The fitness industry in today's world is muddy to say the least. There are more certifications, qualifications, and fitness guru’s than ever before. Deciding to invest in a personal trainer is something that has the ability to change your life and is something that is deserving of your time and research. Below are 5 tips to help you make the right decision when hiring a personal trainer.
FIND THE RIGHT FIT
Culture has become a bit of a buzzword lately, but culture is especially important when looking to start your new fitness journey. To make a lifestyle change it is something that will require a support system and dedication. One of the best ways to ensure success is to have a support system from your gym or coach and to find someone that truly cares about you. We believe the best hour of your day should be in the gym with us.
Most gyms will offer free assessments or 1 free workout. Make sure you take advantage of that offer and use that ½ or hour to find out about your new potential coach. Do they ask questions? More importantly, do they listen to your answers? Do you like the environment - is it somewhere you want to spend your time? Do they fit your needs? Be honest with yourself and your needs. If you know you are someone that needs to be held accountable and needs more attention find a coach that is willing to reach out and check on you outside of your 1 hour training sessions.
ASK TO SEE A PROGRAM
There are many different ways to program and each trainer will likely have a different program or different nuances in there program based on their clients specific needs/goals. The reason for asking to see a program is not to break down the technical information inside the program it is to make sure they are actually using a program with their current clients. It is easy to create a really hard workout that makes you feel tired, sore, and sweaty but is that really the goal? The goal should be to continually progress. It is much more effective to progress and reach your goal by following a 4-6 week plan that will allow you and your trainer to track results rather than picking something random to do each time you are in the gym.
Again, this is something where you need to use the ½ to 1 hour free assessment to get a good feel for. Pay attention to the coaching cues used and how important movement is to the coach. Are they a cheerleader or are they someone that understands how the body works/moves and will put you in positions to be successful and prevent injury. At the end of the day, despite your goals to lose weight, get stronger, etc. if you don’t move properly injury is more likely to occur. Not only will that set you back in the gym, but it could affect your daily life, work, etc. That is the exact opposite reason of why you are embarking on this new fitness journey. Make sure your new coach prioritizes movement and knows how to coach it.
TALK TO OTHER MEMBERS
This again is about culture more than anything. I would encourage talking to other clients rather than relying on google reviews. Google reviews can be a great initial resource, but they can also be bought and we need to dive in a little deeper for such a large investment. Talk to a current member or two and ask questions to see if you would be a good fit. Ask questions that are important to you and what you are looking for from your trainer.
I want to preface this section by saying just because a trainer has a certification that does not make them a good trainer. With that being said there should be some education in place. Your trainer must have the technical knowledge and ability to help you reach your goals.
First, when looking into education ask if the trainer has a degree in the field. If the trainer has a degree in the field this should give you comfort knowing there is at least a solid base level of knowledge.
Next, it is important to look at what certifications they hold. There are a lot of certifications available that have very loose regulations. Some can be taken all online and can be done in a weekend or a few hours. Do a little research into what certifications the trainer holds and what was required of them to be certified. I recommend researching to to see if there was hands on portion to the certification.
Lastly, what is the trainer doing to stay current? Ask the trainer what books they have read lately or what they have done lately to improve on their knowledge. Obtaining a base level of knowledge is important it is equally as important to make sure trainers are staying current and continuing to progress their knowledge.
An investment to hire the best personal trainer for YOU is an important decision. Take your time and use these tips to make an informed and right decision for you.