When you hire a personal trainer, you're paying him to assist you in reaching your fitness goals. With his expertise, he'll show you the best exercises to do at the right intensity and frequency to get you to those goals as quickly as possible.
But a trainer isn't a magic pill. The results you'll see with a trainer depend on the time invested per week and the goals themselves. While noticeable results in muscle mass and fat loss could take up to four weeks, most people see an increase in motivation, enthusiasm and energy from the get-go.
Training for Strength and Mass
A trainer provides customized programming based on your individual goals for building size and strength. Achieving those goals relies on continued progression of weight, intensity and volume of sets and reps.
If you're new to weight training, you'll start to see results quite quickly because the body tends to respond faster to new stimuli. You may see your muscles become more defined and feel more taught within your first month. Noticeable gains in size and strength will be more apparent after your first month.
If you've previously been working out, noticeable results might take a little longer to manifest, because your body is used to strength training. Expect results in about four to six weeks.
Gaining strength and mass also depends on your diet. Your trainer may suggest particular foods or supplements that have the potential to speed up your gains.
Training For Fat Loss
Fat loss depends on number of calories burned, amount of muscle gained and your diet. Your trainer should address all three components with you for the best results. Whether you're working with a trainer three to five days a week or once a week, your trainer will customize a program that combines strength training and cardio designed to burn fat and rev your metabolism.
Beginners often see more rapid changes in their physique as their bodies respond to novel stimuli. Assuming you're sticking to a calorie-controlled diet and working hard in your cardio and strength-training sessions, you could see fat loss of up to 3 pounds per week in the beginning. As your fitness level increases, fat loss will taper off a bit.
On average, you'll drop 1 to 2 pounds a week, seeing noticeable results in three to six weeks. As with strength training, your trainer may suggest foods pertinent to fat loss that can help you reach your goals faster.
Training On Your Own
Depending on how many times a week you meet with your trainer, you may need to work out on your own a few days a week. Your trainer will often give you a program to follow on the days she's not working with you. Your results are dependent on your ability to be consistent and work your hardest in each session. If you show up regularly and do the work, you will see results faster than if you skip workouts or do them halfheartedly.
The same goes for diet. If you follow your trainer's dietary recommendations, fat loss and muscle gain will occur more rapidly. If you continue to eat too much or not enough of the right foods, your progress will be stalled.
Intangibles and X-Factors
There are many intangibles when offering a timeline for goals. Typically, the more intense the program is, the faster the results. But intensity is not suitable for many people just starting a program or those with pre-existing health conditions or injuries.
Your results also depend on your trainer's knowledge and effectiveness. A good trainer will do more than just sit and watch you do a few exercises. She'll skillfully adjust load and intensity to make sure your body is being challenged. She'll also motivate you to work harder and be consistent with your goals and diet. Choose a trainer with a proven track record for getting results, and you'll get results.
Just remember, as good as your trainer may be, getting fast results is equally dependent on you and how much you are willing to invest in reaching your goals.