Choosing a personal trainer can be a difficult, confusing, and potentially life-changing decision.
You could be hiring a seasoned professional trainer who will:
- Transform your body
- Improve your health
- Elevate your natural mood and energy levels
- Educate you and support your change to a healthier lifestyle
You might be hiring an individual who is:
- Lacking vital knowledge and skills
- Potentially harmful to your health and well-being
FACTORS TO CONSIDER
1. What Qualifications Does Your Trainer Have?
The fitness industry has a big secret that most trainers and gyms won’t tell you… Personal trainer certifications are NOT REGULATED nationally! What does this mean to you and why does it matter? There is no set standard for the level of education that one must posses to become a “certified” personal trainer. Many organizations offer certification programs with nothing more than a simple 30 minute test that most middle school biology students would breeze through! However, these four organizations continually hold their trainers to the highest standards in the industry: NASM, ACE, ASCM, NSCA.
2. How Much Experience Do They Have?
Personal training is a profession that requires years of exposure to numerous clients before one can become a truly “skilled” trainer. Generally, you should seek a trainer with 5+ years of training experience – being a nutritionist, massage therapist, or student does not translate to hands-on experience.
3. In Which Areas Of Health and Fitness Do They Specialize?
Like their clients, every personal trainer is unique. Each person has specific strengths and weaknesses – trainers are no exception. Specialties within the health and fitness industry are numerous:
- Cardio Circuits
- Power Lifting
- Post-Natal Fitness
- Body Building
- and many more!
Choose a trainer who specializes in the areas that relate to your fitness goals.
– If you just had a baby and are looking to tone up and regain your youthful figure… A power lifter isn’t the best fit for you.
4. How Many Training Locations Are Offered?
What is the #1 reason clients discontinue gym memberships and personal training sessions? Convenience. In larger cities traffic can be bad – If your trainer requires that you travel a great distance to their fitness studio it is much easier to become stuck in traffic, have schedule conflicts, or make excuses not to show up. Missing sessions = not reaching health and fitness goals.
5. What Stipulations and Hidden Fees Come With Session Costs?
Various accessory fees/requirements to consider:
- Consultation Fee (most quality trainers offer free consults)
- Minimum Amount of Sessions You Must Purchase
- Expiration Date on Sessions
- Cancellation Fees
- Gym Membership Fees
- Initiation Fees
6. What Is Your Personal Trainer’s Personality and Coaching Style?
If your trainer’s personality or style is grating, annoying, or just plain boring to you then how motivated will you be to spend an hour of tough exercise with this individual multiple times per week?!
7. Is Your Personal Trainer Full-Time?
This is the #1 factor to know – yet it is rarely thought about or known until too late! If your personal trainer is part-time… STOP! Do not waste your money, health, or time with this individual! If personal training is secondary to your trainer’s “real job” guess who else is secondary – YOU!!! Hiring a part-time trainer will only end in regret and unfulfillment when they move on or no longer have time for you.
8. Are They “In Shape”?
This one should be a no-brainer. A true fitness professional should be in shape at all times. Period. No excuses. No exceptions. If they aren’t… move on!
Choosing a personal fitness trainer can be difficult but if you ask these important questions you will be able to make a much more informed decision – avoiding future regret or committing to an individual that is a better salesman than a fitness professional!