People’s reasons for seeking support from a Personal Trainer can vary hugely and what they expect is interesting.
For me Personal Training is just that: training that is personal. The personal aspect is key – I need to understand the person, what their real goals actually are and why they are important (what they say is often different from what they mean), what they’ve tried before, what they enjoy and dislike, what has worked before and what has not. I need to gain a view of what their life entails in terms of work, family commitments, social life and lifestyle habits…. even their sleep patterns are relevant. I need to gain their trust so they can be honest with me about what they eat, when they eat it and how much and often. Their posture and movement needs to be assessed to enable me to programme effective exercises that will improve their mobility, strength and flexibility where relevant.
The training provided then includes sessions of exercises, throughout which a client is being assessed so I can judge when to progress further, when to tailor or change a movement to improve joint stability, movement efficiency or muscular imbalance. Although each session is specifically planned, I judge your mood and movement from the moment they walk into the gym or workspace and tailor it accordingly – my clients will tell you that there have been times when we’d discussed a strength session but they walked in having had a stressful week, feeling a bit under the weather, are sleep deprived, “hormonal” or any other reason that tells me from their demeanor that such a session would be counter-productive so we work on mobility, breathing, flexibility – whatever will restore them to a place where we can regain that focus.
Training covers other aspects too – nutrition, life balance, stress management. All of these factors, and more, impact directly on your body composition and frame of mind. Clients have “homework” whether this is a programme to follow, nutritionally orientated, time planning or goal defining. I know when they haven’t done their homework and this tells me something again about how I can improve the way I work with them and, importantly, their level of commitment.
Hopefully the above illustrates the fullness of the role of a Personal Trainer. In return, for you to get maximum value for your money, you need to commit to the process. You need to inform your trainer in advance if you sustain an injury or illness. You need to be honest about the time you will make available to do what is asked of you. Whilst a trainer can support you throughout your journey together, they cannot do it for you. They cannot be with you, even with today’s technology, 24 hours a day.
You need to take responsibility for yourself, your actions and inactions.
If you have doubts or fears, questions or queries you have to voice them – psychic powers are unfortunately not amongst a Personal Trainer’s skill set!
You also need to be consistent, consistent, consistent. Some seem to assume that Personal Trainers have a magic wand and because they’ve paid for their services, their results are guaranteed. Not so! We can advise, guide and instruct. Even if you have 3 personal training sessions every week, this equates to less than 2% of your total week, so what you do with the other 165 hours totally counts!
So if you are thinking of working with a Personal Trainer be prepared to be open and honest, to be questioned and challenged and to have to work yourself in the time you are not with your trainer. If you are already working with a Personal Trainer, review the part you have played in that relationship and make sure you get the greatest value for your money. The reward? You feel healthier, happier and make continual gradual improvements that are sustained and perpetually improved on.