All personal trainers are not created equal. Whether you?ve had a personal trainer who wasn?t quite right for you or this is your first time looking for one, take some steps to help ensure the trainer you pick will work well. Finding someone whose personality works well with yours can help keep you motivated and working toward your goals. A bad match can make you dread going to the gym at all.
Identify Your Schedule
The first thing you need to do, before looking for a trainer, is to create a long term schedule for yourself. If you don?t have much flexibility, that?s okay. Just make sure you have a clear plan for which days and times you have open. Also, decide how frequently you want to workout with your trainer. For example, you meet twice per week and workout solo three times per week.
If you don?t yet belong to a gym, ask friends where they workout and if they can recommend a trainer there. Most gyms have trainers who work with them, though some will allow you to bring in your own trainer. If you already belong to a gym, start asking other members if they?ve used any of the trainers there. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get a feel for a trainer?s reputation and training style before you meet them.
Meet with the Trainer
Once you?ve got a list of potentials, meet them in person. Get a feel for their personality. Would you be comfortable talking with this person about your goals and challenges? When you meet the trainer, there are some key topics you must cover:
? What are their rates? Do they have a cancellation policy or cancellation fees? Can they train you at home or does it have to be at a gym?
? Is the trainer certified through a nationally recognized entity, like the American College of Sports Medicine or the American Council on Exercise (ACE)? Have they obtained a degree in a related field, like kinesiology or physical education? Note: All trainers should be currently certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid.
? If you have special needs, does the trainer have appropriate experience and knowledge to train you in a safe way? For example, if you are newly postpartum, have had previous injuries, or have high blood pressure, your trainer must know how to create a fitness plan that is safe for you to do.
? Similarly, does the trainer require a release from your physician?
Don?t Judge the Book by its Cover
Many people tend to choose personal trainers based on their physical appearance. However, a trainer?s physique only shows how good they are at training themselves. Someone may have excellent muscle tone and a horrible personality. Don?t let looks fool you into choosing someone you don?t mesh well with.
Complete a Fitness Assessment
Some trainers provide a fitness assessment or pre-screening session free-of-charge. In some gyms, the pre-screening is included as a membership benefit. In other instances, you may be charged a fee. Regardless, it?s important for your trainer to test your physical abilities before creating a plan for you. They?ll obtain a baseline for your workouts and address any special concerns.
When it?s time, say goodbye. Firing a personal trainer can be as difficult as finding the right one, but don?t be afraid to do it. Even if you found the perfect trainer, the time may come that you?ve learned everything you can from them. Keep the breakup friendly and offer a professional reference if you?re comfortable with it.
Remember, a great trainer should help, not hinder, your fitness goals for the entirety of your relationship.