What is Personal Training

Richard Kelly 25th March 2019

Prior to starting with a personal trainer clients arrive with a few misassumptions about what they are going to get. So let’s talk about those and what you can expect.

I have never shouted at a client in my life. In fact, I’ve never seen a trainer shout at a client ever. What benefit would it have? You certainly wouldn’t keep that client for long, and it will have little to no impact in make that client improve.

Yet for some reason this assumption pervades the industry, that the personality of a manic drill-sergeant is a requirement of a personal trainer.

Equally, they often arrive with inflated expectations, and expect you to get them there!  New clients arrive thinking that they can lose ten kilos in a month, or that a few training sessions will have them running a 5k. 

So what can you expect?

First and foremost personal training is a partnership. You will only get out of it what you put in.  A trainer can’t control what you eat, or how hard you work. I can tell you to concentrate and work harder, but I can’t actually make you.

You should accept the fact that you have contracted an expert to work with you, and that they have superior knowledge. That what they tell you can be invaluable and of genuine benefit.

The reason for this is that you’re receiving personal training. A session for a fifty-five year old who hasn’t exercised since school will look very different from a session with a twenty year old semi-professional rugby player. Your training session should be tailored towards you, it should be individual and help you reach your goals.

And on that point your trainer should meet you where you are. After all, just because you want to tone your legs doesn’t mean you should be squatting on day one. And at the same time if you expectation is that six weeks of training will take away your beer belly and replace it with a six pack it’s important your trainer tells you otherwise!

Most of my job is taking a client from the position they are in and guiding them forward. That means planning sessions that have value and benefit, talking through ideas and concepts they might want to incorporate into their lifestyle, diet or fitness regime, pushing them when they are ready, reining them in when they go too far, checking and maintaining technique, building consistency and helping people learn about their strengths.

Now, there is a point where you need to cajole a client and ask them to meet your standards, and there are times when having ambitious goals are beneficial, but that comes much further down the line.

To begin with the focus is on ensuring the building blocks are all in place, and quite often that can take some time.  But those foundational blocks are important, because they provide a platform for greater success down the line.  Equally, a lot of what I do is discussion and guidance.  On paper we all know that eating a salad is better for you than a eating a bowl of ice cream, but it is important to discuss this with a client and see the reasons why they might be having their ice cream over the salad, and determining a sustainable middle ground.

Personal training shouldn’t be about getting beasted by your trainer or screamed at in order to motivate you.  It should be about finding a way to progress towards your goals without being overwhelmed, a means to guide you in the best way towards successful and sustainable health and fitness.  That is what personal training is all about.

If you’re interested in personal training done in the right way and sustainably for you, then please reach out by contacting me at enquiries@rkfitness.co.uk

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