Working out with a personal trainer is a great option for going after your fitness goals. Your trainer knows exactly what types of workouts to take you through to help you reach your goals, and he or she can help keep you accountable—inside and outside the gym. Trainers are also excellent resources. They know how to use workout equipment in the gym you may be too intimidated to use or just haven’t noticed before, and they’re a powerhouse of information when it comes to workout movements and variations. They are also your No. 1 cheerleader and want to see you succeed.
But working out with a trainer is also a financial commitment. For most of us, that means we want to get everything we absolutely can out of every dollar we spend toward our fitness.
We asked Josh Lyon, director of fitness at 24 Hour Fitness, for his top tips on how to squeeze even more out of your training sessions. Below are his top five tips for making the most of your time at the gym with your trainer.
Tip 1: Warm up before your session.
“If you truly want to get the most out of the time you have with your trainer, work with him or her to develop a warm-up and movement preparation routine that you can do on your own before the start time of your session,” Lyon says. “That way, your trainer can focus more of your time together on the workout itself.”
An adequate warm-up can take anywhere from five to 10 minutes to complete—time that could’ve (and should’ve) been spent on your workout.
Tip 2: Fuel up!
How many times have you gone into your workout without adequately fueling your body, only to feel like you could’ve had a better workout if you had more energy or stamina?
“Be sure to consume a pre-workout meal 30 to 60 minutes prior to your session. This will give you the fuel to be at peak performance for your workout,” Lyon says.
Tip 3: Stay focused.
“Avoid falling into a conversation that may detract from the focus of your time with your trainer and take valuable time away from the workout you came to do,” Lyon advises. “Conversations focused on your fitness program, a specific workout or exercise, or something similar are very important, but talking about your weekend plans won’t get you those abs you’ve always dreamt of!”
Tip 4: Try a wearable tracker.
Interested to see how many calories you actually burned during your workout or your peak heart rate? Try a wearable tracker, and consider sharing the insights it provides with your trainer.
“There are so many options at an affordable price point to consider. Whether it’s a heart-rate monitor or calorie tracker, the additional insight into how your body responds to your workouts will help you understand more about yourself and more about how to maximize your workouts,” Lyon says.
Tip 5: Make it interactive.
“Ask questions to understand why you are doing a specific exercise, why your trainer sequenced the workout in the order you completed it, how to vary a movement to add variety or a different challenge, or countless other things that will help you learn and increase your confidence when you’re working out alone,” Lyon says.
Josh Lyon is the director of fitness at 24 Hour Fitness. He holds certifications with the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Functional Movement Screen, TRX, and others, and currently sits on IDEA Health & Fitness’ PT Committee. With 20 years of fitness industry experience, Lyon is passionate about helping people live better through fitness. He currently lives in Pleasanton, California, with his wife, Amy, and two boys, Jordan and Tyler.
Photo credit: Mat Hayward, Adobe Stock