The question of how to choose a personal trainer is a tough one if you are not familiar with the industry or have not worked with a personal trainer before. If you have little experience working out, you may be a bit intimidated by the idea of going into a gym or personal training studio and working with a complete stranger to help you get in shape. Personal training is a proven way of helping people reach new levels of fitness. A good personal trainer will help you accomplish your goals, and will help you do so safely. In this article I will cover some tips and principles to consider when choosing a personal trainer. Not all personal trainers are equal in terms of their skills and background, so it’s important that you do some research before choosing a personal trainer to work with.
Before You Start Out
Before you start out looking for a personal trainer, you should decide on a few things. The question of how to choose a personal trainer involves a number of aspects, with one of them being goal selection. First, decide what your goals are. Try to be specific in your goal setting. For example, rather than saying, “I want to lose weight”, you may say, “I want to lose twenty pounds by my friends wedding”. Secondly, decide what you are willing to pay to reach those goals. This will factor in as to who is most appropriate to train with, and how often.
Finding A Personal Trainer
With the ease of the internet today, it’s very simple to quickly find personal trainers in your area. If you have been wondering how to choose a personal trainer or how to find a personal trainer, the internet is a great place to start. Typing in the name of your city or town followed by the words “personal training” should bring you up a list of potential trainers. Most likely you will have personal trainers show up from gyms, personal training studios, and trainers who work independently. You may also want to ask around with your friends, hair stylist, massage therapist, or anyone who interacts with many different people. Chances are they will know someone or have heard of someone who does personal training. One of the best ways to find a personal trainer is by asking around.
Looking At Credentials
In the field of personal training there are literally hundreds of organizations that will “certify” someone as a personal trainer. This is due in large part to the fact that the personal training field is unregulated in most places. Of all the certifications out there, only a small handful are considered reputable. Since it is impossible to become familiar with all the certifications for personal training out there, you want to ask some questions about a trainer’s certification. First, how long does it take to achieve the certification in question? Most reputable certifications take about six months of study in order to pass the exam for those having no background in the field. Secondly, is the organization accredited through a third party? This means a third party has been asked to come in and examine the organizations testing procedures for quality and sound practices. Thirdly, how long has the person been certified for? This ties into the personal trainers experience level. Experience level often ties into price, so this is a prudent question to ask when trying to choose a personal trainer. It's important to try to find a trainer with the best personal training certification possible, as this will directly influence both the safety and effectiveness of your workouts.
Looking At Experience
While being certified as a personal trainer represents a certain level of competency (assuming the certification is through a reputable organization), there are certain skills and knowledge that cannot be gotten through study and testing alone. The longer a personal trainer has been training people, the more experience he or she has to bring to your own personal sessions. Being a personal trainer often involves being able to think on one’s feet. If a client has a problem, an ache or pain, or simply wants to do something different then what is planned, a good personal trainer will know how to adapt and change things up quickly in a way that will benefit the client. Choosing a personal trainer with experience can help you greatly in your workouts.
Looking At Background
Most personal trainers (at least the successful one’s) become personal trainers because they have a passion for fitness and enjoy helping others to achieve their fitness goals. Many personal trainers have backgrounds in bodybuilding, fitness competitions, gymnastics, high school athletics, martial arts, and power-lifting, to name a few. When you meet with a potential personal trainer, ask him or her about their background. A good personal trainer will listen to your goals and customize your workouts accordingly. However, there are trainers out there that will decide what they think your goals should be, and then try to impose those goals on you. This is usually influenced by their own background when this happens. This is the kind of personal trainer you want to avoid. One of the key traits that creates a successful personal trainer is his or her ability to listen to your fitness goals, wants, and needs. That brings us to our next topic.
Looking At Personality Type
This is an often overlooked but very important aspect of working with a personal trainer. If you decide to work with a personal trainer, you are likely going to be seeing him or her a few hours a week. It’s important that your personalities click. You should try to decide beforehand if you want someone who has an aggressive personality that will push you, or if you prefer someone who is more laid back in his or her personality. This may very well help to determine your level of success over the long term. Many people who are wondering how to choose a personal trainer never consider personality type, but working with someone whose personality works well with yours is important.
