The personal training industry is crowded. And if you aren’t careful, you can quickly become overwhelmed by all of the different trainers there are to choose from. But with a little understanding of the qualities to look for, you can zero in on the right fit for your needs.
The Role of a Personal Trainer
A personal trainer is a health and fitness professional who is committed to helping their clients achieve specific goals as it pertains to losing weight, building muscle, improving flexibility, and/or staying in shape.
When you hire a personal trainer, you’re getting all of the following in one package:
- Fitness expert. A personal trainer is knowledgeable on anatomy, physiology, and how certain exercises positively impact different muscle groups. Consider them your own personal fitness expert.
- Motivator. In addition to suggesting certain exercises, routines, and plans, a personal trainer is also responsible for motivating you to perform the exercises fully and consistently.
- Therapist. Personal trainers spend a lot of time with their clients. As such, they sort of become unofficial therapists for everything that’s happening in their lives.
- Lifestyle architect. A good personal trainer does more than help you improve your pushup form. They help you create a healthy lifestyle worth living. This may include suggestions for diet, nutrition, and daily routines.
This isn’t to say all personal trainers are equally proficient in each of these areas. Some trainers are extremely knowledgeable of anatomy, but they’re horrible motivators (or vice versa). Thus, when you search for a trainer, it’s imperative that you understand how to evaluate strengths and weaknesses.
6 Qualities of Good Personal Trainers
There’s no such thing as a perfect trainer. And if you find someone who is close to perfect, they’re going to charge you a pretty penny! Having said this, there are some qualities you should watch for:
- Education and Certifications
Formal education isn’t always the best indicator of knowledge and talent, but it’s certainly an important one in an industry such as this.
Your trainer doesn’t need a degree from Harvard Medical School, but it’s nice to see some education and certifications. If nothing else, this helps you know that this person has been approved by people who know what they’re talking about.
- Client Testimonials
The best way to know if a trainer is doing their job is by listening to current and past clients. Run a quick Google search on the trainer and look for online reviews and testimonials. If you can’t find any online, the trainer/gym might be able to provide a few. (This isn’t a must. Not all trainers collect testimonials. But it’s certainly a bonus.)
You want a personal trainer who loves what they do — not someone who’s just cashing a check so that they can put food on the table.
A passionate trainer will be obvious. They’ll get excited and animated when they speak. Their clients will come up and talk to them when they pass in the gym. They love what they do and will make sure you enjoy the process, too.
Things don’t always go according to plan. (Weather doesn’t cooperate, gym machines break down, or you have some sort of injury that prevents you from doing a particular exercise.) It’s in these moments that you need a flexible trainer who can adapt on the fly and continue to help you accomplish your fitness goals.
Can’t make it into the gym one day? Some trainers — like the ones from Results! Personal Training — will work with your busy schedule to ensure you get the right workout at the right time by coming to you! It’s like having a personal trainer with same-day delivery! If this is something that’s important to you, you’ll want to discuss the option of in-home training before choosing a trainer.
- Personal Comfort Level
If you’re going to spend several hours a week with your trainer, you want to make sure you’re comfortable being around them. Furthermore, you need to be certain that you actually like them! This is why it’s a good idea to take advantage of free consultations where you get to work out with the trainer before making a commitment.
Find the Right Personal Trainer for You
The right trainer for you probably won’t be the right trainer for your spouse or best friend. We all have unique needs, wants, and goals. You need to identify what makes a good trainer for you and to go out and find that person. Because once you partner up with the ideal trainer, you’ll begin toppling your financial goals in rapid succession.