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How To Select A Personal Trainer: A Hard (But Lifechanging) Decision

15th June 2021

15th June 2021

By Beth Shelper

You may have come across this article looking for some assistance and advice. How do you choose a personal trainer, you ask?

You’ve probably spent a lot of time Googling things like “personal trainer UK” or “best personal trainers” in a bid to find the golden ticket, but alas – to no avail. Why? Because the clue is in the name. A personal trainer is just that. Personal.

What is a personal trainer?

By definition, a personal trainer is an individual that is responsible for conducting individual fitness assessments, providing educated advice and designing plans that are tailored to your individual needs and goals. Their main aim is to help you reach these goals, live a healthy lifestyle, and improve your performance.

The benefits of a personal trainer

We'd definitely recommend considering hiring a personal trainer. They’re great for motivation (let’s be honest, you’re less likely to skip out on them), and they enable you to maximise your time and workouts whilst achieving better, faster results.

Another great benefit is that you don’t have to meet your personal trainer in the gym. Many may have their own home gyms or equipment, and you can even train in the comfort of your own home or garden! This is absolutely great for those with a busy schedule or those that suffer with gym anxiety.

How to select a personal trainer

The best personal trainers are often hard to find. Whether their waiting list is off the charts, they’re way out of your price range or you just don’t vibe with them, selecting your perfect personal trainer is no easy task.

Important fitness aspects aside, it’s really important that you get on with your personal trainer on a personal level. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with them and you’re trusting them with your workout plan. It’s kind of a big deal.

So, the question: how do you choose a personal trainer? Well, there’s lots of things to consider.

Check their professional qualifications

One of the most important elements you need to consider is the personal trainer’s qualifications and experience. There’s no point trusting your workout plan and progress with someone that doesn’t have the necessary knowledge to help you get there. The level two qualifications that you’re looking for at the very least are the below:

  • A Certificate in Fitness Instructing – Gym
  • A Diploma in Health, Fitness, and Exercise Instruction
  • A Diploma in Instructing Exercise and Fitness

Think about the cost 

Secondly, it’s time to think about cost. It’s no secret that personal trainers are a bit on the pricey side, and this is because you get what you pay for; quality personal trainers aren’t going to be cheap. You’re paying for their time, dedication and expertise.

Because of the overall cost, a lot of people are a little bit put off getting a personal trainer, but don’t let that stereotype get in your way! Not all personal trainers are going to charge you through the roof. You just need to find one that works for you. It’s an investment.

Most personal trainers charge by the hour, so the overall costings will depend on how many hours you schedule in a month. In the UK, personal trainers average around £30-£50 an hour, so you’re looking for that kind of ballpark.

Consider your fitness goals

Lastly, but absolutely not least, it’s hugely important that you consider your personal fitness goals and find someone that prioritises this for you. Your personal trainer is responsible for designing a plan to get you where you want to be, so making sure they are aware of your fitness goals is a main priority.

Whether your fitness goal is to gain muscle, lose weight or improve your stamina, your personal trainer should know how to get you there. To ensure you’re comfortable with this and in the knowledge that they are capable and experienced in your area, it’s perfectly okay to have a trial session and decide from there. Remember, it’s all about you!

It’s all about where you look

So, now that you know what to look for, let’s discuss where to begin. If you’re a member at your local gym, that’s definitely the first place to start. Ask the staff at the gym and see who is available for a discussion. Your gym will definitely have a team of personal trainers available.

Aside from this, the absolute best way to find the best personal trainers is through word of mouth. Ask your friends, family, colleagues and whoever else; they’ll definitely know of someone (or know someone that does).

If this isn’t for you, Instagram is also a great place to look. Many personal trainers have dedicated business pages demonstrating their client progress and experience, and this can be a great way to get a feel of how the trainer works and what they’re particularly good at.


Are personal trainers worth it? Absolutely. If you find the best personal trainer for you: someone that prioritises your goals and progress, gets on with you well and positively influences your workout, the difference is immense.

It’s important to note that if you’ve never had a personal trainer before, they’re probably going to put you through your paces. And this is good: no pain, no gain, right? The best personal trainers really have the ability to maximise your progress and change your workout routine for the better, so if you’re debating it, go ahead and take the leap! You’ll wish you did it sooner.

In order to maintain your energy levels, maximise your performance and hit those all-important fitness goals, why not incorporate The Energy Booster into your routine?

