Let’s start with the obvious: if you have gotten far enough to search for “What to Look for in a Personal Trainer” on the internet, you have already taken a fantastic step in your health and wellness. Not only does it ensure that you are in the right place mentally, it also ensures that you are willing to get help, something not everyone is able to do. When looking for a personal trainer, however, you have to question whether or not someone is the best fit for you. There are different styles of being a personal trainer, and not all of those styles will work with all people.
Getting a personal trainer helps you to choose which exercises will work for you, to figure out if you are doing the workouts correctly, and to prevent injury from occurring. Still, there’s a fine line between helping yourself and hurting yourself with a personal trainer. For example, if you don’t like someone yelling at you, hiring a personal trainer that does that won’t work. On the other hand, hiring a gentler personal trainer won’t help other people. It’s all about balance.
When looking to hire a personal trainer, you have to look at the following above all:
Availability: When can you work out? When would you prefer to work out? You have to choose a personal trainer who can match up with your schedule. You can also ask how he or she books sessions. Do you get standing dates every week, can you make up appointments you miss, or can it change with swing shifts?
Cost: Let’s get the big one out of the way: personal trainers can be expensive or they can be cheaper. You have to pick a range so that you can narrow down your options. Once you figure out how much you want to pay, you will be able to take a smaller sample size so that the choice doesn’t seem as daunting. Make sure to look for specials like what will happen if you buy in bulk or bring friends along for the ride.
Credentials: You need to find a personal trainer who has the right credentials. In order to do this, they have to pass through a series of exams called the The American Council on Exercise (ACE), the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) or the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). Make sure that he or she has passed through those before you even look at experience.
Experience: What has your personal trainer done? Make sure that not only is he or she physically fit, but that they have also helped other people get there. Ask to see a session with another client or to see before and after photos. You might get a lesser rate if you go with someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience, but that is something you will have to make a pros and cons list with.
Personality: What will make you want to go to the gym every day? Like we mentioned in the introduction, how someone motivates you and pushes you is so important – you have to want to go see your trainer, not hide from him in the bathroom stalls.
Philosophy: This one is important for so many people – what is your personal trainer’s philosophy toward fitness? Does he or she believe it happens only in the gym? What about going outside to work out? Does it include cardio and weight training? Are abs really made in the kitchen? Ask a potential personal trainer about his or her philosophy of fitness to see if it matches up with what you believe.
Progress: Make sure to look critically at what you have done with your personal trainer after you’ve been there for some time. PRs, weight loss, strength gains and other achievements can help to mark whether or not your partnership is working. If it isn’t, don’t be afraid to move on and try to find someone else.
Specialties: Do you have specific needs in a trainer? People who have certain physical conditions may need to find someone who can work with them. Some people might want training for a specific sport or skill. Others just want someone who has experience working with significantly overweight people. Figure out if you need a specialist.
Although it can be a bit overwhelming, you have to get a handle on your health if you want to be strong, healthy, and ready to take on the world. If you feel like some items on this list are more important than others, make sure to push those items forward. Maybe you don’t care about certain items, that’s fine, just eliminate them from your options. However, if you do select a few things off this list to compare and contrast potential personal trainers, you will have more luck and an easier time actually choosing someone.