Your Personal Training Questions, Answered
At Common Purpose, we’re constantly trying to put ourselves in our client’s shoes. We know how confusing and anxiety-inducing it can be when looking to start up with a personal trainer, so we try and make this process as simple and empowering as possible.
‘Should I get a personal trainer?’, ‘how do I find a good personal trainer?’, ‘what are the benefits of personal training?’.
To try and help those of you asking these questions, we’ve compiled an extensive Q&A that should help provide you all the answers.
WHAT MAKES THE BEST PERSONAL TRAINER?
This is a great question and we’re sure you can appreciate it can be answered in many different ways. At Common Purpose, we think that the best personal trainer is a coach that focuses completely and unbiasedly on the ‘Person’ in front of them.
We believe that the best personal trainer can adapt to their client by using the right language to motivate and get the best out of them. Some clients need a trainer to push them hard through their exercise programme, whilst other clients may really struggle making progress due to other factors outside of the gym. In cases like this, our personal trainers need to try and help their clients reorganise their routines and priorities in order to help them improve and move forward.
We also believe strongly that the best personal trainers educate their clients along the way too. At Common Purpose, we aim to provide our clients with the knowledge they need to look after their own health and fitness goals. Doing so, ensures they can navigate their way through their own fitness feeling confident and in control… despite what life might throw at them!
We want our personal training to be professional. It’s important for our clients to always know that their goals are top of our priority! This is such an important and effective attribute as so much evidence highlights how it’s imperative for clients to believe in the process and thereforebuy-in unconditionally.
Finally, the best personal trainers have the ability to be all of the above but can also have some fun along the way too! We don’t take ourselves too seriously and want to provide an environment where our clients can laugh and switch off from their day to day stresses.
So, to sum things up we think the bestpersonal trainer is client-centred, educative, professional and can have some fun too!
WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME TO REACH OUT TO A PERSONAL TRAINER?
The clients who will benefit the most from working with a personal trainer are those who have busy schedules or don’t have the time/energy to research, plan and learn how to structure their own training, optimally. The best personal trainer will ensure that each client is training effectively in the pursuit of their goal whilst taking into consideration their schedule, ability level and lifestyle. Personal trainers will take all the guesswork out and ensure you don’t waste your time.
We find most of our new clients reach out to us to start their personal training because of some emotional driving force that is motivating them to make some change. It’s normally because they feel unhappy with how they feel about their health, energy levels and general well-being. As a result, we find that they hunt for a personal trainer to try and lose some bodyweight, initiate fat-loss, feel stronger and fitter and improve their energy levels. So if you’re starting to feel certain negative emotions towards your fitness or health &well-being,then we’d suggest reaching out to a personal trainer.
Finally, if you’ve hit a plateau and are finding it hard to progress with your fitness,then it’s the perfect time to start personal training. A personal trainer will help you add new training stimulus, ensure you are using your time efficiently and identify key areas that you may have not thought about. In a nutshell, personal trainers will help you shake things up and keep moving forward!
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS IN WORKING WITH A PERSONAL TRAINER?
Gosh, there are so many benefits to working with a personal trainer that we’d like to sharewith you! Here are our key benefits listed below (although we think you’ll likely find more when you start your personal training):
- Structure, order and planning – We ensure all our personal training clients have a plan in place that coaches them from their present situation to their future goal. It’s important that the personal training plan progresses in line with the client’s ability to recover and adapt (to reduce injury risk), builds their confidence and has a time frame in place (there may be an event day to work towards after all)
- Hold you accountable – Success is always achieved by being consistent but keeping motivated all the time is almost impossible. There will always be good and bad days, but success comes from being able to keep moving when you’re not feeling on your A-game. Simply having a personal trainer to answer too will ensure you keep on track and keep motivated. This alone is an incrediblypowerful benefit that you’ll quickly realise when you start your personal training.
- Guidance and support – We personal trainers have the experience, knowledge and professionalism to ensure you receive full guidance and support. This often extends way beyond just the fitness training in the gym and followsinto our next point…
- Our 4 Pillars: Exercise, Nutrition, Recovery and Mindset – In order to achieve lasting success,it’s super important that us personal trainers offer a truly holistic service. We think the best personal trainers are able to influence your lifestyle beyond just the personal training in the gym and into other areas of the client’s life. Our 4 pillars tend to be what our clients are most impressed by when they start personal training with us. They really do receive way more than just personal training!
