Hiring a personal trainer is a big decision. Not only are you entrusting this person with your fitness plan, but it needs to be a good personality fit, too. The relationship you have with your trainer is very important – do they encourage you? Motivate you? Make you feel accomplished?
Here are some of the top things you should consider when hiring a personal trainer:
1) Male or Female? Perhaps you don’t care one way or another, but if you do have a preference, keep it high on your list. Sometimes men want male trainers as they feel they better understand building muscle on a male’s body. And, likewise, sometimes women feel a stronger rapport with a female trainer who understands a woman’s body. Whatever your preference, keep it in mind when finding a trainer.
2) Big Gym or Private Studio? The benefits to training in a big gym will be access to lots of equipment, state-of-the-art body assessment tools, many trainers from which to choose and more. The cons to a big gym will be a membership fee in addition to the trainer’s fee, an often-crowded environment and feelings of self-consciousness when being trained out in the open. A private studio will offer a less intimidating atmosphere and more personal touch, but may lack the bells and whistles of a big gym.
3) Personality – Give some thought to what type of personality you would like your trainer to have. Chatty? Quiet? Constantly telling you the latest knowledge on sports studies? A good trainer will respond to the cues they’re getting from the client and shift the amount of interaction to meet the client’s needs.
4) Certification/Knowledge – It’s very important that you have a knowledgeable trainer who knows how to lead you through a session safely. This comes from holding a current personal trainer certification and participating in continuing education. The additional benefit of continuing education is that the trainer will get new ideas at conferences to keep your sessions fresh.
5) Testimonials from Happy Clients – A trainer should be able to point you to testimonials and references from happy clients. Take a moment to read these and contact the ones that are okay with being contacted.
This will get you off to a good start in hiring a personal trainer. I could have mentioned price but, in my opinion, if you find a trainer that motivates you and helps you meet your goals, it’s hard to put a price on that.
Every trainer is going to have a different take on fitness. Their history and experiences and education and the atmosphere in which they train will all influence this. Think through what you’re looking for and find a trainer that matches your needs. I always ask clients, “How can I be the best trainer for you?” It typically catches them off guard but, ultimately, I am hired to perform a service and I want to make sure that I’m doing a good job. Hold your trainer to the same standard.