When you first start working with a personal trainer, it’s common to be worried about how long you should train with them. This is because you might assume that you need to commit for the long haul in order to see results. But this is not true!
In fact, it can take as little as four weeks of consistent training with your trainer before you begin seeing changes.
The Initial 4 Weeks
Here are some tips on what will happen during those 4 weeks:
- Your body composition will change (less fat and more muscle), which leads to weight loss
- The number on the scale will go down
- Your clothes size may go down or stay the same
- You’ll have more energy and feel better overall
So, why the 4 weeks? Why not 2 or 8? The answer is personal trainers focus on getting you to your goals.
While the experience can be life-changing, personal trainers are not there for a lifetime relationship. Most personal training relationships end after 12 weeks or long enough for the client to feel like they can go out and continue on their own.
So what do personal trainers actually do during those first four weeks? During these first 4 weeks, personal trainers focus on developing your workout and nutrition plan. It’s a process that begins with the assessment.
Your trainer starts by learning more about who you are as an individual, including your health history, food likes/dislikes, exercise habits, personal goals, and injuries.
After that information is gathered, personal trainers will start developing a personal training program for you. This is when your trainer determines how many days per week and what times of the day they are available to work with you.
Personal trainers start by showing you the proper form/technique for each exercise during your sessions.
Then, they help motivate you to push yourself during the personal training sessions to make sure you will continue to see results even when your trainer is not with you.
All of this information is good, but what about the most important question – how long should I train with a personal trainer?
How Long Until I See Results?
When you begin training with a personal trainer, the changes occurring in your body are not easy to see.
The best way people can determine if they’ve lost fat/muscle or gained muscle is by measuring their body composition using one of three methods:
- Skinfold measurements
- Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) or
- Hydrostatic weighing.
Personal trainers have access to these tools, but most people do not. So, the best way for you to determine how long until I see results is by tracking your body measurements and noticing changes in your clothing size.
Typically, it takes about four weeks before personal trainers can notice a difference in their clients’ bodies. However, everyone’s body changes at a different pace, so you may see results as quickly as two weeks, or it could take eight weeks.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Take your measurements (waist, hips, chest, and thighs) once a week starting on day 1 of your training sessions.
- Track the number on the scale (it may fluctuate a lot during this time).
- Wear clothes that are one or two sizes smaller than your typical clothing size to compare how they fit.
- Enjoy the journey and celebrate every little victory by taking pictures.
Don’t worry if you don’t see results right away. There will be changes occurring whether or not you can see them. After all, muscles don’t pop out after a few days of training, and fat doesn’t melt away from only one workout.
It takes time for your body to change, and it’s important to be patient, so you can continue to see results over the long haul. It’s a process that everyone experiences differently, and the key is consistency.
How Often You Should Train
You should aim to work out at least 2-3 days a week to get the most out of your personal training experience. Of course, some people can work out every day and make progress while others need to rest more and only exercise two or three times per week, which is perfectly fine.
The best way for you to determine how often you should train with a personal trainer?
Ask yourself the following questions:
- How many hours per day can you dedicate to exercise? If your answer is one or two hours, the best way to make sure you are making progress is by working out at least twice per week. That way, you can take one day of rest each week.
- Do you enjoy exercise? If your answer is that you enjoy exercise or working out, then the number of times per week to train is up to you (as long as it doesn’t negatively impact other aspects of your life).
- Is it difficult for you to stick with a training program? If your answer is yes, then you’re going to want to build a strong habit that will last long after you’re finished working out with your trainer.
Related: Why Am I Not Losing Weight? Part 1
What Are Your Goals?
If you are looking to work out a few days a week and maintain the shape you’re in, twice per week is fine. However, if you want to lose weight and/or get toned muscles, it’s recommended to exercise 4-5 times per week.
Each workout should be 45 minutes or longer, where you’re focusing on different parts of your body. For example, you could have a lower body day, an upper-body day, and a core/cardio (or “abs”) day.
It’s important to note that your trainer will recommend exactly how many sessions per week based on your goal.
The most important thing is to work out consistently because the more often you train, the sooner you’ll start seeing results!
The best way people can determine if they’ve lost fat/muscle or gained muscle is by measuring their body composition using one of three methods: skinfold measurements, bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), or hydrostatic weighing. Personal trainers have access to these tools, but most people do not.
Typically, it takes about four weeks before personal trainers can notice a difference in their clients’ bodies. However, everyone’s body changes at a different pace, so you may see changes sooner, or you may have to wait a little longer.
One of the typical ways women can tell if they’ve lost fat is if their clothes fit differently. If you see the changes in your body, it’s reasonable to assume that you are losing fat and gaining muscle.