What's the value in using a personal trainer versus a regular exercise class, or just working out by myself?
A personal trainer serves many purposes. One is to motivate you by developing a rapport with you and finding out what you need to stay on track. The trainer will work with you on a complete plan including what is done outside of sessions to ensure you get the results you are looking for. Your plan is personalized just for you, taking into account your specific goals, any injuries or weaknesses, likes and dislikes. Your sessions are scheduled according to what is convenient for you as opposed to what is convenient for everyone else. A trainer will know what the next step is when you need a new challenge, hit a plateau, get bored or get injured. A trainer can help prevent injury in the first place. A trainer keeps you accountable for the goals you set for yourself.
I'm not interested in long-term training. Can I just meet with you a few times to learn some things?
What is involved in the initial session?
During the initial session you will meet your personal trainer and discuss your needs and goals in starting an exercise program. The trainer will assess your health status and whether you may need clearance from your doctor before becoming more active. The trainer will ask questions about your lifestyle and preferences in order to determine the best way to help you achieve your fitness goals. If you are comfortable, the trainer will take baseline measurements such as weight, body fat percentage, resting pulse and circumference measurements. You will have an opportunity to ask questions. You will also experience a short workout!
What can I expect from a training session?
Sessions are different for each person depending on their health and fitness status, goals, preferences, frequency of session and other factors. In general, the session will include cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training and will progress from a warm-up period to a more intense workout period followed by a cool-down section and a thorough stretch. The trainer will take the time during or after the workout to discuss concerns and achievements, assign "homework" and assess overall progress.
What equipment do you use with clients?
Sessions at a fitness center may use cardio equipment like treadmills, elliptical machines and stationary bikes and strength training machines or free weights and other items like stability balls, kettlebells, resistance bands, tubes, etc. I have found that body weight, free weights and other resistance tools give more options and often better results than machines alone and encourage clients to include them in their programs.
We will bring any necessary equipment to sessions in other locations such as your home, which can include stability balls, dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance tubes, bands and other fun stuff.
We can also show you how to use a minimalist approach - using as little equipment as possible for workouts you can do anytime, anywhere without a gym or any *stuff*!
How often should I meet with my trainer?
This depends on your goals and needs. For the best results, you should meet with your trainer at least twice weekly and expect to do some "homework" outside of sessions. If meeting twice weekly is not an option, we can help you with developing a fitness plan for your days away from training, but from a motivational and practical standpoint, twice a week or more is ideal.
What should I wear to my sessions? What should I bring?
You should wear comfortable clothing that you can move fully in and which will dry quickly. Cotton shorts or sweatpants and a t-shirt will work well. Footwear should be supportive (like tennis shoes) and not readily fall off (i.e. flip flops or sandals). You should wear socks and tie long hair back.
It is recommended that you bring a water bottle to drink from during exercise and a towel to lie on. You may want to bring a sports drink like Gatorade to drink after your workout. If you enjoy music during exercise, you may bring an iPod or cd. If exercise is to be performed in a public place please keep music selections clean.
Can you tell me what I should be eating, too?
Personal trainers are not nutritionists and it is out of the scope of personal training to prescribe eating plans. However, we can give general nutritional advice and assist in habit change. We are now offering online nutrition coaching through Precision Nutrition - this program is not a meal prescription service but focuses on small steps to change your habits for the long term - for big results over time. For special needs such as diabetes, CVD, disordered eating and more, or for folks who are interested, we can refer to licensed dieticians.
How long will it be until I start to see results?
Different people respond to exercise in different ways; results also depend on how consistent you are in training, how often you exercise and other factors such as nutrition. Many people are discouraged because they do not lose scale weight right away - often this is because they are beginning to build muscle and though the scale hasn't budged their clothes will fit better and they may begin to see results in the mirror. Most people will begin to notice strength and endurance gains within a few weeks.