Personal trainer’s were once an expensive luxury, endured exclusively by A-listers and the elite, whose careers depend on their looks and body image. Now, they seem to have become a vital accessory to any gym regime. Why?
Quick fixes and a desire for immediate results.
You only have to scroll through social media and you’re bombarded with six pack cheats, fat burners, photoshopped images, before and afters, celebrity quick fixes, celebrity DVDs, the list is endless. We’re given a false image of fitness and PT’s are called upon to help you try achieve this crazy image.
A certified personal trainer is qualified in the principles of anatomy, physiology and kinesiology. Their experience and motivational skills could be the difference between you giving up and achieving your goals.
Personal training can help you develop a safe and effective programme which can protect you from injuries now and in years to come.
Fitness Trainers are not miracle workers, you have to put in the work to get the results.
Tips for finding the best personal trainers around (and avoiding cowboys):
- Ask to see their certificates.
- Speak to their other clients.
- Book 1 session, rather than a block.
- Make sure you're comfortable with the training location.
- Don’t let them prescribe you shortcuts ie. diet shakes, fat burners. A good PT will know that whilst a protein shake and green tea may help you build muscle and burn more fat, there’s no miracle pill.
So now you’ve booked your first PT session, what should you be looking for?
Find a Personal Trainer who ticks all these boxes and you're on your way to success.
Do they turn up on time?
Whether your client is there ready and waiting for you shows their dedication to your session. Whilst there are times when accidents happen, or traffic may take over if your PT is late for your session it’s never a good sign. A good PT is likely to be at the gym already anyway, as they would have had a client before you and will have a client after. Equally it's your duty not to be late, as if the trainers booked back to back, they won't be able to make up the time you lost.
Do they assess your current level of fitness and talk through your goals with you?
How are you going to achieve your goal if your trainer doesn’t even know what it is? A trainer should be asking for plenty of details to make sure they can help you get the results you desire, but also to prevent you from injury.
Do they take any measurements?
A good PT will focus on more than just the number on the scales to develop your training programme, why? Because muscle weighs more than fat. Your body fat may be dropping despite the number on the scales being the same.
Do they outline what the programme will include and tailor it to you?
After your initial consultation, your PT should be able to clue you up as to what to expect from your time together. Watch out for cut out programmes which offer every client the same session, whilst a good PT may supply a universal basics workout, they will accompany this with personalised sessions, that is, after all, why they are called ‘personal’ trainers.
Do they warm you up sufficiently?
In order to prevent injury and prepare you for exercise, you need to warm up the body and limber up your muscles. Warming up Increases blood flow to exercising muscles. The more blood that reaches the muscles, the easier the delivery of nutrients required for energy production, it’s an essential part of every workout.
Do they explain exercises fully?
A PT should explain exercises quickly and effectively. There are two types of trainer to avoid here:
- The know it all. This trainer thinks they are the business and the only trainer who has the superior knowledge they do. They waste their clients time telling them the science behind every exercise and using big fancy words their client can’t understand. Being able to quote a textbook won’t get your clients results. In the amount of time this PT has spent preaching about the exercise, the client’s heart rate has dropped to resting. Avoid this trainer unless you fancy paying for a boredom induced coma.
- The blagger. This trainer is the polar opposite to the above. All they want to do is load you with as heavy a weight as possible so they can brag about how much you can lift. They won’t take care of your form, or even explain what muscles you're working, as long as they can see you're struggling with the weight, they’re happy. Avoid this kind of trainer unless you fancy putting your back out.
Have they pre-planned the session?
Even for your first session, your trainer should have some notes and pre-prepared plans for you. Whether this is a fitness test or consultation, it’s important to find a trainer who is prepared for your sessions.
Do they adjust according to your ability?
If you’ve got yourself a cookie-cutter trainer, they won’t have any exercise alternatives if you don’t like a move or you struggle with an exercise, there’s nothing personal about that is there?
Do they guide you through a cool down?
A cooldown is a vital part of any workout and your trainer should allow 5 minutes at the end of the session to guide you through a cool down, or prepare you with stretches to complete after the session. Aside from bringing body temperature and heart rate down, the cool down helps the body dispose of waste products and toxins generated during exercise; the most well known waste product is lactic acid; if this is allowed to build up in the body, it may cause stiffness and cramp the following day. An effective cool down will also help to prevent dizziness, which can be caused by stopping an activity suddenly.
Do they give you exercises to work on in between sessions?
Unless your with your PT 4+ times per week, you’re going to need to supplement your training sessions with your own workouts in between. Your personal trainer should feed you with knowledge that you can then use when creating your own gym sessions. Having a personal trainer should help you feel more confident in what your body can do.
If your Personal Trainer passes this first test, you’re well on your way to great results and have a great training future ahead.
To find out more about our Sundried Online Personal Trainers click here.