Great! Aside from getting your butt to the gym, choosing to train with a professional is another big step towards achieving your personal health and fitness goals—that is, if you choose the right one, of course. A trainer should be able to help maximize your time at the gym, instill new tips and techniques into your diet and workouts, and give you the push you need to achieve your desired results.
Before investing in one, make sure to consider these ten things when looking for the perfect trainer.
- Credentials. Of course, this should always be on top of your checklist! Look for certifications given by accredited organizations such as the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). These prove they’ve met the standards to be considered professionals. (Bonus: Holding a college degree in fields like physical fitness and nutrition is a plus!)
- Specialization. This may not apply to all people, but those who really want to take (for example) weightlifting seriously should at least invest in a trainer that specializes in it.
- Experience. Alongside having credentials, the ideal trainer should already have experience working with others beforehand. You wouldn’t want to invest in a “trial run,” which brings me to the next point.
- Reputation. See what others have to say about the trainer you’re considering. Asking people who have trained with them is a big factor when looking for ‘the perfect one’. Ask if he has helped improve their lifestyles and brought them closer to their fitness goals. Also, consider asking about the type of person he is and what kind of relationship the trainer has with his clients.
- Personality. We all have preferences. Some may like having a personal cheerleader that showers them with motivation, but some may also want someone screaming at them while they workout. Find out what he’s like, and let him know what you prefer, too.
- Cost. This is always something to consider, especially when you’re on a tight budget. Make sure the trainer, with regards to credentials, hourly rate, and availability, is worth what you’ll be paying for. This is why you should really take a good look at his background.
- Availability. As mentioned, your trainer should have a schedule you can work with. Ask how many clients he’s currently with and ask about how he manages his time in between them. Some good questions to throw in there would be how he works with setting appointments, how he cancels set appointments, and how he compensates for missed trainings. Take their word for it. If you ask more questions, you’ll encounter fewer problems in the future.
- Program. This is important because this is where you find out how good he is at what he does. Does he come up with a different program for each client, or does he repeatedly incorporate the same routines for each one? Does he shake things up, or does he play safe and go with whatever is preset? Also, make sure to ask about how he’ll track your progress and improvement as you work together.
- Dietary habits. This may not be something to consider for others, but sometimes, it serves as inspiration when you know it’s being done firsthand. Surprisingly, some trainers don’t eat as healthy as you would expect. Having someone who knows his diet could really contribute to his advice to you.
- Knowledgeable in first aid. This one’s just to be safe. You’ll be with your trainer often and being aware that he knows his basics in first aid could help you feel more secure during training.
Now you may have a lot more to consider when choosing your personal trainer, but this list should be enough to help you find the perfect one! Good luck, and enjoy finding the trainer who’s right for you!