How to Choose the Right Personal Trainer for You
Choosing a personal trainer can be a bit overwhelming, so we’ve compiled a list of some great tips and tricks to consider as you chose the right personal trainer for you. There are many different types of personal trainers out there who are excellent at what they do, but it can be a challenge to find one that is skilled in the areas you need.
While these are fantastic ideas shared by some of our favorite experts, it’s always a good idea to consult your physician about any major lifestyle changes you’re planning to make too.
With that being said, here are the top tips for choosing the right personal trainer!
Outline Your Goals
Outlining your goals before looking into a personal trainer helps you identify what type of trainer you need to find. Whether your focus is going to be on strengthening and conditioning, losing weight, or learning how to work out effectively, you’ll want to find a trainer that can meet your needs.
“Often, people are discouraged in a personal trainer relationship because their trainer isn’t experienced in the area they want to focus on,” says Umer Usman, Head of Growth of AvantStay. “Going to a weight loss trainer to learn how to train for bodybuilding is like asking a dermatologist to fill a cavity – it just doesn’t work. Make sure you know what goals you’re looking to achieve before you start looking around so you can narrow down your options.”
Meeting your trainer prior to officially committing is something you should request. If they’re not willing to do an initial meeting, there’s a good chance they’re more interested in the paycheck than their clients. You should be able to sit down and outline your goals and expectations and receive honest feedback from the trainer prior to signing up for sessions.
“Unfortunately, we live in a world with people who aren’t going to be looking out for your wellbeing,” says Jae Pak, Founder of Jae Pak MD Medical. “If a trainer can’t make the time to meet and do a consultation prior to arranging the training, then it stands to reason that they’re already too busy with their current client load or simply aren’t interested in your goals.”
Explore Your Options
Checking your options for personal trainers is one of the first steps you should take as you explore finding a personal trainer. Even if you live in a small town, you probably have a larger pool of personal trainers than you realize. There are many personal trainers who do virtual appointments and workouts. While this option may not be for everyone, it can be a great option for people who don’t have access to gyms or trainers in their local area or simply feel more comfortable receiving the training at home.
“Don’t feel like you have to go with the first trainer that you meet,” says Dr. Michael Green, Chief Medical Officer of Winona. “You have to remain a bit objective as you’re searching for a trainer that can help you meet your goals. While it’s important to get along with a trainer, you’re not looking for a new best friend. Make sure you’re picking a trainer because they’re certified or have practiced in the right areas – even if that means you’re going with a non-traditional virtual trainer.”
Learn Their Background
Asking for a trainer’s qualifications such as licenses, certifications, and degrees is something you should always do. If you’re going to allow them to help you improve your health and wellness, they should be properly vetted and certified. However, it’s also important to look up reviews or ask around to find information about training successes or failures from others.
“You should always ask to see the qualifications of your trainer,” says Max Schwartzapfel, CMO of Fighting For You. “Personal trainers should have certifications or degrees that allow them to practice. However, don’t get wrapped up in selecting that uber qualified trainer with multiple doctorates unless you’ve also looked at reviews. Depending on what you’re looking for in a trainer, you may find a perfectly capable trainer at a lower price point because they’ve only pursued a bachelor’s degree but have glowing reviews of their methods.”
While prices will vary rather dramatically based on location, qualifications, and other factors, you should also price check as you’re meeting your potential trainers. You’ll want to ask detailed information about pricing to make sure it’s something you can reasonably afford for the length of time that you’ll need to use a personal trainer.
Hiring a personal trainer isn’t a short-term thing in most cases. Depending on your goals, you may need to meet with them multiple times per week for months or years to reach those goals. You’ll need to make sure that you can afford the services you’ll reasonably need to meet the goals you’ve outlined.
Ask About Results
While researching reviews can be helpful, it’s also a good idea to ask your trainer about their history of success in the area you’re requesting help in. Knowing that they’ve successfully trained others in the area you’re asking for help in can help you move forward with more confidence.
Often, trainers will keep recommendations from previous clients on hand for this very reason. You’ll want to make sure you’re asking to see these for additional information about how they’ve succeeded in the past.
Hiring a personal trainer can be a confusing and lengthy process for people who aren’t familiar with the areas of fitness and wellness. However, you’re now armed with a bunch of ideas and questions to ask prior to choosing the right personal trainer.
Doing your research ahead of time and outlining your goals is the first step in choosing a personal trainer. You want to make sure you’re not settling for someone who’s either not trained in the area you’re asking for help in just because they’re less expensive or they seem nice. There is an immeasurable value in selecting a personal trainer that can help you reach your goals and that requires taking all of the above recommendations into account. It also doesn’t hurt to talk with your physician about the goals you’re setting too.