best personal training tips 2024

Are you looking for the best personal training tips for beginners to level up your fitness in 2024?

Taking control of your well-being and health has never been more critical than today, and that is why so many Americans turn to personal trainers every year. Working with a certified personal trainer can dramatically enhance your journey to accomplishing your fitness goals and shattering plateaus!

Whether you’re just starting or looking to refine your workout regimen, here at Infinite Performance Training of Gainesville, VA – our personal training guide offers essential personal training tips for beginners. Keep reading to discover how to assert your right to health with practical personal training tips for beginners below

10 Personal Training Tips for Beginners

Here at Infinite Performance Training, we specialize in helping student-athletes, adults, and anyone looking to increase their physical potential. As some of the best personal trainers in Northern Virginia, we have learned what helps beginners on their journey the most and created this list below!

1. Setting Realistic Goals

personal training tips

Setting realistic goals is a cornerstone of any effective workout program. It’s crucial because attainable targets motivate you and set the stage for success. The statistics regarding fitness are pretty straightforward – most people give up. However, a personal trainer can help you set realistic and proper goals for your needs!

Successful personal trainers know that when setting their goals for clients, they must use the SMART framework: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Here’s how to apply it:

  1. Specific: Define what you want to achieve clearly.
  2. Measurable: Ensure you can track your progress.
  3. Achievable: Set goals within your physical capabilities.
  4. Relevant: Align your goals with your overall fitness objectives.
  5. Time-bound: Give yourself a deadline.

By following these steps with the guidance of a personal trainer like Infinite PT and leveraging the expertise of fitness professionals, you’ll create a foundation for a sustainable and rewarding workout regimen.

2. Finding the Right Trainer

Finding the right trainer can make a significant difference in achieving your fitness goals. A personal trainer with the proper credentials and experience is not just a coach but a crucial guide on your fitness journey.

You can search the internet for “Best Trainer Near Me,” utilize social media, or ask a friend. Either way, here are four top reasons why certifications and experience matter:

  • Safety: A personal trainer certification ensures they understand safety protocols and exercise execution to prevent injuries.
  • Expertise: Extensive experience and a personal training certification mean they can effectively tailor programs to individual needs.
  • Results: A successful personal trainer has a proven track record of helping others succeed.
  • Trust: Certifications from accredited organizations assure you that the fitness professional meets industry standards.

3. Understanding the Basics of Fitness

“Fitness isn’t about being better than someone else; it’s about being better than you used to be.”

When you step into a personal training session, it’s essential to grasp some basic fitness jargon. This can explain what personal trainers are trying to convey and help you better follow their instructions.

Here are ten most common fitness and personal training terms simplified:

  • Reps – Short for repetitions, the number of times you perform a specific exercise.
  • Sets – A group of consecutive reps.
  • Cardio – Any exercise that increases your heart rate.
  • HIIT – High-Intensity Interval Training, an exercise method where you alternate between intense activity and rest.
  • AgilityThe ability to move laterally and quickly, making athletic cuts and steps
  • Core – The muscles around your trunk and pelvis.
  • Plyometrics – Jump training designed to increase speed and power.
  • DOMS Is Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness, the pain or stiffness felt several hours to days after unaccustomed or strenuous exercise.
  • Free Weights – Equipment like dumbbells or barbells that aren’t attached to a machine.
  • Circuit Training – A series of exercises performed one after the other with minimal rest.
  • Spotting – Assisting another person during an exercise to help them train safely.

Understanding these terms can make your training sessions more effective and ensure personal trainers communicate more efficiently, especially if you’re venturing into the personal training business. Now, isn’t learning fitness lingo like trying to decode a secret language?

Additionally, knowing these terms, like DOMS, can help you understand what will come after you work out!

4. Starting Slow

At Infinite Performance Training of NOVA, we advise all personal training clients to start slow! The goal is to build consistency and routines while also presenting injury. Starting slow is vital advice from personal trainers to anyone new to exercising. It’s all about creating a foundation to support a long-term exercise program without overwhelming you or causing injuries.

Here are five beginner-friendly exercises recommended by fitness professionals:

  • Walking – Simple yet effective, it’s a great way to ease into physical activity.
  • Squats – These strengthen your legs and core, and you can start without weights.
  • Planks – Excellent for core stability, and you can begin by holding the position for short periods.
  • Bicep Curls – Lightght dumbbells are great for starting arm strength training.
  • Stationary Cycling – Low impact and easy on the joints while helping improve cardiovascular health.