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From the Bedroom to the Gym: Is Your Sex Life Affecting Your Workout Performance?
The relationship between sex and workout performance is one that’s long been debated by scientists and fitness fanatics alike. It’s complicated and multifaceted, so answering the question of whether your sex life is affecting your training is difficult. That said, today we’re going to take a look at a variety of evidence, both academic and anecdotal, as well as several different scenarios and at least try to reduce some of the mystery around the subject. First, it helps to understand what’s actually happening to the body, both physically and psychologically, during both activities.   The Effects of Sex on the Body Sexual activity causes several changes to occur in the body:   Physical Changes That Occur During Sex During sexual activity and the lead up to it, the human body undergoes a process known as the sexual response cycle. This is the case for both males and females, though the cycle can be highly individual and may not be the same each time for each person. Describing the full sexual response cycle is beyond the scope of this article, however it consists of 4 phases: Desire Arousal Orgasm Resolution Factors such as elevated heart rate, increased blood flow and pressure and heightened muscle tension all come into play. If you’d like to read about the sexual response cycle in more detail, check out this great article from Cleveland Clinic.   Psychological Changes That Occur During Sex Several psychological changes occur both during and after sex. Most notable are the release of endorphins and oxytocin, which are associated with improved mood and a better sense of wellbeing. These are also responsible for reduced stress levels, which brings a multitude of additional benefits that are of particular interest to those of us participating in regular training and exercise. Cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress, is catabolic in high levels, meaning it can cause the breakdown of lean tissue. So, whilst it is unclear whether sex itself affects workout performance, the reduction in stress levels it may bring is definitely beneficial for preserving our results!   The Effects of Exercise and Training on the Body Exercise and training also cause the body to undergo a number of changes. These occur both during and after the physical activity. There are in fact a number of similarities in changes that happen during exercise and sex:   Physical Changes That Occur During Exercise The physical changes that happen in the body vary based on the type of exercise being undertaken, however, there are some that are common to exercise in general: Increased heart rate Increased blood flow, especially to the muscles Faster, deeper breathing due to additional oxygen needs Heightened activity within the circulatory, respiratory, musculoskeletal and endocrine systems A full summary of the changes that occur within these systems can be found here. More aerobically demanding exercise will, of course, place greater emphasis on the circulatory and respiratory systems as well as causing fat to be metabolised as an energy source. Resistance training, which often relies more heavily on the lactate and creatine phosphate energy systems, instead promotes greater muscular and endocrine (hormone) activity. Note the common physical changes between sex and exercise here, as they do crossover!   Psychological Changes That Occur During Exercise The psychological changes that occur during exercise are similar to those experienced during sexual activity and are mostly related to the release of endorphins and other ‘feelgood’ hormones. These help to regulate mood, and it is common knowledge that frequent exercise and leading an active, healthy lifestyle promotes a feeling of wellbeing.   Does Sex Affect Our Workouts? This is where things become complicated. Though extensive studies have been done on the subject, the results of these have varied massively. We must also take into account the experience of individuals, and this anecdotal evidence again has huge variance. Let’s look at both:   Sex and Training: What the Science Says Scientific studies on the relationship between sex and training are contradictory at best. There’s no denying the positive benefits of both activities, particularly from a psychological perspective, but as for the effect of sex on actual performance in the gym the results are inconclusive. A study, published in April 2021, by Kirecci, Albayrak and co. examined the effects of sexual activity of 50 men in the 24 hours prior to training on lower body strength. The study measured effects by having the men perform 3 separate squat sessions, each at the same time of day. Each of these sessions occurred after participating in or abstaining from sexual activity the night before. The men performed 5 sets of 5 repetitions of their maximum squat weight during these sessions and the difference in weight lifted was observed. The study concluded that ‘sexual intercourse within 24 hours before exercise [has a] detrimental effect on lower extremity muscle force, which suggests that restricting sexual activity before a short-term activity may be necessary.’ Aside from this study, most others found either no notable relationship between sex and athletic performance. A meta-analysis of 9 crossover studies, conducted by Zavorsky and Brooks and published on 16 September 2022, confirms this. The analysis concluded that ‘The results demonstrate that sexual activity within 30 min to 24 h before exercise does not appear to affect aerobic fitness, musculoskeletal endurance, or strength/power.’ This is perhaps more notable, because these studies incorporated different types of exercise and were not restricted purely to a strength/power based activity like squats.   Anecdotal Evidence: What About the Experiences of Real Gym Goers? The anecdotal evidence is, as expected, highly individualised. However, there tends to be a bias against the results of most studies, particularly in those participating in sports involving strength and aggression. For example, many fighters claim that they perform better when they abstain from sex in the days leading up to a contest. Similarly, bodybuilding forums are full of debate on this topic and many claim they note a significant decrease in motivation to train at maximum intensity after sexual activity. It has been hypothesised that this may be due to a downregulation in testosterone production after sex; during orgasm the mineral zinc is released in the body and this is also a precursor for natural testosterone production in the body and may, therefore, provide some reasoning as to the experience of many trainees.   Key Takeaways The relationship between sex and workout performance will always be a complicated one. The effects of one on the other in terms of physical fitness and, in particular, mental wellbeing, are clear, but when it comes to actual performance this appears to be highly individual. We’d advise doing what feels best for you but not worrying too much about it. Instead, prioritise your nutrition and make sure you’re fuelling your workouts properly. While you’re here, why not take a look at the Innermost range? We’re proud to be completely transparent about the ingredients in our products and we always ensure they’re of the highest quality. Check us out, and be sure to get in touch if you have any questions! Read more