What constitutes the best trainer or exercise class for you? Emma-Charlotte Bangay goes through the motions to find out what factors put the ‘Personal’ into the personal training experience.
“I believe every woman wants to be a healthier and fitter version of herself and these celebrity female trainers are the perfect role model,” says former Winter Olympian and founder of Premium Performance, Steph Prem of the Tracy Anderson Method that has swept the celebrity scene in recent years. Gwyneth Paltrow, Shakira, Victoria Beckham, Madonna and Courteney Cox are just some of the female fans of this toning and tightening trailblazer. There is no denying that these women look better now than they did twenty years ago, and a woman is behind their metamorphosis.
Needless to say, Australian women are now clambering to clock on weekly with their own female personal trainer or all-female Pilates class and it’s a fit that Steph thinks makes perfect sense. Understanding the ins and outs of the female body are just one of the things that make a female trainer beneficial for a female client, she says. “Hormones, inflammation, menopause, weight gain, stress, pregnancy…. I believe it’s easier for a female to relate to a female and have a more genuine understanding.”
However, Australia’s most recognisable fitness expert, Michelle Bridges, says women make up 90% of her clientele, but she is not sure that finding a trainer to suit you is always a ‘one gender fits all’ situation. “Some male trainers are more empathetic than women trainers,” she says, adding that your choice of Butt-Kicking Boss will work for you “if your trainer is like minded. You need to get along!”
Both of these leading fitness mavens agree that when you are looking for a trainer to take you to a higher level of fitness – or basically scrape you off the floor post-child-birth – a supportive personality is a far greater priority than their sex. “My belief is the nurturing element is the most important one,” says Steph, who believes training has to be fun yet challenging – mentally and physically. “You have to feel ‘looked after’ and it has to be genuine.”
Here are some other key factors to take into account when looking for a trainer or exercise regime:
- “What you “don’t do” is just as important as what you “do” do!” says Steph. And “more movement less food,” is the ethos to stick to. “It’s simple but people don’t want to hear it.”
- You may be in great shape, but are you stressed out? Stress, confidence and self-belief may be things you build upon when getting fit way before your brawn. “I think Lorna Jane summarises it beautifully with her ‘MOVE, NOURISH, BELIEVE!’ mantra” enthuses Steph.
- If you want to fly solo, a daily walk or even just stretches are a great start. Begin with 20-30 minutes a day and decrease unhealthy habits. When motivation begins to wane, get a group together for a session.
- It’s a deal-breaker that you only train with a fully qualified fitness instructor or credited gym or training space. “But I think experience in the industry is more important. Someone fresh out of an institute will never give you what a trainer who’s been on a field, gym floor or in a clinic for the past 10 years will give you. “
- Get a basic medical check before undertaking classes or training sessions. Then lace up those shoes and slip into those LuLuLemon leggings and get going!
Visit ecb Ink to learn more about Emma-Charlotte Bangay.