6 Questions to Ask a Fitness Trainer

one trainer and three gym-goers in a Planet Fitness gym
Meeting with a trainer can be very useful for those who are new to the gym and looking to build a routine. Here's what should you ask a fitness trainer.

You just walked into your new gym for the first time; you feel victorious for having showed up, and look around with excitement and curiosity. Now what? There are countless machines and weights to choose from, and you don't know which to try first. You're not alone — this is good question to ask a fitness trainer, who can help you get familiar with all the gym has to offer!

If you're new to the gym (or simply want to refresh your routine) meeting with a trainer can be very useful. Fitness trainers can show you around the gym, provide instruction on how to use various machines safely and help you design an exercise program that suits your needs. Afraid you can't afford a trainer? At Planet Fitness, members can meet with a trainer at no cost, in small group settings, as often as they'd like.

Not sure what else to ask a fitness trainer? We've got you covered. Here are some questions you can prepare — and prepare to be asked — when meeting with a trainer.

What to Ask a Fitness Trainer

In order to make the most of your time with a trainer, you can inquire about the following six things:

1. Am I Performing This Exercise Correctly?

Exercise technique is the most important thing when it comes to your safety in the gym. It's much easier to spend time learning an exercise correctly than it is to unlearn faulty patterns later.

2. How Do I Brace My Core?

Tightening your core helps to protect your spine — not just in the gym but also in everyday life. Learning how to do so can help you avoid injuries from all types of activities.

3. How Long Should I Rest For?

Ensuring that you're resting for the right amount of time during your workout and between sessions is super important for optimal health. Neglecting to rest (or resting too long) can affect your ability to reach your goals.

4. What Should I Be Eating?

Nutrition is crucial in helping you reach your goals. Adjusting your diet to support your training, if necessary, can have a huge impact on results.

5. How Often Should I Workout?

The answer to this question really depends on your personal preferences and lifestyle. Light cardio exercises such as walking and swimming can be performed every day. For activities requiring more exertion and a higher intensity, your trainer may suggest one or two rest days per week.

6. Can You Show Me How to Stretch Properly?

Different workouts require different warm-ups and cool-downs, as does each individual. Stretching "dynamically" before your workout and "statically" after your workout is important — ask your trainer to show you how to perform each type correctly.

What You Should Expect Your Fitness Trainer to Ask You

In order to provide safe, effective and personal fitness advice, your fitness trainer may ask you the following three questions:

1. What's Your General Health and Medical History?

Some health conditions require specific training protocols. It's important to communicate honestly with trainers about any medical conditions, physical injuries or recent surgeries they should be aware of. You should also provide insight into your exercise experience and skill level.

2. What Are Your Aims and Goals?

This is the information your training program will likely be based on. Depending on how specific your goals are, your trainer may customize a workout regimen to help maximize and measure your progress — it's important not to rely on scales alone.

3. What Are Your Nutritional/Lifestyle Habits?

When it comes to reaching health and fitness goals, nutrition is just as important as exercise. Additionally, things like whether you smoke, how much alcohol you drink, how active you are outside of the gym and other important factors (like stress levels and sleeping patterns) will matter to your trainer as they design the right gym routine for you.

Remember, trainers are not there to judge you, they are there to help! Communicate honestly with your trainer and try your best to follow their guidance — doing so can help you maximize the effectiveness of your time at the gym.

As always, please consult with a physician prior to beginning any exercise program. See full medical disclaimer here.