Beginning clients usually don’t know what to expect with personal training sessions. They invest their time, their money, and their energy. Why not get the most out of it? Here are 10 helpful hints for beginner clients as a reference for them to maximize their workouts.

1. Show up on time ready to go. Shoes, exercise clothes, and any equipment you were requested to have. While some of this sounds obvious, I have had clients forget shoes. We wound up doing a barefoot workout, which is certainly beneficial in many situations, but not always possible in others.

2. Bring a water bottle to stay hydrated. Even if the gym provides water coolers or fountains, it takes time away from training. A water bottle is right there and is a constant reminder to hydrate.

3. Keep a journal. It would be difficult to remember everything the trainer tells you. Jot down notes as a reference. The journal can also be handy to write down what exercise you do when you aren’t with the trainer, so you can report back.

4. Do your homework. Follow the suggested workouts in between training sessions. Progress is seen more quickly if effort continues beyond the training sessions.

5. Don’t get discouraged. Improvement takes time. It seems to take less time to get out of shape than it does to get in shape. “Don’t expect to feel like a ball of energy every day,” Cindy Barringer said, reflecting on the training when she started out as a beginner client. “Some days will be better than others and something is better than nothing. The best advice my trainer has given me is ‘the only bad workout is the one you didn’t do.”

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6. Communicate. Keep an open line of communication with your trainer. If you don’t understand something, if it’s too easy or too hard, if your schedule prevents you from doing exercise in between workouts – whatever, let the trainer know.

7. Throw comparison out the window. Your progress may not look like someone else’s. Training styles are different. Beginning fitness levels vary. And every client is different.

8. Baby steps. Beginners start out slow and gain momentum over time. You can’t leap into advanced workouts until you’ve gained strength and improved your fitness level.

9. Focus on positive vibes. Notice the subtle changes and signs of progress. Periodically, I like to have clients point out a positive from their training. Positive vibes include: feeling more mentally focused, realizing your posture has improved, carrying bags of groceries gets easier, clothes fitting better, feeling more toned, having more energy, sleeping better, gaining confidence, feeling stronger overall… The list goes on.

10. “Trust your trainer,” Barringer said. “They will structure your program to meet your age, fitness level, and desired goals. It takes the guesswork out of the equation and allows you to focus on doing the work.”

Remind your beginner clients that choosing to hire a trainer and committing to an exercise program is a huge step toward fitness and good health: Stay on the steady path. Keeping goals in mind, thank yourself for doing it, pat yourself on the back, and always remain consistent over time!


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Kim Becknell Williams

Kim Becknell Williams is a freelance writer with more than ten years of personal training experience. Certified through NFPT, she is a Functional Training Specialist and holds a Master Trainer level certificate for resistance, endurance and sports nutrition. Kim has written two books including Gym Etiquette 101. She enjoys writing a variety of lifestyle articles and fitness blogs.