A Lesson In Personal Training: Making Good on Your Investment

A potential client once asked me if I could “guarantee” results.  I told her only if she hired me to follow her around twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.  I keep my end of the bargain by giving my clients 110%.  If you have ever trained with me or know anyone who has, it is no secret that I extend myself far beyond explaining how to do a push-up correctly.  I am going to step out there and say that I do “most” of the things on those cute little lists that are printed in just about every fitness magazine in the beginning of the year on how to choose a personal trainer.  However, did you know that personal trainers (well, this personal trainer) has a system for deciding whether I choose to work with/retain a client?  Now, don’t get me wrong.  Personal training IS my full time job and the bills don’t stop coming because I am choosy.  🙂  What I am saying is that I am more successful because I have learned to read the signs of potential clients and clients who are getting ready to fall off the wagon and I can decide whether it is fruitful for me to pursue the relationship or let it fizzle.  Personal training is not just about you paying me.  It’s an investment in yourself. 
One of the BIGGEST mistakes people make is picking their personal trainer based on price.  Being the most expensive doesn’t make you better just like being the least expensive doesn’t make you the worst.  If you cannot afford the personal trainer that resonates with you, you may find that you will be out of more money in the long run.  What if the “cheap” trainer turns out not to meet your needs? 

Another major mistake is depending on your personal trainer for your nutritional needs.  Unless they have specialty training and/or a certification deeming them to do so, (which I DO have, by the way) other than giving very “general” information, nutrition is out of our scope of practice.  Personal trainers should not be giving you meal plans, especially not a generalized one.  Each person has specific needs.  And, nutrition is a MAJOR (if not the MOST major) part of your program.  Your hard work will go to waste if you leave the gym and go eat a Kit-Kat.  Get with a health coach or a dietitian/nutritionist if you need help with your dietary needs.

After you have starting working with a trainer, it is IMPERATIVE that you keep your appointments and that you are on time.  It is a sign of lack of commitment if you feel like it’s o.k. to show up late all the time or call and cancel at the last minute.  Every one has problems.  And things happen.  Some clients are under the assumption that all is well if they pay for the session they cancel at the last minute.  A personal trainer with a busy schedule is more concerned about gaps in their schedule and how they could have maximized the time you did not use. 

It is also important to do work OUTSIDE of your training time.  If you are training once a week with a trainer expecting maximum results without doing any other work, well…seriously?  Talk with your trainer.  What other activities should you be engaging in when you all are not together?  Is there a variety? 

The bottom line is you owe your personal trainer and yourself the respect to uphold your end of the deal.  You are making an investment; not just financial but physical and mental.  Changing your life is challenge.  You’ve taken a major step.  Keep stepping towards your goals….mindfully and respectfully.

And, check that personal trainer checklist from time to time.  We have to hold up our end as well.  🙂

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