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As the end of the year draws closer and you are totally aware that the Christmas excess of fine food, alcohol you will no doubt consume and total lack of any physical exercise over the festive break will most certainly take its toll, thoughts naturally turn to trying to stick to that New Year’s resolution to get fit you are going to make and this time make it a reality.

So you’ve taken the big step and taken on a personal trainer. Congratulations! You’ve been smart this time around and already booked in your first session for 2016, you’ve told everyone how hot you’re going to be in approximately 2.5 weeks time after you’ve started and you have bought a load of expensive lycra that will DEFINITELY mean you can bench press like 100lbs.

It’s time for that first session and your trainer is about to send lots and lots of buzzwords and jargon your way.

The problem is – a) how do you know what they’re really saying and – b) how do you know you’ve found a good trainer? Well, I’m glad you asked.


Things PTs will/should never say:

- ‘Yes, it’s a really good idea to do a juice cleanse and then come for a session. A little bit of dizziness is fine’

- ‘No problem we can take it easy today and have 5 minute rests between each rep because you’re a bit tired’

- ‘Just do everything as fast as you can it doesn’t matter that your form is all over the place’

- ‘Oh well if it’s tough we better stop, let’s just do things that are easy and won’t make you sweat’

- ‘I can make you lose 10lbs in a week. Easy’

- ‘It’s totally true, just by signing up to the gym you’ll get fitter, you don’t ever actually have to go’

- ‘Oh you’ve got a cold? That’s ok, come for your session anyway and spread your germs all over the equipment’

- ‘I love your new Nike Air Max, they’re perfect for running and lifting’

- ‘Definitely go for an extra-large stuffed crust with double pepperoni after your session, you’ve deserved it’

- ‘Our 1 hour each week with me will make all the difference. Eat whatever you want and sit around for the rest of the week, we’ll have you bikini-body ready in no time at all’

- ‘The 15 minutes that we spend chatting at the beginning of every session counts towards getting those abs’


Can I suggest that if you hear your trainer say any of these you get the hell out of there and find a professional?


That old adage “no pain, no gain” still rings true today, it doesn’t matter what you are dressed in or what you are wearing on your feet, getting fit is about hard work, having a sensible attitude and maintaining a good diet. Sophie-pt-02

Now, a bit of translation and why PTs say and do what they do:

- ‘Try to engage your core’ = not only will this help to keep you stable and maintain your form but it means you’ll be working your abs with every movement. Think about trying to get your belly button to touch your spine & you’ll be getting there

- ‘Keep going all the way to the end of the set’ = it’s our job to push you to overload so that your body keeps adapting and you keep getting fitter and stronger. It might burn but that means it’s working and your goals are within reach

- ‘What are you going to have to eat after the session?’ = reaching your goals is not just about one hour each week, it’s about fuelling and re-fuelling your body properly, you can’t out-exercise a bad diet not matter how much you try

- ‘Let’s have a chat before our first session’ = Believe it or not, there are some people in this world who take on a PT to put on weight, get stronger, learn how to lift weights, recover from an injury and many other reasons apart from losing weight. So help us out and be honest with that you want before we start, it’ll make your sessions more effective and personalized


Lastly, trust your instincts. If you don’t feel comfortable with a trainer then find a new one! There are plenty of us out there…

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