T Nation

What Would You Ask a Personal Trainer?

What kind of questions would you ask a personal trainer?

Being a member of 24 hour fitness, I have four “free” sessions with a personal trainer. These sessions were technically paid as part of the enrollment package. $750 over three years, translate to $20.83 per month with an annual renewal price of $29.00 ($2.42 cents per month) on the four year and thereafter.

So basically what questions would you ask? (I can’t think of any at the moment, so I’m looking for some input. Thanks).

Do you know what your goals are? If you tell us then that may help with the suggestions.

also, you may want to relate your goals to the manager that will be assigning you to your personal trainer before they do the match up. Depending on what your goals are might make a difference on what trainer they assign to you.

It would probably help to know if you prefer an empathetic trainer, a quiet trainer, loud trainer, a bully, a nagging mother type, all kinds.

Ask if there are any members at your gym that they have helped achieve their goals and if you can talk to them.

You didnt pay $750 up front did you?
hope not :S

I think you should first see whats there qualifications are (being ripped is one)

Where did you get certified?

How long have you been a Trainer?

How many clients do you have(have had)?

Have you worked with clients like me(age,gender,goals,limitations)?

Do you squat or deadlift?
Can you show me proper lifting technique for snatch, clean and jerk, power clean ,etc

okay well we need the OP, that is the person who started this thread,… … to tell us their goals.

that would be a big help. Maybe that person doesnt even have a goal and is just flailing around in the dark.

remember some of the trainers there are actually students and they are learning to be trainers.

what i asked mine was this

How long you been at this?

What you do as hobbies? (none my bussiness I know but if they are into sports or like mine is a amature female kickboxer working up to her pro card its a good sign)

Can you show me if my squats in good form? (if they say squats are not good ask why)

What you think of deadlifting(same as squat question)

and also you are a member there you are welcome in that gym it is your new second home.

feel free to go early and walk around and talk to people.
ask if they know your trainer,how are they ect but try not being a pest.

By the way, great questions from each and everyone with a response. I’ll not only consider but actually ask the personal trainer about them.

[quote]OctoberGirl wrote:
okay well we need the OP, that is the person who started this thread,… … to tell us their goals.

that would be a big help. Maybe that person doesnt even have a goal and is just flailing around in the dark.

[/quote]

My goal is basically the dual attack on muscle mass and strength, followed by getting cut/ripped. For starters, able to bench, squat, deadlift double my body weight or close to it is my immediate goal. In addition, I want to be able to strengthen my military press, increase the amount of weighted dips and weighted pull-ups. It’ll take some time for each, but it’s the first hurdle I want conquer.

Standing at around 5’9" to 5’10" (haven’t check measurements lately) I’m currently running at 200 lb plus or minus depending on time of day. Gained a few inches around the waist, but I’ll attend to that…later through cardio, diet, and abdominal training. Bottom line, bulking phase.

Three times per week, nightly (10 pm) sessions, followed by post workout shake (protein scoop in 2% milk). Thereafter, chicken plus bake potato. Meals around the clock separated by a 3 to 3.5 hour window. Protein and carbohydrates each meal. Exercise consisting of compound weights and a few isolations (weighted dips, bench [incline, decline, and/or flats], deadlifts, pull-ups, rows, squats, stiffleg deads, bulgarian squats, hamstring curls, military presses, shrugs, plus infrequent closegrip benches). No direct arm work at the moment with the exception of shoulders predominantly through military barbell press, and dumbbell presses, and rear shoulder work. Power cleans, hang cleans once in a while.

Mondays (back - deads, pull-ups, rows, etc, then chest - bench, dips)
Wednesday (legs - squats, stifflegs, etc)
Fridays (shoulders - presses, barbell, dumbbell presses)

I have decided to bypass cardio for the time being.

Recent basketball related ankle injury will stop me from squatting and deadlifting for a while, unfortunately. Hopefully it’ll take a maximum of 1 to 2 week before I’m physically in the clear. Modified exercises to attack large muscle groups.

Have also decided to look into Kettle Bell exercises. A few Turkish getup repetitions utilizing dumbbells on Fridays.

[quote]Petermus wrote:
You didnt pay $750 up front did you?
hope not :S

I think you should first see whats there qualifications are (being ripped is one)

[/quote]

Yes, $750 up front for the 24-hour membership. Having access to a personal trainer for a total four 30 minute session was listed in the contractual agreement. I may be mistaken about the total amount of time per session.

I’ve been off the wagon for some time, roaming around at 155 - 160. My 180-lb buddy had a 24 hour gym membership and wasn’t quite utilizing the service given that he lacked a training partner. Plus, he’s definitely not a religious gym rat. More of an occasional workout individual where his body likely won’t change for the better unless I actually push him. He nagged me about getting the membership. He also said I’ll never make his weight class. Fortunately I bit the bullet, got back on track for a few months, stepped on the scale, 201 lb registered and he said WTF, how the heck did that happen?

StrawberrySunday

It really does depend on what your goals are or what information you feel is important to your development.

I am a qualified Trainer, however I am recently qualified (January 2008) yet I have had a range of questions from what are your hobbies…to what do you think of this technique…to how old are you…

The important thing to remember is that we are all here to help you as the client. There is no such thing as a wrong question if you don’t know the answer.

Hope this helps.

How about asking what coaches/authors he reads, or what books or websites he’d recommend?

