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The other day, I met a woman for the first time and when I said I'm a fitness professional the conversation took off on various tangents related to my profession. I got the run down of her typical fitness routine and then the conversation turned to nutritional questions.  I always enjoy discussing what I do, as do most fitness pros, but then she told me about the numerous times she had considered hiring a trainer or consultant, but was anxious about actually doing it.  After hearing about her hesitations in more detail, I thought to share some of those common concerns on the Fiteeza blog.

By The Way, I saw this same woman about 6 months later and she told me she had finally hired a personal trainer.  She said she was enjoying this investment in herself.  So, what are you waiting for?  Go to the Fiteeza Directory of Fitness Professionals right now and “Find Your Fit!”

Personal Trainers/Private Group Ex/Nutrition Consulting is expense!

Many fitness pro charge a rate that is competitive in the area and some are often willing to negotiate.  Some will give a reduced rate on a session or two for referring another potential client.  So, if you and a co-worker or two are looking to hire a pro ask about a reduced rate per session.  Also, consider asking about small group training or couples rates.  Some trainers will discount their fee for a husband and wife training session.  You may want to ask if the pro you are considering hiring will give a cost break for purchasing multiple sessions.  If you don’t ask, the answer is always no and if the pro is defensive about his rate or does not accommodate your request, shop around.

Consider the cost as an investment in yourself and weigh that against the cost of a gym membership or purchasing equipment for your home.  Both of those ventures can be long-term and costly commitment.  The bottom line is, what are you worth?  How much are you willing to pay to be at your personal best and gain confidence and empowerment.  List out the benefits of leading a healthy life and then imagine yourself after 6 months of personal fitness consulting.    

I am too out of shape or overweight to work with a trainer.  What if she makes me run or worse do burpees?

We have a saying in the fitness business, “meet them where they are.”  So, if you are not in prime shape that is precisely the reason to hire a pro!  Your selected pro should be able to help you set reasonable and achievable goals and design a workout that will challenge you, but NOT kill you!  Think about it this way, it is in her best interest to help you enjoy working out WITH her.

A good fitness pro will be able to assess your current fitness level and design a program for you to safely advance and reach your goals.  Not all exercise programs include running or burpees so relax!  Tell your pro about your anxiety with certain exercises and rely on her to guide you to something else you will enjoy doing, yet still be challenged.  Besides, burpees probably don’t like you either!

I have no idea what to expect.

A good professional will be willing to meet with you, either in person or over the phone, to discuss the type of assistance you are looking for.  Also, that initial inquiry is the perfect time to ask him how he typically works with his other clients, frequency of appointments, duration of sessions, his current availability and the location.  It is also an opportunity to tell him that you have never done this before and you appreciate knowing what to expect.  You don’t have to make a decision then, so if you want to call another pro, it will give you an opportunity to gain more knowledge before making a final decision.

I don’t want to clean out my pantry, learn how to eat foods I don’t like or keep a food journal.

A nutritional consultant will do an assessment or inventory of your typical foods and help you to set some nutritional goals as well.  He should encourage you to remain open (as do I) but also listen to your likes and dislikes.  Our relationship with food is a major part of our daily lives and learning to eat healthy is a process that takes time and consistent effort.  Also, eating healthy for your body is often an individual thing and large sweeping changes, like cutting out an entire food group, is not a sustainable way to venture down that path.  Instead, a good consultant will often suggest food swaps or single food items to limit or eliminate over a shorter period of time, like a week.  He may also give you some portion guidelines to work towards as well.  And, food journaling is not always the only way to truly examine intake, but it is an option.  However, journaling for more than a week or 10 days is typically over-kill and there are tons of free apps that will make it easier, if that is the recommendation.

If I workout with a pro, I’m afraid I will get hurt or I will be too sore to move the next day.

Be sure to give honest details about your current level of fitness during the initial assessment or consultation.  And, it is always important to get approval from your physician before starting an exercise program.  Your physician may suggest guidelines or limitations that you should share with your fitness pro.

During your session, be your own advocate.  Tell your trainer if you feel weak or even faint during exercise.  Pain is also something that should be communicated and not ignored.  A good fitness pro will be able to modify an exercise or check for good form to avoid injury.  Any level of soreness the next day should be tolerable and not debilitating.  Any soreness that last more than 24-48 hours is a sure sign you over did it.  You should report such to your trainer so she will know to scale back the intensity, but still give you a good workout next time.

I don’t like being yelled at or shamed into working out or eating healthier

Fitness Professionals have many ways to motivate their clients.  Yelling, shaming or taunting are not ways in which most pros motivate clients.  We are not auditioning for “The Biggest Loser,” and truly want to help you succeed.  Your pro should be able to find ways to keep you motivated, if that’s what you need, that will enhance your sense of pride and empowerment.  The Pros know that clients may not remember what you say or do, but they will always remember how you made them feel.

I’ve tried it before and it never works.  What if I fail again?

That initial consultation is the perfect time to tell the pro that you have done this before without success.  At that point, you may be asked why you think it didn’t work before.  It is possible that the conversation will lead you to an honest and insightful answer and help her to tell you ways she has helped similar clients in the past.

I am afraid to commit ______ (fill in the blank, money, time, trust, lifestyle changes).

If you already know that about yourself, then it might not be the right time for you to hire a pro. But, if you keep doing the same thing and hoping for a different result, well, we all know that’s the definition of insanity.  Personal training or exercise instruction and nutritional consulting are all investments of various resources in yourself and only you can define your worth.  

Take small steps towards the level of commitment required to hire a professional.  Buy three sessions or classes and commit to those first.  If they go well, buy 3 more.  Or, set a goal of going for a walk by yourself or with a buddy for 10 minutes every day for a week.  If you meet that goal, maybe you are ready to commit to more.

I’m afraid I’ll look like an idiot. What if something embarrassing happens?

Your trainer or instructor should not expect you to impress her.  Often, clients who try to impress the pro end up injured.  Trainers, Instructors and Nutritionists are there to help you set reasonable and achievable goals then guide you toward them.  The pros typically assume that clients don’t know a lot about proper exercise technique or nutrition, which why she is working with you.  Some clients may be more experienced, but a good pro will be able to adapt to various levels of ability and knowledge.

All personal exercise instructors have been farted on, had sweat slung on him or even been spit upon at least once in his career.  Odors come with the territory of teaching people how to sweat or addressing dietary issues.  Most of those things, while embarrassing, are also convenient excuses and setting them aside is a great exercise for personal empowerment.  If you are a profuse sweater or if you ate tacos for lunch, tell your Pro…he’ll get it and help you get past it.  Remember, You can have results or you can have excuses, but you can’t have both.

What if I don’t like my trainer?

Sometimes, personalities just don’t mesh, that’s ok.  If after a session or two, you decide you just don’t like him, his training style or the results you’re getting, don’t make another appointment.  If he asks you why, be honest.  Feedback is a gift and sometimes the old, “it’s not you, it’s me” line is sufficient.

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