7 Ways to Get the Most Value Out of Your Personal Trainer

Man lifting weights with shoulders training

Many consider personal training to be a luxury, an optional expense for those lucky enough to afford it.

But if you’re truly serious about getting in optimal shape or need to reverse the damage of an unhealthy lifestyle, personal training is an absolute necessity, especially if you lack the knowledge and motivation to do it on your own. 

You may be thinking, “You’re crazy, I can’t afford personal training!” 

No, I’m not crazy.  If you can’t do it on your own, how can you afford not to get a personal trainer?  The price of training is nothing compared to the long-term costs of chronic illness.   

Whether you have money to burn or are on a tight budget you still want to squeeze the most value out of your personal training dollar.  Here’s how to do it:

1.      Show up early and do your movement prep/mobility routine before the session to maximize your time.  Nothing puzzles me more than the clients who show up for their sessions right on time or even a few minutes late.  A responsible personal trainer isn’t going to skip the mobility work and warm-up just because you didn’t arrive early to do it on your own.  This is a waste of valuable training time and your money. 

2.      Disconnect from the outside world.  Be present and devote all of your focus on the session.  You have to train with intention if you ever want to enjoy your time and see results.  Nothing detracts from a training session like a cell phone.

3.      Switch your mindset from a workout to movement practice.  A “workout” is a task, something to cross off a To-Do List.  Movement practice is something you approach with an eye on mastery.   Remember, fitness is a journey not a destination.  It’s not about “being perfect” it’s about focusing your attention to squeeze every drop of value from each rep and set throughout the entire training session.  There’s a distinct difference between surviving a set of ten squats and mastering ten perfect squats.  Surviving is to simply do the minimum standard and check the box.  Masterful execution focuses on maximizing every single rep.  Which do you think is more beneficial?  This is the single biggest reason why individuals within a group can do the same training program and have wildly different results.  I see this divergence between clients or members in our small group fitness program all the time!

4.       Ask your trainer for homework!  Any personal trainer worth hiring will be more than happy to give you homework – mobility drills, extra movement training, nutrition advice, or life hacks – tasks that augment the work you’re doing in the gym.  Take advantage of this valuable resource you have at your disposal.  After all, you’re paying for it.   

5.      Execute your homework and report back to your trainer to let them know you did it.  Here’s a secret, holding up your end of the deal will instantly make you a favorite client because 99% of clients never follow through.  Good personal trainers LOVE clients that want more and actually follow through.  I will bend over backwards for clients like that and I know all the trainers at my gym feel the same way. 

6.      Surrender control during your training session and accept the lessons your trainer wants to teach that day.  This is a tough one for you type A personalities.  There is nothing worse than a client that tries to dictate how they should be trained.  Trainers go on autopilot with clients that won’t give up control. 

7.      Once you’ve found a personal trainer you like, commit to the long haul.  A body transformation doesn’t happen in 12, 24 or even 36 sessions in some cases.  It takes time and consistency.  Phony infomercials and wild marketing claims have given people unrealistic expectations on the time it takes to see results.  Be mindful that your level of neglect and bad habits prior to training is a big factor in determining how long it takes to undo the damage.  The other biggest factor is your commitment to the work outside of the gym, nutrition and rest in particular.   Changing life habits isn’t easy.  You’ll be challenged both inside and outside the gym, but remember to stick with it!  If you quit before the job is done you’ve thrown away all the money you spent on previous sessions.  A terrible business decision.

Apply these principles to your personal training sessions and the fitness return of investment will be priceless: A strong body and optimal health. 

Sounds like money well spent. 

Be Strong, Move beautifully

Tanner Martty