7 Questions To Ask Yourself Regarding Your Personal Trainer After You’ve Been Training
1. Am I Seeing Success With My Personal Trainer?
Depending on your goals, it can take months or even years to realize all of your fitness goals. The important question to ask is if you are seeing progress in your workouts and moving toward your goals. You are going to have plateaus along the way as everyone does, but overall you should be continually moving toward your goals.
2. Does My Personal Trainer Listen To Me?
When you have a question about how to work a certain muscle, does your personal trainer answer you and provide the information you’re looking for? If you tell you’re personal trainer about an ache or pain that you have, does he or she adapt the workout to accommodate it? If you have specific questions about health and fitness, does your personal trainer answer them sufficiently, or does he or she simply blow off the questions? If you have questions about reaching your goals or decide you want to change your goals, does your personal trainer listen and make changes accordingly?
3. Does My Personal Trainer Focus On Me During Our Workouts?
Is your personal trainer constantly looking at his or her smart phone, getting or sending texts, talking to other members, or simply not paying attention while you are working out? Is your personal trainer paying attention to you while spotting you on an exercise? A good personal trainer gives his or her undivided attention to their clients. A good personal trainer is constantly watching for mistakes in form, observing body language and movement to know how much is appropriate for the client, keeping an eye out for safety concerns, and counting repetitions and watching rest times. I always say that during a personal training session, a client should be the center of a personal trainers world.
4. Does My Personal Trainer Practice What He Or She Teaches
Part of being a good personal trainer is living the lifestyle and practicing what you teach to your clients. Most personal trainers get into the field of personal training because they themselves love to workout. Few people go into the field of personal training simply to do the job or because it is something different. Your personal trainer should exemplify living a healthy and fit lifestyle. He or she should be inspiring and motivating to help you reach your own goals.
5. Does My Personal Trainer Make Him Or Herself Available When I Need Him Or Her?
For those with hectic schedules, business owners, or people on the go, having a personal trainer who can meet when you need him or her is imperative. Some personal trainers have very set schedules that are not flexible. Other personal trainers make themselves available to their group of clients when they are needed. You may end up paying a little bit more for a personal trainer who is flexible with when they can meet, but if you lead a busy lifestyle this can be an important aspect of your training. If your personal trainer is unable to accommodate your schedule, you may have to find another one.
6. Is My Personal Trainer Constantly Learning New Fitness Related Information?
Any personal trainer who is serious about his or her work is going to be constantly studying and learning new information. Not only is this important for the trainer and his or her clients, but it is also required by any of the reputable personal training certifications. The reputable certifying organizations require continuing education courses or continuing educations units. This requires the personal trainer to study and pass exams related to various aspects of fitness, attend seminars, or in some cases submit written work to professional sites or magazines. In other words, the reputable organizations want to know that their trainers are not resting on their accomplishments once they get certified. A good personal trainer is in a constant state of learning. This will translate into safer and more effective workouts for you, the client.
7. Does My Personal Trainer Help To Educate Me About Fitness And Wellness?
A good personal trainer should help to educate his or her clients about fitness, proper exercise form, why things are done the way they are, and so on. Your trainer can and should be as much a source of valuable information as it relates to fitness as he or she is an instructor and source of guidance in your workout program.
Final Thoughts On Choosing A Personal Trainer So You Can Maximize Your Results
At the end of the day, personal training is about results. Results that are achieved through safe and effective fitness principles are why you’re going to a personal trainer in the first place. If your not getting the results you want, let your trainer know. If the lack of results persists, you may need to find a new trainer. By utilizing the tips in this article the question of how to choose a personal trainer should be a bit more practical. Good luck with your workouts and your personal trainer and make sure to check back in for more fitness related articles.