What Your Personal Trainer Won't Tell You
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Gym Rats1 of 11
By Woman’s Day
Sometimes it can feel nearly impossible to get yourself in shape. Not only can personal trainers give you that extra push, but you also get the benefits of their expert knowledge and experience. To find out exactly how you can improve your fitness routine, we spoke with top-notch trainers to get their secrets.
Set Realistic Goals2 of 11
Colleen Faltus, private trainer at The Sports Club/LA in Boston, suggests compiling “a list of both short- and long-term goals. This will keep you motivated to accomplish and surpass them; it will give you focus.” Another trick? Be confident! Trainer Bill Trimble, founder of the workout program Extreme Bill Trimble, says, “If you’re not confident you can achieve your goals, you won’t.”
ON WOMAN'S DAY: 10 Gym Etiquette Rules
Be Specific3 of 11
Trimble recommends telling your trainer exactly what your goals are. A weight-loss plan, for instance, will be different from a plan for someone trying to build muscle. Your trainer will design a routine based on your individual needs, so letting him or her know exactly what you want will help you get the most out of the experience.
ON WOMAN'S DAY: Common Exercise Excuses
Have Fun4 of 11
“Working out should be enjoyable. Your trainer is there to push you a little bit but not to intimidate,” says Trimble. Talk with your trainer about activities you enjoy, your schedule and exercises you don’t particularly like. Another key factor to having fun is variation. “Incorporating other elements of fitness besides cardio will increase the likelihood of faster and more efficient weight loss,” explains Faltus.
ON WOMAN'S DAY: Workout Mistakes You Probably Make
Watch Your Form5 of 11
To achieve the best possible results and stay injury-free, follow your trainer’s instructions about proper form. This is especially important if you’re doing an at-home workout on your own. “Model the video or demonstration exactly, paying special attention to the trainer’s breathing technique and form,” Trimble urges.
Be Patient6 of 11
Depending on your workout plan, the three-month mark can be a good indicator of how you’re doing. “In about 90 days you should be able to notice results—whether it be that your jeans are a little looser, your quality of sleep is better or you just feel good all around,” Trimble says. Many people lose motivation if they don't see results sooner, but remember, you're changing your physique.
Communicate7 of 11
Faltus recommends giving your trainer feedback about how you are or aren’t liking the exercises, what is or isn’t working and anything else that’s on your mind. Most often, your trainer will check in with you before and after the workout. “You know your body better than anyone else, so speak up at each session, and your experience will be that much more enjoyable and exciting,” Faltus says.
Bad Days Happen8 of 11
“You’re going to fall off the wagon and have off-days at some point,” says Trimble. The biggest problem trainers see in their clients is that their emotional confidence starts to dwindle when something goes wrong. “You have to believe in yourself,” Trimble says. So if you splurge on your eating one weekend, don’t beat yourself up; just give it your all during your Monday workout session.
Going Solo9 of 11
A trainer isn't always needed. Trimble recommends working out with a partner for extra encouragement. He also suggests choosing a fun workout so you’ll look forward to it. “So many programs are easily accessible, such as at-home boot camp workouts, circuit training, online videos ...” Most importantly, be consistent. If you exercise on the same days every week you'll be more likely not to miss it.
Eat Right10 of 11
After you leave the gym, make sure you follow the diet plan you’ve established for yourself (or with the help of a dietician). Trimble helps his clients eat right by encouraging them to keep a food journal. “Writing it down and being able to look at it with my clients is helpful,” he says. Not only will you be able to discuss what you’re eating with your trainer, but you’ll also become more aware of your food choices.
Make Sure to Sleep11 of 11
Not only are proper sleeping habits important for you mentally, but if you don’t rest your muscles properly before and after a good workout, you risk injury. Faltus says to “adjust your sleep schedule and get both quality sleep and a decent quantity of sleep. You’ll notice the difference in your overall performance, and your muscles will thank you too.”