Top 15 Things a Trainer Should Ask You Before Creating Your Fitness Plan

The temps have been up in the Chicago area but the sun has been down. Multiple days in a row with little to no sun can send me into a bit of a funk. Nothing extreme, but enough to know that even though the temp is projected to drop 10 degrees tomorrow, the prospect of seeing the sun wins over 40 degree temps.

This got me thinking…why on Earth am I letting the lack of sunshine affect my mood. I know what picks me up so I got up and did it – for me I practiced TurboKick and all the while was thankful that I’m now working hard to learn new things that I love, rather than working hard to manage projects that deep in my heart really didn’t interest me.

But another VERY important thing occurred to me…if you aren’t one who likes to exercise, when you are stressed, or in a funk exercise sounds like the most absurd thing to relieve your bad feelings.

The thing is, when we don’t feel well, whether it’s because of stress, anger, disappointment, etc. the thing we want most is to feel good again. But what makes us each feel ‘good’ again is unique to each of us.

For some it’s prayer or good conversation, for others it’s a drink or some chocolate, for others it’s putting your face in a pillow and screaming or taking deep breaths. The point is each of us are unique, and find comfort or coping, if you will, in different ways to relieve the feelings dragging us down.


Trainers need to be enlightened on your specific needs before they can create a plan.

BING!!! LIGHT BULB!!! In all my years of being a personal trainer and even a group fitness instructor I’ve spent a great deal of time learning about my clients habits, preferences and temptations, but I don’t specifically ask, ‘What is your “GOTO” when you feel bad? What do you do when your willpower is at it’s lowest and when exercise is about the last thing you can imagine will relieve stress?’

As a trainer, if I am going to support someone during the tough times, I have to know the signs to recognize when they are there, but also know how to build them up so they keep going.

All of this got me thinking that if you’ve never worked with a personal trainer before you might not know what to expect. Here are some questions that every good trainer should ask you before putting you through a workout if they are promising you an individualized plan.

Top 15 Questions Your Trainer Should Ask Before Creating Your Fitness Plan

  • Why do you want to work with a trainer?
  • What are your expectations of our time together?
  • What types of GOALS would you like to achieve?
  • How many days a week will you workout out while not with me?
  • What equipment do you have available to you?
  • Do you want strictly home workouts or will you go to the gym?
  • What things do you like to do?
  • What things do you not like to do?
  • What things intimidate you?
  • Do you have any health concerns or injuries that need to be considered?
  • What time of the day is best for you to exercise?
  • Who do you know that is supportive of your efforts to achieve greater health?
  • Who do you know that may be a roadblock or tempt you from straying from your goals?
  • Do you use any technology to track your activity and nutrition?
  • How do you prefer to communicate (email, text, phone calls)?

I talk all the time about creating personalized plans – and I wholeheartedly believe that is the only way to succeed. But in order to do that, I need to know more about you as a person – you are not a one size fits all solution sold in a book off the shelf. You are a unique person with individualized needs and deserve a personalized plan that will enable you to make the changes you want to achieve.

Be sure your trainer is committed to YOU as a person and invests in YOUR goals. If you are interested in talking to me more about your goals and are unsure if working with a personal trainer is right for you, drop me a line, I’d be happy to answer any questions you have. If you are going to work with a trainer I would hope it would be me, but more importantly, I want you to work with the trainer that is the right fit for your needs.

Tomorrow I’ll write more about the questions you should ask every trainer before working with them.

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