Two to Tango

So you’ve decided to embark on a body transformation journey and have signed up for a membership at your local gym. Depending on the gym you choose, you may be greeted by staff at the front desk: then you proceed to gym floor where you will hear the sounds of loud music and perhaps the sound of dropping weights to the ground, which is a no-no at most gyms. You survey the space quickly and see a mix of people, some with headphones and in the zone, some congregating in groups waiting for a class to start, and occasionally, some with a look of confusion in their face. It’s an expression that most of us have had at one point, and depending on the day may still have from time to time.

The first time heading to a new gym can always be a little overwhelming and nerve wrecking. The gym might have different equipment than the ones that you are used to and may have policies on how to use the equipment and how long it can be used during peak hours. To know this information, I’d recommend talking to a trainer on the floor.

Should you get a trainer?

If you are brand new to the gym and lifting weights in general one should really consider working with a trainer. The reason being is that a gym trainer can help establish proper weightlifting technique that can help prevent injury in the long term. On too many occasions I have seen individuals either use a machine incorrectly or lift something incorrectly.

A good trainer should be able to guide a trainee on what I consider to be, four of the most important things to know/do while at the gym. These four things are as follows:

  1. Establish a proper warm up routine prior to lifting or doing cardio.
  2. Demonstrate how each machine/free weight is used.
  3. Show the proper range of motion so that the exercise performed is as effective as possible.
    1. Too short of a range and the exercise is not effective therefore not yielding results leading to the possible discouragement of the individual.
    2. Too big of a range and a different muscle might be used or, even worse, could lead to wear and tear of ligaments.
  4. Proper tempo when performing the rep and how to move with the breath.

In all honesty, even if you have had years of experience lifting weights, it’s never a bad idea to book a session with a qualified trainer to help you with form and provide general feedback.

Performing cable curl exercise for bicep development.
@8bitlookbook Arm Curls
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Trainers to avoid

If there is a type of trainer an individual should avoid is the generic trainer.

This is the type of trainer you can spot because it looks like most of his clients are performing the same workout routine. If that is indeed the case, then that would mean that they are using a general template that may not be suited for your own fitness goals.

I personally would also gravitate away from trainers that don’t acknowledge your presence. These are the type of trainers that when they are not working with client, they huddle behind the trainer desk. Trainers, to me, if they are not working on a task, should be out on the gym floor offering assistance or quick tips to all members in general. Not only will this help members but it is also a good way for the trainer themselves to prospect members.

How to pick a trainer.

Choosing a trainer is not an easy task as no two trainers are alike and each might have their own specialty on different types of exercise methods.

What I would highly recommend is, if possible, look into the trainers background and see what type of education they have received in the past.

Choose a trainer that meets your goals. Don’t choose a trainer just because they look great; them looking great does not equal your own personal success as you don’t know what they are doing to look the way they do.

Overall, use your best judgement and try to see if its possible to book a single session to how you vibe with the trainer overall. The key to success is motivation and perseverance, a good trainer should be able to motivate you on the gym floor and through randomly through out the week.

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