How to get more from your personal training session

5 top tips to maximize the benefit of your personal training sessions

A local personal trainer taking a client through a workout
Daniel spotting Jo on the Hex Bar Deadlift during her personal training session


When you hire a personal trainer several things go though most clients heads.

Are they going to judge me ?
I don’t want to embarrass myself?
Do i really need their help?

Which to be honest are all genuine things to think about, however if the trainer is good they shouldn’t judge you, they wont let you embarrass yourself, the level of fitness you present with is only the start point and everyone needs a little help from time to time. With that being said here are some useful tips to get the most from your personal training sessions.

1 Be Honest

Honesty is the best policy, you may lie to yourself, but don’t lie to your trainer. They can’t fix it if they don’t know what’s broken. Eating four packets of custard creams on a Friday night isn’t the worst thing you can do when i comes to your diet.

The worst thing you can do to your diet is eat the 4 packets and tell your trainer your diet is on point and you are sticking to the programme. That doesn’t help them and it doesn’t help you.

I have a rule as a trainer, I don’t judge, I have no idea what you are going though and the issues you have with food, your body or your mind, so i have no right to judge. All i can do is coach, guide and support.

My aim is to help to hold clients accountable to their targets. And for that to be done, i need them to be honest with me, if people think I’m going to judge them they won’t be honest.

Its that simple!

2 Keep Track

Track everything you can, sleep, fluids, food, physical activity, mental state. Basically anything you do to your body or that has an effect on you, you should try to track. Here are just some of the interactions between the above things and your body how its effected.

First let me describe a typical persons habits today:-

  • A highly processed diet
  • Irregular sleep wake cycle
  • Infrequent or little exercise
  • Poor quality sleep
  • Low protein based diet
  • Dehydrated

Imagine how that person feels and looks, for some of you reading this just look in the mirror and ask do you want to carry on feeling and looking this way?

Believe it or not you have the power but you may just need a little help.

How is that person going to feel, you may still ask.

  • Tired/ sluggish
  • Overweight or skinny fat
  • Low sex drive
  • Poor quality skin
  • Low mood and low motivation

If this is you and you want to change that, please stop reading and get in touch, I’m sure we can help!


3 Be Curious

Ask questions, good trainer are usually fountains of knowledge, remember we’ve had to study and learn a lot about lots of different topics relating to the body, and usually we have an interest in how the body and the mind works.

Another rule i have is never stop learning

the more i learn the more i can help people.

As you can see from the above tip. What May seem like a small factor in your life style can have much father reaching consequences further down the road.
An example would be, you go out at night and have a few drinks, you don’t get to be late because you’re up for work early, but due to the effects that alcohol has on blood sugar you don’t sleep particularly well. You wake up not feeling hungry over as you didn’t drink a lot but still tired due to the poor sleep, because you feel tired you feel the need for more coffee than normal and sugary food as you are trying to get your energy levels up. (If you were trying to control calories this is

where you will struggle) you eat more that day because you feel the need for it, when you finish the day you feel totally drained and cant be bothered making a healthy meal so you just grab your phone and message for a take away. After all your diets ruined from the day so why bother?
All of this stems not from the calories that alcohol contains but the ill effect it has on your sleep! If you have an issue with sleep i suggest you read our blog on getting a great nights sleep (link)
The more you ask, the more you learn and the more tools at your disposal for mastering your body and mind.

4 Count your reps

Its a joke between trainers and clients that we always make people do more reps than we intend on doing. We’ll say do 10, and at around 8 reps we’ll get asked and our go to answer is do 3 more.
I jest, obviously this doesn’t always happen, however it does happen for several reasons.
1 We are paying attention to how you are doing it more than how many you’ve done. 2 You’ve asked us a question and we were answering that
3 We like to see you suffer (just kidding, its because we know you can do more)
Here’s why you should be paying attention to how many you did, its key to know how hard you are training and the intensity you are working out at, if we ask you do to 10 and we can get you to do 15 its obviously too light and its not a challenge for you. If you want a tip count the rep on the effort, this solidifies that rep in your mind.
Did you know the reps are the most important variable in your programme as it dictates the result of the programme, lower reps mean more strength, higher reps mean more calories burned and more endurance.

5 Be accountable to them

Accountability is the secret power of a PT session, that’s why we charge for cancellations. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve heard the phrase I wouldn’t have come today if it wasn’t for you.
I’ve also had clients say, I’ve come today as i know you’ll charge me for cancelling. One of the main obstacles for people achieving theirs goals is they give up or quit too easy.
That reminds me, there’s a phrase “success is found out side of the comfort zone” That means that there are going to be times where its too easy to quit when you really need to push through, and its a lot easier to keep going when you have someone that’s on your side but not emotionally connected to you, that lack of emotional connection allows us to remain professional. But remember that professional isn’t comes as a cost.
And remember when you are a trainer and someone cancels, you cant just sell that time to someone else, imagine you go to a restaurant and order a meal, and when it arrives you don’t eat it, you still have to pay and rightly so, that meal was prepared for you, and the time and ingredients can not be got back. Just like when you book a PT session.
Of course just like in a restaurant the chef wants you to enjoy his meal, we want you to come and get something from your session.
These are just some of the tips, we as trainers have to share, did you know we have a downloadable PDF you can buy here (link) it’s full of hints and tips to help you achieve your goals.

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