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How to Get the Most Out of Your Personal Training Sessions

posted on March 25, 2019

By Team UF, compiled by Casey Williams

In a recent staff meeting I asked our team, “If you could coach our clients on ‘how to be better at taking coaching, meaning how to get more out of each session, what would you tell them?” I loved their insight and I think it’s worthwhile to share because it will make us all better.

-Be on time. But also be patient if we can’t start early. 
-Use that early arrival to warm up at your pace, addressing anything in particular that might be a problem area (don’t know? Ask and have a plan for next time!)
-Set realistic expectations 
-Put what we do into practice: Sometimes “the work” is what you need to do outside of the gym- nutrition and recovery.

-Ask questions to gain an understanding of why (proven that when the mind is engaged or bought in, you’ll get better results)
-Try to understand the process (why we’re doing what we’re doing, when and how we’re going to do it)
-Communicate during the session (was it too easy or too difficult, what about the particular exercise was easy or difficult, did -you love it or hate it)
-The more mental effort you put into the session the more we can help 

Alexa, the novelist
Ask why we are doing a particular exercise- having intention is beneficial for the mind/body connection. It also shows investment. It shows that they care. When clients show up and go through the motions they typically don’t see the same results.
Don’t solely rely on our training sessions. Talk with your trainer, come up with a plan, and get in here on your own. Report back with what you did and we’ll keep up your progress!
Understand that your results are not only coming from training, what you eat is 80% of it.
Have patience for the process.
Be concerned with not only aesthetics but your actual health and wellness.
Those that rely on extrinsic motivators typically see short term success. Having a stronger ‘why’ can lead to a better result in the long term (I want to be able to pick my grandkids up off the floor).
Those that are just training for particular event (i.e. a wedding) tend to yo-yo instead of create sustainable habits.

-being on time
-being ready
-accountability when you’re on you’re own
-being positive

-Trust your trainer
-Believe in yourself
-Take pride in what you’re doing
-There are 168 hours in every week. Take ownership of your role outside of your training session.
-Know why you are here and communicate that why.
-Make small changes- the snowflake doesn’t realize it’s part of the avalanche- Make it a goal to cook dinner if you’re eating every meal out. Start with one session per week if you’re not training at all right now. Be consistent and the results will come.

That’s a lot of constructive criticism coming from experienced individuals who live it everyday. To be succinct, I see three take aways from their feedback (along with my two cents).

If you want to get the most out of your personal training sessions…

Have your body here five minutes early and make sure your brain isn’t far behind. Life gets hectic, but it’s a bad habit to carry that with you. If you’ve committed to personal training, you have goals, and those goals center around making you a better you. Give yourself some love when you show up by leaving life at the door and challenging your mind and body for the next hour. The mental effort you add to your physical effort will pay dividends.

How many times have you thought to yourself, “am I doing this right” but never uttered a word to your trainer? The old cliche applies- HELP US HELP YOU. At a bare minimum we need to know how you are feeling from the time you walk in to the time you leave. We can use some indicators- bags under the eyes, bad posture, sluggish OR upbeat, smiles, cracking jokes- to gauge where you are at on a particular day. But if a trainer has you doing something that just doesn’t feel right, ASK! We love teaching- that’s why we do this. And we’ll love it even more if you ask WHY we have you doing something. It lets us know that you’re thinking about it- and that you’re ready to take the next step in whatever progression your trainer has lined up for you.

If you didn’t sleep well the last few nights, let your trainer know. If you had a bad weekend of nutrition, let your trainer know. We’re not here to make you feel bad, but we are here to hold you accountable. I know from experience that the vast majority of pro athletes can’t put 100% of their focus on training, nutrition, and recovery. They have families, contract negotiations, ego, and other frustrations that distract them. The ones that have success surround themselves with experts that hold them accountable. You don’t have to be a pro athlete to be accountable- you just need to be honest with your trainer and honest with yourself. We don’t expect perfection. You shouldn’t either. We’re in this together.


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