Personal Training has become the fastest growing aspect of the fitness industry. Much of this is due to the hectic nature of our lives today. We have little time to ourselves, and we need convenience, efficiency and safety in our workouts. Personal Trainers are the ideal professional to help create and monitor exercise programs, but how do you know that the trainer you hire is qualified and experienced? How do you know that the relationship between you and your trainer will be the right one for you?
Before you hire a trainer, make sure that you have all the answers to these 10 compelling questions:
1. Is the personal trainer certified or does he/she have a college degree in a related field?
Personal training has come a long way from the days when “gym rats” morphed into trainers. Every trainer must have a comprehensive certification or an exercise science related degree. Beware! There are many “correspondence courses” which certify personal trainers—these are not generally acceptable. Your personal trainer’s certification should include scientific and practical testing and should have required extensive studying. Luckily, this field has now become very popular, and many colleges offer Personal Training Certification Courses and optimally, college degrees in a related field.
2. Does the personal trainer have years of experience with clients like You?
Extensive experience along with a certification or degree is a must. Your trainer needs to have trained clients like you. Don’t hire a personal trainer that specializes in working with bodybuilders if you are a 50 year old non-exerciser.
3. Does the personal trainer offer a free consult?
Like any other professional, you should interview a personal trainer before hiring them. A free phone or in-person consult will allow you to get a sense of whether you and this trainer will get along, as the trainer/client relationship is one of trust and intimacy.
4. Does the personal trainer educate himself/herself on a regular basis?
All certifications require that the trainer take continuing education courses to maintain the personal trainer certification. Your trainer should be excited about educating themselves. Learning the latest information and techniques should be a joy, not just a “requirement”.
5. Does the personal trainer push supplements or other pills and potions?
We all know that in some nutritional situations, vitamin, mineral or other types of supplements may be necessary. But, this varies widely from client to client, and may require a nutritionist or physician to make the best decision for you and your health. Your personal trainer should not be trying to push you into buying any type of supplement that they sell.
6. Does the personal trainer take a careful medical history and perform evaluative tests to assess your health and fitness status prior to beginning training?
All trainers should get a clear medical history and perform a number of pre-exercise evaluations such as postural assessments, flexibility testing, body composition, cardiovascular efficiency and more. Without these, you cannot be sure your program will be both safe and effective.
7. Does the trainer’s personality, demeanor and attitude feel intuitively right for you?
There are thousands of personality variations, and each trainer and client must decide if they are a good fit for each other. Is the trainer upbeat and motivational? Or, angry and demanding? Some clients are motivated by one of these personality types—make sure you feel motivated and excited by the personal trainer you choose.
8. Are you willing and able to make the necessary lifestyle changes the trainer will ask of you?
So often when focusing on hiring a personal trainer, the client forgets the most important factor—are THEY ready and willing? Hate exercise? Unwilling to eat fruits and vegetables and give up donuts and beer? Then you are not ready to hire a personal trainer. NO ONE can make you change unless YOU are ready.
9. Have you seen your physician for a recent physical and exercise clearance?
Many illnesses and injuries do require that you check in with your physician prior to beginning an exercise program. Do your homework first—see your doctor to ensure that your exercise program will not injure you or cause illness.
10. Do you have unrealistic or unachievable expectations?
You will frustrate both yourself and your trainer if you have ridiculous expectations such as losing 10 pounds in two weeks or weighing what you weighed in high school. Weight loss and changing the physical body is hard work! And, by the way—your personal trainer should be open and truthful about the amount of work it will take for you to achieve your goals.
Working with a personal trainer is both rewarding and educational and is the most effective, safe way to get and stay healthy. By carefully choosing your trainer, and making sure you are ready, your success is guaranteed!