I want to share my views on finding a quality personal trainer and knowimg if the one you have now is right for you.
Part one I discussed what a trainer shouldn’t consist of and below are some of the traits you want to look for.
Most reading this probably have had a few trainers over the years. I’m sure some have been good and others have fortunately changed careers by now.
Here are 8 things to look for when getting a trainer:
- References or referrals. Most of the business a good trainer tends to get will come from referrals. that means you need to ask around . Who else has trained with them. How long have they been in business? Full time or just part time hobbie because they enjoy fitness.
- Education. Being a certified trainer Is is the absolute minimum. I wrote the Ace trainer exam back in 93 and Canfitpro in 2004. Truth be told, most of these weekend courses don’t equip the trainer with enough knowledge to be a good trainer or even an average trainer. No doubt it’s a starting point and they need to start somewhere but if a trainer has been working 5 or more years and only has that to the resume it may be best to skip over. My feelings are a trainer er should be as knowledgeable as a physiotherapist when rehab modalities are discussed . They should have a large tool box of assessments If you have tight hamstring, tight levator scrap, internal rotators , gastrocnemius etc. They should be able to assess it.
- Contracts. Most trainers especially in commercial gyms have contracts. The sales dept of the gym insists on 52 sessions coincidentally and you are in for the long haul wetter that trainer leaves or you find it not productive. To me this is a red flag and unfortunately I’ve seen a number of people lose thousands of dollars because of it. Nothing wrong with having a commitment to something like exercise but 52 sessions screams money grab.
- Personality differences. If you are a 30 years older than your trainer is a 20 year old student it may not work. That may come off as discriminator or judgemental but I’ve heard it happen more once. The reason I mention this is not saying age should be a detriment but if world views and politics are an interest to you and you sieve 2-3 / week with trainer then more than just exercise is discussed. It could be sports . It could be the weather. But if the personalities don’t blend then it’s more a struggle. You don’t have to be friends for it to work but there needs to be a rapport.
- Listening skills. They need to be able to listen . Sounds simple enough but telling a trainer your goal is not to get Huey gardening and they implement a cross fit program is missing the mark.
- Know reasons why. They must know why they are doing an exercise . Every exercise. Why are they doing the program in this order? What should you feel? Why this tempo? Why this weight? Why this grip?
- Be On time. People laugh when I tell young trainers this is very important but really this could be number #1 on the list. Trainer needs to be considerate of your time. Your paying them . They need to be there on time. Obviously, stuff can happen from time to time but that should be exception and with phones now a quick text fixes it.
- Discreet. A trainer that talks about other clients in a negative tone will likely talk about you in the same tone. You may not care about that but it’s extremely unprofessional. The hour is not for gossip.
- They have your best interest in mind. They should be genuinely concerned if you are doing well and progressing. You shouldn’t just be #4 client today and $65.if they are asking consistently questions about your sleep, food, activity, energy you’re both in right track.