Getting Personal About Personal Training

January 03, 2016

Getting Personal About Personal Training

Along with health insurance and regular doctor visits, personal training can be one of the best investments you can make in your health. Personal trainers can help you reach your fitness goals efficiently and safely. They can also be the uplifting source of motivation you need to hold you accountable for working out. 

Still, many are hesitant to take the step and hire a personal trainer.  And even once they do, how can they be sure they are getting the most out of their sessions?  Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about personal training.

I’ve thought about getting a personal trainer, but I get really intimidated by the “drill sergeant” personal trainers.  Are there other types of trainers?
At the J, we have over 20 personal trainers on our staff with a wide variety of personalities, training styles, experience, and specialties.  Whether you are new to fitness or looking to train for elite athletics…we have someone for you!  I recommend contacting Denard Smith ( at the Weinberg Park Heights JCC or myself, Raychel Setless (, at Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC and we will gladly help find the right trainer for you. 

Is it possible to not train in front of other people?
Of course!  Our Owings Mills location recently renovated its Personal Training Studio to offer clients a more private environment. In addition to its Personal Training Studio, Park Heights also uses its Fitness Too room which has male- and female-only hours every day.

Are all of the questions during the intake session really necessary?  I want to get the most out of my session and start moving right away.
Yes, they are extremely important. In order to provide you with the most efficient, effective, and safe workout possible our trainers will ask you a series of questions and perform initial assessments.  While it does take time, this information will help the trainer to ensure you get the most out of your sessions and have the best experience possible. 

How much information should I really be giving to my personal trainer?  What do they need to know?
Your personal trainer certainly doesn’t need to know your social security number and the name of your first boyfriend, however the more information you give them….the better they can help you.  It is important to tell your trainer about any injuries, medical conditions, exercise habits, and exercise interests.  During your training, be sure to give your trainer feedback (pain, dietary habits, likes, dislikes, etc.)

What should I bring to my personal training session?
I always recommend bringing a water bottle, wearing a light layer over your workout clothes, and bringing a light post-workout snack that includes protein to replenish muscles. 

Should I prepare before my personal training session?
I do not recommend doing any sort of warm-up before your FIRST session.  Your trainer will be asking questions and performing an initial assessment, so a warm-up will need to be done again anyway.  For future sessions, stretching and doing cardio can definitely help you get the most out of your sessions….but it is important to check with your trainer.  They may want to modify your warm-up depending on the workout they have planned for you.

Some great  tips from your J Personal Trainers:

“1x a week is not enough exercise!  Even if your budget only allows you to train once a week, it is important to work out on your own as well.  Don’t be afraid to ask what you should be doing on other days!” – Emily Goren

“Come to the J with a good pair of shoes, extra water, and a positive attitude.  It’s a fight every day to do as much as you can in order to do even more the next time you come in.  Working out and getting healthy are for YOU after all!”- Alek Groopman

“Make plans with a friend to go to the JCC to work out and catch up.  Before you know it, you will be done! If you need any advice on how to make time fly by, feel free to ask me.” – Ann Berey

“Patience is key!  Getting healthier isn’t like buying a car where you have instant gratification.  It is more like constructing a building.  It takes time, but each day you spend you come closer to building and creating your structure.-  Obidi Orakwusi  

By: Raychel Setless, Assistant Director of Fitness, Recreation, & JCC Maccabi

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