When it comes to the fitness industry, it seems like anyone can call themselves a personal trainer nowadays. When it comes to your physical health and reaching your fitness and wellness goals, be sure you're asking the right questions and seeking out certain qualities when choosing a personal trainer.
If you're looking to get healthy but you don't know where to start, there's more to choosing a personal trainer than walking into a gym and being assigned the first available staff member. Make sure you turn to a personal trainer whose sole focus is helping their clients transform into their very best selves and is committed to long-term health and wellness.
There's plenty of information available on the internet about fitness programs designed by personal trainers to help you to get in shape, but it can be well worth your time and your money to hire a fitness coach with a personalized approach to personal training.
Hiring a personal trainer is an excellent option, particularly if you struggle with keeping yourself motivated and if you have a lot of weight to lose or a lot of muscle to gain. A personal trainer is also great for being held accountable and can provide you that extra push out the door and into the gym when you are trying to decide whether or not to show up for your morning workout.
That being said, how do you go about finding a great personal trainer? If you've already hired somebody to design your personal training program, how can you be certain that you're working with the one that is right for you and your fitness goals? Even if the personal trainer has credentials up the wazoo, it doesn't necessarily mean that he or she is the best option for you, specifically.
When it comes down to it, you are putting in the time, money, and effort for your wellness, your improvement, and ultimately you're new body, so you should make it worth your while.
Here are 6 things to consider before hiring a personal trainer:
Layout your Fitness Goals to your Personal Trainer
The first step on your fitness journey is to be focused on establishing exactly what you're trying to achieve. Do you have defined goals for your personal training sessions, like losing weight or gaining muscle, or do you merely have a general goal to "get healthy"?
Having fitness goals are great, but if you don't have defined objectives for your personal training program, it can be difficult for you to reach your intended goals if you can't express what they are to your personal trainer. Make sure that the fitness goals that are conveyed to your personal trainer are specific goals that matter most to you.
The Best Personal Trainers will Listen to Exactly what you're trying to Accomplish and Build a Program for you to Meet those Fitness Goals.
So again, be sure that you know what you want out of a personal training program and that you convey that to your personal trainer. If you start with no idea of what you're attempting to accomplish, you will be more inclined to drop your personal trainer and lose out on the option to achieve your fitness goals at all.
Take your Budget into Account when Looking into a Personal Trainer
As with most things in life, you should consider what it will cost to hire a personal trainer. Prices may vary based on location, gym affiliation, and a few other factors. But a personal trainer can come with a hefty price tag, especially if the personal trainer has extensive education or a large Instagram following.
An excellent personal trainer can cost between $125 and $200 per session. There are certainly those who can charge much higher fees, but those are based on demand and a long track record of proven results.
Before you burn a hole in your pocket, decide how much you are able to afford or are willing to pay. Once you find a personal trainer that is the right fit for you, discuss what the packages and pricing look like, and if there's a lower rate for sharing personal training time with a friend who you can split the price of the session with.
Ask your Personal Trainer for their Qualifications
As discussed above, a personal trainer can market themselves anyway they want. Technically. That is why it's important to find a personal trainer who actually has credentials.
So, how do you know you are in good hands? Make sure your personal trainer attended a company that's licensed by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), which is nationally recognized as being a reliable predictor of sport medicine and exercise knowledge, as well as the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).
Other certificates worth having: NASM-CPT (National American Sports Medicine) ACSM-CPT (American College of Sports Medicine), ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association), or ACE-CPT (American Council on Exercise), all of which indicate some level of credibility.
Have your Personal Trainer Describe their Area of Experience
Every personal trainer has their own area of expertise. Similar to the coaches at SRQ Health & Fitness Studio, a personal trainer's focus can range from functional training, strength training, fitness and nutrition, sports conditioning, or active aging, just to name a few. It is important to find a personal trainer that specializes in the type of fitness training that will give you the kind of results you're looking to achieve. When a personal trainer's programming is built around HIIT workouts, the kind that leave you drenched in sweat and out of breath, that's a completely different kind of workout than one centered around someone that enjoys doing yoga.
There is definitely more than one approach to personal training and custom-built workouts, whether that be for intended fat loss, muscle growth, or so on. So be sure that the personal trainer you choose is one that meshes not just with your personality but also with your fitness goals. If you are unsure where to start, ask your personal trainer what they include in a program that focuses primarily on overall wellness.
See if your Personal Trainer has a Personality Compatible with Yours
Personal trainers can differ in their method of motivation. Some personal trainers are more prone to yelling and screaming, drill sergeant style, while some can be no-nonsense but encouraging when it comes to getting the job done.
If the personal trainer appears to be rigid and uncompromising, and you are more of the type that is laid-back, it's likely not going to be a perfect fit. If your character doesn't mesh with that of your personal trainer, it can definitely be an issue.
Alternatively, it can also be an issue if you get along too well. If you're so busy chatting that you don't get in your deadlifts, it is going to interfere with how quickly you see results. While you need a personal trainer that is encouraging and fun to be around, you need to make sure you're getting what you're paying for, which is to be pushed to your limits and to accomplish your goals.
Ask Yourself if You're Making Progress with your Personal Trainer
If you've been seeing a personal trainer for a while but you are not seeing tangible results, it is perfectly ok to consider moving on and finding somebody new - especially if you end up using a bad personal trainer. That being said, give it a good four to six months before you give up on a good personal trainer, at which point you should begin seeing some definite results.
The best personal trainers will truly listen to what the client is attempting to accomplish and provide them with most direct path for getting there.