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Unspoken Words from Your Personal Trainer

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Sometimes you need some serious motivation when it comes to your workout.

Whether you’ve been exercising with a trainer for years or you have hired a fitness professional in the past, their professional perspective might be just what your wellness plan needs. Here are ten things your personal trainer might want you to know, but might not actually say.

You don’t have to be in shape to work out with a trainer. There’s no need to do 30 squats in your first exercise session. As a matter of fact, most trainers would prefer working with novice exercisers since beginner clients usually haven’t developed bad habits. Plus, seeing their clients achieve their goals is very satisfying. Of course, it’s not wise to immediately do a strenuous boot camp or intense kickboxing class after coming off the couch, either. Start slowly and safely, and a good trainer will add intensity as you progress.

You are responsible for your health and weight. Even if you’re training three times a week for one hour, that means you’re on your own about 95 percent of the time. Hopefully, you make healthy choices when your trainer’s not around, but everything you do, or don’t do, affects your health and weight-loss efforts. A trainer is a trainer, and a magician is a magician.

You may not need a trainer forever. Trainers like to keep their clients, but true professionals are not tyrants. Some clients can be fit on their own after a while and good trainers will let them shine. If working out on your own isn’t getting you the results you want, you will be giving your trainer a call.

Most injuries shouldn’t keep you from exercising. Even if you’ve sprained your ankle, you can do seated exercises that focus on the arms and core. If you hurt your shoulder, lunges, squats and walking on the treadmill are good options to a full workout. Most trainers recognize a serious injury and will offer alternate exercises that will keep you safe and help you stay on track until you are fully healed.

Do workouts that you enjoy. Find exercises that you like—or at least don’t hate. If Jazzercise, playing basketball or swimming laps gets you going, then do it. People often avoid doing activities that they enjoy just because they are afraid of getting hurt. Instead, they end up doing less risky exercises that become boring and tiresome. Then, they quit working out altogether. Choose the workout that gets you excited, or at least a gets you off the couch.

Everyone passes gas during a workout. Yes, this must be addressed politely. We’ve all done it before, and it is okay, although a little embarrassing. Common reasons we fart during workouts is that we are often breathing deeply, working our digestive system, doing core work (which affects our colon) and we’re just plain pushing ourselves. Keep working and don’t let flatulence fail you. The appropriate thing to say is “Excuse me,” or nothing at all, and go on with your workout. Your trainer has heard it all before.

Time is valuable, both yours and theirs. As a matter of fact, if you misuse a trainer’s time, they could charge you for it. Everyone has emergencies, especially with kids, husbands, pets and jobs. But planning ahead is crucial. Last-minute session cancellations equal lost wages for a trainer. Do your best to make your scheduled time. Your longer-than-expected hair appointment is not their fault.

You might be their friend. If you’ve had the same personal trainer for quite a while, there’s a reason your relationship is working. Personable personal trainers enjoy hearing about your children, your parents and your favorite weeknight meal. And sometimes they like to fill you in on their life. It’s okay to talk with your trainer while you are working out, as long as the exercise is intense and thorough enough to get results.

It’s fine to discuss training you’ve done in the past. It’s okay to talk about fitness training that you have done before—what you like, what you disliked and what worked. That way, your trainer can adjust your workout and do things that will be beneficial for you.

Fitness isn’t six weeks to a new bod. Many folks are looking for a quick fix, but there’s no such thing. Getting in shape takes hard work, diligence and time. The same goes for staying in shape. What matters is that you stay with it. Physical fitness isn’t a six-week program; it’s a lifestyle.

Your trainer is there for you to motivate you, push you and help you look and feel the way you want. Remember, you’re a team, partnering together to set and attain your goals. Now get to work!

Source: the experience of the author as an ACE-certified personal trainer, wellness coach and group fitness instructor.