How to Choose a Personal Trainer
Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Personal Training offers accountability, expert knowledge in movement and conditioning, support and guidance through challenging times, and more. However, many people are unsure how to get started on their journey with a personal trainer.
When hiring a Personal Trainer, consider the following qualities to ensure you select the best trainer for your needs.
As in any profession, letters behind a name mean very little if their learned knowledge is not properly applied. However, credentials can give valuable information into a trainer’s baseline of knowledge. In selecting a Personal Trainer to work with, ask about their certifications and how they apply that knowledge to their training. Good questions to ask are: “How did you choose your current certifications? How do you apply that knowledge to your clients’ training programs?”
An important component to any working relationship is how well you and the other person get along. If you need some light humor to get you through a challenging workout, then look for a trainer who will keep exercise fun and enjoyable. If your goals require a very analytical mind, one that picks up on the smallest variables, consider hiring a trainer who meets that need. Good questions to ask are: “Describe your attitude and mindset during a typical training session. How do you motivate your clients?”
Committing to a plan and seeing it through plays a significant role in your success. When you invest in your health and hire a trainer, make sure they are equally committed to you and your success by being available when needed. In your initial conversations with a trainer, ask about their daily and weekly availability to ensure both parties can commit to your success. Good questions to ask are: “When are you available? How flexible is your schedule?”
It is said that the best indicator of future outcomes is past outcomes. When interviewing a potential Personal Trainer, gain an understanding of their training history and client success. Knowing what type of clients the trainer has worked with in the past will give you an idea of how well you may work together. Client retention, or how long clients stay with the trainer, may be a good indicator of the quality of service they will provide. Good questions to ask are: “What type of successes have your clients had in the past? How long do your clients typically train with you?”
Practice What They Preach
You would not go to a barber with a bad haircut, so why hire a trainer who does not practice what they preach? If they can talk the talk, it is acceptable to ask if they walk the walk. Succeeding in health and fitness requires commitment and self-sacrifice. Having personal experience will make trainers better equipped to understand and appreciate your goals, motivation, and capabilities. Good questions to ask are: “What do you do to stay fit? How has your personal health and fitness journey impacted your career?”
One of the best ways to build confidence in your selection is by asking for a referral. Knowing someone who works with a trainer can provide valuable insight into that professional’s training style, personality, and more. Good questions to ask are: “What do you love about the trainer you are working with? Is this trainer someone you would recommend to others?”
Try Them Out
When in doubt, try them out. Find a trainer willing to let you “try before you buy” so you can get a sense of what to expect. Many facilities and trainers offer complimentary start-up programs designed to help clients learn more about themselves, the trainer, and the options available to them. Good questions to ask are: “What services do you offer to get us better connected, establish my goals, and see if we would be a great fit to work together?”
Hiring a Personal Trainer means you are making a significant investment in your health and well-being, and that is something to be proud of. Gather the necessary information, experience their training style, and then make your final hiring decision.
Nick Rozek Greater Green Bay YMCA
East Side Healthy Living Director & Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist