We’re just about halfway through the year — how are your New Year's resolutions coming along? Have you followed yours thus far? If not, now is the time to climb back aboard and book that Personal Training appointment you were thinking about setting this time last year. Don't be a part of the majority!
Personal Trainers are responsible for guiding you through a safe and effective workout plan while also providing encouragement and support along the way. Come to your first session with pre-set, specific goals in-mind. If you are unsure of exactly what you want out of personal training, let them know! They are there to help you figure it all out and quantify your goals, so that you can track, measure and achieve them at the highest level. A few key things to know to get you mentally prepared:
It’s More Than Just Fitness: In addition to recording your age, gender, height and weight, your trainer will most likely take body composition measurements to see where you began, and where you finish (just to see how far you've come!). Each trainer differs on how they collect body measurements, but often times, they'll take measurements of your waist, hips, arms and legs. Also, expect to talk about what you eat, typical timing and certain habits that you unknowingly do.
Injury History: As it could play a role in what exercises you can or cannot do, you should be prepared to discuss any injuries, surgeries or health concerns you've had in the past and if you have/need medical clearance to start a training program.
Check Out Your Form: Our trainers may ask you to do a movement assessment to check out your form on squats, lunges, planks, etc. The reason for this being, so that they can assess and potentially adjust your form before starting your program.
Seems simple, right? Truth is, it's as easy as that to get the train rolling! After your first session, you will want to get ready to hit the grindstone next session -- that's where the fun really kicks up!
Here are some tips to ensure you get the most from your personal training experience:
- Set Clear, Defined Goals
After that first session, you will have a few goals floating around. This is the time to set clear, concrete aspirations. Are you looking to shed a few pounds? Identify how much. Looking to increase your bench? Identify the weight you're looking to press. Establishing why you’re pursuing personal training is crucial to your success, so make sure to be as specific as you can.
If you're still unsure of what you want or can accomplish, let your trainer know. Discussing your potential goals will help the two of you commit to a plan. It will be integral for you to discuss how much time you're willing to put into your training and how your trainer will be able to help you in attaining them. Mix up your list with both long and short-term goals, as you will be able to focus on the big picture, while getting boosts of confidence along the way.
- Get There Early
You'll want to warm up, so that when the fun begins, you'll be limber and the juices will be flowing! Your trainer will establish a normal warm up routine, so after a session or two, you can do it on your own.
- Build a Relationship & Be Honest
Keep the lines of communication open! Yes, your trainer is a fitness professional, but feel free to speak up if a specific exercise made you uncomfortably sore after the last session. Don't feel like you sweat enough? Let them know, so they can tweak the program further. You'll both benefit from it!
- Respect the Watch!
There’s a reason your trainer provides :30 or :60-second breaks between sets and asking you to hold the intensity of cardio intervals for specific durations. Adhere to that timing, and you’ll see far better results.
- Clean Eats
No amount of working out can hide the evidence of a lackluster diet. Follow your trainer’s nutritional advice, make the switch to more whole, natural foods, and you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.
Your fitness recovery and overall progress hinges on how much and how well you sleep. Adequate sleep increases your energy levels and recovery. Showing up exhausted will drastically limit the efficacy of your sessions.
- "Leave It All on the Field"
If you're serious about hitting your individual goals and getting that much healthier, put your heart into each and every session. Enthusiasm breeds success.
The decision to hire a personal trainer is an empowering one. Putting a dedicated fitness expert in your corner can net you invaluable expertise and support for devising a smart workout strategy, overcoming emotional and physical roadblocks, and getting the real results you’re after!
Is It Time for You to See a Personal Trainer?
Don’t overlook the importance of guided workouts with a personal trainer just because you can exercise online with the click of a button. Sometimes recruiting the help of a personal trainer goes beyond just wanting the extra guidance and support, and truly needing the expertise to help you reach your goals in the safest way possible.
- You scored a great workout online, typed it into the notepad on your phone, and are ready to hit the gym. Sound familiar? While the internet is a great source of information, if you are implementing new exercises to your workout, a personal trainer will ensure you’re performing every press, squat, and curl correctly by observation. Your personal trainer will know what to look for to correct any misguided movements during your workout that could lead to serious injury.
- When you’re committed to a session with a personal trainer, it’s a lot more difficult to cancel on your workout. You might skip out on a workout here and there letting yourself off the hook, but your personal trainer will keep you accountable for your sessions, as well as check-in on the rest of your weekly workouts. The extra support system could be the difference you need to see your goals.
