A friend showed me this a article called "11 Questions Every Athlete Should Ask Their Strength Coach." The author asked "some of the most elite, highly respected and educated coaches and trainers in the world" which questions they would ask their own coach. They came up with some really good suggestions, and I think you should ask me and any other trainer or fitness coach these same questions to help you get the most out of your training. Below, I've listed the top 5 questions along with my own responses.
1. What is this exercise doing for me?
If you want, I can tell you want to do during each workout and you can silently go along. But it's great for you to know why you're doing each exercise. The more you know about what an exercise is doing for you, the better you'll be able to do it, notice its benefits, and improve upon it in the future.
2. Why did you choose training as a career path?
Being a personal trainer is really hard. It's physically, emotionally, and intellectually demanding in a way that not many careers are. But I love it. Before I became a personal trainer, I worked in sales and marketing and spent most of my time in an office sitting down in front of a computer for 8+ hours a day. Long story short, I hated it. I felt physically unhealthy and emotionally stagnant. So I spent a few years shaking up my career path, exploring options, and soul-searching to figure out what I wanted to do. I tried a lot of different things. Most of them were hard, and many of them sucked. But gradually I realized that I enjoyed and was good at teaching, and I remembered that I had always had a passion for fitness. Becoming a personal trainer was an obvious next step after that realization. It was scary, but I quit all my marketing work and poured myself into becoming a fitness coach, and it's been the best single decision I've made in my adult life (the best single decision I made in my childhood life was to NOT answer David's "do you like me, yes or no" note, but that's a story for another time). I love my job. Helping people become healthy and happy always puts a smile on my face, and I'm so happy to work with you and other people like you. :)
3. How will you help me reach my goals?
Whew, that's a doozy. I try to help my clients not just with their physical training needs, but with their nutritional, mental, and emotional needs as well. In addition to interviewing you and asking about your goals, I use the Functional Movement Screen to assess your strengths and weaknesses and create your fitness plan. I periodize your training to give you periods of emphasis and growth in certain areas. Sometimes we'll be in a strength/hypertrophy/power cycle, a cardio conditioning cycle, a skill and technique cycle, or a recovery cycle -- it all depends on your goals. How we measure progress varies, too. Sometimes we'll check your body fat percentage, or maybe we'll just go by how your clothes fit, or how you feel when you look in a mirror. And everyone's goals take different lengths of time to reach. Maybe you'll get there in a few months, and maybe it will take a few years. I just hope that once you reach your current goals, you'll be excited to set new ones!
4. Why are we doing this over and over again?
Have you ever wondered "OMG WHY IS MJ MAKING ME DO SO MANY SQUATS RIGHT NOW" during a workout? If not, that probably means I need to make you do more squats! Just kidding... maybe. ;) There are many different reasons why I'll have you do the same movement many times in a training session or training cycle. Maybe it is so you can work on your endurance. Maybe we're perfecting your form. Or maybe we're just working on building some muscle! Don't be afraid to ask the next time we work out.
5. Why should I train with you?
This is a great question for you to ask. You probably want a personal trainer who listens and pays attention to your body and your feelings. You may also want a trainer who will do the research and planning necessary to help you meet your unique goals in a way that is safe and efficient for your unique body. And maybe you want someone who takes a multi-disciplinary approach and thinks out of the box to keep you on your toes and expose you to new things that you may not have tried. I can do that for you.
Got any other questions that you don't see here? Just contact me and let me know!