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1. Ditch the chitchat. Although a little back and forth builds rapport and keeps things lively, a constant stream of small talk can be detrimental — particularly when you’re both distracted from your efforts, timing, and form.

2. Show up on time. Every minute you’re late chips away at the time you scheduled for fitness and can totally throw off your trainer’s workout plan. Many trainers like clients to arrive early for a proper warm-up before the session starts.

3. Respect the stopwatch. There’s a reason your trainer is specifying 30- or 60-second breaks between sets and asking you to hold the intensity of cardio intervals for specific durations. Adhere to that timing, and you’ll see far better results.

4. Clean up your eating. Not all trainers have nutritional training, but many can point you to resources for improving your diet. Switching to more whole, natural foods can also make a significant difference in how you feel and perform.

5. Don’t fib. Your trainer will have a hard time managing your program and results if you claim to be exercising more or eating better than you really are. Be candid about what you’re willing to do — then let your trainer be frank about the results you can expect.

6. Be a “yes” person. Many trainers have an aversion to the phrase “I can’t do that.” Have an injury? Say, “I have an injury” — and let your trainer adjust accordingly. But be open to trying new things, even if they don’t come easily at first.

7. Trust your trainer. It’s OK to ask questions about why you’re doing certain exercises, but interrupting and arguing can waste time and undermine the dynamic of your relationship, causing frustration for you both.

8. Get your z’s. Your fitness recovery and progress hinge on adequate sleep. And so does your available energy for workouts. Showing up exhausted drastically limits the potential of your sessions.

9. Speak Up. Personal trainers can be intuitive, but they’re not mind readers. Tell them how your body feels, and how your motivation is faring, so they can tweak your regimen based on your feedback.

10. Put your heart into it. If you really want to get healthier and fitter, bring that attitude to your training sessions — and to your willingness to change your life. Enthusiasm breeds success.

This article originally appeared as part of “How to Get the Most From Your Personal Trainer” in the May 2016 issue of Experience Life. To order a back issue, call 800-897-4056 (press option 3 when prompted). To get all the articles from each issue of Experience Life, subscribe online at

Photography by: Bob McNamara

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