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How to Prepare for a Personal Training SessionHow to Prepare for a Personal Training Session


Prepare for a Personal Training Session

A certified personal trainer may be just what you need to kickstart your exercise program. Not only can he or she offer guidance on proper form and safe exercise, personal trainers can motivate you to reach your fitness goals. Your first visit with a trainer may feel intimidating. Knowing what to expect and making the right preparations will ease your nerves and help you get the most out of your sessions.

Know your history.

Health and exercise history are important for determining what type of exercise is safe for you and what barriers you may encounter. Make notes about any history of disease, medications, past injuries, and your activity level throughout the years. Your trainer may ask you these questions or you may be asked to fill out a questionnaire. Having your notes on hand will ensure you provide accurate information.

Set your goals.

A trainer can help you develop your goals, but go into your first meeting with some focus. Weight loss, muscle gain, and improved health are all possible with exercise, but knowing which is most important to you will help your trainer tailor your program for success.

Determine your exercise tastes.

Be open to trying new activities, but also be honest about the types of exercise that you dislike. If you are more comfortable with machines than free weights, or you can’t stand the stair climber, let your trainer know. There are multiple exercise options and part of your trainer’s job is to help you find those exercises that will get you results, but that you also enjoy.

Hydrate and dress comfortably.

Your first session will likely involve fitness testing (weight, body mass index, body fat, endurance, and strength) so wear your workout gear. For more accurate test results, focus on hydration the day before. Drink plenty of water and avoid alcoholic beverages. Avoid putting on any body lotions or oils prior to your session. If your trainer uses calipers to test your body fat percentage, lotions and oils prevent a good grip and accurate reading.

Prepare questions.

Your trainer will ask you a lot of questions, but be sure to prepare some of your own. You are hiring this person to help you reach your goals. This individual needs to have the experience, training style, and schedule availability that works for you. Ask about education and certifications, how he or she would describe their training style, and some recent accomplishments they’ve had in their work. If you plan to meet with the trainer on a regular basis, ask what times and session types they have available.

Lori Rice, M.S., is a nutritional scientist and author with a passion for healthy cooking, exercise physiology, and food photography.
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