What should I tell a personal trainer about myself?

Some of the best things to tell a trainer include:

  • Your short-term and long-term goals. Are you hoping to lose weight, how much, and by when?  Do you want to run a marathon? If so, by when?
  • Previous experience with weight training
  • The type of training you would prefer which may include strictly cardiovascular or strength training
  • Any injuries you have ever had
  • How active you currently are
  • Your availability

Beyond the list above, you may tell your trainer anything, much will depend on your level of comfort with them.

Dr. Vonda Wright, MD
Orthopedic Surgery
You can help your trainer to help you by putting some thought into what kind of fitness goals you want to achieve. Setting and writing down goals makes it easier to achieve them.
Be able to tell your trainer the answers to the following questions:

• Specifically, what do you want to achieve by hiring him? For instance, you could say: "I want to lose five pounds in the next five weeks," "I want to work up to walking three miles," or "I want to evaluate my muscle weaknesses and focus on strengthening them."

• Exactly what do you want your body to look like? If you see a picture of the kind of legs, abdomen, or arms you would like to have, bring the picture to show him.
• How much time will you commit to achieving these goals? For instance: "I can meet with you for one hour four times a week, and one session must be on a Saturday."

• How do you like to learn? Do you like a lot of demonstration or coaching? Think also about how you are motivated. Do you respond to coaching that is more encouraging (for instance, "Great job, that was fantastic form. In the next set, let's turn it up a notch"). Or do you prefer coaching that is more critical in style (for instance, "Your form was off, focus on the next set"). This is important. If criticism does not motivate you, you will resent your trainer using this method and you will not progress as well as if he used a more encouraging style. The reverse is also true.
Fitness After 40: How to Stay Strong at Any Age

More About this Book

Fitness After 40: How to Stay Strong at Any Age

It's one of the undeniable facts of life. After we reach a certain age, our bodies change. No matter how fit we may have been at 20, we're very different people after 40. But growing older doesn't...

Continue Learning about Personal Trainers and Fitness

How do I choose a personal trainer?
How do I choose a personal trainer? The International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) has put togethe...
More Answers
What are the typical hourly rates and discounts of a personal trainer?
Learn more about personal trainers from our experts.
More Answers
Is online coaching affordable?
Virtual coaching sessions can vary in price which is determined by the coach based on factors such a...
More Answers
What are the benefits of working with a personal trainer?
Individual attention, a customized training program, and accountability are all benefits of working ...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.