Finding a Personal Trainer

July 2007 CrossFit Trainer certification, Sant...

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You are looking for a Personal Trainer but you have no idea where to look or what to really look for.  There are a lot of fitness professionals out there who claim to be experts in their field, and some are, but a lot who aren’t.  How do you weed through the bad ones to find the one that is right for you? 

Here are some key points to consider when looking for or working with a Personal Trainer.

 Begin by setting up an initial consultation with them.  This is your chance to tell them about yourself and your goals, ask any questions you may have, and for the trainer to tell you about themself and their training style.  This is also a good opportunity to ask for client feedback on themselves.  Depending on how long they have been in business, most trainers will have some sort of testimonial from a majority of their clients.  At this point if you feel comfortable with them, have a trial session.  Don’t necessarily by a package of sessions yet, unless you are certain they are the right trainer for you.  It is during this first training session that you get a feel for how they train their clients.   Hopefully they do a health assessment on you, if it was not already done during the consultation.  If your trainer does not do any type of assessment on you, be worried.  This is their chance to see what shape you are in and how to design a program tailored for you.  “If you don’t assess, you guess.”  I’m not sure about you, but I don’t want anyone guessing about my health.

Some trainers find these flashy exercises on YouTube or in magazines and then think they should give them to their clients.  If your trainer cannot tell you why they are giving you a specific exercise, you may want to question why they are your trainer.  Some common reasons would include: to elevate your heart rate, to focus on a specific muscle, to strengthen a weak area etc. 

Does your trainer have a program planned out for you already or are they making it up as they go?  For you to reach your target goal, there needs to be a plan in place.  You should ask your trainer what the plan is to help you reach your goal and how feasible it is. In the past, I have provided a paper copy of their plan, for clients who were curious.

How much info does your trainer document about you and your sessions?  This is something you may not see, but a really good trainer will keep extensive notes about their clients plan, progress, issues that come up, eating habits, stresses etc.  Everything that pertains to their client and their success should be documented thoroughly.

When you are performing exercises is your trainer mentally there with you or are they staring off into space or even watching t.v?  You want to be trained by someone who has you and your health in mind and not anything else.  You are paying for a service and you expect nothing but the best customer service possible.

Does your trainer go the extra mile for you by researching ways to improve your health,  recommending healthy eating tips, or  educating you as much as possible so you feel empowered to do it on your own?  A really good trainer would do all the above and more. 

If you are trying to find the trainer that is right for you, take your time, ask a lot of questions and most importantly make sure they perform a proper assesment on you.  Oh and one last point… hard and have fun!


About Lisa

Lisa is a Certified Personal Trainer who is passionate about fitness and living an active lifestyle. She has a strong background in nutrition, having been a Chef for almost 15 years and applies this knowledge to helping her clients achieve their goals.
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2 Responses to Finding a Personal Trainer

  1. Pingback: Fitness Industry: Personal Trainers Employ or Contract? | Active Insights with Justin Tamsett

  2. Pingback: Primer. « Killsession Musings

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