advisable to have a sit down talk with them and/or leaving for greener pastures.

Does not Adjust Workouts based on Your Feedback
If you don’t like that the day after your first training session you couldn’t walk or lift up your arms to brush your teeth you should tell the personal trainer.

The primary job of a personal trainer is to use the client’s feedback to adjust the intensity of training sessions. Always keep this in mind as for a successful client-trainer relationship to occur feedback works both ways.

If you have tried to asked/and or complained to your trainer about any aspects of the workout and the trainer refuses to change, it’s best to find another trainer.

Personal Trainer Taking MeasurementsDoes Not Perform Assessments
If you have followed this exercising with a personal trainer guide you have determined short term and long term measurable quantitative goals.

It is a huge red flag if your personal trainer does initially take or ask to take your weight, circumference and body fat measurements. Some people refuse the measurements but the personal trainer still should at least ask. If they do not, ask them why they didn’t take your measurements.

Assessing and re-assessing goals is just as important as any other aspect of exercising with a personal trainer.


What Exercising With a Personal Trainer is Like

During training sessions your trainer will be constantly instructing, encouraging, and reinforcing your actions. Personal trainers take pride in having their clients perform each phase of each exercise motion correctly.

The actual types of exercises you do with your persona trainer will very depending on your training goals.

Weight Loss
Expect to perform full body style workouts with minimal rest in between sets. Your workouts are likely to be circuit training style workouts. Your trainer will also pay very close attention to your dietary habits and health.

Muscle Gain / Bodybuilding
Expect your trainer to put you through split training workouts as you isolate specific muscle groups for each session. Your exercise selection will include a mixture of compound movements for large muscle groups as well as isolation exercises to build specific muscles.

Sports Performance
If you are training with a personal trainer or Certified Strength & Conditioning Coach (CSCS) to improve your athletic ability expect to perform exercises which are specific to whichever sport you compete in. Olympic lifts and powerlifting exercises will accompany plyometrics and other forms of sport-specific functional training.

General Fitness
If you are exercising with a personal trainer for general fitness you can expect to perform a wide variety of exercises. Personal trainers take different routes training people for general fitness so you could expect anything from basic movements similar to activities of daily living to traditional weight training to different forms of cardio.

The reason for your training sessions is to help you achieve your short & long term goals. Fitness assessments and results will determine whether your training sessions and dedication are successful.

Menu Guide to Personal Training

Setting Fitness Goals & Training Budget

Finding a Personal Trainer

Schedule Personal Training Consultations

Hiring a Personal Trainer

Fitness Assessment Results – Re-Assessments

More about Exercising with a Personal Trainer

Learn more about what qualifications separate average personal trainers from elite personal trainers.

  • Becoming a Personal Trainer
    If you get the results you desire, exercising with a personal trainer may inspire you to want to become a personal trainer. Learn about all the requirements a personal must take to become qualified as well as find personal training clients.
  • Exercise Video Library
    Watch videos of exercises similar to what you may perform when exercising with a personal trainer. Click on the target muscle group on the anatomy chart to find the associated exercises which are organized by equipment used.

Author Profile: Mike Behnken

Mike Behnken is a personal trainer who holds multiple NASM certifications and a MS in Exercise Science. Mike loves fitness, travel, and photography among many other interests.

Disclaimer: The views of the author are his or her own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Ask The Trainer.

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Post Category: Misc, Personal Training, Physical Fitness