10 Things Your Personal Trainer Will Make You Do

If you’ve walked through a gym and seen someone having a session with a trainer, it might look like they are being put through torture for an hour or so.

Why would anyone want to do this to themselves?

And why would they pay for it??????

Well, it’s not as bad as all that, and if you’ve ever thought, “I wonder what personal trainers make you do in sessions?”, I’ll let you know exactly what in today’s article.

Sound good?

Let’s go…

You’ve heard all your friends talking about how great they feel after working with a personal trainer, but you’ve seen people in the gyms looking all sweaty, in pain, and being shouted at by a trainer who looks like they wouldn’t be out of place hazing new recruits in the marines!

If you’re interested in hiring a trainer, but what to know more about what you’re in for, read on.

Personal trainers make you…

  • Work hard
  • Exercise with good form
  • Use new equipment
  • Push yourself
  • Learn the importance of diet
  • Track your progress
  • Take accountability
  • Be realistic
  • Try new ways of exercising
  • Push through plateaus

Work hard

Personal trainers make you work hard

Oh, you’d better believe it!

A trainer isn’t going to let you sit around and chat for an hour with a few exercises thrown in for good measure. Any trainer that’s worth paying for is going to make you work your butt off.

Getting results in the gym doesn’t happen by itself, you are going to need to put the effort in, and a trainer is going to show you that by making you work harder than you ever have in your life.

It’s difficult, it may feel uncomfortable at times and it will make you a hot sweaty mess, but if that’s what it takes to get results, that’s what your trainer will do!

Exercise with good form

Exercise can be dangerous if not done correctly, lifting weights in the wrong manner can lead to muscle tears and injuries that can put you out of action for months.

Using poor form also lessens the effectiveness of the exercises you’re doing. So, you might think you’ve had a great workout and worked the muscles you wanted to, but in reality, your workout might have been garbage if your form was off.

You see people lifting with terrible form all the time in gyms, and hiring a trainer is a great way of learning how to make sure you are getting the most out of every exercise you do, “no pain, no gain” has its place, but not when it comes to exercising with good form.

Use new equipment

personal trainers make you use new equipment

Yup, I’m afraid your trainer isn’t going to let you do all your sessions using only the equipment you’re used to, you’re going to have to start using some of the kit you might even be a bit scared of.

Never even walked into a free-weights area before? This will be a fear your trainer should get you over fairly quickly as they really should be getting you in there and using the barbells and dumbbells, no matter what your goal is.

You may have never used free weights, kettlebells resistance cables before because you were scared you might get hurt or because “that’s what people who want to get muscly use”, a trainer will show you the virtues of this equipment and why it needs to be in your program.

Push yourself

Making progress and getting results hurts!

It doesn’t hurt in the way that dropping a stapler on your big toe hurts, (at least it shouldn’t), but you will feel pretty uncomfortable during the last few reps of each exercise or last few seconds of sprinting.

The thing is, the last few reps are where nearly all your progress comes from, a fitness instructor or coach knows this and teaches you to really make them count, pushing you further than you would on your own.

I’ve seen plenty of people in my time finishing a set of reps, putting the weights down, then casually talking to their friend, there is no way this workout is hard enough to get the results they are probably after, at best they are burning a few extra calories.

A trainer makes you push yourself so you know what making progress should feel like.

Learn the importance of diet

personal trainers teach the importance of diet

A good trainer will not shut up about how important your diet is to the results that you get out of your training. They’re right to do this (even if it gets super annoying to hear) because if you aren’t eating right, you’re wasting your time, plain and simple.

Your trainer wants you to get results, it’s good for their business if you do, so it’s their duty to drill it into you that those few drinks after work twice a week, the sneaky chocolate bars, or eating half a loaf of focaccia whilst you’re cooking your dinner really does add up!

I’ve had clients that have sworn blind that they have followed my guidance completely, and can’t understand why they aren’t getting positive results. I’ve seen these same clients standing outside pubs in the sunshine with pints of beer on my way home several times in a week and I can’t help but wonder who they are trying to convince, me or themselves.

