Hiring a personal trainer can be a great way to improve your fitness or reach a goal you were struggling to achieve on your own. However picking the RIGHT trainer isn’t always as easy as it seems. We put together a list of tips to help you not only pick a qualified personal trainer, but the right trainer for YOU.
1. Ask about their certification
These days anyone and everyone can be a self-professed fitness guru, especially with the exposure of social media. But don’t just pick a personal trainer based on their Instagram feed. Ask them what certifications they have. Good trainers will have a degree in Exercise Science or Exercise Physiology or a certification from a reputable organization such as the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM); National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA, which confers both CPT certifications and CSCS, or Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist); the American Council on Exercise (ACE); and the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA). An extra perk would be someone with a certification or background in nutrition as well.
2. Ask about their experience
Ask about their experience and what motivated them to be a personal trainer. The last thing you want is to get started with a personal trainer only to have them leave a gym or change career paths. Make sure they are dedicated to their career and to your client-trainer relationship.
3. Ask for references
A personal trainer shouldn’t be any different than other professionals you hire. As about previous client success stories and to possibly speak with previous clients.
4. Ask their coaching style
Spend some time in any gym observing personal trainers and it can be pretty easy to see the differences in their coaching style. Take a minute to think about what style would work best for you; do you want a drill sergeant or someone who gently advises on form and technique? Ask the potential trainer how they would describe their coaching technique or what methods of motivation have they found to be successful with other clients. Always make sure you pick a trainer who’s technique matches your need.
5. How do they track progress
Ask a trainer how they log, track and assess your progress. It’s important to know if you are improving with your trainers plan of action. They should be able to tell you how they measure success based on your goals.
In all, a personal trainer is a great investment to help you get on track. We also suggest you avoid signing long term contracts or purchasing large packages of workout sessions right off the bat. Take your personal trainer for a test drive and make sure they will be a good fit.