Personal trainers often suggest these exercises within the fitness industry because they lay a solid groundwork for more complex routines. Other fitness professionals agree that starting slow ensures a sustainable fitness journey, keeping you motivated and injury-free. That said, we usually complete an intake assessment at Infinite PT to assess skills and levels to customize workouts that align with your goals.

For our student-athletes, we want to ensure the training sessions are custom-tailored to meet sport-specific goals!

5. Importance of Consistency

Consistency is the backbone of any successful training process, and personal trainers will emphasize this repeatedly. New clients seeing the best results see them after consistently attending multiple training sessions. In most cases, personal trainers will harp on consistency in order to achieve results!

Here are five top tips for making exercise a regular habit:

  • Schedule Your Workouts – Treat them like any other necessary appointment.
  • Set Small, Achievable Goals – Celebrate small victories to stay motivated.
  • Mix It Up – Keep your routine interesting by varying the activities.
  • Find a Workout Buddy – Accountability can significantly increase your consistency.
  • Track Your Progress – Seeing improvements can be a huge motivator.

While personal training tips always stress the importance of regular workouts, remember missing a day is okay. The key isn’t perfection; it’s persistence. Don’t let a small slip stop your progress! If you track your progress and can workout 16-20 days a month, you will see massive results!

6. Nutrition Matters


Making progress towards your goal isn’t just all about the workout routine. Nutrition is crucial in elevating your fitness level and complementing your training efforts. Without proper nutrition and supplementation, you can prevent results.

Here are a few tips to ensure that your diet supports your workout goals:

  • Balance Your Macros – Ensure your meals contain a healthy balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Carbohydrates fuel your workouts, proteins help repair and build muscle, and fats support overall health.
  • Stay Hydrated – Drinking enough water is essential for daily function and maximizing your performance during exercise. Aim for at least eight glasses daily, more if you’re active. For our student-athletes, we recommend one gallon of water per day.
  • Avoid Processed Foods – Opt for whole, unprocessed foods to get the most nutrients and avoid unnecessary sugars and fats hindering your progress.

Now, are you wondering if chasing the latest fitness fad diet will boost your results? Probably not, but it might make your wallet lighter—I guess that counts as weight loss, right? We take a long-term approach to health, but it is not a quick way to shed pounds! That is why proper nutrition coaching is vital at Infinite Performance Training!

7. Learning Proper Form

Most injuries in sports can come from over-training, but in most instances of injury, it comes from improper form or too much weight. Learning proper form is fundamental to any exercise regimen, ensuring the effectiveness of each movement and preventing injuries. One of the most significant upsides to working with a certified personal trainer is that you can learn proper form when exercising.

Here are four reasons why form matters and how a personal trainer can assist:

  • Prevents Injuries—Proper form is crucial to avoiding strain and injury. A personal trainer well-versed in exercise science can guide you through the correct postures and movements during training sessions.
  • Increases Exercise Efficiency – Correct form helps target the intended muscle groups more effectively, maximizing the benefits of each workout.
  • Speeds Up Progress—Proper form can help you progress more quickly towards your fitness goals as part of a healthy lifestyle.
  • Builds Better Body Awareness – A personal trainer can help you become more aware of your body’s movements and alignment, which is essential for any physical activity.

At Infinite Performance Training, our new personal trainers are tested and taught how to be attentive to ensuring clients perform exercises correctly, making them invaluable allies in your fitness journey. Head trainer CJ Jones has 20+ years of training experience, making him a go-to resource for proper form!

8. Mixing It Up

Mixing up your routine is essential in keeping your exercise program fresh and engaging. We always strive to utilize continuing education to learn the latest techniques to mix up the workouts and track progress more effectively. When working with potential clients for the first time, chances are the first few weeks will be similar to creating a base. After that, we will build off the base to diversify the training.

Here are five activities you can consider, each endorsed by the fitness industry and guided by certified personal trainers:

  • Aerial Yoga – Combining traditional yoga poses with a fabric hammock, offering a unique way to improve flexibility and strength.
  • Aquatic HIIT – High-intensity interval training in the water, providing resistance without the impact, ideal for joint health.
  • Virtual Reality Fitness Classes – Incorporating VR headsets to simulate different environments for a fun, immersive workout experience. At Infinite Performance Training, we also offer virtual training online.
  • Obstacle Course Training – Inspired by events like Spartan races, this training boosts physical and mental agility.
  • Pound Fitness – A combination of cardio and weight training with rhythmic movements using lightweight drumsticks.
  • Related Best gyms in Gainesville, VA (see more)

A certified personal trainer can tailor these activities to fit your fitness goals, ensuring you get the most out of every session. Remember, as the saying goes, “Variety is the spice of life,” and this holds for your workout regimen, too.

