Signing up for personal training may seem intimidating – but, it’s one of the best decisions a beginner exercise enthusiast can make to achieve health and fitness goals efficiently, and with minimal injuries.
Contrary to popular belief, personal training is not just for bodybuilders or hardcore professional athletes. Instead, personal training offers everyone an opportunity to work according to a personalised plan, which will include an exercise regime and sometimes nutrition.
Still not sure what to expect? This handy guide will walk you through some of the core concepts of personal training, as well as equip you with confidence to pick a suitable personal trainer.
Signing up for personal training
There are several options when it comes to signing up for your initial personal training session. For instance, if you’re a gym member, it is very likely that personal training will either be directly offered to you or displayed on various adverts within the facility. Very often, your membership will also include a complimentary PT session (don’t expect much from it though as it’s often short and is aimed at safely using the equipment rather than creating your perfect routine).
Every coach will have their own style that will inevitably be loved by some and thoroughly hated by others. To get a good gist of your gym resident coaches’ styles, it’s a good idea to attend a few group classes first and see how they interact with people. Energetic? Chill? Demanding? Encouraging? Everyone likes different kinds of motivation, so simply take note of what you seem to prefer.
Not all PTs work out of gyms, however. To hire an independent PT, you’d likely have to go by a word of mouth or look online for some reviews. It may be worth it, especially if you don’t think you’ll be going to the gym unless you have a PT session on, as private PTs are often more affordable compared to paying for a membership and adding session fees on top.
Ready to sign up? Don’t be shy and ask the trainer about their:
- Available bundles and packages
- Working hours
- Cancellation policies
- Any specialised skills and extra training
- And anything else you think will put you at ease!
Ideally, you want to go with someone with enough experience around your goals, being that weight loss, getting ready for a prestigious bodybuilding competition or growing a plump booty. All in all, go with your intuition, book a few sessions with different trainers – and go from there. You are about to (hopefully) build a lasting relationship with a wellness professional, so don’t take the selection process lightly and certainly don’t settle for someone you’re unhappy with.
Your first PT session
Signed up and ready to go?
Time for your first session!
As the point of personal training is to create a – well – personal exercise regime that suits your body and matches your goals, there is no such thing as a typical cookie-cutter beginner workout. If your chosen trainer suggests otherwise and seems to be doing the same thing with everyone, it may be a good time to reconsider your choice!
However, there is an element that’s included in most first PT sessions for beginners – fitness assessment and goal setting! Usually, a trainer will have a form for that stuff and will go through the questions with you. The questions may be about your exercise (and sometimes nutrition) habits, pre-existing injuries, health conditions, medications – and, finally, goals, including how ready you are to start working on them and what is your desired timeframe. Sometimes, this can be followed by obtaining body measurements of some sort (if you consent), or the questionnaire might just have some questions about those.
Be as truthful and sensible as possible when answering the questions (e.g. don’t hide your injuries and diseases, be honest about your goals, etc.). The more honest you are, the better your program will turn out in a long run!
After all that’s done (shouldn’t take much longer than 10-15 mins), your first PT workout will commence! Your trainer will give you various exercises, show proper form and fully instruct and motivate you. It will be over before you notice!
Your first few sessions will probably include a guided warm-up and stretch, but for the sake of time and efficiency most coaches will leave those easy components up to you eventually, focusing on the actual routines.
Following your first PT session, you will walk home with a clear plan for future scheduled training, as well as learn some tips and tricks to help your progress. If instead your trainer doesn’t seem to know what you’re going to be working on and how frequently, it may be time to find a new one.
Only hire a trainer with insurance
An important word of warning – to stay safe, you must only hire PTs who can and are willing to prove they have relevant insurance. Public liability insurance helps both parties stay safe and going without it can result in significant costs should something go wrong.
Are they new here?
There is nothing inherently wrong with hiring a newbie, but as a beginner, you should ideally aim for someone with strong references. You will feel more confident, and your PT will know how to tackle your goals and issues, as opposed to a new graduate. Everyone needs to learn…but not necessarily on you.
Hiring a PT is one of the best decisions a beginner can make – so do not hesitate and make an appointment today to become the fittest, happiest version of you possible in the shortest time ever.
Hope you found this article helpful, and best of luck finding a perfect PT for your health journey!