- Keep you motivated – Over the long-run, it’s easy to lose motivation if you’re going it alone. Personal trainers will ensure training remainsfresh with new goals and updated focus to keep things interesting. We also ensure our personal training fits in-line with what’s going on in our clients lives too. So, personal training becomes a way of life, and for the long run too! At Common Purpose we pride ourselves in our client retention rate. We often work with our clients for a number of years (our longest serving client started with us in April 2009!).
- Plateau & hype busting – One of the biggest benefits to working with a personal trainer is that they can help you push through some of the plateaus you reach when you are in control of your own fitness training. Not many people have the time to devote to constantly reading fitness content and keeping up to date of the latest trends and research. So, it’s very rare that the general fitness-goer has the necessary knowledge that they canapply to their own exercise routines. The best personal trainers sift through the enormous amount of fitness information out there and communicate it to their clients in asimple and easy to understand way. If you work with a great personal trainer, they can be a font of health and fitness knowledge for you to turn to when you need them and help navigate you through the, often-confusing, health and fitness world.
- We go above and beyond – this is one of the benefits we like to showcase if you work with ourpersonal trainers at Common Purpose. We pride ourselves in leaving no stone unturned and always try to over-deliver with our personal training services. We provide additional materials from focus packs that contain information on the best Deliveroo options to DIY blood testing kits that make sure you receive the right supplements.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I TRAIN WITH A PERSONAL TRAINER?
Ideally, we’d love all our clients to come and train with us personal trainers three to four times per week. However, we recognise that allocating this much time to personal training can be hard to do so with most of us having such busy diaries and work schedules.
Firstly, we’d really like you to know that we specifically created our personal training membership to accommodate and reward a long-term personal training attitude. We recognise motivation levels change and priorities do so too, so we adapt our clients personal training programmes and routines accordingly. Our personal training memberships allow for our clients to adjust their personal training up or down too and we also reward longevity.
On average, our clients train with their personal trainer two times per week and they have regular time slots scheduled in their diary to come to the gym. With our clients who train two times per week we try to advise them to complete one or two hours of self-guided exercise too. We often write some home training exercise routines, plan in some external cardio exercise like running or we even ask our clients to try and participate in an exercise class like Spin, HIIT or TRX classes. The Central London fitness services are so varied nowadays and there are so many great fitness services around at the moment. We think the variety of exercise is great for our clients and bolts on to their personal training really well!
As a minimum, we want all our clients to commit to at least one personal training session each week. Anything less than that and it becomes very hard to keep clients progressing and help them be consistent. However, there are always exceptions to this rule. Sometimes we have clients travel in and out of London and they can come and see us for a few personal training sessions when they’re in town. In this scenario, we really try to work with the client’s personal trainers abroad to ensure they keep on track with their fitness training and get the most from our personal training services.
IS IT BEST TO TRAIN WITH ONLY ONE PERSONAL TRAINER?
There is an element to the client’s preference here. Some of our clients have trained with their personal trainer for several years there is therefore a personal bond between the client and the personal trainer that is unshakable. We think the best personal trainers really understand and support their clients and this often ties the client to their personal trainer very closely.
However, the main objective is always the client’s results, health &fitness and their exercise consistency. At Common Purpose, all us personal trainers work in a team and often bounce ideas off each other and lean on other personal trainers’ skillsets and knowledge. So, we encourage our clients to exercise with our full personal training team! Often our clients will need to reschedule their personal training session due to work or travel, and their lead personal trainer may be busy at the time needed. In this situation our clients will train with another one of the personal training team and their lead trainer will provide a detailed handover.
Training with a personal training team can help keep things fresh and interesting and we find that our clients pick up different tips and advice from each of us too. It also creates friendships that can lead to some excellent gym floor banter at times!
We really believe that at Common Purpose we provide the best gym floor community for this reason and our close-knit team ofpersonal trainers is a big positive if you’re thinking about starting up personal training with us.
CAN I TRAIN WITH A FRIEND AND SHARE MY PERSONAL TRAINING SESSIONS? OR DO YOU OFFER GROUP PERSONAL TRAINING SESSIONS?
The majority of our clients’ train with their personal trainer on an individual basis. We mentioned before that the best personal trainers focus on the ‘person’ and therefore working one to one will offer the most amount of focus and attention.
We will happily allow our clients to exercise with a friend and their personal trainer from time to time with a small additional fee (we need to pay an extra fee to the gym to allow them gym entrance). It’s a great way to keep things fun and interesting for our clients and also a great way to intro a potential new client to our personal training team.
