A Personal Trainer for You?

What to Expect

A new client started with me last week, and it reminded me about how daunting it can be for some people to start exercising, but it needn’t be. Questions like...

  • What exercise should I do?
  • Do I have to go to a gym?
  • Do I need fancy clothes?
  • Will I have to work hard till I’m breathless or sweating?
  • Will it be bootcamp?
  • Will I be sore after?

So I’ll attempt to demystify the process for you. It’s really very straight forward…

  • Find a trainer
  • Get an initial consultation
  • Start your new program and first session

Finding a personal trainer

A good source for finding a personal trainer is the REPS (Register of Exercise Professionals) website. You can enter your city or region, and find a Registered Trainer. Some trainers have websites or Facebook pages, some advertise in community magazines and newspapers, some in TradeMe, and some drop flyers in your local area.

Most of my clients have come to me by word of mouth and referral – so don’t forget to check with your friends and health professionals if they know of one. There are also, of course, trainers based at most gyms.

Specialties you may like

Personal Trainers tend to have quite different approaches and specialties. From hard out “Bootcamp” style training, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), Functional training, to more conservative careful training relevant to your health and injury profile. It’s good to chat with a prospective trainer to find out their particular approach and find someone who will suit your needs.

My approach is conservative and careful. I’m more interested in finding what will get you exercising regularly within your capability and add in manageable challenge when suitable.

Where will you train?

Mobile* – your place or the park - Some trainers will come to you, and bring the equipment you need. This can be a good option if you want some privacy, and don’t like gyms.

Studio* - Some trainers have a studio that you can go to with all the equipment you need. Again this can be a good option if you want to avoid competing for the equipment at a gym, and prefer some privacy and more focussed training.

Gym - Of course there are the big gyms who often have a number of Personal Trainers. If you like the busy gym environment and don’t mind competing for equipment then this could be a suitable option.

*I provide the first 2 options – studio or mobile sessions.

First call to a personal trainer

You start with an initial call where you discuss why you would like a trainer to help you. Some goals may be:

  • Lose weight for a date
  • Get into shape for a wedding
  • Feel better about my body shape
  • Get stronger to help myself be independent
  • Keep up with the kids
  • Rehabilitation after an injury
  • Prevent injuries
  • Help maintain bone density
  • Reduce risk of heart disease

Most trainers will talk about how they will help you, or they will help you find a trainer who will suit you and your circumstances. This is an opportunity to talk about Personal Training prices and your budget.

If you are interested in pursuing it further, most trainers will send you a Health, Lifestyle, and Goals questionnaire to complete in preparation for a consultation.

The questionnaire is there to help the trainer help you:

  • keep you safe
  • create a programme that will get you the results you want
  • understand your current ability and circumstances so you can succeed and have fun exercising, rather than experience painful “bootcamp” which you are unlikely to sustain.


The consultation becomes rather exciting. Some people perceive it as negative at first, but after pinning down your goals, and then planning them out, in my experience you become really motivated. I think it is partly because you will see you can actually achieve the weight loss, or strength gain, and that there is an experienced professional on your side, working with you to get the most out of it.

The consultation is an opportunity for you to meet the trainer, and find out if you can work with him or her, discuss the fees and conditions and your budget.

By the end of the consultation you both will have worked out:

  • your goals
  • timeframe
  • how it will all work
  • where you will work out? Your place; trainers studio; park; or gym
  • frequency and duration
  • special needs or concerns you have

I will help and observe you performing some simple exercises, just to understand which exercises will help you, and which ones might be unsuitable, or what movements might be difficult for you to do.

First Day of exercise (The start of the journey)

The next time you get together will be the first exercise day. Your trainer will present you with the programme he or she has worked out, and will take you through it – gently at first, of course. You can both assess how it goes and make any adjustments that make it better.

I will normally explain what the exercises do and what benefits they have, and will help you refine how you perform each exercise to get the most out of each movement and minimise risk of injury.

Ongoing (The journey)

During sessions that follow, your trainer will help motivate you and keep you going.

There are a number of ways in which training can continue. A lot will depend on your budget, and how self-motivated you are.

You might do 2 or 3 sessions a week with me; do just one session each week, or start with a trainer, and then continue in a gym or at home on your own, checking in for a session once a month to check progress and technique, and adjust the program to reach that goal!

Contact Us for any help with the above process.