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Saturday 10 October 2009

Choosing your ideal personal trainer

Posted in: Features, Living Well
By Julz Darroch - 7th November 2008

"Your trainer should have some fitness qualifications; it's always helpful if they know vaguely what they are doing"
So you've decided to bring in the big guns? Decided to forget motivating yourself gently to exercise and want someone to less gently assist you on your way to fitness nirvana?

It's a jungle out there, but here are some tips to get you on the right track.

Your trainer should have some fitness qualifications; it's always helpful if they know vaguely what they are doing.

I don't want to generalize but I think it's fair to say most folks working in fitness weren't tossing up between either exercise or brain surgery at 6th Form career day so don't expect your trainer to have a doctorate in ass lifting, just a basic qualification will do.

Your trainer is not your friend - you need someone you are just a wee bit intimidated by. You are paying them to make you do things you don't want to do and that hurt so when they say 20 more decline crunches you say 'yes sir' rather than just suggesting a coffee instead!

After a gay trainer? It's not something that many trainers put on their business cards so you are probably going to have to rely on the old fashioned way of finding out- trust me on this one, the gyms are full of us!!

Hot Trainer Alert!

It can't do much harm to have an aesthetically pleasing trainer; it is certainly easier to get out of bed early in the morning when you have something more than pushups to look forward to. However, if you are going to spend your whole session as an excuse to perv then porn is whole lot cheaper (and gets your heart rate up just as much)

There are a few things you should tell your trainer so they can look after you properly:

What type of exercises you enjoy (or not)

The whole reason people choose to be trainers is that they loooove exercise and want to share the joy of working out so hard that you puke with the rest of the world. Best be honest if that's not your thing.

Any injuries or illnesses you have

Some illnesses will alter what your body should and shouldn't do. If you have injuries then if your trainer knows they can work to help fix them.

If you are taking medications then you should fess up. If you are squeamish about sharing that sort of info with your trainer then it's time to find another trainer that you can trust a bit more.

What results you want and how much effort are you willing to put in

Just asking for "a fabulous body" is not enough. Think of a few hot famous people with body parts you admire. It's not like ordering a pizza BUT knowing what image you aspire to will help your trainer to know what motivates you. If you know you are short on time then don't pretend you are going to be working out every day.

Exercise lingo is another language! Lucky for you I speak gym bunny as well as my two main languages of English and Lesbian so I've translated a few common phrases for you:

"Specialises in sports specific training" really means "would rather be training the All Blacks but you'll do in the meantime".

"I'll turn you into a lean mean fat burning machine" actually means "my George Foreman grill has broken so for today's session I'm going to fry eggs on your stomach".

"No pain, no gain" means "the amount I'm charging you will hurt but I have to pay for my tanning sessions somehow."



Julz Darroch is a Wellington-based Personal Trainer and Fitness Educator who uses her 15 years experience in the fitness industry as an excuse to regularly torture Steve Gray and the Good Morning team live on TVOne each Tuesday. There's more fitness advice from Julz on the links below. Send your fitness-related questions and personal training enquiries to .

Julz Darroch - 7th November 2008

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