If clients want to train with a friend and their personal trainer on an ongoing basis, we’d happily accommodate this if it works out. However, from experience it can be hard for the clients to consistently coordinate their schedules and sometimes one client might need more attention and guidance than the other which can affect the dynamics of the personal training experience.
That being said, there is tonnes of data in research papers that showcases huge benefits in small group personal training or semi-private personal training. The main benefits from small group personal training come from peer-to-peer motivation and comradery. In the future, we aim to provide a full small group personal training service,however right now, we’re planning on how we can implement this into our current personal training services.
If you are interested in small group personal training or semi-private personal training, then please do reach out and let us know. We’re very open to trying to make things work!
WHAT TYPES OF FITNESS TRAINING SERVICES ARE THERE AROUND OXFORD STREET, REGENTS STREET, MAYFAIR, MARYLEBONE, SOHO AND FITZROVIA?
Right now, the London fitness scene has never been so dynamic and varied. Particularly around Oxford Street and Regents Street; there is much variety from personal training studios that offer fitness niches in performance or transformations. There are also tonnes of exciting fitness exercise classes from rowing classes, spin classes to stretch classes. Often these fitness services see new exercise services opening up and closing down as fitness trends change so often. However, luckily for us personal training has been a staple for decades and is here to stay!
As we mentioned before we encourage our clients to try and supplement their personal training with us with the odd exercise class from time to time. This is completely based on the client’s goals and preference in fitness training.
HOW IS PERSONAL TRAINING WITH COMMON PURPOSE DIFFERENT FROM YOUR COMPETITORS?
That’s a great question! Firstly, we really respect the other personal training services that are around the Oxford Street, Regents Street, Mayfair, Marylebone, Soho and Fitzrovia area. We believe all personal training services in Central London are trying to change people for the better.
At Common Purpose, our clients see their health &fitness as something that is part of their lifestyle and a habit that’s there to stay. Our client base has a diverse range of goals &ability levels and are all on different trajectories with their personal training goals. We aim to be personal trainers that operate for the common good for our clients and the community we look after. We aim to be truly client-focused and holistic in the approach of our personal training services. This is best highlighted in our 4 Pillars (link to document). We are here to support our clients every step of the way and aim to provide 360 support. We take an evidence-based approach with our personal training to ensure no time is wasted in the pursuit to unlocking the best in our clients and delivering them their fitness results. We know when to refer out to other health &fitness professionals too and network with dieticians to psychologists. However, we recognise that our personal training services extend beyond the gym training. We try our hardest to create the best possiblegym environment that’s fun and an escape from the stress of work and is truly community-focused.
We’ve worked with clients who have previously had personal trainers at the belowCentral London personal training gyms. We could say these guys areour main competitors, although we like to see them as more of our colleagues in the quest for greater health &fitness Central London!
- Third Space – They offer exercise classes and ‘use by yourself’ gym access too. They have great facilities and a great personal training development plan for new personal trainers.
- Ultimate Performance – These guys are the transformation personal trainers and showcase some great before and after photos. The personal training they deliver is extremely intense with a bodybuilding focus.
- Matt Roberts Evolution – Matt Roberts himself was probably the first personal trainer in London to create a personal training service studio. He positions his personal training gym as a lifestyle brand and showcases that he used to work with David Cameron and other celebrities.
- Performance Pro – As the name suggests, we believe these guys offer personal training with a performance edge. They showcase their personal trainers’ qualifications in biomechanics, weightlifting and strength and conditioning.
- BXR – Offer personal training services with a core theme of boxing. They offer fitness classes and ‘use by yourself’ gym access too.
ARE THERE BENEFITS IN PARTICIPATING IN OTHER FORMS OF EXERCISE ALONGSIDE PERSONAL TRAINING?
Absolutely! A good moving individual is someone who can vary their movement. It reduces the risk of injury and develops a more rounded fitness. We believe strongly that personal training should always be the core focus for all fitness users as it’s the best personal trainers who coordinate the journal to a focused goal.
We also believe that topping up your personal training with the odd exercise class and performing a self-guided home training plan or cardio output session helps keep things interesting for the client. It helps them spread the good word about our personal training services too!
HOW DO I GET THE MOST OUT OF MY PERSONAL TRAINING EXPERIENCE?