9. Tracking Progress

Tracking progress is critical to personal training, especially for beginners looking to lose weight or enhance their fitness at a commercial gym. Herat at Infinite PT, we utilize mobile apps and tools that help monitor achievements and help you stay motivated.

In addition to our tracking tools and measurement techniques, some popular apps recommended by personal trainers include:

  • MyFitnessPal – Excellent for tracking dietary intake and exercise, helping you manage your calories effectively.
  • Strava – Ideal for runners and cyclists, this app records your routes and shares your progress with a community of athletes.
  • Fitbit – Offers comprehensive activity tracking, from steps to sleep patterns, and syncs with various devices.
  • Nike Training Club – Provides a range of workouts designed by expert trainers and tailored to all fitness levels.

Personal training tips for beginners often emphasize the importance of consistent, incremental progress—much like the “20 miles a day” concept, where small, consistent efforts lead to significant long-term results. We utilize regular measurements and testing to help our clients ensure progress and utilize data, which is a powerful tool for guiding performance!

10. Overcoming Plateaus

personal training tips

Have you ever heard of the Emotional Cycle of Change? Essentially, once most people hit the “Valley of Despair,” also known as a plateau, performance and effort drop fast. Hitting a plateau can be frustrating, but with the right training tips and guidance from a fitness professional like those at Infinite Performance Training, you can overcome it and continue to a healthy life.

Here are three effective strategies to break through plateaus:

  • Change Your Routine – Sometimes, your body gets too accustomed to a specific workout regimen. Mixing things up can shock your body into responding. Try different exercises at your local gym or adjust the intensity to reignite progress.
  • Focus on Nutrition—Plateaus often occur when your diet doesn’t support your workout goals. Tweaking your caloric intake or macronutrient balance can help reduce body fat percentage and fuel better performance.
  • Incorporate Recovery Days – Adequate rest and recovery can sometimes be what your body needs to break through a plateau. It allows muscles to repair and strengthen, fostering improvements when you return to training.

Maintaining a positive attitude is crucial as it helps you stay motivated and committed, even when progress seems to stall. Remember, overcoming plateaus is a part of everyone’s fitness journey.

Bonus Personal Training Tip: Staying Motivated

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”

This saying embodies the spirit of Gold’s Gym, which started as a small concrete space in Venice, California, and transformed into an iconic fitness empire. Much like Gold’s Gym’s humble beginnings, everyone’s fitness journey starts with a single step and is sustained by continual motivation.

Here are seven modern tips to stay motivated, especially with the guidance of a certified personal trainer:

  1. Set Clear Goals – Know what you want to achieve and remind yourself daily.
  2. Track Your Progress – Seeing improvement is a huge motivator.
  3. Join Fitness Challenges – Compete with others to push your limits.
  4. Reward Yourself – Set rewards for reaching milestones.
  5. Find a Workout Buddy – Sharing the journey can make workouts more enjoyable.
  6. Hire a Certified Personal Trainer – A professional can tailor personal training tips for beginners and keep sessions engaging and effective.
  7. Mix It Up – Avoid routine fatigue by trying new activities regularly.

➡️ Did you know? The original Gold’s Gym in Venice, known as “The Mecca of Bodybuilding,” was a training ground for Arnold Schwarzenegger and the birthplace of the fitness boom of the ’70s. CJ Jones, the founder of Infinite Performance Training, was once a trainer at a Gold’s Gym in Prince William County, where he was recognized as the trainer of the year.

The Final Word –

Once you have a clear idea of what you are after, the next step is to ensure you apply yourself to reach your goals. A personal trainer can help you with your fitness goals and teach you how to use your spare time effectively.

Hopefully, these ten personal training tips for beginners helped you gain some perspective so you can crush it! If you are looking for personal training help in Northern Virginia (Manassas, Centreville, Haymarket, Gainesville) or online, be sure to reach out to CJ and the team at Infinite Performance Training!


Infinite Performance Training is one of the best training centers in Gainesville, VA for student athletes looking to take it to the next level! We also specialize in helping adults reach their fitness goals too!

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