10 Tips for Picking the Right Personal Trainer for You
Want to get the most out of your gym time? Have a hard time sticking to your workouts? Or perhaps you’re just getting started?
In this case, hire a personal training coach. They can keep you on track and boost your motivation. Plus, you’ll learn how to lift safely and stay injury-free.
The demand for personal trainers is on the rise. More than 300,000 jobs in this field will be available in the U.S. by 2020. From newbies to pro athletes, anyone can benefit from expert help.
A skilled PT knows what exercises work best for your body type. They will show how to reach your fitness goals faster and maximize your workouts.
Choosing one is the hardest part. You want a personal trainer who understands your needs and has the skills required to help you succeed. It’s important to feel comfortable in their presence and communicate efficiently.
What to Look for in a Personal Training Coach
Nowadays, every gym has its own team of personal trainers. Yet, only a few have the skills and knowledge needed to work in this field. A certification doesn’t guarantee their expertise.
Knowing how to choose the right person can make the difference between success and failure. Before hiring a PT, consider the following aspects:
- Your goals
- Your lifestyle
- Your daily schedule
- Your favorite type of exercise
- Your budget
Make sure you have realistic expectations. Not even the best trainer can help you get leaner or stronger unless you work for it. Regular exercise cannot compensate for bad eating, sleep deprivation, or boozing.
Next, consider your favorite activities.
For example, if you’re not a big fan of cardio, you won’t get along with a trainer who asks you to spend hours on the treadmill. A skilled coach will recommend high-intensity interval training, weight lifting, Tabata, and other fat-burning workouts.
Plus, a trainer who swears by cardio for weight loss is not the right choice. Too much cardio can stall your progress, leading to fatigue, metabolic slowdown, and muscle loss. In the worst-case scenario, you might end up gaining weight.
Contact at least three PTs and discuss your goals. Ask about their approach to weight loss, muscle building, and overall health. A good personal training coach should be able to provide references from previous clients.
Ready to give it a try? Here are some handy tips for picking the right personal trainer:
Assess Your Needs
First of all, determine what you expect from a PT. Set SMART fitness goals and then look for trainers with experience in those areas.
Let’s say you want to get into CrossFit. Search for a personal training coach who works in this field.
If you’re planning to compete in weightlifting, hire someone who has trained pro athletes.
Determine Your Fitness Level
Are you just getting started or have you been training for years? Before choosing a coach, consider your fitness level.
If you’re a beginner, look for PTs who have previously worked with newbies. At this point, it doesn’t make sense to pay for a trainer specialized in pro bodybuilding or advanced training programs.
The Internet is your best source for personal training services. Look for PTs in your area. Check out local gyms, forums, and social networks.
Yelp and Angie’s List are a good start. These local directories list businesses in every niche. Plus, they provide customer reviews.
Take the time to actually read those reviews and see what clients are saying about the trainers in your area. Make a list of PTs and google their names to find out more.
Ask for References
According to a 2015 survey, about eight percent of respondents have worked with a personal training coach many times in the past. Another eight percent have hired one once or twice.
Your friends or family members might know a trainer who meets your needs. Ask for references and then research them yourself.
Have a colleague who lost massive weight after using a fitness program? Her personal trainer might be the secret. Ask her how she did it, and whether or not she hired a PT.
Check Their Credentials
As we have previously mentioned, a personal training diploma doesn’t guarantee that you’re dealing with a pro. However, it does show that the PT you’re interested in has is qualified to help others.
Always ask for proof of certification. Look for trainers who are certified by trusted organizations, such as ACE, ISSA, and NASM.
Check Their Portfolio
A skilled personal trainer will be happy to share success stories from their previous clients. They might even put you in touch with them!
Ask for referrals and proof of experience. If the PT is making excuses, move on. After all, you don’t want to deal with someone who could put your health at risk.
Assess Their Personality
Working with a personal training coach isn’t a one-time thing. Depending on your goals, you might need five, 10, or more training sessions. Thus, it’s essential to get along with your PT.
Assess the trainer’s personality and approach to fitness. If possible, book a training session to see how everything goes.
Consider Their Availability
Inquire about the trainer’s schedule. If she’s overbooked, she might not be able to work with you as often as needed.
Try to figure out how far in advance you must book an appointment. Tell them about your schedule and see if they are available.
Check Their Coaching Style
Each PT has a different coaching style. Some trainers are tough and expect their clients to go all the way while in the gym. Others provide ongoing support and have a lot of patience.
For instance, if you tend to lose your motivation quickly, a tougher training style might do the trick. However, it may not work for someone who’s new to exercise or gets intimidated easily.
Get Expert Help to Reach Your Fitness Goals
As you see, choosing a personal trainer isn’t easy. You must consider their personality, coaching style, and expertise. On top of that, it’s necessary to make sure they are available when you have free time.
A skilled PT is worth his weight in gold. Do your research and pick the right person. This way, you’ll get closer to your fitness goals and build the body you’re after.
Have you ever worked with a personal training coach? What was your experience like? Share your story below!