What Should I Expect at my First Personal Training Session?
Investing in your health and seeking the services of a personal trainer may leave you feeling both exhilarated and overwhelmed. You're probably thrilled to be working towards your fitness goals, and to have a personal trainer guiding you towards them. But it's also natural to feel a little uncertain.
If you're like most people, it may have taken you a while to make this commitment. Though it may seem like it should be easy to want to change your life, it's not always. But committing to improving your health and fitness is always a great decision.
This article can help put some of those newness jitters to rest, by giving you a better understanding of what to expect during your first personal training session.
Getting to Know Each Other
Like any relationship, your first session with your trainer will involve some aspects of getting to know each other. Depending on your personal trainer's style, and your fitness level and experience, they may jump fairly quickly into a workout.
It's more likely, however, that your trainer will spend some time initially talking to you and doing less intense exercises to gauge where you're at physically, whether you have any mobility issues, and how they'll work with you going forward.
Session 1: Working with a Good Personal Trainer
Whatever fitness level you're at, a personal trainer will be a great asset in helping you to achieve your fitness goals. Not only will they develop a custom exercise program, based on your body type and fitness level, but they'll also be there to support you in reaching those goals.
It's likely if you're beginning to work with a trainer, you've already done your due diligence. But if you're still in the process of choosing a trainer, be sure to check out our article on how to choose a good personal trainer.
Choosing a trainer with professional experience is important. An experienced trainer will monitor your body composition and overall fitness abilities (endurance, strength, balance and flexibility); they may measure your body mass index (BMI).
This info will be used to fine tune your exercise program and lower your risk of injury. It will also aid your personal trainer in constructing an exercise and diet plan, where you can progress at reasonable rates based on your overall health.
Your personal trainer will observe how you move during the session to help determine any muscular imbalances, so they can help you develop a proper form and enhance your posture going forward.
If you do have mobility issues, don't feel discouraged; know that many posture and movement issues can gradually be corrected.
By the end of your first meeting, you should have a good understanding of how training with your coach will go, and what to expect. You’ll know what kind of results are realistic for you, as well as when you can expect them.
Don't be afraid to ask questions throughout the session. Asking questions helps both you and your trainer get a better picture of what the next few months will look like in terms of exercise and diet changes.
Be open about your long and short term fitness goals, especially why you want to lose or gain weight, why you want to get in shape, and anything else that may help you in moving forward. The more your personal trainer understands your needs and goals, the more likely they will be able to help you achieve them.
This initial meeting will also allow you to determine if you and your trainer make a good team, and if you’ll be a good fit for one another. Your trainer will also be able to decide if they can help you meet your fitness goals, or if they should recommend another trainer or program if you don't connect.
Beyond the First Session
Although the intricacies of your fitness program will depend on what your trainer devises for you, there are a few things you can likely expect your personal trainer to do in your early follow-up sessions.
A large part of any fitness regimen is to educate yourself on movement, strength and cardiovascular training. You’ll gradually understand how to move properly while getting into shape. If your sessions with a personal trainer are occurring in a gym, you’ll learn how to use the equipment properly, in order to avoid injuring yourself.
If your trainer also works on nutrition, they'll likely take you a little deeper into nutritional elements, helping you to construct a healthier diet based around your body and your lifestyle.
There's Always Paperwork, Even with Personal Training
Prior to your initial session, your trainer may also send you certain forms to fill out, including a Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire. These are items that will be discussed throughout your training, so you should try to fill out any documents sent to you, and get them back to your trainer before you meet for the first time.
In addition, you may be asked to fill out a liability waiver, as well as an informed consent form; these are normal and work to protect both you and your personal trainer.
Depending on your trainer, they may also have you sign of contract for a certain amount of sessions. If you haven't already worked out the logistics of your contract, be sure to do so.
And lastly, hopefully these elements were clarified in your initial interviews, but if not, be sure ask about anything related to billing if you're unclear. That includes your trainer's policies in regards to canceling sessions or how their structure for packages work.
Get Ready to Feel Awesome
Despite any apprehension you may have, it's important to remember that you are doing this for yourself. Your personal trainer is there to help guide you, support you and keep you motivated. There is no better benefit than investing in your own health and wellness, so get ready to feel awesome. And know that working with a personal trainer is helping you to achieve your fitness goals safer, faster and with a higher chance of success than if you were going at this alone.