The main thing we’d suggest is to be as open as possible with your personal trainer and communicate as best as you can. Have a think about what goals you’d like to achieve and if you have an event or date to focus on too. We personal trainers like to explore the depths behind our client’s motivation so think about ‘why’ you’re compelled to start personal training. If you figure out your ‘why’ it can help unlock your motivation in full force and keep you focused and consistent with your personal training during your fitness journey.
On top of that we’d also suggest you speak to our personal training clients and ask them about the challenges theyhad to overcome in order to achieve their fitness success. Learning from others who have walked the path before you is a great way to provide clarity to your journey ahead.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING WITH ME TO MY FIRST PERSONAL TRAINING SESSION?
All you need is your workout gear, and the WE11 personal training studio has got everything else covered. WE11 have workout towels waiting for you in the luxury changing room alongside essential toiletries. They have fluffy white bath towels and Aromatherapy Associates hair and body products in shower. Hairdryers and straighteners are also provided to get you ready for whatever you do after your session.
Staying hydrated when you train is vital. The WE11 personal training studio has water stations for you to fill up your bottles, and if you don’t have a bottle with you, we have spare BKR bottles you can use during your session.
After your personal training session, you can enjoy some post-workout recovery in the WE11 Lounge. They offer a full menu of protein shakes, smoothies, acai bowls, nutritional snacks and freshlyroasted coffee.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM MY FIRST PERSONAL TRAINING SESSION?
The Common Purpose personal trainer that you’re booked in with will be waiting for you in the WE11 lounge. Together you’ll sit down for around 30mins and talk about yourself &your goals and you’ll cover everything from your injury history to your past experience of personal training. Your trainer will ask you some questions that’ll help you reflect on your current state of readiness and your perceived expectation of what you’d like your personal training journey ahead to be like.
After we’ve built up a detailed picture of you, we’ll then head into the gym to commence some gym testing. With the guidance and coaching of our personal trainer we’ll test your mobility, your stability, your movement skill, your strength, your resilience, your stamina and your cardiovascular fitness. Depending on your state of readiness, you’ll be pushed as hard or as moderately as necessary. So, don’t worry too much… our aim isn’t to annihilate you in the first session!
After you’ve completed the gym training and testing, you and your personal trainer will sit down to conclude the initial personal training session and give you a chance to mention anything you may have forgotten. After that, your personal trainer will put down all of the information from this initial personal training session into your very own ‘Focus Pack’ and email this to you. We aim to email this to you within a few days after your initial personal training session. The Focus Pack will enable you to see your personal trainer’s thoughts and suggestions and is a great way to make the whole process personalisedand focused. You also have an opportunity to email your personal trainer with any more detail that you may wish to add or had forgotten to mention.
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY PERSONAL TRAINER GOES AWAY ON HOLIDAY?
Our priority is always our clients’ training and their results! The biggest positive in working with the personal training team at Common Purpose (instead of with just a single personal trainer) means that our clients can continue their fitness training with another personal trainer if their lead personal trainer goes away on holiday. As we mentioned before too, it’s highly likely you may learn something new from another personal trainer, strike up some interesting conversation and potentially start some good banter on the gym floor in the future.
HOW LONG DO CLIENTS TYPICALLY WORK WITH A PERSONAL TRAINER AT COMMON PURPOSE?
At Common Purpose, we pride ourselves with our client retention rates. Our longest serving personal training client has been with us since April 2009. Our objective is to make personal training part of our client’s lifestyles and we achieve this with our client-centred approach and knowing how to dial things up or down throughout the year. We recognise that training motivation levels change and priorities too, so we adapt our clients’ personal training programmes and routines accordingly. Our memberships allow for our clients to adjust their personal training up or down too and we also reward longevity. We allocate the best personal training rates to those who train with us for the long run.
Occassionally, we have clients drop out for a short period, if they want to achieve something over a short period; like get in shape for a wedding. However, we always try to work with a client for a minimum of 3 month. This is in order for their personal training experience to be long enough to actually allow the body to adapt. If these clients then want to move on and away from personal training with Common Purpose that’s totally fine. But we set up a meeting to help discuss an exit strategy so that they don’t lose their personal training results and know they can incorporate their new lifestyle into their day-to-day schedule.
Phew, well hopefully that covers pretty much everything, but if you have any further questions (surely not!) or want to find out more about Common Purpose’s approach to personal training, then please do get in touch. You can drop us a message through our Contact page here.