How to Be Your Own Personal Trainer

There’s no doubt that training on your own takes motivation, knowledge of what to do, the ability to push yourself beyond your comfort zone, and the commitment to stay consistent.


If you love to workout, you probably have a base of knowledge to work through efficiently. But, if the mere thought of creating your own workout is overwhelming and stresses you out, then read on to learn some effective tips on how to be your very own personal trainer in any setting!


What’s Your Excuse?

There are many excuses that may take over when a workout should take precedence. As a trainer, these are some of the excuses I hear quite often:


“It’s too hot, it’s too cold, or it’s raining and I can’t get wet!”

If you take your workout outside, find a time of the day that suits your climate needs and work with it by dressing appropriately or find a local gym that is convenient for you so weather is never a factor.


“I don’t have time; work, kids, schedules.”

Time management is key to maintain commitments. There is time, but you have to make it work for you! How often is there no time for activity, but somehow you have the time to get your hair or nails done or maybe even have a lunch date?


“I don’t have a sitter.”

This is all the more reason to have an ‘at home’ plan! Kids love to move, so have them join in to learn that exercise is a good thing!


“I don’t know what to do if I’m on my own.”

Choose exercises you already know and execute well so that you can get motivated enough to move. Take time to learn and practice other exercises that you can then incorporate to keep your muscles challenged.


“When I lose a little weight, I will start working out.”

Newsflash! Diet and exercise working together is the best way for you to achieve the most effective results.


“I need to get stronger before I can do a workout.”

You don’t just wake up feeling stronger, you have to work at it daily and it doesn’t take much! Just a little effort, commitment and patience will go a long way.


If you relate to any of these statements, you can see how easily excuses can pull you away from your goals. Next thing you know, it becomes a downward spiral. Goals are meant to be tough but achievable, so lay out your plan and do not allow the excuses to override what you need to do.


Time is of the Essence

Time, or lack of time, is probably the most common factor affecting training on your own. But there are many ways to take care of your health and fitness when you’re pressed for time.


If you are training on your own, you do not have to depend on anyone else’s availability, which can be a huge factor in overcoming time. You can work out first thing in the morning or last thing at night. It may not be an easy task to motivate yourself when you’re not 100% comfortable, but it’s not impossible to be your own powerful force.


You know your body better than anyone. You also know your lifestyle and when you are most motivated to train. You know what type of programs you like, dislike, and what works best for your body. With a bit of planning and inner motivation, you can use your knowledge to design the perfect plan for you to succeed. The extra push will come from the hard work you produce and the results you accomplish!


Now let’s turn on the motivational meter, get your coach cap on, and get you ready to be the best director for what your body needs!


How To  Be Your Own Trainer

Becoming your own personal trainer takes motivation, commitment, and patience, but the rewards can be life changing. Listed below are a few concepts that will help you become the best personal trainer to yourself and possibly others who workout with you.



Some personal trainers use these tools to help track their client’s progress. They are just suggestions to help keep you on track and motivated to achieve results.

  • Digital Scale: to monitor your weight
  • Tape Measure: to track inches lost or gained
  • Camera: to take before, during and after pictures through the training plan
  • Fitbit/Watch/or Heartrate Monitor: to make sure you are in your target heart rate zones, record activity and calories burned
  • Stopwatch or Timer App: to clock intervals of time for the workouts
  • Training Apps: to track progress, record data, or help devise a training plan
  • Equipment Variety: utilize a variety of simple equipment at home or in a park setting that is safe and accessible (hand weights, bands, stability ball, steps, medicine ball, etc.)



Motivate to Elevate

Determine what motivates you to develop a solid plan. This is the number one tip that is essential to getting started and very personal to each of us. No one can tell you what motivates you; therefore, it has to come from you so that you will stick to it.


Goal Setter

Set small goals instead of bigger goals. Each goal should be tangible to obtain so that you can remain on task. If the goals are set too high initially, it can be overwhelming and frustrating to accomplish.


