Tips for Choosing the Right Personal Trainer
There is a process to successful personal training. If you’ve decided to hire a trainer, there are a few things to consider to ensure you find the right fit for you, get the most out of your relationship, and know what to do when it’s time to move on.
Why hire a personal trainer?
How do you know you could use a personal trainer? When you’ve joined gym after gym and your membership cards collect dust, or you’ve been working out (somewhat) faithfully but haven’t seen any results, or if it’s all just too intimidating for you, a trainer might be the answer. A personal trainer will assess your current abilities and needs, help you set realistic goals, and show you what you need to do to reach those goals.
She will personalize your workouts, supervise you to monitor your technique for effectiveness and safety, and make sure you’re working out at a level that will keep you progressing. Most of all, your trainer will help keep it fun. Yes, fun! If you are having fun, you will continue. The smallest character trait matters, like finding someone who gets your jokes. It’s a little thing, but a good laugh at an opportune time just might stop you from throwing the free weights at your trainer.
How do you choose the right personal trainer?
How do you find a trainer you can relate to who will make fitness fun? If you belong to a gym, you probably have a good selection to choose from on site. (Many gyms will not allow outside trainers to work with you in the gym so check with management first.) Most reputable gyms have extensive training requirements for their staff, and boast about the quality of the trainers they hire. Often management will post each trainer’s qualifications and bio for all to see. After all, this is where they make the big bucks.
The sales associate will probably ask if you would prefer a male or female trainer, but it may be up to you to push for even more options to help you find an ideal match. Tell them what you’re looking for and ask to meet the trainers they feel fit the bill. If the sales associate is good at their job, they will already have a candidate or two in mind.
Other things to consider, especially if hiring privately, are his certification and any updates to his training since then, his degree of experience with clients at your current fitness level and age, session cancellation rules and charges, hours, rates, and if a trial session is available for a moderate fee.
Once you’ve met the candidates and have all your questions answered, be sure to ask yourself if you will look forward to sessions with this trainer, or if you might find yourself making excuses to skip workouts just to avoid him. Can you have fun working out with this person?
How you can help your trainer help you.
Hiring a personal trainer is a great start, but you still have to do the work. Chances are you paid a good deal of money for these sessions so you’re already well motivated to give 100% of yourself while there. You need to be making an effort by eating well, and by fitting in workouts in addition to your training sessions. There are a number of ways to help the trainer/trainee relationship thrive.
* Do your part and be committed to your goal.
* Come prepared with lots of water, a towel and any other tools you need.
* Save the casual conversations and catching up for after your workout.
* Write down any questions you have and bring them with you.
* Be courteous and give a minimum of 24 hours notice if possible when cancelling or rescheduling a session.
* Keep communication open and honest. Let your trainer know if something is truly too difficult, or too easy for
you, or if you aren’t comfortable with a particular approach she has taken.
How do you know when it’s time to move on?
There are many reasons a personal training contract ends. You may have only purchased a set number of sessions, sometimes finances force an end to training, or you may have reached your fitness goals.
Occasionally, problems arise in the training relationship. You may feel your trainer cancels too many appointments, behaves inappropriately, won’t return your calls, is often distracted by other people in the gym, works you so hard you’re sore for days, isn’t delivering on his promises, or you just don’t get along as well as you had hoped. First, let your trainer know how you feel and give her a chance to make it right. If this doesn’t work, reconsider your choice of trainer and discuss making a change. If things are that bad, your trainer may be looking for a way out as well.
Statistics show that reaching your fitness goals is 80% more attainable when you use a personal trainer. They compel you to work harder, and stay more committed because that’s what you pay them to do, but they’re also an excellent resource, whether you’re a beginner, or an experienced exerciser. A personal trainer could be the solution to your exercise dilemmas.
Are personal trainers worth the money you spend on them? If you do your part, they will help get you to where you want to be, that’s a given. It’s also true that by hiring a personal trainer, you are making an investment in you, and that’s worth every penny.