Setting Expectations for You AND Your Trainer
What expectations should a client have upon working with a new trainer?
As a trainer/coach of six years, I have seen a variety of different training objectives amongst my clientele. While some clients are interested in weight loss and others simply want to see an overall improvement in their health, the truth is, the expectations that clients set for trainers are actually quite similar.
Today I will break down some simple expectations/ training objectives based on your specific goals.
Common Training Objectives you might approach a trainer for:
1) Weight Loss:
This is the most common goal that a trainer sees. Let’s say that you have been struggling to lose those last 10 pounds. Maybe you notice your clothes are not fitting the way they used to or perhaps you feel down about how you got to this point.
If you fall into this category, then know that you are not alone and the majority of first time trainees are in the same boat! The first step to achieving your goal is simply having the courage to contact a trainer and get started. Sometimes getting started is the hardest part, so take a deep breath and know that you are moving in the right direction towards your goals!
One expectation you should set for us, the fitness professional, is to look at your lifestyle habits without judgement! We are going to point out obstacles, uncover accountability issues, and suggest better methods, as a means to HELP YOU get where you want to be. So, stay consistent with your workouts, TRUST the process and plan we have for you, and be prepared to work hard!
2) Strength Gain
This objective is becoming way more common; which is awesome! My personal belief is that strength will be the foundation for any training regime. This does not mean you are specifically doing barbell training. Strength is vital for activities of everyday life, such as improving motor function. In addition, increasing lean mass improves metabolic rate over time. The more lean mass you have, the more your body will increase it’s caloric needs in order to maintain the muscle mass you have put on.
That being said, the expectation you should set for your trainer is for them to prioritize having you move in the RIGHT way! This means, we will make sure you perform each exercise safely and efficiently with proper form and lifting mechanics. We will not force you to use crazy weights or to perform crazy movements that you are not ready for. We want you to succeed!
Now, in regards to my specific training style, there are a few tools/ strategies that I utilize when it comes to developing a training plan for you and helping you reach your goals.
1) I monitor your dietary intake
This involves logging your food for anywhere from 3-6 days per week.
As the client, I expect you to be as honest as you can. The trainer/coach is not going to watch you eat or point a finger at you for eating the wrong foods. We are simply here to help you reach the goals you set for yourself!
2) I take into account your activity level
Aka How active you are at your job, if you are primarily sedentary vs labor intensive, and how often you are able to eat at work. All of these things affect your metabolic rate, which is why being honest is so important!
As a trainer, I am looking at your energy demands and want to make sure that you are able to fuel yourself properly.
3) I analyze your previous training history
This is a commonly overlooked subject. Training history is defined by the type of activity you have done in the past. Have you weight trained? Performed steady state cardio? How long did you perform this activity? Were you previously an athlete? All of these details IMMENSELY HELP the trainer create an adequate program for you! It gives an overview of what has worked in the past, and what type of training needs to currently be emphasized!
To wrap things up….
The bottom line is that BOTH the client and trainer should set expectations for what they want to accomplish by working together. My expectations are to hold YOU accountable and make sure you stay consistent in reaching your goals! All I really want is to help you do your best.
After reading this, take some time and discuss both short term and long term goals with your trainer. Write down both 2-3 short term goals to get to that long term goal you set. Hopefully, by working with your trainer, you can strategize ways to achieve each of them.