#360fit: Five things your PT should be doing for you before you start training

James Eaton 08:38 09/02/2016
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Personal trainers are suitable for beginners and experts.

So it’s the time of year where everyone can look back at the last 31 days and see how their new year’s resolutions have gone. For most the attempt to achieve dry January, hit the gym 3 times a week or cut carbs after lunch has failed.

So you decide self-motivation just isn’t enough and make the decision to hire a Personal Trainer. Once you’ve chosen a personal trainer how do you know they’re any good? PTs vary widely, I would argue it’s one of the most diverse, in terms of standards, than many other professions. So what should your PT be doing with you before you start? Before you have even touched a weight or dropped down and given 20 your PT must first and foremost, perform a needs analysis.

1. Firstly, this comes in the form of filling in a PAR-Q form, which is information about your general health, previous injuries and lifestyle questions. Just having a verbal chat really isn’t enough. This is the person that is going to be getting your body to do things it wouldn’t normally do, to get you out of your comfort zone. They can’t do this effectively – or safely – unless they know about your background.

2. Next up is the Static assessment, this should include a blood pressure reading and is the most vital part of your appointment for both the PT and yourself. If your blood pressure is too high (140/90) then you, the client, are putting yourself at risk of any heart related issues whilst exercising. If this is the case its best recommended seeing the Doctor and checking the ticker is in good shape. Other things this includes will be, weight, height, BMI, body fat %, muscle mass and circumference measurements like a waist to hip ratio.

3. Goal setting takes up the next part. Most clients tend to, when they come for their first appointment, be pretty vague in their own goal aspirations, ‘I want lose weight and tone up’ is a classic example of this. It’s your PT’s job is to get smart. Literally. Smart meaning: Specific. Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed. A 10% Body fat reduction over the next 3-4 months is a bit more like the goals your PT should be setting.

4. Some kind of movement screening is also where your PT can help with attaining a few smart goals. Depending on your PTs experience and knowledge, movement screening will come in lots of different forms and at Talise Fitness we use the Overhead Squat assessment. This test will help your PT understand whether there are a few areas of tightness or weakness in the body and can help form part of any exercise program and smart goal. Put it this way if you sit at a desk for 9 hours a day and can’t raise both your arms behind your head whilst in a deep squat position the last thing you need is shoulder shrugs and chest flies.

5. Finally the fitness or dynamic assessment is the final piece of the needs analysis puzzle. This again depends largely on both the PTs knowledge and the client’s goal, but there should be some type of fitness test performed as a performance indicator for the weeks and months ahead. A VO2 Max test for someone who wants to improve their 10km time would be a good example.

There are lots of PTs out there – if you haven’t had the above done with your current PT ask why and if you are thinking about getting one take note of the above as at the end of the day it’s your money and more importantly, your health that is at stake.

TaliseFitness can help you achieve your fitness goals. Join one of their clubs at Emirates Towers, Madinat Jumeirah or Jumeirah Beach Hotel. For more info, visit TaliseFitness.com

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