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how to choose a good PT?(10 Posts)
I started Body Pump a few months ago and have loved it and it has spurred me on to have a go at using the free weights in the gym. However I have no idea what to do and need to get some sessions with one of the trainers at the gym. Apart from asking for someone that knows what they're doing re weights, is there anything else I should ask or look for? I use a Fitness First gym in central London.
First and foremost make sure they are a member of reps. That means they are properly trained as a pt and have insurance. Anyone can set themselves up as one with no training or insurance and say they are a pt.
If they are, it's about finding someone who you get on with and who can show you what you want to do. Pts all have their own interests and specialities. It's okay to try a session with a couple and see who you click with and get most from.
Weights are great, have fun with them.
Any trained and certified pt can teach you to use free weights.
Just find one that you feel you can talk to, and who listens to you.
And be very clear about what you want. Tell them that you want to be taught to lift weights. Emphasise that you don't want to use the machines, and that you want the basic skills to grow with in the future.
Ideally, you should be reading about weight lifting on your own so that you can ask more and more informed questions.
Don't fitness first have in-house gym advisers just to give you a first run through?
have you seen any of the PTs in action? can you ask other members for recommendations? there are only two PTs in my gym but I started training with the one who I saw had made a huge improvement in his clients. we also get on well which I think helps. Can you ask for their credentials and have a chat? most PTs will let you do a trial session first, see who you like. and yes, be very clear you want to start lifting heavy things, none of this being fobbed off with the machines.
Thanks everyone. I've spoken to 2 of the PTs at the gym and both have told me I should start with the machines first to build up some strength before trying free weights. From the bit of research I've done, this doesn't seem necessary so I'm back to square one trying to find a PT at the gym that will show me how to use the free weights properly. I asked a few people using the free weights whether they could recommend someone and they all said they hadn't used one. No women in the free weights section either but a few using the machines so now I'm questioning myself and thinking the 2 PTs I've spoken to are right. I'm going to go back in tomorrow to see if I can speak to more PTs on the floor.
I'm a qualified PT myself - and I know gyms are saturated with ones that talk the talk but may not necessarily walk the walk!
One of the important things is a good rapport, so make sure you feel comfortable in their presence
I'm a massive advocate of women lifting weights - so much so I ran a 6 week technique based lifting course for ladies at my gym!
I don't think you necessarily need to use machines to build up strength, perhaps if you've had an injury and its rehabilitation maybe.
Take the squat for example, not really any machines to replicate it in general fitness facilities. As long as you start free weights with someone competent, know the teaching points to the correct form, and start slow and light I think you'll be fine
Alternatively any PT can do a programme card for you, but form when using free weights is critical. Do ask for taster sessions though!
Always check out their social media and or website - see if you can verify any of their reviews
best of luck
As a tip for choosing a PT, any good one should be able to answer the question 'why am I doing this?' when they give you ANY exercise/stretch/workout
There's no reason you have to start with machines before free weights! (unless you are rehabilitating an injury or something, as Laura mentioned). I have a feeling the PTs wouldn't have told a man to start with machines if he explictily asked for free weights.
If you're in London, you might be interested in Strength Ambassadors. They run women-only weights classes every week. They have free taster sessions too so you can try it out. I've not used them but my friend did and LOVED it.
A PT who knows what they're doing, takes the time to understand your body, mindset and goals, and who you get along with is invaluable! Not always easy to find in (what I refer to as) mass gyms (like Pure, FF etc) but if those gyms are most convenient for you then ask around for recommendations. If you see someone training with a PT who seems good, approach them after the session. Ask at reception for recommendations based on your preferences. A lot of PTs will also give you a free trial session if you ask nicely and if they know that you are genuinely looking for regular sessions.
If you have more flexibility on location and want to take weights seriously, but don't need all the 'health-club type extras' like tons of cardio equipment or studio classes, I would consider going to a gym that specialises in body building and weightlifting, like Golds (don't know what it's like now, but used to be a Mecca of sorts for weightlifters and body builders), Physique, Beefs etc. They'll have PTs who help people prepare for competitions and are absolutely geared up for helping beginners and experienced lifters alike.
I'm a huge advocate of women & weights, even in pregnancy (tho you do either need to know what you're doing or work with someone who does, for safety clearly!). I train with weights (and a PT) 3 times a week, but I did scour 4 different gyms and speak to about 6 PTs before deciding that my gym and PT were the best fit for me.
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