With some many articles on how to choose a good personal trainer, how about a short rant on how a good client should and should not behave? Training clients with positive traits as elaborated below definitely makes an enjoyable job even more enjoyable. In my humble opinion, EVERY client who takes up personal training should reads this. Enjoy.
1) Sets Reasonable Expectations
It’s great to have goals but it is very important to keep them realistic. Nowadays people are just too impatient and it’s common to hear people wanting to lose 50 lbs in 2 months! Trying to lose weight too quickly is unhealthy. To achieve healthy fat loss, results should come gradually and consistently.
Also it is important to preserve as much muscle mass as possible when doing a diet. This is where strength training plays a crucial role. So what’s a reasonable rate of fat loss? Depending on the size of the person, on average, 1 lb per week of weight loss is highly achievable and healthy as well.
2) Understands the Importance of Consistency
In many areas of life consistency plays an important role in ensuring success. Trying to lose weight and gain muscle is no different. 2 important aspects to this are training and your diet. Once you start a training program with a certain frequency per week, try your best to stick to it in order reap the benefits. Skipping sessions will not only slow down your rate of fat loss but will also halt your progress in the gym as your body becomes deconditioned again once the training effects fade off with missed sessions.
Diet is another area where discipline is of utmost importance. Eating close to nothing one day and binging the next day does nothing for your weight loss efforts at all. Not only do you have to eat less but you also need to do so consistently in order to be able to track progress and make changes when you hit a plateau.
3) Does Homework
Your personal trainer may see you 3-4 times a week but he certainly is not there for you 24/7. Smart trainers will thus assign homework to their clients so that they are able to achieve their goals faster, even with the absence of their trainers. These homework can include additional cardiovascular activities such as swimming and running or they can be as simple as asking the client to do a food log so that the diet can be analyzed and changes can be made to facilitate faster fat loss. Homework is really for you own good so please, stop saying that your dog ate your food log!
4) Respects the Trainer
Although it’s good to have your own opinion on things and even better, to read widely and share with your trainer fitness knowledge that you possess, you can really piss your trainer off by insisting that your friend said that muscles turn into fats when you stop working out. By the way, muscles do not turn into fats, just in case you’re wondering. A personal trainer is an expert in the field of fitness so please give him the respect that he deserves.
The next time you come across something doubtful that he says, do this. Listen carefully to what he says, go home and do your own research. If you come up with something that is scientifically proven and contradicts what he says, show the material to him and I’m sure he will be glad to have learnt something useful from you.
5) Is Willing to Change His/Her Lifestyle
Other than training and diet, lifestyle is probably the other most important factor in determining weight loss success. It affects your ability to recover from your workouts, alter your hormonal levels and many other things, on top of directly adding calories to your diet or blunts your ability to burn fats (when consuming alcohol). Common culprits include smoking, alcohol consumption, not getting enough rest and getting too stressed up.
All these will not only affect your health negatively, but when you make a resolution to lose weight, these bad habits come in the way to halt your progress. Thus, when your personal trainer makes a sincere request for you to break a habit, don’t just shrug him off; instead, think about how much more important health and appearance are to you compared to __________________ (insert bad habit here).