Get an idea if he has a range of training knowledge and not just what he learnt on his PT course. I know alot of guys who work in the industry for 1-2 yrs then do their PT course and think thats job done. It’s all about continual learning.

and like the others have said, how long has he been training ppl and what goals has he helped them achieve.

Again my 2 cents from a trainers perspective.

I can teach Deadlift, Bench, Squat up to an intermediate level

I can teach Snatch, C&J, Power Clean, Powersnatch etc + assistance oly lifts at a utilitarian level (not competitive)

I can give nutritional advice for the general population

My hobby is fucking weightlifting, all weights, all the time, getting stronger

I read Tnation, Elite FTS, Crossfit.

I trust material from John Berardi, Mark Rippetoe, CT, Wendler & EFS guys etc.

 problem is that I'm about 180 lean, 5"10 and having been lifting for about 2 years, 5 months of it being olympic lifting coached by a Canadian national coach. 300 squat, 370 deadlift, dont know bench (injury)

I want to be a PT, would you hire me?

also guys 750$ for 3 years is good deal for a gym membership, thats 250 a year, and about 21$ a month.

cheap.

If you really wanted to screen them, you could have them do answer this quiz, and then demonstrate their form and working weight for the lifts that schultzie mentioned.

[quote]What kind of questions would you ask a personal trainer?

Being a member of 24 hour fitness, I have four “free” sessions with a personal trainer. These sessions were technically paid as part of the enrollment package. $750 over three years, translate to $20.83 per month with an annual renewal price of $29.00 ($2.42 cents per month) on the four year and thereafter.

So basically what questions would you ask? (I can’t think of any at the moment, so I’m looking for some input. Thanks). [/quote]

nothing really. T-Nation has taught me just about all i need as a beginner. even if he could teach me more… i doubt i’d gain more than say… 10% faster progress

the only lifts i’d think a trainer would be helpful are the snatch and clean and jerk. they are very complicated, especialyl the clean and jerk to learn from a website. the rest… or at least what ive done so far have been learnable

[quote]lordstorm88 wrote:
What kind of questions would you ask a personal trainer?

Being a member of 24 hour fitness, I have four “free” sessions with a personal trainer. These sessions were technically paid as part of the enrollment package. $750 over three years, translate to $20.83 per month with an annual renewal price of $29.00 ($2.42 cents per month) on the four year and thereafter.

So basically what questions would you ask? (I can’t think of any at the moment, so I’m looking for some input. Thanks).

nothing really. T-Nation has taught me just about all i need as a beginner. even if he could teach me more… i doubt i’d gain more than say… 10% faster progress[/quote]

well… then a trainer isn’t for you, but I find your answer a little naive. Trainers can really assist you with your goals.

Beginners to Olympic athletes use trainers. If you don’t know how to use a trainer, than the lack is in the client.

do you have a trainer? how has he helped you in a way that T-Nation hasnt?

[quote]lordstorm88 wrote:
do you have a trainer? how has he helped you in a way that T-Nation hasnt?[/quote]

I did have a 24-Hour Fitness trainer when I first started. That was useful in learning the basics. Reading an article can TELL me what is proper form, but you need eyes to see if you are USING proper form.

I do have a trainer now and he is switching up my programs, evaluating my progress and telling me what to suck up and do, or modifying things for my goals. He just has so much more knowledge than I do and he is using it specific to my situation. I could use the Search function on here to learn what I may think would be my next move, but what if I am wrong? My trainer with his experience and knowledge knows questions I don’t even know to ask.

You do realize pro athletes use trainers? and that olympic athletes use trainers?

Sometimes you may think you know to what to ask, but you sometimes you may be wrong. If you don’t have the knowledge or experience it will make it harder to apply or even find what you are looking for.

Two heads can be better than one.

trainers are not evil leeches

you see most of these things you can easily learn on tnation with a bit of asking. thats all i really said.

as for ‘the next move’ i think again that unless you reach close to your genetic potential you dont really need a trainer, or at least its not worth the money and bother IMO.

most of the things anyway you can figure out yourself, they are pretty common sense. (for example, cant get the deadlift off the floor? train legs more, pull from a deficit etc. cant lock it out? do rack pulls, train back more etc) a trainer like i said unless you know almost nothing like i did when i first started will only make your progress a tad bit faster if even. you dont need that until you are close to your genetic potential, or you want to be really ready for a competition.

[quote]lordstorm88 wrote:
you see most of these things you can easily learn on tnation with a bit of asking. thats all i really said.

as for ‘the next move’ i think again that unless you reach close to your genetic potential you dont really need a trainer, or at least its not worth the money and bother IMO.

most of the things anyway you can figure out yourself, they are pretty common sense. (for example, cant get the deadlift off the floor? train legs more, pull from a deficit etc. cant lock it out? do rack pulls, train back more etc) a trainer like i said unless you know almost nothing like i did when i first started will only make your progress a tad bit faster if even. you dont need that until you are close to your genetic potential, or you want to be really ready for a competition.[/quote]

I understand what you are saying. I don’t share your opinion but this just shows that folks need to do what works for them and not just follow a program or advice because someone told them this is what to do.

Do what works whether it is just reading articles on here or hiring a trainer.

i think a trainer helps you get that extra rep, helps you psyche up.

trainers can watch your form from the side and say stuff like “closer to your body” or, “throw sooner” or like “chest up” just little hints to keep in form.

they can also hold your shit for you and time your sets, help load your plates etc