Improve Your Diet

Examine your daily diet and make small changes to improve what you’re eating. Include healthy choices at every meal such as vegetables and lean protein. Avoid sugar, boxed or canned foods, as well as white starches.


Hydrate Often

Water is essential to maintaining proper health and to flush out toxins. Carry a water bottle with you so you are reminded to drink up!


Schedule Your Workout

If you plan a specific time for a short sweat session, you are more likely to do it.


Workout Log

Make a daily exercise log to track consistency as well as improvements.


Record Progress

This helps you to see what’s working, what’s not, and provides you the opportunity to make changes to your current plan.



Make a list of daily goals, tasks, and exercises you want to perform. Check off these daily achievements and be proud of what you accomplished!


Set Your Rules

Developing boundaries and a set of rules helps keep your mind and motivation in check. For example, if your morning workout fell through, you have to perform a series of push-ups, squats, and planks before you can retire for the day! Set a rule you will abide by.


Sleep On It

Sleep is definitely an important part of recovery for your muscles and mental health, but I’m literally suggesting to sleep in your workout clothes so that you are ready to go first thing when you wake!


Be Creative

Create a workout with moves you know and increase the challenge by adding your own creativity.


Follow Your Feelings

It’s great to have a scheduled plan to follow, but there are days that your body needs certain things such as rest, a stretch, or even a challenging sweat!


Pick A Number

Choosing the number of reps to perform is relevant to the particular intensity of the exercise, the workout timing, and the amount of sets you perform. If you only have time for one set, you may choose to do more reps since you’re only doing that exercise once.


If you have time for two or more sets, then the rep number may range from 10-15 reps. Regardless, pick a number that you want to accomplish and strive to reach it for each exercise.


Music Motivates

There’s nothing better than hearing a tune that makes you happy and want to move! Create a killer playlist and get in a groove.


Self Educate

Take time to learn how to perform different training methods and formats to vary your workout. Example: circuit and interval training, boot camp, tabata, or just free flow what you know!


Check out this short video to get other pro tips from a variety of amazing trainers who offer great solutions on how to be your own personal trainer.  Enjoy!


Form and Safety

Proper form and safety always come first! This is a must to prevent injury, strengthen weak muscles, and produce the best results.


Here are a few tips to help self monitor your own workouts:

  • If you saw a cool exercise and want to attempt it, but are unsure of how it’s performed correctly, take time to learn it slowly until it is mastered.
  • If any movement causes pain or discomfort, your form may be off! Take time to make small adjustments to accommodate the pain. If it continues to cause discomfort, the exercise might not be the best for you!
  • Utilize a mirror to help recognize misalignments.
  • When accessible, ask a qualified trainer to watch your form.
  • Work at a slow and precise pace to develop muscle strength and memory.
  • Know how and when to modify moves for your own fitness level.
  • Recognize when your body needs an increased challenge and is ready to progress. (Example: More resistance, balance challenge, equipment variations)


Motivation and determination are two important aspects of focus when obtaining

a goal. What inspires one will be completely different from someone else. Finding what motivates you and adapting to small daily changes will be the key to achieving your fitness success!


It’s the inner drive that moves your mind and body towards accomplishing your set task. Believe in your inner talents and let your motivation to move challenge yourself wherever you are!


Always believe in your own power and be the change you want to experience.





Maria Sollon

Maria Sollon Scally MS, CSCS holds a Master’s Degree in Performance Enhancement/Injury Prevention and Kinesiology. She has obtained numerous certifications in various areas of fitness and is a national conference presenter. Maria specializes in Pilates, Performance Coaching, and Corrective Exercise Techniques and Kettlebells. She is the creator of the Plyo Pilates Method and has developed a series of amazing workout DVDs. She is a Master Trainer for Total Gym, Resist-a-Ball, Body Blade, Peak Pilates, Kettle Bell Concepts and is a freelance writer for Fitness accredited magazines, newsletters, and fitness blog sites. Maria demonstrates her knowledge each day and uses her dynamic creativity throughout her specialized line of work. (purchasable workout videos) (workout clips)

Leave a Reply