Do you have fitness goals but are unsure how to achieve them? Are you finding it hard to remain motivated to workout? Maybe you're at the point where you don't have all the answers, you don't have the inspiration and stamina to do it all on your own, and that's okay...But maybe it's time for a personal trainer!
A personal trainer is someone you can hire either within a gym, in home, in a private facility, etc. who coaches you to reach your fitness goals! They can really help you get the most out of your fitness routine.
Why should you get a personal trainer?
Personal Trainers are certified to instruct fitness.
They build fitness programs for specific goals.
They cater your program to your capabilities, abilities, likes, and dislikes.
They provide encouragement, accountability, and motivation.
They correct and perfect your form.
They reduce your risk of injury- whether it be through correcting your form, developing a base strength, or understanding how to set a safe pace towards your goal.
They know what’s realistic/attainable.
They make sure you don’t plateau!
So, pretty much personal trainers are awesome! To make sure you find the right personal trainer for you use the guide below to help you shop around.
10 Essential Qualities to Look for in a Personal Trainer
#1) Passionate about health and fitness
You want the person who is coaching you to be excited, and invested in fitness. If they have a good energy about them, it will only rub off on you and keep you motivated! A passionate individual will go above and beyond to make sure that you have the best program possible.
There’s nothing worse than waiting around while your trainer spends the time you’re paying for to answer texts, talk on the phone, or hang out with buds in the gym. It can be demotivating when your heart is in it but your trainer’s isn’t. Look for someone who is not only going to be 100% present while you’re in the gym, but someone who really cares about you reaching your goals.
#3) Listens to You
If your first conversation involves the trainer doing most of the talking, cutting you off, jumping to conclusions of what you want or need, without consulting you and taking the time to hear why you’re there- get out of there! They might have good intentions, but personal training is like a partnership, it only works when the communication goes both ways. If they can’t listen to and understand your cares, concerns, and goals, it’s going to be hard for them to provide you with the service you’re looking for.
It’s important that your trainer is certified by a recognized or accredited organization. If you’re working out in your typical LA Fitness (or similar chain), their trainers have to be certified! But if your trainer is flying solo, out of a home gym or other unique operation, ask to check their certification- this way you can be sure that they have a minimum fitness education.
A higher exercise science degree will provide your personal trainer with advanced knowledge in exercise programming as well as knowledge of working with special populations, different age ranges, etc. that will take your program to the next level.
All trainers should be able to provide you with a good general program to improve volume, speed, capacity, weight loss, strength, etc.; but, if you have a very specific goal such as training for a triathlon, or improving soccer technique, you’ll be better off with a specialist. Specialists will be able to provide you with a more focused training plan, correct form specific to your activity of choice, as well as give tips and invaluable knowledge that comes only with that specialized experience.
#7) Provide Comprehensive Fitness Assessments
To establish a fitness baseline, a good trainer will do a variety of fitness tests prior to starting your program. The trainer should return to these fitness tests periodically, so that you both have an understanding of any improvements, and current level of fitness.
#8) Evaluates Overall Health
Make sure your personal trainer asks about health conditions, bad habits, medications, as well as any previous or current injuries. Gathering this information will help them to make a program that’s safe for you, and failing to do so is negligent on their part, and may end in your own injury.
#9) Check-In with You Often
A good trainer will check in regularly to see where you’re at. If you’re exhausted, feeling sick, have a tight muscle, or whatever may be the issue, be sure the trainer seeks out any concerns and if necessary adjusts the plan to cater to your well being.
#10) You Like Them
Alright, so this might be obvious, but set yourself up for success here! You’re spending a lot of time and money to work with this human being, and if you choose wisely they might just become a great friend.
And that’s it! I hope this guide is helpful to you if you're looking to shop around for some help. Last but not least, don’t be afraid to ask potential trainers and gyms questions. Whatever you're buying into is for you, and you deserve what's going to be best for you. Happy shopping!!
PK Fitness Program Coordinator, CPT