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People choose to begin working with a personal trainer for a range of reasons; whether it is to train towards a specific goal or just for an added dose of motivation and accountability. Of course, you are going to need to put the hard work in to see results, but your personal trainer will equally need to be putting in the work to keep you motivated and keep pushing you to reach the goals you have set. Personal training can sometimes be too expensive for some people, so online personal training or small group training is another alternative. There are so many benefits of personal training, from perfecting your form to nailing your nutrition, but before you begin working with a personal trainer, there are a few things you should know.

Question Your Potential Personal Trainer

The consultation prior to deciding whether you proceed with a personal trainer is so important! This is your opportunity to truly grill them and ask questions to get a sense of who they are and to make sure they will be a right fit for you. Of course, it’s important they ask you questions too so that they understand you, your history and your goals to ensure they can create an effective regime that will bring about results. Here are some great questions you should be asking your trainer:

  • Do you have experience designing a plan for someone with my kind of goals?
  • What is it like to train with you?
  • How easy will you find it to make adjustments to my plan based on changes that may come up?
  • What do you expect of me as the trainee?

Define Your Boundaries 

Always let your personal trainer know what your boundaries are – without a doubt, your trainer is going to push you, but we all have our limits. For example, if you truly hate the feeling of being so out of breath that your chest hurts, let your trainer know this so they can plan movements that will not cause this. The same goes for how much physical contact you deem acceptable; some trainers will help reposition you if your form is not quite correct, but some people can find this invasive. If you would prefer your trainer to not touch you, always let them know this.

Don’t Feel Stuck

Many people begin using a personal trainer and over a few months, or sometimes even weeks, find that they are not clicking with their trainer in the way they would have hoped – or perhaps are finding there are no results being seen. Regardless of your reasons, just because you started with one personal trainer does not mean you are tied in for life. You can always shop around and with a bit more experience under your belt in terms of what you do like and what you don’t, you may be able to find someone better suited to you.

Buying Multiple Sessions is Not a Requirement

Of course, any personal trainer is going to want to sell you as many sessions as possible, but this is where many people find they feel trapped with a trainer; at first things may seem great and you may think you each are well suited to each other, to later find out their training style is not quite what you expected. When you are tied into multiple sessions, it isn’t so each to back out. Always start out with just a couple of sessions before buying any sessions in bulk.

Don’t Tell Your Personal Trainer What They Want to Hear

Honesty is key! It is so important that you prioritize what it is that you actually want, not what you think your personal trainer will expect of you. Many people train not to see any physical changes, but simply to feel stronger and more fit, and that is totally acceptable! Do not feel forced into claiming you have certain goals just because you believe that is what your trainer will want. Being open and communicative with your personal trainer is always best, that way, you will truly be able to work towards your goals or to simply maintain where you are at, if that’s what you wish. 

The same goes for certain movements – do not pretend to enjoy certain things if you really don’t! If you get bored of reps and sets, perhaps timed sets would be more enjoyable for you. Always discuss what you like with your trainer and which things make you feel your best; they can tweak and adapt your plan to best suit you. Think back to one of the first questions we suggested you ask:

  • How easy will you find it to make adjustments to my plan based on changes that may come up?

This question is so relevant as trainers need to be adaptable and flexible to ensure you feel motivated and pushed, while also enjoying what you do!

It can take months on end to build good habits and make them apart of a sustainable lifestyle, however, we all go through phases of losing our motivation and sometimes veering off track. Rather than scrapping all of your good habits and writing everything off completely, read this guide to help you maintain your good habits; after allowing yourself to mentally reset, you can hit everything hard again. Sometimes, forcing yourself to train or do more than you can handle can have a negative effect which causes you to give up on everything entirely; avoid this by listening to your body! 

We can jump into the deep end when it comes to wanting to get in shape; however, we usually are very excited when we first start out, and over time, this excitement dwindles. One of the biggest things to bear in mind is that you should approach any new habit with caution as burnout can ruin things, even for the best of us! Did you know that a habit can take anywhere from two to four months to form? This helps explain why after just a few weeks of going hard and not seeing any results can leave us feeling discouraged and disappointed – be patient and start small

If you are new to exercise, start with just a couple of sessions per week and then, one you feel exercise has become more of a habit for you, increase the number of sessions you do. This also applies to healthy eating, which is a major struggle for many people – and explains why diets never last! Rather than cutting carbs as that low-carb diet you may be considering suggests, start looking for healthier carbs to include in your diet, or just have smaller portions. Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t need carbs, they are an essential macro and we all need them! The key to balancing your nutrition is to enjoy things in moderation instead; but luckily, as carbs are perfectly acceptable to eat, you will want to opt for carbs that help keep you full for longer, such as potatoes, quinoa, brown rice and wholegrain pasta. 

When you do find that you are losing motivation after working hard to create good habits, you sometimes need to shake up your environment. We all can become complacent and sometimes complacency gets the best of us. Many of us struggle to drink the right amount of water, but a great reminder that you can put in place for yourself is by leaving full bottles of water around the house. For example, put one by your bedside, one in the office, one at the dining table, etc so that you feel encouraged to drink them. When things are not in our sight, we can sometimes lose focus; by changing your environment, you can help build more sustainable habits, as well as maintain those you have already put into place. 

If you are feeling demotivated, ask yourself, why did you start in the beginning? Sometimes reminding ourselves of why we started in the first place can help give us the kickstart we need. A great idea is to always keep your goals noted down, so the times you are feeling a lack of motivation, you can refer back to them to help inspire you again. This may sound a bit bizarre, but your mind cannot actually differentiate between things that you imagine and those that you don’t; based on this, you should always visualize the success you will achieve when you set out to achieve the goals you have set. That way, you are so much more likely to follow through and find that motivation that you had before! 

Sometimes when we get into a mental state of feeling demotivated it can be hard to pull ourselves back out of it; this is a known fact, as motion creates emotion! Even if you are not wanting to do a full-on training session, get up, get active and you will notice how your mood increases and you may find yourself discovering that motivation again. Lastly, don’t forget the support systems you have in place – whether that be through family or friends. For those that either can’t rely on their friends or family as a source of motivation, find others around you that can help; this can be in the form of reading a motivational book or listening to a podcast. 

Creating habits can be such a challenge, but consistency and dedication is key. When we lose our motivation, we need to remind ourselves why we started and how far we have come; the smallest step in the right direction can lead us down amazing paths. You will be amazed at the changes you can make in your fitness, strength and nutrition when you make small, sustainable changes in your life.

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