Can they really know what you’re going through? Can they help you to achieve what you want in terms of fitness as well as your life?
When you’re getting personal training, keep in mind that even your trainer is a normal human being who may have had to struggle to get to the fitness levels that s/he is at right now. No one is born perfectly fit. We all have to keep working towards it. So your trainer might be at a higher level than you but this doesn’t mean that they don’t know what it’s like to be at your level.
Trainers work with a variety of people and they know that everyone needs a different approach. Some people like to be encouraged continuously. They like to be told, “you can do it.” It keeps them going. It makes them enthusiastic. Others, however, like to get into the “why” of things. They don’t just want to be told that they can do it. They want to know why they should it. If this describes you, then feel free to ask your trainer as many questions as you like. For example, you could ask, “what muscles does this work?” or “how will this help me in my day-to-day life?”
If your main aim is to lose weight, it’s important to tell your personal trainer this before you begin. If your goal is to develop muscle tone, feel free to communicate this as well. Everyone has different aims. Some people might be looking to increase their mobility and general level of physical activity for health reasons. Others might be trying to get their high blood pressure under control. And some just want to look good for their wedding day. In each case, communication is key. If your personal trainer doesn’t know what you want, s/he isn’t going to be able to give it to you.
It’s also important to be comfortable with the person you’re working with. If you’re a woman who would prefer to work with a female personal trainer, you should come out and say so instead of suffering through sessions with a male trainer. If your trainer is making you do weights that are too heavy for you because of a previous injury, you need to tell them that. If you feel more comfortable with one fitness professional rather than another, work with that one instead.
One thing that often turns people off when they’re starting personal training is moving too fast. You know your level of physical fitness because you’ve kept track of how much exercise you’ve been doing for the last few months or year. You need to communicate your level to your personal trainer and let them know how fast you want to increase your fitness levels. If you want that perfectly sculpted body within 3-6 months, and you don’t mind rigorous workouts, no matter how sore they might leave you afterwards, let your trainer know how you feel. On the other hand, if you want to go slow and generally improve your health in the long term, be sure to communicate this to your trainer as well. And if any exercise is causing you pain rather than just discomfort, discontinue it immediately.
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