- With all the focus on hitting your goals, it might be time to get a personal trainer if your set ‘goals’ aren’t giving you the satisfaction you expected. Did you start going to the gym to get more energy, but just feel more tired from your routine? Were you expecting to lose weight but haven’t dropped a pound despite daily cardio? You might not be training properly to hit your goals. A personal trainer can help you determine what your body type needs to hit a specific goal, and create a custom program that will help you get there. While you might continue a plan until you’ve exhausted it, your personal trainer can analyze your progress and make adjustments during and after each session, so your time spent in the gym is always worth it.
The Dreaded Plateaus
Personal training isn’t just for people who are new to the gym. If health and fitness is part of your daily life, routine can become a huge obstacle to meeting your goals.
If you’re a regular at the gym, it’s likely that at some point on your fitness journey you’ll hit a plateau. Sometimes there’s 5-10 pounds we just can’t seem to lose – no matter what diet or cardio routine we try. Other times we hit a PR on the bench that we can’t beat, no matter how many weeks we repeat reps.
That’s where a personal trainer comes in.
Personal trainers not only have science and certifications to back them up, they also have hours and hours of practical hands-on experience with people at all stages of their fitness journey. Here are some of the plateaus a personal trainer can help you overcome.
Weight Loss: We see it all too often – a client will come in having lost an enormous percentage of body fat. But for some reason, there is 5-15lbs that just won’t seem to go away. Diet changes and increased cardio can add or subtract a few pounds. But for some reason, those 10lbs don’t seem to want to go anywhere. The worst thing you can do is give up! It is possible to lose those last stubborn pounds to reach your goal weight. A personal trainer can help you track your journey to date, and come up with a strategic and targeted plan for you to lose weight, increase muscle, and meet your weight loss goal faster.
Muscle Gain and Personal Records: Men and women at all stages of their lifting journeys will hit a bump where a certain exercise or weight will go from being difficult to nearly impossible. Routine can sometimes be the enemy when you’re trying to reach a specific muscle gain goal. That’s where your trainer comes in. By working with a trainer that specializes in muscle growth, you can learn targeted supporting exercises to reach your goal. They can develop a plan that’s specific to your body-type and composition.
Stamina: Whether you’re looking to complete a 5k, 10k, marathon or triathlon, there may come a time where you simply can’t beat your best time. Or worse, it may become nearly impossible for you complete your race. A personal trainer can combine strength training, diet tips, and targeted exercise plans so that you can meet your endurance and race goals in no time. Sometimes a simple adjustment to your stride, or shifting focus to a particular muscle group can make all the difference. But this is different for each person. That’s when professional help can save you lots of time and investment.
Loss of Motivation: Being stuck in any fitness plateau – for lack of a better word – just sucks. Sometimes we turn to the internet to try the best new thing – drop sets! Overloading! Extended recovery! But just because something worked for someone else online, doesn’t mean it will for you. And trying and failing to get out of your plateau can lead to the worst plateau of all – loss of motivation. When the Sanctuary of The Gym becomes frustrating, we forget why we enjoy physical fitness so much in the first place. If you’re feeling frustrated, at-a-loss, or uninspired by your time at the gym, it’s time to speak with a trainer. Personal trainers come from all sorts of backgrounds. No matter your focus, there is someone out there who specializes in what you’re trying to accomplish. Ask for help!
The Best Things Your Personal Trainer Can Teach You
Whether you’re wondering if personal training is right for you or already have your next session with your trainer scheduled, make sure you are taking advantage of your session time. Working with a personal trainer is great way to give the responsibility of preparation and planning workouts over to a professional. Your trainer can monitor your form and progress to create workouts specifically for you, but it is important to retain this information for days you are training alone or simply to progress each session. Remember these tips when working with a personal trainer to make the most of your investment in yourself.
What's the 411?
- Posture: Posture is one of the most important aspects to learn from your personal training sessions. Correct posture will help you avoid injury and maximize the overall benefits of the exercise.
- Breathing: When a strenuous exercise arises, it is easy to hold your breath without knowing. By learning the correct timing of your breath when exercising, you will improve your posture and form to use the proper muscles to perform each exercise.
- Sets: You’re beginning a new fitness journey, researched a workout only to read ‘complete 3 sets’. ‘How much is one set?’ ‘When do I start the second set?' Don’t worry, these are very logical, and important, questions! More importantly, there isn’t one solid answer since it can vary on the type of workout you’re completing and why. Your personal trainer will teach you not only how many reps, sets, and rest periods to complete, but why.
- Goal Oriented Exercises: Not seeing results from the workout you’ve been using from your favorite Instagram video? It may not be aligned with your goals. Your personal trainer will teach you which style and exercises are best to help you reach your goals, and which can be used to complement those workouts.
Are you ready to not only meet, but exceed all of your fitness goals? Visit Jersey Strong, the Gym of New Jersey – you have nothing to lose, but everything to gain. Plus, you can try it for FREE.