If you’re dedicated to getting in excellent shape, hiring a personal trainer is a great idea. However, before you start scheduling sessions, you may be wondering how often you should meet with your trainer. How often is too often? How often is too infrequent?

The answers to these questions really depend on what your goals for your workouts are. After all, a person training for a marathon and a person who is trying to get to a healthier weight are both trying for very different things. Here are some guidelines for how often you should see your personal trainer based on your specific situation:

You’re Working Out for the First Time

Have you had a good workout since you took your last high school gym class? If not, then you may not know where to start. There are many exercise guides out there, but they often include workouts that have the potential to injure you. Even if they only list safe and effective workouts, you can get hurt if you don’t do the exercises with the proper form.

If you’ve never worked out before or it’s been a long time since you last did, you’ll want to meet with your trainer 2-3 times a week. They’ll help you develop a workout routine designed that will get you closer to meeting your specific goals, and they’ll help you do the exercises with the proper form so that you don’t injure yourself.

After a couple of months, you may begin to feel more confident in your abilities. At that point, you can reduce your personal training sessions to once a week.

You’ve Stopped Seeing Results

If you know good form and good exercises but seem to have stopped progressing towards your goals, it’s a good idea to see a personal trainer. Some exercises can only get you so far towards your fitness goals; other times, you simply need to mix up your routine a bit. A personal trainer can help you revise your current workout routine or devise a new one so that you start seeing improvement again.

To get established in your new routine, it’s a good idea to see your fitness trainer 1-2 times a week for at least six weeks.

You’re an Athlete

If you play sports, you should be building your strength and endurance even while you’re not practicing. To do so, you should be working out regularly.

Whether you’re in your off-season or not, you’ll likely want to see your personal trainer once a week. They’ll help you keep moving continuously towards your fitness goals without getting injured and becoming incapable of playing your sport.

You’re Training for a Marathon

If you’re planning to participate in a marathon, triathlon, or another long event, a personal trainer can be invaluable. They’ll help you determine your limits and reach your goals. How often you should see your personal trainer leading up to the event really depends on what the event is. The more extreme the event, the more sessions you should have in a week. You can ask your trainer what they recommend based on your event and current fitness level.

If you’re looking for an experienced personal trainer to help you create or improve your workout routine, visit Texas FITT. They have several certified personal trainers who are experts at helping people meet their fitness goals. Contact them today to learn more about their trainers and state-of-the-art facilities.

Are you ready to take your workout results to the next level? Great! One important piece of advice that your personal trainer will give you is that what you eat before and after your workout can make a huge difference in how much benefit you gain from your workout. Here are some ideas of what foods will get you the most benefit from your workout:

What to Eat Before Your Workout

You need to have some fuel in your body to give you energy during your workout, so don’t start a workout on a totally empty stomach. By having something to eat beforehand, you will actually burn more calories while you work out. On the other hand, you don’t need to wolf down huge piles of pancakes the way that some Olympic athletes do. It’s recommended that you have a small snack right before your workout that has about 150 to 200 calories.

Healthy Carbs Will Give You Energy

You should eat healthy, easily digestible carbs to get the energy you need to work out. Ideally, you should consume carbs that are high in fiber, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Smoothies are a quick, easy, and delicious way to get the healthy carbs you need, and they are especially easy to digest.

For a cardio workout, healthy carbs may be all you need for your pre-workout snack. But if you are doing strength training, you should add in a small portion of protein too. Peanut butter or whole nuts, low-fat Greek yogurt, or a small piece of low-fat cheese are all good choices. Don’t overload on the protein, though. If you have a protein bar, don’t eat the whole thing before your workout; half a bar is usually enough.

Avoid Saturated Fats

Saturated fats take a long time to digest. When you eat saturated fats before a workout, your body uses resources like blood and oxygen for digestion instead of sending them to your muscles while you’re working out.

Remember to Hydrate

Along with your snack, keep on drinking water before you start your workout. But don’t drink so much that you feel bloated.

