Many of us want to make changes when it comes to our physical fitness and weight but don’t know where to start. Those who don’t have a lot of experience with weight loss or working out might look to joining a gym and enlisting the help of a personal trainer. Personal trainers are certified by trusted organizations as professional and capable individuals that can guide people through their physical fitness and weight-loss journeys. While the approach may vary from one trainer or coach to the next, there are certain benchmarks to expect in a workout when training with a personal trainer to either lose weight and feel better or to mainly build strength and muscle.
What you Want from your Personal Trainer
The most likely scenario is that you want to look and feel your best. If this describes your goals and you’re not looking to become a fitness model or professional body builder, a personal trainer could design a workout to do just that. If you are new to working out and want to start losing weight and gaining strength to better face the challenges of day-to-day life, a coaching session with your trainer would likely start with a briefing on diet.
Diet and Exercise work Together
Losing weight is only going to happen if you pair your exercise with some dietary changes as well. Frankly, if you are expecting to lose weight through exercise only, without modifying your food consumption, you are not likely to see results as quickly as you want. While exercise is a critical part of becoming fit, like it or not, science repeatedly shows that what you eat (or in this case, it might be what you decide NOT to eat) is going to be more important than the exercise portion.
A good personal trainer will spend some time giving you some healthy diet tips to get you started. One of the easiest, most sustainable, and important dietary tips concerning weight loss is to increase your water intake.
A thorough trainer will likely advise their clients to keep a large bottle of water next to their bed and drain it upon waking. This kick starts the body and prevents dehydration throughout the day. A slightly dehydrated body presents as a hungry body, so this also impacts harmful snacking habits.
Committing to a recommended daily practice of properly hydrating your body (and actually following through with it) will count as an early “gain” for you as well as prove to your coach that you are serious about your goals. It is a somewhat small step, but an important one that, once you take it will help you feel progress being made.
Coaching Session for Weight Loss
After spending time making dietary suggestions for you, that first training session will devote some time to teaching you how to properly stretch to prevent injury. Next, your trainer will want to get that heart pumping for some cardio activity that will make you sweat and burn calories. Your trainer will likely get you on the treadmill and gradually increase the speed and incline to push your limits and gauge your fitness level.
The cardio portion of your session will help get you into your weight loss goals. Cardio will only get you so far if you’re not resistance training, so building muscle will be an important part of your personal training session as well. Squats, lunges, and lifting some free weights will increase your muscle and allow you to burn more calories, and your trainer will likely introduce this at the end of your sessions after some serious cardio.
Strength Building Personal Training Session
For an individual that is more interested in gaining muscle than losing weight, gym equipment and free weights will be key components of your personal training sessions. Your coach or trainer will likely introduce you to every piece of weightlifting equipment in the gym, and then they will work with you on free weights to spot you and ensure your form is ideal, and prevent you from injuring yourself. He or she will likely fill your session with a variety of strengthening exercises from free weights, to climbing ropes, to bench presses, and chin-ups. Your trainer will be able to help you understand how muscles grow, and how they need that time in-between workouts to repair, so training sessions will alternate on targeting different muscle groups by utilizing the different gym equipment and weights.
During your first sessions, you’ll work together to gauge what you can comfortably lift (at least at the beginning). You’ll note of where you want to go, and session by session, he or she will tailor your workouts to gradually increase the weights until you can comfortably lift your goal weight and reach your targeted strength level.
Any good trainer knows that physical fitness is about balance. Whether your primary goal is to lose weight or gain muscle, your trainer should integrate some dietary advice into the exercise regime. Your training sessions will be about sustainability and progress. Your trainer will gauge your level at the onset of your journey and monitor your progress while keeping you accountable for your daily diet and exercise choices.