What do I ask a personal trainer for the first time?

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    Oct 14, 2010 9:52 PM GMT
    I usually workout at home with free weights and other equipment but I'm about to join a gym in the next week or so and the first month comes with 3 personal training sessions. Having never worked with a trainer before, what do I say? What should I look for [I'm able to choose my own from who's available it seems]

    Should I just forgo the 3 sessions and work alone?
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    Oct 14, 2010 11:42 PM GMT
    Hi Kd:

    I started working with a personal trainer about two years ago...a couple of questions I asked and that he asked?

    (1) Are you certified? What are your credentials? How long have you been doing this? Can you give me some of your referral clients that I can call?

    (2) What is your cancellation policy, if for some reason I can not make it to the session, will I be charged? Instead of paying per session, can I pay a monthly fee for X amounts of session per week (you can compare which is better sometimes they do have a discount if you go monthly versus paying for the session)

    (3) What are your goals Kd? He should be asking...this question back to you...are you trying to gain size, loose weight?

    (4) He should also be asking...what has been you level of activity?

    (5) There should be a pre-workout session to take in your measurements, etc. a baseline to draw upon the next weeks to compare to.

    (6) They should also be talking to you about nutrition, what are you eating, etc. and they will be asking you to complete sort of a diary log to see what you are consuming. Then you will bring it back and they should plan sort of a plan for you based on your goals.

    (7) When training with the trainer, ensure that he understands what you are comfortable or not with the exercise, if you have any medical condition, i.e back problems, etc...the trainer should be knowledgeable enough to do another exercise to achieve the desired exercise without injuring that section of your body that you might be having difficulty in performing.

    (icon_cool.gif A good trainer shows you the proper form of performing the exercise, the really good ones will do a few reps and watch your form, the poor one will not. The good trainer will constantly give you feedback and stop you when you are not doing the correct form...at this stage it is better to ensure that you are doing the exercise properly.

    (9) Also, if you like one trainer try to stick to him, is difficult when they switch trainer on you. Also, a good trainer should be able to push you.

    These are some suggestions that have helped me - good luck.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 15, 2010 12:19 AM GMT
    ^^^he hit the nail(s) on the head^^^
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    Oct 15, 2010 12:23 AM GMT
    My best advice would be not to use the sessions until you have had a chance to watch the trainers and get an idea of which ones are good and which aren't.

    Some gyms like 24 hour fitness have their own certification program and I understand it's pretty easy to get, their trainers don't instill me with confidence.

    Try and identify one who is paying all his/her attention to the client. I have seen trainers get their client started on a set, and then spend the whole time checking out chicks in the gym

    Make sure you get a trainer who makes their clients utilize proper form. If someone looks like they are doing the exercise wrong, they probably are. I've seen trainers let their clients bounce the weights and do all sorts of stupid shit they shouldn't do.

    I had a trainer who was always trying to teach me when we trained. He would explain techniques, talk about nutrition, and always push me to try new routines. He was terrific.
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    Oct 15, 2010 12:23 AM GMT
    http://www.realjock.com/article/1145/


    http://www.realjock.com/article/1340/

    there may be more articles. Search for personal trainer.
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    Oct 15, 2010 12:33 AM GMT
    Many of the personal trainers in chain gyms are incompetent, plain, pure, and simple. They're clueless and have done nothing other than memorize a guide, and fork over money.

    When I was at 24 Hour Fitness, the trainers that I knew derived most of their income from pushing "supplements."

    Some personal trainers have horrible gym etiquette, as well, not putting away weights (saying they're in a hurry), and never instructing new members how to properly behave.

    Save your money. Go watch the guys that look like they've been successful.

    Don't worry about how much you can lift. Do any movement through a complete range of motion. Be considerate. Everyone started someplace.
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    Oct 15, 2010 6:08 AM GMT
    kdsbil saidI usually workout at home with free weights and other equipment but I'm about to join a gym in the next week or so and the first month comes with 3 personal training sessions. Having never worked with a trainer before, what do I say? What should I look for [I'm able to choose my own from who's available it seems]

    Should I just forgo the 3 sessions and work alone?


