How To Choose A Personal Trainer
If you have a fitness or exercise goal that you want to achieve, you may want to consider hiring a personal trainer.
A personal trainer is an experienced and licensed professional who can help you achieve your goals. But with so many fitness professionals in the market, finding the right one could be a difficult.
It’s not just about certifications and qualifications.
You should find a personal trainer who can connect with you on an interpersonal level. He or she should make an effort to understand what you going through; what you are trying to achieve and why you need to get this done.
Pursuing a health and fitness objective is not just a physical challenge. It will also test your mental and emotional limits.
Keep in mind that hiring personal trainers come at a price. Some charge a fairly decent amount per hour.
Thus, when looking for a personal trainer you should pull out all the stops and make sure you are hiring “The One” who will help you make it to the end of your fitness journey.
Here are 7 valuable tips to keep in mind when choosing a personal trainer to work with.
Check Their Education
When you hire a personal trainer, you are placing not just your health and fitness in his or her hands. You are also entrusting your safety.
This is why the first item you should check in your list of qualifications is their education.
Find out if they have a university degree or if they completed a Personal Trainer Certification course that makes them qualified to become a trainer.
It is quite safe to assume that a personal trainer with extensive educational background would have greater knowledge as well.
However, you could make an exception for someone who has accumulated years of experience in the industry and has the client results to show for it.
A candidate who did not undergo formal education can make up for it by presenting testimonies and other proof of his or her effectiveness as a personal trainer.
It is standard procedure to ask about their education but do not make it your primary qualification.
In health and fitness, results speak louder than words. Just because they did not go to school does not mean they did not learn from their own experience and personal research.
Assess Their Background
Personal trainers have individual backgrounds and often specialise in unique competencies. Some focus on a specific niche in the health and fitness market.
You should always inquire about the personal trainer’s background notably the type of clients they have worked with in their practice.
It is very important that the personal trainer you choose has the ideal experience and competence to help you reach your goal.
For example, if you are 40 years old and have never started an exercise program before, hiring a personal trainer whose specialisation and core competency is bodybuilding may not be a good idea.
Even if the personal trainer has the requisite educational background and expertise, he or she may not be attuned to your wants and needs.
Instead, look for a trainer who has worked extensively with clients that are similar to you and share the same goals.
This gives you better assurance that the trainer knows how to work and manage clients who share your motivations.
They have the right personality and disposition to help you deal with frustrations and difficulties so you can stay on track.
Inquire About Their Availability
An important issue to resolve right away with a prospective trainer is his or her availability. Personal trainers, especially those who are in demand, handle multiple clients on a daily basis.
You have to find out if they can accommodate you as a client in their schedule. Some trainers will inform you if they work only on specific hours during the day.
Your schedule may only allow set hours during the week for exercise. You should hire a personal trainer who can block off that time period for your sessions.
In order to achieve better results, you should be consistent with your workout program. A personal trainer who is fully booked with clients may not be able to dedicate time for you on a regular basis.
You would not want to be in a situation where you are exercising on your own most of the time. It may lead to lack of motivation, slow progress and a feeling of disenchantment toward personal training.
Look At Success Stories
The best way to qualify a good personal trainer is with the results they have achieved for their clients.
It’s not enough to just ask the trainer for “success stories”. Require proof or better still, arrange to meet with a few of their clients. A personal trainer who is proud of his or her work will waste no time in getting you to see their “body of work”.
If a client loves working with the personal trainer, it is impossible to hide the enthusiasm. You can see transformation not just on the physical level but in how they interact with you.
People who get healthy and fit have more energy. You get an overwhelming sense of their gratitude for embracing the new fitness lifestyle.
Of course, if a client fails to accomplish his or her goal, it is not always the trainer’s fault. As mentioned earlier, becoming fit is more than just a physical challenge. You also need to be strong in mind and heart.
Some clients can stubborn and refuse to do what the trainer tells them. They come up with a variety of excuses until the client just quits the program.
However, you should consider it a red flag if a trainer cannot provide a single success story or seem apprehensive when it comes to meeting their clients.
Check Their Training Style
Another important consideration is the training style and preferred methodologies of the trainer.
For example, if you have been thinking of bodyweight training to improve functionality, you would probably want to stay clear of a trainer who advocates free weights and compound exercises.
Even if the trainer has achieved consistent results for his or her clients with the free weights- based approach, the system will run contrary to your expectations.
Remember there are many exercise programs that will get you healthy and fit. Do not be led to believe that a trainer’s program is the best or the only one you need to meet your goal.
But keep an open mind. Sound out the trainer and listen closely to his approach. Do some research on your own and see if the program is worth trying out.
The only guaranteed way to stay in an exercise program is if you enjoy what you are doing. Whenever you look forward to the next session, the chances are great that you will strive to improve every time.
Factor In Cost
Even if you believe you have found the right personal trainer, it could all come crashing down if the cost of hiring his or her services is beyond your budget.
There are no set guidelines in pricing personal training services. The rates will greatly depend on qualifications, years of experience, accomplishments and level of demand.
However, there are many reasonable trainers. Some are so passionate with their advocacy for fitness and their field of expertise that they are willing to work out a training package to meet your budget.
Thus when looking for a personal trainer, come up with a shortlist of candidates. Don’t settle for the first one who comes along. Choose the trainer who meets all of your requirements including your budget.
Another option to consider is signing up at commercial gyms and private studios which factor in personal training fees with the membership package. You should also ask if the gym offers small group personal training sessions.
There are also trainers who do home visits. These are usually the trainers who work at commercial gyms and want to keep more of their earnings.
It is standard practice in some commercial gyms to take a percentage of the trainer’s fees in exchange for the use of their facilities.
You may have to buy some exercise equipment but you could get discounted rates from the trainer. It will also save you the cost of a gym membership.
Do A Trial Run
Before firming up an arrangement with a personal trainer, always ask for a trial run. One session will not be enough. A good personal trainer will offer you two to three free training sessions.
As the saying goes, “Everything sounds good in theory but not in practice.” Two to three sessions may not even be enough, but at the very least it will give you an idea of who the trainer is and how he or she manages clients.
After all in the end, trainers are unique individuals each with their own personality.
You have trainers who conduct sessions like a drill sergeant. Then you have trainers who are more methodical, calculating and laid back in their approach.
Regardless of the type of trainer, as the client, you should be allowed to voice out your concerns and opinions.
A good trainer doesn’t just work for you; he or she works with you.
Keep these 7 tips in mind when looking for a personal trainer. In a journey as challenging and daunting as achieving health and fitness, you need someone whom you can trust to guide you along the way.
The time and effort it takes to find the right personal trainer will be investments to a better, fitter, stronger and healthier you.
Guest post by Exercises.com.au
Exercises.com.au is a website dedicated to helping Australians live a healthy, active lifestyle through regular exercise and healthy eating.
With over 1000 website pages and 600+ exercise demonstrations and workouts, we’re here to help you exercise, get fit, build muscle, tone up, build strength and eat healthy foods.
We compliment local gyms, personal trainers and health professionals by educating and inspiring Aussies to join a gym, get personalised instruction and advice to exercise and live healthier!
Our mission is to help make Australia the healthiest nation in the world, and with your involvement and your daily commitment to making time to exercise and eat healthy foods, together, we can do it!