So, you’ve decided that you’d like to take a step to fitness by hiring a personal trainer. That’s amazing! Personal trainers are often a great investment in your health – particularly at the beginning of your fitness journey when you’re looking for a great foundation on which to build a healthy lifestyle that lasts.
But, how do you find one that works for you? What questions should you ask when deciding between trainers?
With that in mind, here are some tips to help you find the fit that’s going to keep you motivated, keen to build the habit, and perhaps, even a little bit excited to go to work out.
- Before you even arrive at the gym, take a look inwardly – what personality style works for you? Does a drill sergeant-type who pushes hard and yells what you need? Is someone gently motivating better for you?
- Decide what you want from personal training. Are you looking to lose weight? Maintain your current physique? Bulk up? Return to fitness post-partum or post-injury? Ask any trainers you meet if they specialize in what you’re looking for before committing
- Ask for their credentials. Did they go to school for kinesiology? Are they certified to train? How long have they been a personal trainer?
- Do you have a budget in mind? Be up front about how much you’re looking to spend – per hour, per session, for a select amount of sessions
- What commitment can you make to training sessions? Be realistic about the time you have available to spend with a trainer, and ask if and how they could customize a plan that works for you within those time parameters
- Be realistic about the results you can get within your timeframe, and beware of anyone who says you can get better, faster results by pushing harder than you’re able at your current fitness level, or that tries to sell additional pricey supplements
- Avoid anyone who uses the same plan for everyone, and doesn’t listen to your preferences. For example, if you hate running, or weight machines, a plan built around treadmills and machines will be one that’s quickly abandoned. Additionally, avoid anyone who doesn’t listen to you about any injuries, or limitations when designing a plan for you. Ignoring health concerns is a quick way for you to get injured
- Do they have references from other clients – former or current? What did these clients appreciate or dislike about the trainer? Is the feedback largely positive?
- Do you like the gym they work for or train in? Is it a comfortable space for you, or are they freelance and allowed to work anywhere? These are important questions because you’ll likely go to the gym on non-personal training days, and you still want to be motivated to do so
- If nutrition is important to you as well, or you want a holistic plan, are they also dieticians or certified to give nutritional advice? If not, do they work with someone , or can refer you to someone who is?
Overall, your comfort and safely should be paramount to your personal trainer. They are there to push you, so yes, there will be times you’ll be sore, sweatier than you care to be, and may want to quit. But a trainer who’s a great fit for you will guide you through those though workouts, push you to be the best you can be, and will have your best interests at the core of all they do for you.