Track your progress

I can understand that some people just plain don’t care and that some people are scared of tracking progress in case they aren’t making any.

I’m a geek for numbers, stats, figures, charts, you name it, so for me, tracking my progress is something I look forward to. If I see things aren’t going my way, I know that I need to make some adjustments so I can get back on track.

If you aren’t tracking and monitoring your progress, you are guessing, and in my book, there’s nothing more harmful on the road to results than guessing. Your trainer will take measurements of you once every few weeks depending on your goals and keep a note of what’s going on.

None of these fitness tests should make you feel uncomfortable, you should be excited to learn what progress you’ve made, or what needs to be done to speed things up.

Take accountability

personal trainers teach you accountability

Just because you’ve hired a trainer, doesn’t guarantee you results, in fact, it doesn’t guarantee anything at all!

The results you get from the gym are down to you entirely, if you eat poorly, you won’t get results, if you don’t train hard enough or skip out on workouts, you won’t get results.

It may seem harsh, but your trainer will teach you that you are in charge of your own results, so you need to take accountability for your own actions.

A trainer works as a teacher, they can guide you, they can demonstrate, and they can push you during your sessions, but they can’t be with you 24 hours a day. Just like a teacher won’t do your homework for you, a trainer won’t work out for you.

Be realistic

You need to lose three stone for your friend’s wedding in the middle of August, It’s the 1st of June, that should be doable right?

No way, not even a chance. Forget what you’ve read in celebrity gossip magazines about celebrities making massive body transformations in a few weeks, realistically, it’s going to take you much longer.

Your trainer will teach you that there’s no point in stepping on the scales every day hoping to see it constantly going in the right direction because it won’t, it may even go up sometimes.

You will reach your goals if you put the effort in, there’s no doubt about that, but you need to be patient and take your time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your perfect body.

Try new ways of exercising

personal trainers teach you to exercise in new ways

There are perceptions of certain styles of training that really shouldn’t still be floating around in this day and age, and one of them is training with weights.

A lot of the female population is scared of training with weights because they are worried about looking like female bodybuilders. That’s something that frustrated me for many years as a trainer, but I did manage to show my clients it wasn’t the case at all.

If you trust your trainer, let them show you that training with weights (and not those silly 1kg pink ones), is the fastest way to reaching your goals. Don’t be scared of anything they show you, they are the experts, so use their knowledge to experience a whole variety of exercises and training styles.

Push through plateaus

Plateaus suck soooo bad!

I’ve been through a good few of them in my time, when losing fat and when trying to gain weight, and they are really frustrating, but, they can be broken through!

I’ve seen the frustration in my clients’ eyes when they have been giving me everything they’ve got, listening to everything I say, eating correctly, and working their ass off, only to find out that they have hit a brick wall in the progress they were making.

It’s frustrating and a lot of people get seriously demoralized by it to the point that they want to quit altogether.

A trainer will teach you that this is completely normal and happens to everyone, it just means that your body has become accustomed to your current regime, and things just need to be mixed up a bit for a while to carry on getting the results you’re after.

It’s not a big deal, it’s totally cool and there’s no reason to give up, a trainer will know how to help you push through your plateaus because they’ve seen it happen tons of times before.


Hiring a personal trainer isn’t a scary process, they can’t really “make” you do anything, all they want to do is teach you the fastest and most efficient way of you reaching your goals.

It’s totally understandable that people are nervous about hiring a trainer, I get it, but there’s nothing to be nervous about whatsoever.

If you still find yourself nervous about giving it a go, I think you should give it a chance, just for a few sessions so you can get the general idea of what training’s like. They won’t make you do anything you don’t want to if something’s too difficult, they’ll make it easier, and if you really don’t like doing something, they will let you do something else, personal trainers really aren’t scary.

Go get ’em!

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Chris Walker

Chris Walker worked in the City of London as a fully qualified REP's level three personal trainer for just under ten years. He built and maintained a client base of 40 individuals and worked with several high profile clients, including actors, actresses, comedians and politicians.

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