How to build a (professional!) relationship with your trainer


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Personal Training Series, Part II of III

After a thorough search, you found a personal trainer that is the perfect fit for you and your fitness goals. Now, how do you keep a healthy, productive relationship to ensure you are both making the most out of your time together (and maximizing the money you spent)? With the help of experienced fitness professionals — fitness professional and freelance writer Linda Melone (LindaMelone.com), Dwayne Davis (Fitnesstogether.com/morristown) and ACE-certified personal trainer Rachel Strang (Fitness Freedom LLC) — HellaWella provides you with the tools for keeping the personal trainer you worked so hard to find. This is part two of a three-part series.

Work hard
“The perfect client is one who is willing to work hard,” Davis explains.

This doesn’t mean you have to be the fittest client, just one who is willing to push it to the best of your ability. You paid for results — go get them!

Melone agrees. The best client works hard and is willing to do the work. “It always amazes me how people will pay good money for a trainer and then fight them on every point,” she says. “If you have limitations on what you will or won’t do, be clear up front. I once had a client tell me his nightly martini nightcap was non-negotiable, for example [which was fine, by the way].”

Keep the lines of communication open and have specific goals. Strang says those who are honest with both themselves and their trainers and speak their minds regarding expectations and feelings are the best clients to work with.

“A client [should] communicate whether something is hurting them and even mention what discomfort they may be experiencing during certain exercises,” Davis says. “This is the perfect way to either stop or modify an exercise to ensure their safety.”

Love it
You have a fitness expert available to you at least once a week — get motivated! Enjoy the sweaty workout, eat healthily and do your homework on off days. Strang says she loves when her clients enjoy their workout and “love the feeling of a higher intensity, a higher heart rate and reaching a greater level of fatigue, and get excited when they are pushed to a new level.”

“Usually weight training is conducted with the trainer and homework would include cardiovascular training, plus following a healthy diet plan, Davis explains. “A [good] client helps make the trainer look even better by adhering to the proper cardiovascular, plus healthy, guidelines. Why? Because adhering to all of these fitness variables will create outstanding results!”

8 rules of etiquette (that should be) between a personal trainer and client

1. Respect. “Remember that, no matter how well you get along, it’s still a business arrangement,” Melone says. “Respect the trainer’s cancellation policy. Trainers can also be flexible on the policy if it’s a person who doesn’t make a habit of canceling late.”
2. Punctuality. Show up on time (for both) and be ready to work.
3. Cut out the booze. If you have an early morning appointment, avoid drinking too much the night prior or cancel if you’re hungover.
4. Keep it professional. Act and dress appropriately. If either party cannot maintain a professional relationship, it’s best to seek another trainer.
5. Show good form. Always demonstrate the proper way to perform each exercise.
6. Stay positive!
7. Stay motivated/keep the client motivated.
8. Avoid texting/talking/checking cell phones during the workout. [Wait, people actually do this?]

Stay tuned for Part III next week: When to say goodbye