Personal Training - What To Expect

To kick this off I just figured I’d give a bit of context on why I chose to do the blog post on this subject specifically:

  1. I’ve been Personal Training now for over 6 years and over the years the odd person doesn’t decide to go ahead because to them it’s not what they expected but hopefully this blog post may help prevent it happening again or for other PTs out there.

  2. So you guys can know what to look for & what to expect when hiring a PT.

So when you hear the Career “Personal Trainer” you’re bound to think of what I call ‘the good, the bad and the…well should not be PTs’.

It’s quite amazing when you look into the history of how much the fitness industry has developed over the past two to three decades and how much more information is out there, available to you the general public at any time! But with this, it does have its downsides. Remember I said about ‘the good, the bad and the...well…’.

This means a myriad of information on the internet it can be hard for the average person or even inexperienced PT to tell apart good information and bad information. Not every article you read will have evidence supporting it or context especially when it comes to the news or weight loss programmes which tend to recycle old trends that don’t work long term.

A couple of weeks ago I put up a poll on my Facebook page asking people “What do you think the role of a Personal Trainer is? Add extra options to the poll or send me a private message of what you think!”

Out of 27 votes:

12 people said to train people

15 people said to motivate people

and I had a couple of private messages saying other good answers like:


To ensure people are doing proper form

To push you

Try different exercises to what you’re used to doing

To advise on peoples diet etc.

The answers I got were good and definitely weren’t wrong...but not one person said the answer(s) I was looking for.

My personal view on what the role of a personal trainer is:

“To train & educate the client on how they can get to their goal with the smallest potential of injury and become self-sufficient in doing so”

Do you agree? Do you disagree? Really think about your answer and why.

There are other “unspoken roles” that we undertake such as life adviser, hypothetical therapist etc. sometimes if you can’t get your head right for a workout, we would need to address why otherwise you could potentially hurt yourself by not thinking about what you’re doing. There have been sessions with clients where they’re so stressed they’re almost breaking down in the gym and we’ve had to do a 5-10minute meditation session before starting the main workout; which can help you get your head in the right space.

So what exactly is the reason the people decide to not go ahead with personal training? What could they possibly not of expected?

Well to put things simply when you hire a PT we might advise you to change or alter aspects of your life to help you towards what your goal is – You would assume that people would be up for and expecting change when starting PT but some people just aren't ready when they hire a PT, and you know what they say about about assuming?

If you cannot budge on changing anything in your life then sometimes you can’t get to your goal e.g. hiring a PT to get to a single digit bodyfat percentage but knowing full well you won’t be changing your nutrition in anyway or hiring a PT to help you get a faster time in a time trial bike session but getting inadequate recovery – these may sound like small insignificant points but they can have a profound effect on your goal. You can still get some results but you will without a doubt be held back & and let’s just say some people don’t always like the change that may be required for a specific goal, like most people like the idea of being healthy…but simply don’t want to eat healthy foods!

Just a few things you should expect when hiring a PT:

  • Change – training, nutrition, sleep, lifestyle, habits etc.

  • Challenging training sessions – It’s our jobs to find your weaknesses, expose them to no longer be weaknesses & educate you on maintaining that newfound strength

  • DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) – Being achy after a session due to new/different muscle stimulus. It's not a necessity to have DOMS after every session but when starting with a PT they're likely to expose weaknessess which will lead to DOMS.

  • Opening up about you and your life – it’s our jobs to get to know you and your life! You are 100% in control of what information you do and don't talk about with your PT but think about whether it may affect you getting to your goal(s). Examples include: going through a break up, stressed at work, any kind of mental disorder etc.

  • We want to help you! – say no more!

So what should you look for when hiring a PT?

  • They will be specific with EVERYTHING to you and your goal – If you currently have a PT question them on why you’re doing something in your next session, there and then they should be able to explain it unless they’ve already explained you are testing something new out.

  • Punctual/Organised.

  • Knowledgeable.

  • Knows when to refer on to someone else.

  • Good reputation.

  • Gives you value for what you’re paying.

  • That they make you better, not worse – There are thousands of PTs that qualify every year, a lot of people get into it because they themselves have got results on their own. Just because they got results for themselves doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll get results for you.

  • They constantly strive for improving what they already know and are open to new ideas (if the science is there).

  • They’re not pushy with any monetary extras such as a supplement or meal replacement that they are affiliated with – some may disagree with this but goals are attainable without supplements and meal replacements don’t teach you anything about how to get to your goal and stay there long term.

  • This one isn’t mandatory but I always find it interesting learning about the back story of PTs. How did they get where they are, why did they get into the job, where do they see themselves in the future. As I said previously just because a PT has got results for themselves doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll get results for you BUT this will give you some insight on them as a person, not important but I always find it interesting learning about different PTs!

If you have any questions about this article or want to enquire about starting one of my services:

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