Making the Most of Personal Training

24 01 2012

Most participants really enjoy the personal training they receive in the Weight Management Program and cite it as one of the top reasons they joined. Personal training is a great way to become more comfortable with the equipment at the gym, as well as to develop a relationship with staff at your facility who can provide encouragement and support.

I’ve had my Health and Fitness Specialist certification from the American College of Sports Medicine for almost 6 years, and worked as a trainer for several years in various fitness facilities before moving to WV. Based on my experiences, here are some tips to help you get the most out of your training in the WMP:

– Make sure you are well hydrated and nutritionally ready to workout. Too many people try to workout on an empty stomach, which limits their ability to work up to the appropriate heart rate and intensity. If you haven’t had anything to eat since breakfast and are exercising at 4pm, you are probably going to feel fatigued and lethargic, which is going to mean your workout suffers. Make sure to have a healthy snack at least an hour or two before you workout to ensure that your body has the energy it needs to exercise!

– Talk with your trainer about your goals. Your workout program should be designed specifically for you with your health, fitness, and/or weight loss goals in mind. Your trainer will be a great resource for helping you to create a plan that will help you achieve your goals, and can assist you in setting realistic goals if you are unsure of your ideal weight or fitness levels.

– Keep an open mind. Your trainer is an expert in exercise and fitness – you might think what he or she is asking you to do is beyond your capabilities, but odds are your trainer can effectively push you to do things you never thought you could! Be willing to try new things before you decide you can’t possibly do them, as you’ll likely learn that your trainer is right and you have a few more reps in you. In addition, don’t be put off by a little soreness. You should be sore after a good workout, as this is the body’s sign that you’re working and progressing. Exercise shouldn’t be painful – but if your trainer helped you feel the burn, then he or she is doing a great job!

– Ask your trainer to educate you as you work together. Odds are, one day you will need to continue on your own without the assistance of a fitness professional. Therefore, you want to be comfortable with all the equipment and a variety of exercises and activities that you can successfully do on your own. As you workout with your trainer, ask him or her to explain why you are doing the exercises you are, what muscles they target, and why he or she chose the number of repetitions and sets you are completing. This will help you become ready to create workouts for yourself when your training ends.

– Try active rest. Rather than rest completely between sets, talk with your trainer about what is called “active rest.”  Active rest means doing cardiovascular activities between strength training sets, or completing circuit training among a variety of machines rather than sitting on one machine and resting between sets. Active rest will help keep your heart rate up and burn more calories through a workout.

– Finally, form an open and honest relationship with your trainer. Your trainer should be aware of your likes and dislikes when it comes to exercise, as well as any physical limitations you might have that prevent you from doing certain activities. Some participants start to avoid their trainer when they hit a plateau or regain weight, thinking that their trainer is going to be upset or judge them. But this is when your trainer can help you most! Don’t avoid training sessions or monthly measurements – these are your opportunities to get guidance from a professional and discuss ways to change up your exercise routine in order to keep losing weight. If you are open and honest with your trainer about what is going on in your life and how you are feeling, he or she can provide the knowledge and support to help you stay on track.

Personal training is a great opportunity for you to create a positive relationship with exercise, or to take your fitness routine to the next level. Hopefully these tips will help you make the most out of your training and your time in the WMP!




2 responses

10 05 2012

I have found personal training over the years to be most benificial. I have had about 5 sessins in the past and what I have learned has stayed with me.

25 01 2012

wonderful blog — I’ve already experienced several of the things you’ve mentioned.

I am up front with my trainer about things that are uncomfortable.

The relationship that I have with my trainer is really working now. Very inspiring and motivational.

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