Get the Most Out of Your Personal Trainer

Finding the right personal trainer can transform your fitness efforts. These six tips will make sure you’re making the most of your sessions.

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If you’re fortunate to be able to afford a personal trainer, are you getting the most fitness for your buck? Most people can’t continue to shell out money for personal trainers, but matching up with a good trainer can energize your workout. Even if your investment is only for a few months, check out the six tips below to find out how to make sure you are getting the most out of your personal trainer.

  1. Set your goals. From the moment you sit down with your trainer or blast out that first email, be honest about your goals. If you don’t have a set goal in mind, it will be easier to stop at any moment. However, if you actually write down your goals, then someone else will hold you accountable and will know the exact measures you need to take to reach each goal one lunge at a time.
  2. Be truthful. “No, I did not have that crème-filled donut this morning.” Sound familiar? If you’re lying to the person you’re paying to get you in shape, you’re definitely cheating yourself. The first step to realizing there is a problem is admitting the truth and that means being completely honest about your nutritional and exercise habits. Get in the routine of keeping a daily food and exercise journal and make sure to tell your trainer to ask for it weekly so you can each discuss your food choices.
  3. Set a schedule and stick to it. When you’re finishing up a session with your trainer, don’t leave the session without confirming a time and date for the next meeting. If you leave thinking you will check your schedule and get back to him, there is a big chance you won’t. Confirming a date leaves less room for cancellation.
  4. Pay in advance. This is the time to bite the money bullet. You are more likely to show up to your sessions if you have already paid in advance. Who wants to lose all of that money? Also, check to see if your trainer offers a discounted price for pre-paid sessions.
  5. Ask for help. A trainer’s goal is to help his or her clients achieve their goals, and a good trainer will always be willing to do just that. Ask your trainer if he or she could send you a friendly reminder text message or email on the weekend to work out on your own or to choose healthier foods. In addition to weekend reminders, ask for a few ‘extracurricular’ workouts to complete on your own time, especially if you travel frequently for work. It never hurts to ask.
  6. Buddy-up. I know several trainers who commit to nutritional challenges and fitness competitions with their clients in order to get them to be more active and healthier outside of their sessions. Ask your trainer if he or she would be willing to run a 5K event or undertake a 30-day-no-processed-food-challenge with you. Pairing up with someone who has the same goal in mind as you makes the journey easier and more exciting with that type of support behind you.

Do you have anything you’d add to this list? Tweet us at @OxygenMagazine using the hashtag #trainertips.

Mary Catherine Holcomb is an experienced certified fitness trainer and group fitness instructor with a background in print and broadcast journalism. After years in Los Angeles working in the fitness industry and blogging for Fabletics, she has taken her talents back to her roots in southern Louisiana. To learn more, find her at Get Fit With MC or visit her on Facebook.

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