How to prepare for your first Personal Training session

Ross Harris Ross Harris National Fitness Operations Manager – Wellbeing Division
You’ve chosen your Personal Trainer and purchased some sessions, but what now? Feeling a little anxious? No need for nerves. Ross Harris, Nuffield Health’s National Fitness Operations Manager, offers pointers on how to prepare.

Save the date

Make your first booking directly with your Personal Trainer (PT) and stick to it. This can be done on the phone or via email. Don’t be tempted to cancel – it may feel daunting, but your PT will take good care of you every step of the way.

Keep in mind that you'll feel fantastic afterwards, and personal training can help you to get fitter faster.

Find your way

If you're a new Nuffield Health member, check out the route to the gym ahead of your first session. It’ll prevent you getting flustered on the day.

Changing rooms

Check with the gym or PT when you book if you'll need to bring your own padlock or a pound for the locker. We’re working on standardising our changing rooms, but at the moment there are differences from site to site, so it’s best to check.

What to wear

You should wear gym-suitable clothes you feel comfortable in – breathable shorts or leggings, a light top that will draw sweat away from your body, a sports bra if you need one, and good trainers with sports socks.

Wearing something you’re familiar with will mean you're not distracted or made uncomfortable by anything that’s too light or too loose.

Remember: everyone’s focused on what they’re doing in the gym, not what you’re wearing, so don’t worry about looking the part. There’s no such thing!

A bite to eat

Eat something light before you workout, but make sure that you have at least an hour to digest. 

Wholegrain toast and peanut butter, or a banana with some yoghurt are good options. If you're unsure, check with your PT and they can advise you on what to eat before and after your workout.

Drink up

Bring a water bottle – your PT will make sure you have regular breaks to re-hydrate. It’s normal to be a little nervous before your first session, but a dry mouth can encourage you to drink more water than you need.

Before your workout, make sure you’re adequately hydrated (not thirsty), but avoid drinking too much water or you’ll be running to the loo during your workout.

Early arrivals

Arrive at least 10 minutes before your PT session is due to start. Check in at reception and let them know you who you're booked in with and when. If it’s your first visit to the gym, they'll show you where the changing rooms are.

This is your chance to get changed and pop to the loo before heading back to reception – your PT will come and introduce themselves, and your first session can begin.

Bring yourself

Today's session will include warming up and cooling down – so you don’t need to worry about warming up before you arrive.

Your Personal Trainer will have a programme prepared to gauge your ability and will ask you questions about what you want to achieve. They'll also ask about any injuries or pre-existing conditions, so make sure you disclose everything. Your PT will use all this information to shape your personalised programme.

Our gyms have all the kit you and your PT will need, and your PT will show you how to use it. Leave your headphones and phone in your locker – the only thing you need to bring is yourself and a water bottle. You can bring your own hand towel to wipe down sweat (from you and equipment) or use the paper towels in the gym.

Relax and enjoy

It’s easy to say, but try to relax. Tell your PT if you’re feeling anxious or have specific worries. They're qualified and trained to high industry standards, and are there to support, teach, and coach you towards your goals.

Whether you’re chatty or too nervous to talk, they'll take the time to make sure you’re at ease before, during and after the workout. Ask all the questions you want to, don't worry about anyone else in the gym, and focus on having a blast.

Our PTs have lots of experience and will make sure your session is fun and varied. It will be over before you know it, so give it your all then and there.

Find out more about how our qualified Personal Trainers can help you reach your fitness goals.

Last updated Wednesday 4 March 2020

First published on Tuesday 21 March 2017