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Frequency of Fitness Coaching Sessions

29 Mar 2008

If you’ve decided to work with a trainer, you then need to determine how often you will work with your coach. Consider three concerns as you decide how often to meet with your trainer: your goals, specific health issues, and personality.

If your goal is to get in shape, lose weight, or gain muscle mass in the most efficient and least amount of time, consider working with a trainer at least two or three times a week. If there is a specific deadline for you to meet any of your goals, schedule a couple weekly appointments for at least the first few weeks. Your coach will make sure you get the right intensity and variety with your workout to maximize your results in the little time you have-better than if you were going it alone most days of the week. If you don’t have a pressing deadline for meeting your goals, but would like to still meet with your trainer regularly to update your program or workout routine, scheduling an appointment anywhere from once a week to once a month may work best for you. Meeting with your fitness coach just once every few weeks will still help provide the accountability for working out regularly and the variety you need to avoid plateaus and boredom.

Exercisers with specific health concerns should consider working with a trainer at least twice a week depending on the severity of symptoms. If you’re recovering from an injury and you went through a complete rehabilitative treatment for the affected joint or muscle, once a week with a trainer may be enough to make sure you are doing the right exercises with the correct form and hold you accountable to continue strengthening your injury to complete recovery for everyday functional use. However, if you have any chronic joint or muscle pain, a couple short (30-minute) sessions with a qualified fitness professional will be best for you. The ongoing support and instruction will be especially helpful if you have a chronic condition of any kind-your coach can provide consistent encouragement and modify an exercise depending on the severity of your symptoms on a specific day. There are many other special health concerns and issues that will affect how often you work with your fitness specialist. Feel free to e-mail me or post a comment if you have a specific health issue I didn’t cover and would like to know what to expect in terms of fitness and exercise guidance.

Lastly, your personality will also dictate your frequency of working with a trainer. If you are someone who can hold yourself accountable, don’t have any chronic health conditions, and basically need the guidance of a structured exercise program, meeting once every few weeks with your coach may be enough for you. You’ll have the benefit of checking in with your trainer and making the necessary changes to your routine. If, however, you know you need someone to make sure you exercise regularly or have very little motivation to work out on your own, consider working with a trainer at least three times a week.

Remember, even though most people think of private training when they think of working with a fitness specialist, keep in mind the pros and cons of all training settings: group, partner, and individual. If you plan to work with a trainer any more than two or three times a week, consider a combination of all three offerings. Mixing it up will be easier on your budget and provide more support as you can commiserate and interact with other fellow exercisers having similar goals.

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