So Christmas is 2 weeks past, New Years Eve is out the way and now is the time of year for New Years resolutions to be made and gums to get busier!

For New Year and New beginnings there seems to be a large amount of negativity going around social media. As much as some of the meme’s and pictures, comments and statuses can be amusing, they are of a pretty negative nature. In January there are lots of new starts in the gym and this is a positive thing, more people are trying fitness! As much as some people like a quiet gym to themselves, guess what…it takes a lot more than 1 person to keep a gym open and running! So be grateful that others are getting involved and hopefully making improvements to their lifestyle and by joining your gym they help keep it running and investing in improvements to help you. Meme’s like the one below, if the December pic was all year round then chances are the doors wouldn’t be open! TIP for you though, go to the gym when it opens and the chances are it will a lot quieter if that’s the way you want it.

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Then there’s the good intentions of New Year resolutions…..and the slagging that people post when people fail or for even trying to begin with, how does that help anyone? Does it help them feel better for not even trying to make a change? Even if a small portion of people who start training keep it up it’s a great thing. Give it your best and see what happens. DON’T be dragged into the negativity that is being thrown around. If you don’t keep up your resolutions then ask yourself why? Did you set the bar to high or try to change to much at once? Was it something you really wanted to do? Remember it doesn’t have to be January 1st to start making changes, make a realistic plan and try to stick to it anytime of the year.

A surprising source of this negativity is coming from the so called “professional coaches” or “elite trainers”. There isn’t anything professional or elite about putting down others to make yourself feel successful or superior. I’ve noticed this usually comes form those who get frustrated from not receiving the business they think they deserve and can only resort to lashing out.

If your looking for a Personal Trainer to keep you on track then that’s great but DON’T be dragged in to the negativity of a Personal Trainer who focuses on slagging off other in the industry or even worse insulting those trying to better themselves.

Stay POSITIVE and avoid that sort of negativity, if someone has to slate another to look good then that’s their issue and shows they probably lack the skills and ability to obtain business from the service they offer.

If you feel you would like a Personal Trainer to show you the way into the New Year then great, but here are a few rules if you are going to be undertaking Personal Training:

 

*Be certain you are ready to make a change. It will be an expensive resolution to fail otherwise.

*Ensure your Personal Trainer is qualified and undertaking continuous development and education. Many trainers charge high prices purely to fill ego and while they may be in good condition it doesn’t mean they can help you get that way. GOOD coaches invest in themselves to help YOU further your goals, don’t be afraid to ask about their education, qualifications and what they are currently doing to further themselves this year.

*Make sure they are PROFESSIONAL. I don’t mean a zombie who prattles off scientific nonsense you don’t understand, but turning up on time is usually a good start! If your “Coach” is constantly late, cancelling, not turning up or turning up in a “rough for wear” state, chances are they don’t have your session as a priority and you wont make the progress you want.

*DON’T fear new starts or those with little experience, everyone has to start somewhere and you may just be getting a good coach at a great rate. However feel free to ask them a few questions:

1. What Certifications Do You Have?

You may not know all the certifications out there and there are a lot of new PT’s with many different qualifications. There are also a lot of PT’s with NO qualifications at all or only basic instructor qualifications.

The industry standard for a Personal Trainer in the UK is a Level 2 + 3 REPS qualification (you need the level 2 to do the level 3) If your trainer doesn’t have these then they will not be insured to train you regardless of their ability.

Many PT’s can be qualified and still not know how to perform basic lifts, so sometimes some personal lifting experience and time in the industry is just as essential. If your trainer doesn’t train in an area, then don’t seek the help of that person to help you with that area. If your PT doesn’t personally do the training you want to do or have experience in the area find someone else. (A boxing instructor probably isn’t best for Powerlifting and vice versa).

It is very easy to become QUALIFIED as a PT but does not necessarily mean that they are well educated or experienced in training or exercise.

2. Are you qualified in Nutrition?

The majority of PT’s do not have any nutritional qualifications, Personal Training courses don’t cover it (unless you count the Eat Well Plate) so can only give you basic government nutrition advice (legally, they may tell you other things but really shouldn’t).

Nutrition is the most fundamental part of a healthy lifestyle and key to weight loss.As such having a PT who has also studied nutrition is a HUGE benefit. And there are a lot of them out there, so look for them.

