Home > fitness > The Newbies Guide to Choosing a Personal Trainer

The Newbies Guide to Choosing a Personal Trainer

So you’ve decided to join a gym and get yourself in shape. Great decision – in my view its one of the best changes you can make to enhance your quality of life.

To achieve your goals (be it fat loss, gain muscle, run further, whatever) you’ve decided to hire a personal trainer. But here’s the problem: if you’re not an expert in what you want to do how do you identify someone who genuinely is?

Its not as simple as walking up to the gym desk and asking for a trainer, it would be great if it was but sadly there are an awful lot of bad trainers out there. I don’t class myself as an expert but after a year of training hard, reading, and learning from my trainer even I can spot some appalling things going on between trainers and clients.

You might be wandering how I got my trainer. I lucked out. I had no strategy for picking a trainer but by sheer luck ended up with a great one.

Looking back I do think there are a couple of simple things you can look for even if you know nothing about how to train. So here’s what I think you should do based on my own experiences and reading round the web.

1) Watch the trainers at work with their clients – are they focussed on the client? Are both client and trainer really involved in the session? Is the trainer watching the client constantly as they exercise and making corrections to posture and giving advice and encouragement. Yes? Thats step 1 passed! If the trainer’s attention is wandering round the gym or, worse, the trainer is playing with their mobile phone then run for the hills.

2) Does the trainer have a stop watch and are rest periods being timed? Yes? Thats step 2 passed!

3) Does the trainer have a clipboard? The trainer should be tracking progress and referring to the programme they are working on.

4) Once you think you’ve spotted a decent trainer then talk to them. Its important to remember that this person is going to regularly take you out of your comfort zone and get in your personal space (correcting posture, stretching you, helping with weights etc.).

5) If you can have a chat with the client – ask them if they are meeting their goals and if not what the trainer is doing about it.

6) Ask for a complimentary session. Any decent trainer should be more than happy to give you this, in fact I think a good trainer will offer this before you get a chance to ask. Its one of their main marketing tools.

These are all things I could have done even with zero knowledge of fitness so if you are looking for a trainer hopefully this will help you avoid a bad trainer.

If anyone has other ideas then please post them in the comments.

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Categories: fitness
  1. Kasia
    April 23, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    It’s lovely to hear that I am a good Personal Trainer.Thank you 

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