Choosing a personal trainer is a huge decision (or at least it should be…they have your well-being in their hands!) the amount of trainers out there can be overwhelming. So if you are thinking about hiring that special someone, here are a few tips on helping you navigate the good from the bad, no matter what your goal is…
Research, research, research! Ask friends and family first for recommendations, if this leads to nothing, search on the Internet for trainers in your area and read reviews. Depending on your level and what you require, check their number of years of experience, credentials, involvement with the industry and their actual physique. They should look extremely in shape for their discipline…it’s their job to.
Nothing tells you more about your potential trainer’s work ethic then watching them train a client. If you are able to, spy on them…ask yourself questions like, did they show up on time? How did they interact with the client? Were they focused or were they on their cell phone or eating their lunch? Do you think they are challenging the client enough? Decide then whether you can see yourself with this trainer.
3. The Interview
The client/personal trainer relationship is a two-way deal. Initially, I treat it as a business relationship and want the best for my money (although it ends up in friendship…which can be a blessing and hindrance). A trainer should be happy to offer you a free consultation, so you can both figure out your goals and if the relationship will work. Come armed with a number of questions. My favourite is to ask them if “do you have time for me?” – this may seem like a silly question as should be a given, but some can take on too many clients and cannot give you the time you require, depending on your goals. A high-end trainer may also be very particular about the clients they take on too.
4. You get what you pay for
Trainers are not cheap, so like any service, you should be getting value for money. Trainers vary in experience and levels, so if you are a beginner, you do not need a top-level trainer who can charge high-end prices. However, if you are an experienced athlete who needs fine-tuning or have competition goals, you should expect to pay more to reap the rewards from their years of expertise. Hiring a trainer, however, is a true investment in oneself and sets the standard for form and your future workouts.
5. To befriend or not to befriend
I find it hard not being friends with my trainers; after all I have to like them to spend time with them. Sometimes if you get too friendly, they can get complacent and their quality and time commitment can slip. It is a fine balance, but a professional should be able to keep that distinction when in the gym. Always remember you are paying THEM. However, having a good rapport not only assists with learning how to get the most from each other and session, it can truly open up many exciting experiences.
Happy hunting! ☺