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Your First Personal Training Session: What Happens and How to Prepare

There are things you must do during the consultation before getting started with your first personal training session. As much as the PT needs to know about you and your goals, you should also assess if he/she is the right person for you. Once you have determined that, you then go through routine paperwork and show up at the appointed day and time. Are there things you need to know ahead of time and prepare? What can you expect to happen?

You might feel a little nervous if this is your first time. Now, that is not a bad thing at all. As a matter of fact, a little anxiousness makes you cautious and pay attention to details. As you will discover later, any trepidations you have will soon be gone once things are underway. If there is one thing that is a cause for concern, it is not knowing. Once you go through this article, you would have a better idea. Instead of hesitations, you could fully focus on the one thing that matters in your fitness journey – achieving your goals.

Remember – personal trainers are there to help. For these professionals, nothing gives them more satisfaction than to see you succeed because if you did, they did too. Not only will they create a customized program that optimizes and gets the most out of each exercise. And no, they will not put you through hell. Instead, they will make sure you are comfortable and having fun during your first personal training session.

What Does a Personal Trainer Do?

Every person is unique. Moreover, everyone has different motivations and goals. On these bases, one of the primary roles of a fitness coach is to create a safe but highly effective exercise program for your personal training – one geared towards meeting your needs or attaining your goals.

As you go through training sessions, the personal trainer not only guides you but also records your activity, body composition, and other fitness level measures. These data are essential to making an accurate assessment of your progress while also minimizing any risk.

At every session, the personal trainer will give your clear, concise instructions on how to perform an exercise. At the same time, make sure that you maintain proper balance, form, and posture. These are issues that are common among people who do not have a professional watching over them, which is why injuries in exercising are significantly high.

Apart from learning gym equipment and using them, the personal trainer can also recommend lifestyle changes to help you reach your goals quicker. For instance, it would be silly to engage in strength training or cardiovascular training while eating junk food all the time. You would need to know the proper diet and nutrition to achieve your fitness goals.

Can You Hire an Online Personal Trainer?

For sure, yes. You can take advantage of technology and achieve personal training goals at home. Perhaps you feel too big, embarrassed and would rather try to achieve your weight loss goals privately. Before considering it, though, this is what you need to know.

Online personal trainers can create goal-specific programs. However, they would not be able to monitor you as they could 100% if it is a one-on-one session. Usually, you still want to start off with face-to-face meetings where you can learn everything there is to know, from theories or science to practical application or exercise routines. If you do not have much experience exercising, it is better to have a certified personal trainer watch over your movements and form.

One last thing. It is easy to procrastinate when at home. Unless you can maintain a high level of motivation, having a personal trainer is an excellent way to keep yourself accountable.

What Questions Do You Ask Before and After Hiring a Personal Trainer?

Before getting on to letting you know what you can expect or prepare for your first personal training session, you want to know and keep these questions in mind. As a general rule, if there is anything you do not understand or needs clarification – ask.

Some of these questions are better asked before signing up with a personal trainer. Others, on the other hand, are questions you ask throughout the training program – from the first session up until reaching your health and fitness goals.

1. What do I do on days when I am not training with you?

You do not stop physical activity just because you are not in the gym or in a training session. Ask the personal trainer for quick, simple exercises you can perform at home to keep your muscles and joints active. These exercises may be routine or specifically geared towards your needs or goals such as endurance, strength training, or weight loss. More importantly, it helps you develop the habit of moving, making you less prone to sitting on the couch for hours.

2. Do I need to track anything when not in the gym?

As you will see during the first personal training session and subsequent sessions, your fitness measures are tracked. Outside of the gym, anything that you consume, other activities (or non-activities) are likely to have an impact on your health and fitness goals. Is there anything that you should record, such as calorie intake? The best personal trainers take these into consideration as they might use this information to tweak your exercise programs. Oh, they would also ask you to stop eating unhealthy foods.

3. Did I do it correctly?

Admittedly, not all personal trainers are as observant. Most especially, in the beginning, you should ask how your form looks after performing a new exercise. This is a question you are not likely to ask as long as you hire a certified professional, but good to keep in mind.

4. Which body part or muscle is this exercise targeting?

Before each routine, the personal trainer should explain which part of the body you should be feeling the exercise. Make sure that is precisely where you feel the exercise. Even a little change in stance, angle, or grip can change the pressure on the muscles and joints, and if it does not feel right, say so.

Remember that the personal trainer can tell and see what to do, but only you can feel your body.

5. Should it be this challenging or otherwise?

No pain, no gain. Go big or go home. These are some of the mantras you would hear in the gym – all the time. If an exercise routine feels too easy, and you could certainly do more, let the personal trainer know.

What Happens When You Step Into the Gym?

After asking around for a recommendation, or searching Google, you finally walked into a gym. Or, you may have contacted one of the reputable trainers for home training such as First Class Personal Training in Toronto and other parts of the GTA.

Here’s what you can expect:

Paperworks, Of Course

Depending on the trainer or the gym, you may have to fill in some or all of these forms.

Liability release. A standard waiver that essentially tells you they cannot be sued in case of an injury or an accident. You have signed this type of form probably hundreds of times in your life.

Informed consent. Agree to the terms of what you can expect from your fitness assessment.

Physical activity readiness questionnaire. The PAR-Q is one of the most important forms prior to engaging the services of a personal trainer. It is a quick and efficient way of uncovering something that may hinder you from performing an exercise program. Be honest, and if there is a potential problem, there may be alternatives.

Healthy history questionnaire. Some illnesses or medical conditions may be a cause of concern. You should not hide anything from the personal trainer so that an appropriate program could be made for you.

Client agreement. It is a standard form that you fill up and sign, a contract between you and the gym or personal trainer.

Fitness Assessment

There is some flexibility here as not all personal trainers share the same methodology. A fitness level assessment needs to be done, that is for sure. Some do it on the first physical training session, others do it on the second. A few others break it down into two or more sessions.

Postural assessment. The personal trainer will observe how you stand and walk to see if there are signs of musculoskeletal issues, such as muscle imbalances or spinal curvature.

Functional fitness screen. You are asked to perform a series of movements. The intent here is to gauge your range of motion, joint alignment, overactive and underactive muscles, and muscle flexibility. These are among several other factors that need consideration in coming up with a plan.

Body composition and measurement. Your fat-to-lean muscle mass, and other measurements – such as neck, bicep, waist, and thigh – is recorded. It serves as the baseline in which your progress is tracked.

Blood pressure. Some personal trainers may measure your blood pressure – usually a digital monitor nowadays.

Cardio test. The personal trainer would ask you to do a cardio workout to assess your aerobic fitness. You could be asked to do the YMCA test which entails stepping in cadence, or do the Rockport test using a treadmill.

The Plan and Sweating It Out

After the routine paperwork and assessment, the personal trainer can get you started on light exercises. In all likelihood, the first session involves generic exercises to get the juice flowing. A more concrete, personalized plan should be ready by the time you attend the second session.

This is the best time to get you acquainted with the gym facility, from the changing to the exercise area. It is also when you are introduced to gym equipment, what they are for and how they are used. For in-home personal training, you would not need a walk-through in your house, but just the same, be ready to sweat it out.

December 22, 2020