Hiring a personal trainer is a great way to help yourself achieve your fitness goals. The trainer can educate, motivate, encourage and correct you, and nothing will guarantee you actually get your workout in like a paid appointment. Here's how to get the most out of hiring a trainer:
1) Hire a qualified trainer who jives with your goals and personality. Your trainer should have a certification accredited by the NCCA like the ACE, NESTA, NASM, ACSM, NCSA, etc. Find out if your trainer is certified and do some research on their specific cert - there are a lot of cheap, fast and poor-quality certifications out there. Ask the trainer what kinds of clients they specialize in. If you want to lose 100 pounds and have diabetes and bad knees and your trainer specializes in fitness models, you may not be a good match. See if your trainer offers a free consultation and make use of it if so. At the least you should be able to try out a few sessions before committing to anything long term. Sometimes even a very good trainer might not be the right one for you. Trust your gut.
2) Be honest. We can't help you get the results you want if we're not aware of your full situation. If your trainer asks how you ate this week, don't say "fine" when you had a two-day binge. We can help you problem solve these issues, but we can't help when we don't know what's going on. We also need to know your health issues, even if they're embarrassing, including things like pregnancy even before you might tell everyone else you know.
3) Follow advice and do your homework. Why pay a professional to plan for you when you have no intention of following through?
4) Arrive on time and ready to work. If the trainer is coming to your home, be dressed and ready with the area cleared and distractions minimized. This will give you the best use of your time and make the trainer feel their time is valued, making them more willing to work hard to get you the results you're looking for.
5) Respect your trainer's time. Don't make a habit of rescheduling at the drop of a hat and at the last minute. If you respect our time, we will go out of our way to help you.
6) Ask questions. If you don't understand something, let us know so we can explain.
7) Minimize whining. You can vent, and most trainers will not even be offended by a little swearing, but if it's a constant litany of stalling and complaining, neither of us will have an opportunity to enjoy the session.
8) Communicate. If you are in pain (actual pain, not muscle fatique), feel that something might be dangerous for you to do, or are about to pass out, let us know so we can help. Most trainers are pretty good at picking up on nonverbal cues, but we're not telepathic.
9) Remember we are not therapists. Most trainers love to get to know their clients and it's part of our job to help you problem solve health and fitness issues. But we aren't qualified to help with your relationship, job or kid woes and most of the time if you try to tell us all about these, you're stalling on doing the exercise that you're paying for. If you really need help with these types of issues, many trainers can refer you to good doctors or therapists.
10) Have a positive attitude or at least be open to having a positive experience. If you're focused on how much you hate exercise or how angry you are about whatever else happened in your day, your workout will never be as good as when you applied yourself in a positive way. Leave your bad attitude at the door, remind yourself that this is a way of taking care of yourself, breathe deep and enjoy!