A few little changes that will make a big difference with your personal trainer.
Working with a personal trainer is a fantastic way to customize your workout regimen and improve your accountability, but their role in your journey toward a healthier and happier you is only half the equation.
If you’re ready to start working with a trainer or have been seeing one for some time but haven’t gained the results you were hoping for, here are 7 little changes you can implement that will make a big difference with your personal trainer.
Make sure you’re working with the right trainer
Personal training is a 50-50 partnership, meaning half of your experience is going to be based on whether or not you’re working with the right person. Finding a trainer who holds the right level of certification is a good place to start, but what you really want to dig deeper into is whether or not they’re a good match for your goals, your personality and the experience you want to have with exercise and personal training.
When you work with someone that you trust and feel connected to, it makes the whole process immensely more effective and enjoyable for both parties. Start by determining what you need out of a training partnership then do your research to find the right personal trainer for you.
Commit to a consistent schedule
One of the easiest ways to see results from exercise is as simple as by just showing up. Regularly missed appointments and inconsistent session schedules are two of the biggest culprits for slowing progress but, with a little planning, you can remedy this issue and see faster, more sustained results.
If you’re ready to make a real change through exercise, commit to a regular session schedule and place a high priority on those appointments. Conflicting engagements will inevitably pop up along the way, so it’s also important to have a clear plan for how you’re going to handle these situations. If you can’t make your session one week, look for ways to reschedule it to another day or book in a make-up appointment instead of missing the workout completely. If that’s not possible, be sure to still go out and do something active.
In order to be the most consistent and prevent cancellations, pick a schedule of the same day(s) and time(s) each week. This will allow you to remember when your sessions are without having to check your calendar and reduces the chances that you’ll accidentally double-book yourself upon making other appointments.
Be clear about your goals and how you define success
Gaining clarity on what it is that you want to achieve through personal training is important for both you and your trainer. Think hard and be honest on this topic as the more you understand what direction you want to head in for yourself, the better able you’ll be to articulate this and get the most out of your program.
Once you’re clear on how you define success with exercise, your trainer can then look at this in conjunction with where you’re starting from and give you a realistic understanding of what it will take for you to get to your goal. After establishing that path, they can then use those details to build an effective program that will keep you progressing and seeing the right results.
Communicate openly and ask questions
While personal trainers are intuitive, they’re unfortunately not mind readers. Being open in your sessions about what you’re enjoying, as well as what you would like to change (and why), is extremely helpful feedback for your trainer. This allows them to marry their plan of action with what you’re hoping to get from the client experience and make changes based on what is going to make you the most successful.
In addition to stating your needs, it’s also important to ask questions. Your trainer has a wealth of knowledge and, while they’ll likely already be sharing with you as much as they think you want to know, if you have questions about why you’re doing certain exercises and not others, make sure to bring those up. A good trainer will have a reason behind everything they’ve included in your program and understanding these nuances will help you get a clearer picture of the progression plan moving forward.
Be open minded
Sometimes when you’ve been active in the past, it can be challenging to let go of old beliefs and be open to new input; however, your trainer has a unique understanding of biomechanics and is a great resource for new techniques and protocol changes that are occurring within the fitness industry.
Try to be open to learning form and technique for new movements and relearning others that you previously thought you were doing correctly. When your trainer asks you to focus on muscles you’ve never heard of before or starts incorporating more nuanced work, trust that they’re there to help you tune into your body on a deeper level to build a strong foundation that will help you progress toward your goals.
Fuel up and stay hydrated
This one’s simple: if you’re running on empty, you can’t bring your A-game to your sessions. Period.
Start by learning the best practices for what and when to eat before exercise and then actually put it into play. Not eating or improperly hydrating can lead to dizziness, fatigue, nausea and poor performance – all of which impede your ability to workout and progress.
Don’t skip meals, drink lots of water and be sure to refuel after your workout.
Maximize the hour
60 minutes can go by very quickly so it’s important to devote that highly valuable time to really showing up for yourself. Plan to always be at the studio a couple minutes early to give yourself some buffer time to park the car, get changed, and begin your warm-up, and always always always leave your phone and other distractions in your bag.
Once you’re just about ready to get started, take a brief moment to reflect on your journey and remind yourself of why you’re there. Oftentimes it’s a good practice to make an intention for the hour based on what you need that day. This could include anything from a commitment to being present, to a focus on working hard, to an allowance to being kind to yourself after a hard week.
Finally, when it comes to the actual workout, find a happy medium between over-focusing on your exercises and over-chatting with your trainer to create a healthy mix of crunches and conversation.
The take away
To get the most out of personal training, you have to remember that it’s a 50-50 partnership. Your trainer will be there to teach, support, and encourage you, but how far you take that is up to you.
Eat well, know what you want, and commit to putting in the time and effort, and, before you know it, you’ll be making big strides forward with your workouts and will have gained major brownie points with your personal trainer.