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BEWARE of any trainer who tries to up-sell products to you. This doesn’t mean you will not have to change your way of eating i.e fresh food, veg and maybe even Whey protein or multi vitamins. But if they are selling the product or pushing you to buy into products they make money from such as HERBALIFE, JUICE PLUS, or services like SLIMMING WORLD, it’s time to look elsewhere. These are bogus snake oils or quick fixes, reputable Personal Trainers don’t do quick fixes and rapid fat loss. This isn’t because we want you to keep paying us, it’s because rapid fat loss for most people will result in rapid bounce back, gaining the weight back and some. Fat loss needs to be due to a maintainable change, whether this be training, diet or both. If the changes you make are not maintainable then neither will the weight loss, simple. That’s how these scammy companies that make a mockery of fitness make their money.

3. What kind of exercise will we be doing?

Different trainers specialise in different areas, or at least have a preference. Find out what that is and if it suits you. Also check why you will be doing specific exercises and how they will benefit you.

If they cannot say why they have programmed that exercise or why you should be performing it then chances are it’s just the programme they use for everyone and not necessarily suitable to you.

If you don’t like an exercise then they should be able to substitute it for another. (I’m not talking about it being hard and you not wanting to do it, difficulty is not an excuse! Pain or discomfort in the movement is).

4. What is your cancellation policy?

That’s right, we know you will have to cancel sessions every now and then. Life happens and things come up. But while you don’t want to pay for missed sessions, we don’t want to turn up and wait for you for nothing. It’s a waste of our time and another client could have been in.

All Personal Trainers should have a cancellation policy and discuss this with you when you book. Usually this will be 24 hours notice or you pay for the session, but they may have a policy for getting the space filled or work on a circumstance basis. We can usually tell when sessions are cancelled due to hangovers or because you can’t be arsed! Let us know in advance, it’s a waste of a session and your results.

5. How much will this cost?

Many trainers charge extortionate rates. Why are you paying that much? Is it because everyone else charges that much and they have jumped on the band wagon? Is it that they want to appear superior while providing no extra benefits? Are they investing in further education? Many trainers charge a price just because or to make themselves stand apart from other trainers without being able to back it up.

But please remember that we have to pay rent to take your session. In some gyms this can be as much as £700 a month. This has to be paid for and can easily take a good chunk of the money you pay us,so straight away that hourly rate is reduced, sometime by half and we haven’t even taken you for a session yet. We then have to programme your sessions which should be on an individual basis, this is why so many trainers use the same sessions for every clients! We go over your food diaries and create food plans (when you do them and follow them!), so again it’s more than just an hour session you are paying for.

Cheap budget gyms are cheap because they don’t pay their staff. The staff work a certain amount of hours for free rent. This is why budget gym trainers push their services so much, they don’t get paid otherwise.

Becoming qualified is also expensive. For the average trainer to be qualified they will need to fork out between £2000 +£3500. This however is no excuse to charge extortionate fees and is only the beginning of their qualification costs. Then there is continuous development and courses, quality trainers will continuously invest in themselves to improve their service which is great for you but will also result in a cost.

Regardless of what price they charge feel free to ask what they do to further their knowledge. This may be courses, workshops, training with coaches, reading, research, find out how your trainer is advancing and how that will benefit you on the road to come.

If you haven’t got money for personal training and don’t know where to start….DONT use it as an excuse. You can attend classes, there are plenty of good ones that will get you started and into a routine or you can join a gym. Any decent gym should give you the guidance you need to improve as part of your membership. If you don’t get help from your gym it’s time to find another one!

At Future Fitness Glasgow you can attend a number of great classes that teach you the basics in lifting weights, challenge and improve  your fitness levels, teach you new skills such as martial arts. Not only that but we’ll set you on the right path and give you the advice you need to get started, not just an induction but free programming throughout your membership. We’ll also give you a FREE 3 day trial to whet your appetite and check out our new look and recent vast investment in equipment!

Just like a good Personal Trainer, a good gym should also be investing in their business. No changes in your place over the last year or 2??? That’s a big warning sign to me that they don’t have the customer experience as a priority and it’s only about the money, get involved with a business that has your health and fitness as a priority!

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So whatever you feel like doing in 2017, avoid the negativity on social media,  avoid the snake oil and charlatans, make your own choices to improve your life whatever they may be and stay POSITIVE!

Good luck guys and maybe see you in the gym!  😝

 

LIFT, LIVE, LEARN.

Euan MacNeil

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