When you decide to work with a personal trainer, even though you're entrusting your fitness plan to another person, you're still required to take an active part in executing it in order to see results. And that starts on day one. A personal training program usually starts out with a consultation one-on-one with your trainer. While certifications are important, it's equally important that you connect with your trainer and get on the same page as far as training philosophy and what's expected of both you and your trainer. Bring the following six questions to your personal training consultation to make sure you're a good match.
1. What made you decide on personal training for a career, and what is your fitness philosophy?
Finding out what motivates your personal trainer will help you determine if this person is really hoping to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle or if they simply want to get paid to work at the gym. Helping people discover their potential, achieve fitness goals, improve their muscle tone, improve their endurance and stamina while improving their cardiovascular health are all benefits of the job. Helping clients regain confidence, strength and self-esteem is exciting.
Your transformation is much more than skin deep. And a good trainer should believe that and incorporate developing a healthier mindset as well as metabolism into his or her fitness philosophy.
2. What do you do to stay in shape?
Asking your trainer about their personal routine may give you some further insight into their fitness philosophy, as well as ideas for new avenues to explore. They may rave about yoga or spin classes. Maybe they have a book that they highly recommend. A good trainer will encourage and inspire you to participate in other fitness activities besides just your training sessions.
3. Where did you receive your training, and are you AED and CPR certified?
Most reputable gyms and clubs only hire qualified trainers. However, many personal trainers advertise privately to work one-on-one with you in your home or at your gym. Ensure that you are working with someone who has devoted time to learning about anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and has become properly trained and certified. Some of the top training standards include NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association), ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) and NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine).
And of course, being trained on how to correctly use an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) and how to do CPR can make the difference between life and death.
4. What are your best ideas if I only have 30 minutes to work out?
You'll most likely be seeing your trainer once or a few times a week. What exercises do they recommend on your off days? Can they offer a concise 30 minute workout that you can incorporate on busy days? Asking this question shows initiative on your part that will help you build a better bond with your trainer. He or she will appreciate that you want to keep up the momentum even when you're strapped for time.
5. Can you offer alternative exercises to protect previous injuries?
Discussing old injuries is really important. Some people assume the trainer will ask (and most good trainers do); however, many trainers assume you will simply share the information. A proper trainer will want to ensure that you get the most out of every exercise, without hurting yourself. They should have amended versions of most exercises in order to work around any sore spots or spots that are prone to injury.
Aching knees, arthritic joints, neck, back, wrist, shoulder and ankle issues need to be addressed so you won’t overcompensate with other muscle groups or potentially re-injure yourself. Be honest. Be specific. It doesn’t matter how long ago the injury occurred. Listen to your body and if your trainer pushes you too hard or belittles you in any way, it’s time to look for a new one.
6. What should I eat post-workout?
Working out is only a portion of how transformation occurs. Providing your body with the proper nutrition afterwards will help you feel less fatigued and more energetic. Consuming protein post workout will help your muscles repair the tearing and stretching that has just occurred. Healthy carbs will help you regain some of the energy you just consumed.
Many trainers have delicious recipes they are only happy to share with you, as well as other food preparation ideas. Sometimes meal planning is part of the package. If you need some inspiration or education, simply ask.
Bottom line - your personal trainer should be properly qualified, positive and have your best interests at heart. Working with a personal trainer can be one of the most rewarding health experiences you will have. Especially if use these questions to find a great match!
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