Go Slow, Trainer!

I witnessed some new blood getting his first training session at the gym today.  The trainer is someone I’ve seen work with a lot of clients.  I don’t know him well but I know he’s worked there long enough to know better than train someone this way.

This guy was hitting the weights for the first time.  I know it was the first time because I went in and had a quick conversation with the female trainer I know.  I inquired about the “new guy” in a very general way, as if I was just bored and making conversation.

I was told that the new guy was a first timer.

To this, I had to offer a small rebuttal that he was getting worked pretty hard.  I just got a smile in return.  I’m sure the trainers don’t wish to step on each other’s toes and probably stay away from offering advice.

In defense, those were only 20lb dumbbells and the guy wasn’t vomiting.. . yet!

What to Expect From Your Personal Trainer

Make sure and understand, right from the start, that you get a say in everything training and diet related.  When you sign on with a personal trainer, have expectations and don’t be afraid to ask questions or question methods.

It’s your money and it’s your body.

bad personal trainer

Your personal trainer should be..

  • Thorough – You should get asked more questions that you care to answer about your current diet and exercise habits.
  • Patient – There’s simply no need to start any novice client off with a lot of weight, sets, reps or even bring about a large degree of sweating.  If your goal is losing fat, starting slow is only to your advantage.  It allows for attainable fat loss goals every week.   If you feel like you’re in top shape after only one month of training, you’ve likely got a lot of fat left to burn and you’ve blown through a lot of great opportunities to burn that fat.
  • Encouraging – I’ve also seen trainers that throw the exercise list out there and offer a few phrases of motivation during the workouts, such as  “yeah”.. or “good job”, but a trainer should be heavily encouraging the whole way and almost feeling the burn of your sets as you perform them.  And by the way, encouraging doesn’t  mean “over-bearing” and in your face.  That’s just plain ol’ annoying.
  • Positive – I don’t know many trainers that aren’t positive (thankfully) but make sure that yours is consistently positive in manner so you can be spurned on to keep working harder.
  • Empathetic – Understanding your goals, desires and fitness dreams.  Your trainer should sacrifice a little sweat and tears right along side you, while witnessing your transformation.
  • Bothersome – Most trainers stop short of this and maybe it’s nothing you require but I know a trainer who demands cell phone numbers and calls in the evenings to check on meals being prepared and offer encouragement to make it through low-calorie days.  That’s caring!
  • Understanding of your Uniqueness – Everyone is built different and gains/loses weight in different ways.  A trainer should have a specially designed program created for you and you alone… not a cookie cutter program that is used on all clients across the board.
  • A friend – They don’t have to be best friends, but only friends are going to care enough to see you consistently work to reach your fitness goals.  They should know you well.

If you’re looking to hire a personal trainer, don’t just head into the gym and ask for one.  Ask around first.  Like any profession, there are those who know their stuff and those who obviously have a lot to learn.

Get the advice you need first and guarantee success with a personal trainer you can count on!

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