How to get the most from your personal trainer

The decision to hire a personal trainer is an empowering one. Putting a dedicated fitness expert in your corner can net you invaluable expertise and support for devising a smart workout strategy, overcoming emotional and physical roadblocks, and getting the real results you’re after.

According to an American College of Sports Medicine survey, personal training is a top trend for 2011, ranking above core training classes and boot camps in popularity. So, clearly, a lot of people are figuring out that it’s well worth the investment. Establishing an optimal training relationship, though, isn’t as simple as strolling into your health club and booking a session with the first PT who has an open spot in his or her schedule.

First, the two of you are going to be spending a lot of time together, so it’s worth putting in some legwork upfront to make sure you find someone with the right skills and chemistry. Second, you need to make sure you’re ready to do your share of the work required to get what you want out of the bargain.

Whether you’re new to exercise or you’ve been working out on your own for a long time, using a personal trainer can give you that extra nudge. But you’ve got to show up for the experience, body and soul, and be really clear about creating a two-way exchange that works for you.