Beginning your journey towards a health and fitness goal can be overwhelming and confusing. It can take months to convince yourself to take that first step and when you’re finally ready to begin, trying to find the right personal trainer, coach, or program can make you want to quit before you get started!
To help you minimize the confusion and frustration, we’ve put together a list of credentials to consider when you’re shopping for a personal trainer.
Most Personal Trainers charge per session, with discounts available when you purchase larger quantities of sessions. While paying per session sounds convenient, what it’s really saying is that your personal trainer isn’t really committed to you. Let’s face it, it’s not realistic that you’re going to reach and maintain your fitness results by purchasing a block of 12 session. Trainers that require a longer commitment from you are more committed to you in return. They want to take this journey with you, not just count your reps.
Sometimes you have to sacrifice convenience for quality, but in the long run, if the physical location of your personal trainer or gym is out of your way and doesn’t fit within your lifestyle, it’s not going to be sustainable. It might even leave you feeling resentful for all the time you spend commuting. If location and scheduling is an issue for you, ask your Personal Trainer if they offer online coaching.
- Looking the part or living the life?:
Don’t judge a book by its cover. Many qualified and knowledgeable personal trainers are out of shape, but anyone working in the health or fitness industry should practice what they preach. The opposite is also true. A physically fit trainer does not always mean they have the knowledge to help you achieve your goals. Find a trainer that is knowledgeable and actively pursuing their own fitness goal, they must have fitness as a lifestyle.
Nationally recognized credentials and degrees are a solid foundation of knowledge, but there are also many great personal trainers that gain their skill set through experience and continual education. Always ask your personal trainer about their experience with YOUR specific needs and goals. Find out if they are familiar with a medical condition or injury you might have or if they up to date on the latest nutrition, supplement and training research. This type of education far outweighs a text book certification that’s probably outdated.
The only way to get answers to all the above questions is to ask. If you know someone already working with a trainer, ask for their feedback. If you don’t know anyone currently working with a trainer, ask the trainer to provide you references.
Before committing to anyone, ask if they offer a free consultation. Meeting face to face will minimize your chances of being disappointed and maximize your chances of getting exactly what you need.