What A Certified Personal Trainer Does – And Doesn’t – Know About You
© Doug Champigny, http://flirtingwithfitness.com
All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
Most people who are serious about weightlifting or bodybuilding will hire a personal trainer at some point. Personal training helps in a lot of ways, so let’s take a look at what your new certified personal trainer already knows and what you need to tell them about yourself.
When a man or woman gets certified as a personal trainer they learn a lot about body composition, weight loss, nutrition and, of course, the effects of weightlifting on the body. So just by looking at you they have some clues as to your current state of health and your nutritional habits. What they can’t tell is what medical conditions you have. But then again, unless you’ve been to your doctor recently neither can you.
Medical conditions like high blood pressure (hypertension) and diabetes are often present with no external indications, so you need to have a recent checkup and pass that information on to your person trainer. The former affects the type and intensity of exercises you should be starting with while the latter will affect your nutrition plans. By not knowing about these and/or not telling your certified personal trainer you’re risking complications and even possible death. That’s why you so often hear about the necessity of having a full physical with your doctor before beginning any exercise program, including personal training.
A good trainer also knows a lot about maximizing nutrition to see that you get the right number of calories and the correct balance of macro- and micro-nutrients to safely and effectively lose weight or build lean muscle mass. But what they don’t know when first starting with you is your personal metabolism – that is, the rate your body burns through it’s fuel. Your body type and body composition will provide some clues, but it will take a bit of time for your certified personal trainer to observe the results of the diet he or she proposes for you.
If you’re considering personal training you can speed up that process by keeping a food diary for a couple of weeks before you start. That will give your trainer a better starting point, as they’ll know roughly how many calories you’ve been consuming to this point and what type of food you’ve been eating. This makes it much easier for them to evaluate what changes to make to help you lose weight or build muscles more efficiently.
Another thing your certified personal trainer needs to hear from you is any history of chronic aches and pains you’ve endured, whether they are currently affecting you or not. This helps them to evaluate any weaknesses in your current condition and to design a workout program for you that lessens the chances of aggravating any existing injuries. This may not seem like a big deal to you but remember that all progress stops if you need to take a few weeks off training to allow your body to heal from a serious injury.
And finally, you need to describe your current lifestyle openly and honestly with your trainer. As part of their personal training certification they’ve learned the importance of sufficient rest and recovery between workouts and the physiological effects of stress on the body. Your workouts need to be tailored to match the stress levels already existing in your daily lifestyle and the amount of effective sleep you’re getting each night. The better your sleeping habits and lower your stress levels, the more intense workouts you can safely perform and the better and sooner you can see your desired results. Conversely, if you’re in highly-stressed situations regularly or aren’t willing to get 7 – 8 hours of sleep a night, your exercise load needs to be lessened, even if you think you could be handling more weight or longer sessions.
You’re going to be investing a lot of effort into working out and eating right, and personal training will help you maximize your returns from those efforts. Just be sure you’re open and honest with your certified personal trainer so you can work harmoniously to achieve your weightlifting and/or bodybuilding goals.