Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi
The decision to hire a personal trainer is an empowering one. Putting a dedicated fitness expert in your corner can net you invaluable expertise and support for devising a smart workout strategy, overcoming emotional and physical roadblocks, and getting the real results you’re after.
According to an American College of Sports Medicine survey, personal training is a top trend for 2011, ranking above core training classes and boot camps in popularity. So, clearly, a lot of people are figuring out that it’s well worth the investment. Establishing an optimal training relationship, though, isn’t as simple as strolling into your health club and booking a session with the first PT who has an open spot in his or her schedule.
First, the two of you are going to be spending a lot of time together, so it’s worth putting in some legwork upfront to make sure you find someone with the right skills and chemistry. Second, you need to make sure you’re ready to do your share of the work required to get what you want out of the bargain.
Making It Work
After two years of regularly going to a health club, Michelle Nielsen, 36, of Phoenix, wasn’t seeing the results she had hoped for. She admits she felt overwhelmed by all the choices. “I would walk in and see a hundred machines and have no idea where to start. I’d flounder and wander, and eventually I got really frustrated and stopped going,” she says.
Nielsen realized that what she needed was direction and affirmation. “I wanted someone more knowledgeable than me to tell me what I should be doing, and that I was doing a good job,” she says.
Because Nielsen’s husband had been successful working with a personal trainer, she decided to sign up for training sessions, too. Having never invested that much time or money in herself, Nielsen didn’t know what to expect — from her trainer, or from the whole experience.
“Before the introductory session, I was really nervous. I sat in my car for a really long time before going inside,” she says. But once she met with the trainer, discussed her history and her goals with him, and began her plan, her anxiety evaporated.
“My trainer, Ryan Clark, was a great match for me,” she says. Nielsen was delighted to find that Clark was down to earth and respectful of her need for an unintimidating environment. He helped her outline specific goals and guided her toward them without pushing too hard. “It was a very personal journey for me from the get-go, and Ryan recognized that,” she says. “He was proud of me for being there. He knew that for me, showing up was a battle in and of itself.”
Over the course of two months of training with Clark three times a week, Nielsen experienced dramatic results. “My fitness improved leaps and bounds, and my body shape changed — but more importantly, I noticed a huge change in how I feel about myself.”
For Nielsen, hiring Clark proved to be time and money well spent — a happy meeting of minds, personalities, priorities and expectations. Looking to create that same sort of synergy with a trainer who’s dedicated to helping you achieve your own goals? Read on to discover four essential keys to success — gathered from experienced trainers and satisfied clients alike.