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How Soon Can I See Results from a Personal Trainer?

author image David Arroyo
David Arroyo is a 20th level nerd with specialty classes in fitness and arts. After getting his Master of Arts in English from Florida State University. He became an A.C.E.certified trainer and health coach. In addition, he completed the Crossfit Kettlebell certification. When not consumed with writing, he's pursuing his purple belt in BJJ.
How Soon Can I See Results from a Personal Trainer?
A personal trainer is working with a woman. Photo Credit: Jacob Ammentorp Lund/iStock/Getty Images

Personal training is the backbone of the fitness industry. When you hire a personal trainer, you're paying him to assist you in reaching your fitness goals. He'll accelerate the process, 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. By understanding how much time should be invested, on average, for a specific goal, you'll be a better judge of your personal trainer and your own limitations.

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Training for Strength and Mass

You'll meet with your trainer on a schedule of two to four days a week, covering compound exercises. She'll progress the weight and repetition of each exercise in a controlled fashion. For example, Monday could cover a lower body movement like the deadlift, while Thursday includes an upper exercise such as the overhead press. In addition, she may suggest particular foods or supplements specific for gaining mass and strength. Expect to start seeing results after 30 days.

Training For Fat Loss

You'll likely work with your trainer three to five times per week. One to two of these sessions will be concerned with strength training to preserve muscle mass. The remaining sessions will emphasize cardio. This may include sprints or circuit training. For example, Monday and Wednesday may still be strength days. Tuesday and Thursday, however, are sprint days. You'll perform one minute of work for six sets with 90 seconds of rest between efforts. On average, you'll drop one to two pounds a week, seeing results in three to six weeks. As with strength training, your trainer may suggest foods pertinent to fat loss.

Training On Your Own

There's nothing wrong with doing more than the bare minimum, but talk with your trainer first. After your Monday deadlift routine you might add in a circuit training session of 10 kettlebell swings and 10 pushups for 10 minutes. This will accelerate fat loss. However, if your trainer expresses concerns about your flexibility, it may be prudent to follow up your strength work with a yoga class. This would improve your range of motion for heavy lifts, while making your sprint sessions more efficient.

Intangibles and X-Factors

There are many intangibles when offering a time line for goals. In building programs for mass and fat loss, the schedule may be adjusted for any number of reasons. Pre-existing injuries can alter exercise selection or style of training. Your personal commitments may mean you simply can't devote as much time as you'd like. Remember, a personal trainer's job is helping you realize your fitness goals, but reaching those goals are just as dependent on you as they are on her. If you commit to working with a trainer at least three times a week, you'll see results. Remember, if your goal is lean muscle mass, noticeable results occur in about a month. If the goal is fat loss, it can be closer to six weeks.

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