What Your Personal Trainer Won’t Tell You | Reader's Digest

What Your Personal Trainer Won’t Tell You

Ever wonder what your personal trainer really thinks? Here are 13 things your fitness pro wishes you knew.

By Jennifer Steil
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    1. Do not arrive at a training session in the following states:

    On an empty stomach, coming off a cold/stomach bug, or on four hours’ sleep. It wastes your time and mine when your body isn’t fueled, hydrated, and ready to work.

    2. If you concentrate on the exercise you are doing with me with the same intensity as telling me the latest gossip about your life, you would find it easier.


    3. We know you are eating more than you tell us.


    4. If you're on a budget, recruit a few friends for a small group session.

    These cost less per person.

    5. It takes more than writing a check or showing up for training sessions to make you fit and healthy.

    It’s what you do before and after you meet with your trainer, including choices with food, alcohol, workouts, and a commitment to a new lifestyle.

    6. Ask you trainer what she or he does to keep educated in the field.

    An educated trainer will get better results and provide variety to keep you engaged and motivated in your workouts.

    7. When you are late it is a waste of your money, a waste of my time and disrespectful.

    And we trainers see through your stall tactics. “I think I need to fill my water bottle.” “Let me get a dry towel real quick.” “Oh, I need to go to the bathroom again.” Nice try. But you’re paying for the session, so make every minute count.

    8. There is a difference between pain and burn and you need to be honest with your trainer about which you’re feeling.

    If you push so hard that you injure yourself, we both lose.

    9. Whatever the text or email says, it can wait until we’re done.

    And no, you cannot text and put forth 100 percent effort at the same time.

    10. I do not have time to get sick.

    Cancel your session if you’re carrying germs.

    11. Gear matters.

    Don’t expect to get maximum performance and results by working out in the ratty gym shoes and shorts you dug out of that old box of college dorm clothes. Invest in a good pair of sneakers. Your feet and joints will thank you, and so will your trainer.

    12. Remember that a 30-minute session at max effort is better - and cheaper - than 60 minutes of dawdling and half-effort.


    13. Stop whining and push through those last few reps.

    Sources: Personal trainers in Vermont, Florida, California and Louisiana

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    Your Comments

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_N3UEHLWVOQDHTA5FUU6DU7LVB4 ChuckG

      The number one thing your trainer won’t tell you is this: It’s possible you don’t need a trainer, or at least not for every visit to the gym.

      If you are just going for a “better than the folks who never go to the gym” level (like me), you can do that with a small amount of self-guided effort.  A good basic pattern is 15 minutes of aerobics, 30 minutes of weights, then 15 minutes of aerobics to finish.  It costs less to buy a book on the basics than it does for one training session.  If you don’t have enough self-discipline to do the exercises (and your
      whole rotation of them) correctly or completely, take a buddy.

      My own gym includes one “consultation” per month.  Check whether yours does.  Describe what you are trying to go for, and they might suggest a specific machine or exercise, and even demonstrate for 2 minutes.  Many of the trainers have to linger between appointments anyway.  Part of their duties at they gym might include this type of thing.  If not, you can still pay them for one or two session to teach yourself a good pattern, then go it alone for a few months, then check in with them.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_N3UEHLWVOQDHTA5FUU6DU7LVB4 ChuckG

      The number one thing your trainer won’t tell you is this: It’s possible you don’t need a trainer, or at least not for every visit to the gym.

      If you are just going for a “better than the folks who never go to the gym” level (like me), you can do that with a small amount of self-guided effort.  A good basic pattern is 15 minutes of aerobics, 30 minutes of weights, then 15 minutes of aerobics to finish.  It costs less to buy a book on the basics than it does for one training session.  If you don’t have enough self-discipline to do the exercises (and your
      whole rotation of them) correctly or completely, take a buddy.

      My own gym includes one “consultation” per month.  Check whether yours does.  Describe what you are trying to go for, and they might suggest a specific machine or exercise, and even demonstrate for 2 minutes.  Many of the trainers have to linger between appointments anyway.  Part of their duties at they gym might include this type of thing.  If not, you can still pay them for one or two session to teach yourself a good pattern, then go it alone for a few months, then check in with them.

    • Jkdon

      Oh yes , and everybody is an expert !!!!!

    • Vien

      This is funny and informative!