Having the support of a personal trainer can keep you accountable and motivated when it comes to your workout routine. If you’ve decided to hire a personal trainer, it means that you want to take your fitness level to the next level, so to say, and that’s great!
A good personal trainer can help you see more consistent results, prevent injury and maximize your time at the gym. However, this is an investment, and the line between throwing your money away and getting what you’ve paid for is a thin one. You have to know how to choose the right person for the job. Being a personal trainer myself, I tend to meet a lot of people who frequently ask about what sort of things you should look out for when choosing one.
So, I’ve compiled a list of criteria you should keep in mind when looking for your first personal trainer.
Without a certification in their specific area of expertise, don’t even consider hiring anyone. All personal trainers must have their skills tested and verified by an accredited organization, such as the NSCA (the National Strength and Conditioning Association), the NASM (the National Academy of Sports Medicine), or the ACE (the American Council on Exercise). There are no excuses for not being able to show a fitness certification.
Success requires working out according to a set of principles and a personal philosophy. It is a subtle point of differentiation,and it can make or break your experience. Are the workouts meant to be done outside or in the gym? How did they develop their program? On what beliefs are their programs based? Will you be sticking solely to free weights or using machines? Check whether their philosophy matches with your preferences and goals.
Experience and Reputation
Perfection requires practice. If you want to get the best cues to help you maximize every single repetition, you need someone who’s been around for a while. On the other hand, you can cut a better deal with a freshly-certified trainer, but you may not see the results you’d want to. Good and experienced trainers have a good reputation, thus a referral is the best compliment a trainer can receive. Good trainers will be happy to share references, testimonials and success stories as well, because visible results are the ultimate proof of their expertise.
What I learned from a personal trainer in Dubai while on holiday is that people appreciate it when you have an area of expertise. If someone wants to run, then they’ll want to work with a trainer who specializes in running. Chances are that they are more passionate about it, alongside the expertise they also have. And where there’s passion, there’s also motivation.
Seeking to understand each other is at the core of communication. If someone has great presentation skills and has a clever wit, it doesn’t mean that the person is a good communicator. Good personal trainers are effective listeners and know how to think critically. They are agreeing to help you on your mission of achieving better wellness, fitness, and health, so it is necessary for them to know where you have been, are now, and wish to go.
Without consistency, there is no true progress. Inquire about a trainer’s schedule and the number of clients he has at the moment. Does he have a schedule that changes regularly, or likes to book his clients each week at the same time? Can you make up for missed appointments? How far in advance will you need to book them? Gather all the necessary information so you could manage to organize your training sessions with other obligations.
Remember that these are just guidelines for choosing the right personal trainer for your needs. The only rule you should put above everything else is – trust your own gut. Seek to find a personal trainer who is experienced, knowledgeable and who feels like the best and most natural fit for you.
Samantha has a B.Sc. in nutrition and has spent two years working as a personal trainer. Since then, she has embarked on a mission to conquer the blogosphere. When not in the gym or on the track, you can find her on Twitter, or in a tea shop. She blogs at Ripped.me.