What to Eat After Your Workout

How Much Protein and Carbs Do You Need?

Bodybuilders and other athletes usually fuel up with protein and carbs after they work out.  Protein is needed to build muscles, and carbs are needed to restore energy that was used up during the workout.

However, if you are not a bodybuilder or an exceptionally active athlete, you may not need to eat as much right after a workout, as long as your protein intake is adequate throughout the rest of the day.

Have a Post-Workout Snack

While you may not need a huge serving of protein and carbs, you should have a snack about 20 minutes to an hour after your workout. This will help you refuel and also keep you from getting too hungry and maybe overeating later.

The ideal post-workout snack combines a small amount of protein with high-fiber carbs, so what you eat after your workout can be very similar to what you ate before.

Healthy and delicious choices include apple slices with a small amount of peanut butter, hummus on whole-grain bread or crackers, a protein shake made with a banana, and unflavored Greek yogurt with fresh strawberries or blueberries.

Keep on Hydrating

Just as it’s important to stay hydrated before and during your workout, it’s also important to keep up the hydration afterwards. Plain water is always a great choice. You could also add juice to your water for added flavor, carbs, vitamins, and minerals. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 8 ounces of fluid 10 to 15 minutes after you finish your workout.

Everyone’s Body is Different

Following the guidelines listed above will help you burn more calories, build more muscle, and increase your endurance. However, every person’s body is different; your body’s precise nutritional needs are not exactly the same as anyone else’s.  You should tweak your pre- and post-workout nutrition plans to fit the needs of your unique body.

You don’t need to figure this all out by yourself – a personal trainer can help. The best trainers are experts in how diet and exercise interact. They can help you create an individual pre- and post-workout eating plan based on your individual needs, and then give you the support and motivation you need to stick with the plan.

For fantastic trainers, an exciting choice of workout options, and a smoothie bar with delicious low-calorie choices for your pre- and post-workout snacks – all in a friendly and inclusive environment – Texas FITT is the place to go. We invite you to take a tour of our world-class facilities and see why yourself how Texas FITT can get you in the best shape of your life!

Core Exercises

Doing core exercises can help you do a wide range of sports and other physical activities while reducing your risk of muscle tears and other injuries. These exercises make the muscles in your back, abdomen and pelvic area stronger. You don’t need any special equipment to do these exercises. A simple mat provides you with a comfortable surface to do them on. Keep in mind that you should check with your doctor before doing these if you have any underlying health issues or chronic pain.

Side Plank

For this exercise, lie on one side, then lift your body using your forearm. Hold your shoulders, knees, and hips in a straight line while placing your other arm along your body. Make your abdominal muscles as tight as possible, then hold this position for about 10 seconds. Aim to do five repetitions, then gradually build up to 15 repetitions at a time.

Bridge

To do this exercise, lie flat on your back and bend your knees. Keep your hips flat on the floor, and tighten the muscles in your abdomen. Slowly lift your hips up until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. Hold this position for 10 seconds, and repeat this exercise five times. Build up to doing this exercise for 10 to 15 repetitions to make your core muscles stronger.

Single Leg Abdominal Press

For this exercise, lie flat on your back and bend your knees. Tighten the muscles in your abdomen and lift one leg up so that it forms a 90-degree angle. Push your hand against your raised knee, and pull that knee toward your hand at the same time. Your arm should remain straight as you do this. Hold this position for 10 seconds, then repeat this exercise five times. Work on doing 10 to 15 repetitions at a time.

Bird Dog

To do this core-strengthening exercise, get down on your hands and knees. Your hands should be on the floor in line with your shoulders, and your head should be lined up with your back and neck. Make the muscles in your abdomen tight, then lift one arm off the floor and hold it straight in front of you. Hold this position for 10 seconds, then lower your arm and repeat with the other arm. Lift one leg off the floor, and hold this position for 10 seconds. Repeat this exercise five times, then build up to 10 to 15 repetitions.

If you need help strengthening your core or if you need more exercise ideas, please contact Texas FITT.