key things to consider when joining a Gym/Personal trainer

key things to consider when joining a Gym/Personal trainer


So that was a pretty quick month.For most of you January can be a month where you shoot for some new goals.90 % of these goals always tend to be health and fitness related.

It could be going down the dry January route,signing up to your local gym,loose weight,improve your fitness or even to entering big challenges like the Dublin marathon.

However,believe it or not at least 50% of this crowd will fall off the wagon and go back to old ways within 4-6 weeks.There are many reasons behind this.

But this first just made me laugh

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One of the major reasons I feel this is the case is because you went down the wrong avenue.You choose the wrong gym,perhaps fell for the so called cheaper option,had little to no guidance on your fitness journey,became bored and eventually turned your gym trip into a chore.

As a lot of you know I’m not the biggest fan of most commercial chain gyms. I’ve worked in them for years and I see how some of them operate. Don’t get me wrong I’m not painting them all with the same brush but the majority are all the same.You are just another number in there a place where your not going to be held accountable and perhaps a place where you end up just going to every now and then with little to no knowledge that what your actually doing is really not what is needed for your particular goal.

Perhaps you’ve had that experience withing the last 4 weeks and you have already found yourself bored and lost with your current gym routine.You want to push your training onwards on upwards for 2016 but your not too sure who to listen to.

Ireland is now full of personal training gyms,small gyms,boxes,clubs,studios,training academy’s,Fit clubs and so on,some quite large,some small,some are kitted out with the best of facilities and best of gym equipment yet some are hidden away deep into industrial estates with little to no equipment.

Choose your training venue wisely. Don’t just fall into the trap assuming they are good just because they are affiliated with a certain franchise with all the fancy trappings.All the saunas,Jacuzzis, flashy spin bikes,treadmills with built in Tvs may not be the best option for when it comes to your goal of looking and feeling better. 

Lets look at the famous brand CrossFit for example,There are now 60+ boxes (thats gym in crossfit terminology and theres a hell of a lot of terms in this community) in Ireland,Some are great and some not so great.Every gym is different.Just like there are good and bad restaurants,mechanics,physios there are also a lot of good and bad gyms out there.I have worked in a variety of different gyms and have had the experience of visiting 100s worldwide from Golds gym,Reebok HQ fifth ave,CF Barcelona,Total Fitness,Peak 360 Miami and plenty of others.

I hope these tips help you out on deciding where to train.

  1.  Owners/Coaching Staff.

The leader and role model of the facility.Most facilities are not cheap,they can run from 50eur per month all the way to 250eur per month.Personal training or semi private sessions can vary between 15-80 euro per session.You really should get what you pay for.

The owner/coach should drive the culture of the gym.They should show passion about what they do,be professional on all levels,bring excitement and energy to the session,motivate clients when days are low,know each and every one of their clients goals and ensure that goal is achieved.Having said that a good trainer will always give his pint of blood yet its always a 50/50 split with them and the client,the client must return the work too.

A good coach in my opinion is a coach that has been immersed in the industry all his life,earned his trade and has been there done that,someone who lives for health and fitness,trains daily,eats right and leads from the top

The best coaches out there and there is plenty of them in this country are people you can smell passion from,that are always making themselves better,striving to make their clients better,educating themselves,reading books,attending seminars,reaching out to other coaches for mentoring advice,researching new ideas,take technique serious at their gym and ensure standards for the movements being demonstrated are at the highest order,They will ensure your safety at all times and not just the “safe enough” approach.They are people who should tell you how it is,talk to you when your moving well and even help you out when your movement wasn’t  good.They keep you accountable overall.

I am pretty damn lucky to be a apart of this circle of coaches below.We push each other daily,learn from each other and bounce different ideas of one another.I remember back in the day my mentor said to me the best way to weigh up a trainer is ask yourself “Would you let that trainer train your mother?”Any of these guys and 2 great girls Siobhan and Sara below would pass this test with flying colours for sure

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  2.Programming & Coaching

Different people have different goals.Some of us want to perform better and bring their fitness to a competitive level yet some people train to look,move and feel better for health reasons.

Programming for me is vital.In my experience a gym program that features a solid foundation beginner program,mobility work,strength work and constant stimulus variation of conditioning workouts is a good sign to start off with.

Mobility work needs to be addressed,should be personal as different people have different weaknesses,strength training should be all done under % format so its relative to that persons base, and as for the conditioning there needs to be a reason behind the workout and it’s not just a load of fancy movements thrown together hoping its going to make people sweat and let them feel they have done a workout.

You should start to notice from the paragraph above that your program should be catered to YOUR GOAL,your body,your training age,your strengths,your weaknesses,YOU!!!

I scratch my head when I see people doing movements and exercises they shouldn’t be doing and I’ve wrote about that HERE 

Don’t be afraid to ask your coach about the reason behind doing your latest few training sessions.

To wrap things up here ,anybody can really make you sweat and do a shit show of a workout but its the smart and top trainers that have a method and reason to the madness and who will get the results with the clients work.

Just don’t fall for this crap below.

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It’s the little things for me too that make a good facility/trainer stand out.Are the owners/coaches constantly putting money back into the business?Perhaps they need to buy new women’s bars/heavier kettlebells or even the broken skipping ropes in the corner?,are they recognizing that classes are starting to look overcrowded?Is that safe?

Having said that about equipment,never fall for the trick of thinking just because they have the best of equipment on offer means they are a great gym.Some of the best coaches in the world operate out of simple set ups like this just below.Remember at the end of the day your really paying for the service working on your goal provided by that facility/trainer.

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Community in a gym is important too.Its nice to be apart of a gym that has built up a good community and a place where you don’t feel intimidated walking in.It should be a place that you enjoy going and perhaps the best part of your day for some of you.Its a place where you mean something and should be held accountable.I guess thats the one of the biggest things I hear from my clients.They know I have spent a lot of time working on their program plus they don’t want to let the others down in the small group sessions that are really attending so they can motivate and push one another

Over promising and under delivering is a very nice trait to have in a person.I first picked this up from my mentor Dominic.He just keeps helping others.Whether its giving gifts to his clients or even spending so much time with all the guys in our #wayofdom trainers group (Thats the pic of trainers that you seen above).Small simple things is always nice to give to people.It could be something small to clients like a homemade protein bar.It really does go a long way.

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Don’t just fall into the trap of signing into a place just because they are under a brand,seem to have the lowest price,best of equipment,have a huge presence on social media.

Try a few different gyms before deciding where you want to train. Find a coach who is particular about technique,has a good pedigree and has put in the work and has a proven track record of getting results ,has a focus on strengthening you and an obvious passion and commitment to health,fitness,well being and their own clients. Look at their programming and learn what it all means. Ask questions.

Hope you have enjoyed this piece and if you want to start your journey with me from tomorrow then just call me now on 086-1927014

Thanks for reading



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