    Depends! Are you seriously looking to work with a trainer or do you just want to use the sessions that come with your membership? I agree that most trainers that work in large chain gyms are pretty pathetic when it comes to knowledge, qualifications, being conscientious OR personable for that matter. However, you do know those first three sessions are just the trainers opportunity to get you to sign up for MORE sessions don't you? If it's a financial commitment you cannot make, then sure take the free sessions but don't expect much. Trainers in chain gyms who give away free sessions gives them leads all the time on new clients. He'll size you up to see if you are serious and then if you don't seem willing to purchase a large package of sessions, they will do the minimum with you and move on to the next guy. Sure you may get a good one but they are few and far between in those places....Gold's, 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness, Crunch, Bally's you name it.

    On the other hand, if you are serious, make sure you check the guy out as has been suggested and if he pulls his/her cell phone out even to look at it during the session.....move on! If he's expecting an important call he can let you know that up front and be courteous about it. Otherwise, you can bet he won't be paying the attention to you you deserve from him for the money you are paying out. They might feel they aren't getting paid enough to babysit you while you workout (yes, the do have that attitude) but if you ask me....if you are going to train people, they deserve you attention no matter what they are getting paid.

    Myself, I provide proof I am certified and insured, get medical and health data on paper from the client before we even touch a weight and find out what their goals and expectations are and reset those immediately if they are too ambitious or unattainable in the amount of time they are investing. Too many trainers will say, "sure, we can do that in eight weeks" when there is no way in hell it can be done (like lose 40lbs or get a six pack when they need to lose 50 or 60lbs!). They work with them for eight weeks, take the money and run! Sucks, but most trainers in large gyms are NOT doing it as their primary source of income or they are doing it while there in school as an easy way to make money instead of having to work retail for minimum wage.

    YOU ARE THE CLIENT! ASK ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THEM! (well almost anything....)

    They should be asking you all kinds of questions to find out about you too. Your goals, what motivates you, your stress levels......anything that could derail you if you are serious about training so they can help you manage it so you stay on track.

    Just MHO as a fitness professional.
  • alphatop

    Posts: 1955

    Oct 15, 2010 6:11 AM GMT
    kdsbil saidI usually workout at home with free weights and other equipment but I'm about to join a gym in the next week or so and the first month comes with 3 personal training sessions. Having never worked with a trainer before, what do I say? What should I look for [I'm able to choose my own from who's available it seems]

    Should I just forgo the 3 sessions and work alone?


    Start with- Dude, u r so hot, how about we have shower together in a locker room?
    Worked with my personal trainer...
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    Oct 15, 2010 6:44 AM GMT
    antonomad said
    kdsbil saidI usually workout at home with free weights and other equipment but I'm about to join a gym in the next week or so and the first month comes with 3 personal training sessions. Having never worked with a trainer before, what do I say? What should I look for [I'm able to choose my own from who's available it seems]

    Should I just forgo the 3 sessions and work alone?


    Start with- Dude, u r so hot, how about we have shower together in a locker room?
    Worked with my personal trainer...


    Now that made me laugh out loud. Not that I have the cojones for that.
  • Acidjj

    Posts: 2

    Oct 15, 2010 9:51 AM GMT
    Just interested into the law with Personal trainers around the world?

    I have just qualified as a top level personal trainer. But in the UK we are regulated by a company and doesnt matter if your freelance or work for a chain you all have to have the same qualifications. You have to attend 3-4 workshops or lectures a year to stay accredited. And to specialise in any higher form of exercise like obese clients, Doctor referrals, low back problems etc you have to do another qualification to be able to even go near these clients.

    So just found it weird when chuckystud said to watch a guy in the gym rather than to get a trainer.

    whats the differences in the USA cause i would of assumed they had even tighter regulations?