In a world where everybody and their dog seems to be a qualified personal trainer, it can really get difficult to find reliable, quality guidance for your fitness journey.
For the majority of people, the aim of hiring a personal trainer isn’t just for counting reps and pushing your limits. It’s about personalised and sustainable guidance, to help you achieve your long-term goals.
Your physical health is in their hands – not to mention the often-hefty price tag, so you want to make sure you’re spending your money wisely.
Here are a few tips to make sure your personal trainer is going to go above and beyond your expectations, to help you get where you want to be:
1. Make sure they have the appropriate qualifications
You may have noticed it’s become mind-blowingly easy these days for people to become qualified as a personal trainer.
Courses that take as little time as one single weekend are offered, allowing average-Joes with no real experience to train real clients.
This is extremely worrying, due to the fact that so many people are putting their health in the hands of people who don’t necessarily know much more about fitness and nutrition any more than your average person.
It can lead to injuries, the spreading of misinformation, and an overall a sub-par service, which simply isn’t worthy of your hard-earned money.
Before hiring a personal trainer, do some basic research on their credentials, and make sure they earned their qualifications from a quality course.
There are too many different qualifications across several countries to list the specific good and bad ones here, but it should be simple enough to do your research on what kind of qualifications your personal trainer has.
2. Choose someone who has been in your shoes
Although there has been a rise in the number of poorly-qualified personal trainers, we have fortunately seen a rise in decent personal trainers, too.
One positive aspect to this growth in numbers is that it brings more diversity to the table, including a bigger variety of backgrounds, skillsets, and personalities.
Everyone, including in-shape personal trainers had their own starting point, their own goals, and their own story.
Some started skinny, some started fat. Others had hardships and disabilities. They’ve all had their own obstacles to overcome.
The opportunity that this brings is this:
You have a great chance of finding a personal trainer who has already travelled the path that you are about to take.
A key analogy for explaining the advantages of having a trainer who has been in your shorts is the difference between travelling with a map, or a tour guide; A map will tell how to get where you need to go – and there’s nothing wrong with that. But a tour guide who knows the route is much more valuable. They know the details of the journey, the obstacles along the way, and how to get past them.
THAT’s an advantage worth paying for.
In a similar way, if your personal trainer has already been through the journey that they’re about to lead you through, they’ll not only understand the essential steps, but also the less-discussed details that will make all the difference in the long-run.
Perhaps the quickest and easiest way to tell if a personal trainer is good at what they do, is to check out what their past clients have to say.
Many personal trainers have their own business profile page – often in the form of a Facebook fan page, LinkedIn profile, or even their own website.
Have a look at any feedback from their previous clients, especially those who made a similar journey to the one you’re trying to make.
If you can go the extra step, see if you can have the privilege of chatting to one of those people to hear in more detail about what their trainer was like.
Good trainers will very often have a publicly-displayed track record of happy clients, and won’t be afraid to show off their successful transformations!
4. Good trainers LISTEN.
As much as good personal training is to do with their expertise on fitness, another very important component is understanding their client – you.
When beginning with a personal trainer, you’ll want to make sure they sit down with you and talk things over – your goals, your lifestyle, and your preferences.
These details all play a huge part in the bigger picture, and should really be used as the foundations in any workout or nutritional plans that your trainer creates for you.
Success in fitness depends mostly on consistency and a sustainability, which means that a carefully though-out plan for progress is essential for any trainers’ clients.
At the same time, however, the plan should not be static – it should be open to change and flow with your current state. Your trainer should always check in with how you’re doing, and acknowledge any problems or suggestions that you have.
Get to it!
Although following all this advice may make it seem a little overwhelming, don’t be discouraged.
It’s just as easy to drop a personal trainer as it is to hire one, so don’t feel like you have to settle on the first one you pick – just make sure you don’t lock yourself into any long-term contracts before you know what you’re in for!
Good personal trainers won’t take it personally if you decide a change is best. After all, it’s a mutual relationship – you will both enjoy your sessions together if you get along well.
Be slow to hire, and quick to fire!