Thinking about a trainer? Think about these steps

As I’ve mentioned, I got up the courage and scheduled an appointment with a personal trainer.  Even though S has been fantastic with giving me support and different ideas of things to do, sometimes you need to go outside and hear it from someone else.

These are the steps I followed over the last month and a half to get where I am right now.  This is by no means a complete list, and I’m not a personal trainer nor do I have any schooling other than my high school anatomy class in fitness/training.  But, I’ve found this approach worked for me, and may work for you.

  1. Determine your overall goal. Are you trying to lose weight?  Are you trying to lose body fat?  Are you just wanting more stamina so that the walk from the parking lot to your office building doesn’t make you breathe heavy?  All of these questions are things you need to ask yourself before you begin looking for a personal trainer.
  2. Do your research.  Are you looking for a one-time thing, with the ability to check in every once in awhile?  Do you need someone there every time you workout to help you count reps? How much money do you want to spend?  Do you plan on going to the gym to do everything, or are you interested in mixing it up by being inside some or outside some?  What type of training are you interested in?  There are so many options out there!  Private gyms that have one or two personal trainers (Caution: EXPENSIVE!) can be great for your needs.  Other options are the Y or even Parks and Rec centers.  Here in CO, for example, there are fabulous programs (like the one I’m enrolled in) that teaches you the basics and it’s up to you to follow-through.  Like the private gyms though, you can enroll in more one-on-one time.  Ask around to others you know go to gyms or workout on their own – find out if they know any “secret” places that you can look into… coworkers told me about the rec centers.
  3. Don’t keep making excuses.  Yes, it’s hard.  No, it’s not always enjoyable, and you’ll get sore and a lot of days you won’t want to put on those clothes, get to the gym/outside and workout, or you may feel you don’t have the time.  But you have to do it.  Think about all the benefits: lower risk of heart disease and strokes, lower risk of diabetes, more energy, clothes fit better… the list goes on and on.  Take it from a chronic excuse maker: Find that motivation (a new bathing suit?  a new wardrobe?  or just the excuse to eat more of what you want without the risks of gaining all that extra weight?) and work toward it.
  4. Make and GO to that appointment.  Put your fears and worries aside.  No one’s going to judge you.  In all honesty, you’re the only one holding yourself back.  Pick up the phone, put in the email/fax request and pester them until they set you up with an appointment.  That’s what I did.  Then, make sure you go!  Set it at a time where there will be nothing else distracting you… work, family/friends, house work, school work.  I set mine up for Saturday morning, so the only thing I had to do was get up and go.
  5. Set tangible goals, and work toward them.  Not, I want to lose 10 pounds.  But, say, in 8 weeks, you want to be able to run a mile in 9 minutes, after you haven’t been doing anything at all.  This is something you can achieve, and while you’re working toward it, you’re burning calories and getting healthier.  Or, you want to drop 2% body fat.  While the pounds are great and important, what matters more are inches and body fat.  Once you start a workout/lifting routine, you’re going to begin building muscle again.  Muscle is denser than fat, and weighs more.  So while the needle on the scale isn’t moving, that fat is burning off.
  6. Don’t get discouraged if it takes longer than you anticipate.  This is where I think a lot of people fail.  The trainer I met with told me it could take up to 3 months, if not longer, to lose the 2% body fat I need to in order to get to the healthy range for my height.  3 MONTHS!!!!! This is something I was not expecting at all, and usually those starting out don’t expect it either.  We’re, as Montgomery Gentry so put it, a product of the “me” generation.  Everything is about me, and how quickly we get what we want.  It’s not an overnight change, and it’s hard to get that in my your head. 
  7. The journey is never over.  But it should be a fun one.  This is where you may need to link back up with your trainer after awhile to come up with new ideas and solutions to change up your routine.  Maybe twice a week you use a dvd or go to a gym sponsored class.  Maybe you buy a bike and ride for an hour, pushing yourself to get that cardio in. Picture Source

Another thing to think about is what you eat.  A lot of the problem for women is what we eat and where we store fat.  I feel that as women we have the mindset that we have to be as “fat-free” as our male-counterparts.  Listen to this: Women are designed to store more fat – and need to in order to keep things running well.  We need that fat for our childbearing days.  Men don’t need it.  They’re built for the hard labor.  We women tend to store fat in a couple of places: our bellies/love-handles, butt/thighs and back.  The butt and thighs, while tied to food, can be quickly eliminated with cardio.  The middle area is something that needs to be adjusted by food.  Check out Self’s article on 20 superfoods for weight loss.  Just some of the good things you should start eating: steak(!!), eggs, apples and blueberries… just to name a few.  You can’t tell me these don’t look delish! Picture source

When you’re looking into personal trainers, look and see if there’s a package that gives you a session with a personal trainer and a dietitian.  It’ll really get you on your way to a healthier you!


  1. thanks, Jessica, for the tips!

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