One of the hardest obstacles to overcome when offering fitness advice online is that you rarely, if ever, meet the person you’re giving advice to. If you do meet them, it’s usually only a casual encounter, and seldom in a training environment.
In these situations you’re taking everything they tell you at face value, compiling that information, and giving your best assessment as to what will help them reach their goals.
But what happens when you don’t get the whole story, or you only get bits and pieces of information? Well, you both suffer. They don’t get the benefits of a proper training program and you look like a failure when they don’t reach their goals.
That is why it is so important for you to give honest information early on, and to continue to give good feedback during the training process.
*This article is meant for those out there that are working out alone and getting information from a trainer online. If you’re training at a local affiliate or gym, and using a trainer, it may have some good info for you to.
Help them help you!
One thing I know from experience is that we’re all different to some degree. While one person may have exceptional lung capacity, another may suffer from asthma. While one person may be completely mobile, another may have huge mobility issues.
These are things a trainer needs to know BEFORE you begin any training program. You are unique, and a good trainer will recognize that.
In my opinion a customized personal training program, which pinpoints areas of strengths and weaknesses, is a much more effective solution than a generalized cookie cutter, or one style fits all program.
Considerations I use.
1. Your age: This will allow me to set an appropriate recovery time and schedule.
2. Your fitness level: A simple 10-minute body weight fitness test can give valuable starting info. If someone tells me they want to put on some size, which usually includes heavy squats, and they can’t do one air squat, we’ve got work to do.
3. Your past fitness experience: Were you an ex Olympic athlete who just needs guidance or are you a stay at home mom with no fitness experience at all.
4. Any medical or mobility Issues: Do you have a condition that would preclude you from following a fitness program. If so, those issues need to be taken into account when designing your program.
*In addition, you should ALWAYS seek the advice of your primary care doctor BEFORE beginning any exercise program.
5. What’s your goal? While a generic fitness program will benefit you greatly, a custom program will help you reach your own goals quicker and in a more efficient way.
With information in hand, a trainer can design a custom plan that will help you reach your fitness goals. This is NOT meant to be a static plan, but a fluid one that will change as time goes on.
As the days and weeks roll by, a good trainer will make adjustments and changes to your plan, depending on your progress, setbacks, and achievements.
How can you help?
To aid in your training it is imperative that you keep a detailed log. In addition you should write down your thoughts and personal observations about each workout.
With this information, a trainer, although not present, can make a better overall assessment to what changes if any are needed. There is no substitute for having a qualified trainer present, but if you’re going it alone, or you own your own garage gym, here are some recommendations to getting the most out of your training sessions.
I hope this little bit of advice helps a few people out there. Your trainer is there to guide you towards reaching your goals. Without you, and your input, your trainer’s success wouldn’t be possible. Remember, their success also depends on yours.
* A special side note to this weeks article: I want to give a pat on the back to one of our readers, who is actively training for her first 5k race this coming February. If you’ve been following the articles over the past few weeks I’ve spoken of (Melany) quite often.
Getting over the first few hurdles is never easy with any training program and this time was no exception. So I want to give her credit and tell her that she is doing a wonderful job.
She has stuck with the program, she is seeing gains, and she has a positive attitude. One of the best things she’s told me to date is “I think I can really do this”, I always knew she could, she just needed to know it herself.
Another great by-product of her training is that other people around her are being influenced.
It doesn’t seem impressive to most when an out of shape 20 something says they want to get in shape, but when a 64 year old grandmother says she’s going to run her first 5k race with only 4 months of training, people take notice.
For those reasons my hat is off to Melany. She is an inspiration to many who think they can’t. Age is never an excuse! Do like Melany did, set a goal and just go do it.
You won’t regret you did, I promise she doesn’t.
If you you want to get started today you can download our simple beginners guide to getting fit. It’s a simple guide and will get you started on your way to a fitter life. If you need something more specific, shoot me an e-mail and lets talk, but remember you gotta walk before you can run.
Once again, my hat is off to you Melany for taking the plunge, we’re all waiting to see great things from you.
See you in the hills.
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