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home : columnists and contributors : columnists and contributors August 28, 2014

10/2/2013 12:01:00 AM
Ask the Trainer: Getting the most out of working with a trainer

How do you get the most out of working with a personal trainer?

By Glenn Stark,Master Trainer,

Bay Tennis and Fitness


On May 29th 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary successfully reached the top of Mount Everest. He credits much of his success to the help and guidance of his climbing partner, Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. Recruiting a trainer to help you achieve your health and fitness goals is a great way to help you achieve those goals. However it is important to remember Sir Edmund Hillary had to make the climb on his own. His partner did not carry him but was instrumental in guiding him each step of the way. They reached his goal together as a team. This is how you should approach your training sessions with a trainer, as a team.

Here are several ways you can get the most out of your training sessions with a personal trainer.

Set realistic goals-Before your first workout make sure you sit down with your trainer and go over your health and exercise history. This is important information your trainer can use to help limit your chance of injury, and it is crucial to helping you set and achieve realistic goals.

Show Up, and show up on time. You would be amazed at how many people schedule a training session, only to not show up on time or at all. Try and arrive 10 to 15 minutes early so that you can do some light dynamic stretching and warm up before the session begins.

Bring It! Show Up Mentally. Make sure you are showing up not just in the flesh, but show up mentally ready to give it your all. Make sure you are doing your part to bring the intensity.

Communication - Be honest when communicating with your trainer. A good trainer is perceptive but cannot read your mind. You need to let them know when you're feeling unmotivated or discouraged. Speak up if you do not feel like you are getting results you are expecting. A good trainer is discerning and receptive and will make the needed adjustments to get the most out of your workouts. This is where you need to be honest. No lying, this will only slow down your progress and frustrate you and your trainer.

Respect the Training Session-Less Talking More Working out. Keep it professional, you can be friends and talk about life but limit your conversations especially during the actual exercises. Rest time in between exercises is usually between 30-60 seconds, you can use this time to converse but keep it brief. I use an alarm on my iPad that lets both me and my client know that rest time is up and it's time to get back to work. So respect the clock.

Listen to your trainer-Unless you have an injury in which your trainer can't make an adjustment for, make sure you keep an open mind to trying new exercises that may accelerate your results. Sometimes the exercises you hate the most are the most beneficial. Don't be that client that utters the dreaded words "I Can't Do That".

Trust Your Trainer-Make sure you trust your trainer. The best way to accomplish this is to ask your trainer questions. Ask why you are doing certain exercises and how they will benefit you and your goals. You can even take brief notes or request pictures or video of challenging exercises, so that you can practice them. But be careful not to devalue the relationship by arguing or interrupting the workout in order to gain some extra rest time or to avoid doing an exercise. Yes this happens more than you think.

Eat Better-You can't out train a bad diet. If you are not eating more wholesome, natural, nutrient rich foods it will show in your results. Your trainer does not expect you to be perfect or to change your diet overnight. Strive for consistency not perfection, especially when it comes to your diet. Make regular positive changes and it will go a long way towards helping you to reach your goals.

Sleep right. Make sure you are getting plenty of quality sleep. This is an important tip and one area where many go astray. This is where your body recovers from your workouts. It is also the way the body replenishes the energy stores you need for your next workout.

Ask for homework and progress reports. Good trainers make sure that you are working out or working on your diet on your days off from your scheduled sessions. I have clients taking classes that relate to their goals or I'll print them a workout that they can do on their own time. Make sure you are getting regular reports on your overall progress. This can be done in a written form or in most cases can be done verbally. I record most of my clients workouts and progress on my iPad, this allows me to show them periodically throughout their workouts where they are in relation to their overall goals.

So as you embark on your climb towards your health and fitness goals make sure to apply these tips and fully utilize your Sherpa or Trainer to guide each step, as you put one foot in front of the other and achieve success as a team.

First Community Bank

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