Expert Advice Before Your First Time Hiring a Personal Trainer

Welcome to the #365Firsts Podcast and the Expert Advice Before Your First Time Series. The show aims to encourage, prepare, and inspire you to do things you’ve never done before and complete your #365FirstsChallenge list. 

In each episode of this series, we give you tips and advice to set you up for success, for specific firsts and new experiences. The guests and topics are as varied as the options and possibilities of new experiences. 

Whether you’re trying to learn a new skill, improve your health and happiness, work on your self-development, add excitement and adventure to your life, or simply have first times, you’re going to love our podcast.

On this Episode

Did you decide 2020 is the year you’re going to get in top shape and you’ll hire a personal trainer for the first time to reach your goals?

It’s smart thinking. Now, let’s set you up for maximum success.

In today’s episode, we’re going to take a look at what you need to know and ask before hiring a personal trainer for the first time. We’re pleased to have been joined by a long-time friend of the show who’s a bonafide expert in this field-Aaron Williamson. 

The Guest Expert

So, who exactly is Aaron Williamson? We first met Aaron about 10 years ago, and it’s been incredible to see his career take off. Aaron started off as a skinny kid with dreams, finding solace in the gym. He wound up joining the Marine Corps, and this is where fitness began to truly transform his life.

He worked as part of the Marine Corps Body Bearers, and had the solemn duty and honor of laying our fallen soldiers to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. This is an incredibly demanding and intense role to fulfill, with absolutely no margin for error. Thus, the training is hardcore and it has helped to shape Aaron into the athlete that he is today.

After this, he worked in security. He worked in the personal security team for the Vice President of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who was General Peter Pace at the time. This allowed him to look at health and fitness from an entirely new perspective, and led him down the path to his next love- competing on stage as a bodybuilder.

Since then, Aaron has shot to fame as a personal trainer to the stars. He’s taken his knowledge and past history of training all around the world, and used it to meet incredible clients. He’s worked with stars such as Zac Efron, Evan Peters and Jamie Foxx, and has even hit the gym with The Rock and Sylvester Stallone.

We were interested to hear that nowadays Aaron is working in the fitness industry from an on-screen perspective. He’s shifted his focus to acting, with roles such as the Refugee Terminator in ‘Terminator: Genesis’, House in ‘American Heist’ and even a celebrity trainer on the show ‘Khloe Kardashian’s Revenge Body’.

What should people know and do before hiring a personal trainer?

Decide what kind of gym you want to join.

Something that Aaron advises doing before hiring a personal trainer is deciding what type of gym it is that you would like to work with. You could find a local gym, travel to a specialized one or even go to your chosen trainer’s personal gym. There are benefits for all of these options, and they will vary in price and scope, as Aaron lays out in the episode.

Do your research

Aaron also notes that social media is a fantastic tool to use if you’re trying to find a trainer. You’ll be able to get a feel for the trainer and their work style. This will also give you the chance to look into their reviews, and what previous clients have said about them.

Schedule a complimentary session 

We went on to discuss complimentary sessions, and how they can be a great way to see whether a trainer is a good fit or not. During the session, are they actively engaging with you and encouraging you, or are they just on their phone? Are they letting you slack off and not paying attention to your individual needs?

Personal trainers vary in ability and professionalism so much, so it’s important that you get a good feel for who it is that you’ve chosen before you start to work with them.

Prepare your questions based on your needs

We then went on to talk about the importance of assessing clients, and the need for a discussion about physical ability or previous injuries. It’s vital that a trainer pushes you hard, of course, but Aaron emphasizes the duty of care that personal trainers have, too.

The importance of factors like diet, nutrition and exercising outside of the gym

One interesting thing that Aaron brings up in this episode is that your fitness journey doesn’t just suddenly stop as soon as you leave the gym. A trainer can only do so much, and part of your transformation will be down to you. You’ll need to eat clean and resist cravings, and make sure to keep up your general fitness.

A good trainer provides a training plan for more than just what you do with them in the gym

Aaron states that most personal trainers, the good ones, will give their clients work to do outside of the training sessions that supports to overall results you’re after. You’ll only be with your trainer 1-3 hours a week, so you need to know what to do when you’re not with your trainer. 

Mental game 

Aaron also talked to us about the importance of having the right mental game. Being able to set aside what’s happening and getting into the gym to do what needs to be done. He talked about the actors he’s trained who work 12-14 hours, then have to show up at the gym, before reviewing and learning their lines for the next day. 

It was fantastic speaking with Aaron about his experience working within the fitness industry, and we were truly humbled to be able to share our friend’s expertise with our audience. He’s an expert in his field, and if you’re looking to work with a personal trainer for the first time this year, then we’re sure that you’ll find his advice to be very helpful.

How to Contact Aaron 



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New episodes of The Expert Advice Before Your First Time Series are released each Tuesday and Thursday.

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Upcoming Shows Next Week

January 9th – Expert Advice Before Your First Time Taking A Cruise

January 14th – Expert Advice Before Your First Time Investing

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