Katie Bulmer-Cooke: Need help to reach your goals? 

North East Times’s health and fitness correspondent Katie Bulmer-Cooke has some advice on what questions you should be asking before signing up to a personal trainer

Now that January has been and gone, are you still sticking to the healthy habits you started in the New Year? I hope so.

January is always a busy month for the fitness industry, with the New Year resolution brigade out in force, looking for treadmills to pound, weights to lift and diets to follow. There’s no denying the January buzz is brilliant.

However, February often sees people seek the help and advice of an industry professional, as going it alone has proved more difficult. In addition, many feel that the amount of effort they have put into getting in shape in January doesn’t seem to have paid off, so they now want to be advised and supported by a trainer to ensure they get the results that their hard work deserves.

If this is you, you may be asking yourself what makes a good trainer and who you should choose. Fear not; I’m here to help you with the four questions you should ask before choosing the right trainer.

Can they prove previous results? 

Your trainer should have proof that they can deliver results. This usually comes in the form of written client testimonials, before and after photographs and video interviews with clients. One thing to keep an eye out for is the quality of the before and after photograph. Both should be taken in the same or very similar clothing, with the same stance and posture, in the same lighting and without a tan on the after photograph. A tan always makes you look slimmer!

Do they offer more than just exercise advice?

Your trainer should provide a holistic approach to helping you achieve your goal. They should not just be focusing on exercise, but also offering nutritional advice and recommendations as well as questioning you on your lifestyle and sleep patterns. After all, if your goal is to drop a jean size, you will never achieve this by simply working out once a week but not making any other changes to your eating habits and lifestyle.

Is their suggested programme bespoke? 

Your trainer should be keen to tailor a programme to your needs so that fitting it into your life is manageable and you’re therefore much more likely to adhere to it – as opposed to offering a one-size-fits-all approach. With personal training it should be personal! Everyone has different working arrangements and home and family commitments as well as varying starting fitness levels. The programme you are given should reflect this.

Is there passion? 

Your trainer should be a source of education, support and motivation. They should be as passionate about your goals as you are! Get a good trainer and you will achieve great things together.

Here’s to a happy, healthy and goal-focused February!

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