Author: Amber French
How to find (and keep) a good personal trainer…
I have had the extremely fortunate opportunity to work with some of the best Fitness Trainers in the country. Some individuals whose passion is to create healthy relationships between people’s insides and their outsides. I have also been fooled by people who I have hired thinking they possessed that passion only to find out that they had no interest in anybody’s work out program but their own. It happens!
This article isn’t to convince you to get a trainer or show you how to fly solo in the gym. This article will teach you what to look for in a Personal Trainer (or Fitness Instructor) and if you are fortunate enough to come across one that meets the criteria it is up to you whether you train under their watchful eye or not.
So how do you tell the difference between a fabulous trainer and an unknowledgeable faker that can do more harm than good??? It’s easy….Ask lots of questions.
What are your qualifications?
In my industry you become a “certified” personal trainer through MANY different routes. You can actually be hired by a gym with no experience and go through a training program (consisting mainly of sales techniques) at that gym and start training folks the next day!!! Ideally what you are looking for is an accredited certification that requires the trainer to recert (usually annually or bi-annually) and requires that in that time the trainer takes continuing education credits. This type of certification protects the trainer with adequate insurance coverage should anything unforeseen happen (ask about insurance!!)
What is your educational background?
This question is a double edge sword. Primarily you are seeing how much training they have and what areas of specialty they may have. A lot of trainers took things in school that have nothing to do with Fitness and Health. That is fine as long as they have more to offer than one certification. Courses in nutrition, special populations, and specific training techniques can round out a trainer nicely. On the other hand do not assume that a university degree makes for a good trainer. Some of the worst trainers I have met have degrees in health and fitness related fields but that doesn’t necessarily mean they understand how to get you effectively (and safely)to your goals. But you have hit the Jack Pot if they have a tons of real life experience, a degree/diploma, multiple certifications (and insurance).
What do you do to stay in shape?
If they don’t walk the walk, run the other way. If they tell you they are fortunate that they don’t really need to work out that much…..report them to the local authorities because they are just collecting a pay cheque.
If they only work out in a gym, they may be more interested in their own physique than yours or have limited resources to pull from. However, if they are avid runners, yogis, cyclists, fitness instructors, triathletes, or a coach (Sports or Health and Wellness) you probably have a well rounded trainer with a broad knowledge of different types of training ideas.
And finally ask them about themselves! Do you have children? What did you do before you worked here? Who long have you been a trainer? Why did you become a trainer? What do you do for fun?
If you can’t stand talking to this person for any reason, you just gave yourself reason 852 why you don’t want to hit the gym that day, and we definitely don’t need any other excuses! Also, being able to relate to their answers will create an easier bond and more trust in their abilities to guide you to your specific goal.
If you think you have found “The One” be open and honest (it’s the only way we can give you the proper advice you need). Never be afraid to request a new trainer, we are professionals and your needs and tastes may change. Don’t do yourself the disservice of not returning to a fantastic (and convenient) gym because you are too shy to break up with your trainer. We can handle it and you deserve the best for your situation.
Be kind and respectful to your trainer and you will see the results you are paying for,
About the Author: Amber has been in the fitness and recreation game for over 15 years (not including school!!). She made fitness her life because as the age old saying goes, study and teach what it is you need to learn. In other words, she’s battles with some weight issues for many years and wants to share what she has learned along the way.
You can follow her @TheVeganHouse