A question I am often asked during my presentations is “How do I choose a Personal Trainer?” Choosing the right trainer is vital because you are entrusting your body to that person. Often clients choose their trainer based upon how the trainers body appears. The thinking is “if they are shredded and sculpted then they can make me look like that too”.
But what if that trainer spends 2 to 4 hours a day exercising to maintain that body? Does your lifestyle permit dedicating that amount of time? The problem with this way of thinking is that it is not specific enough. Everyone’s body type, genetic profile, body patterns, structural issues, nutrition needs, and lifestyle are very different. We are not clones of each other. Doing your research is a vital component in finding the right trainer for your specific goals and needs. Here are the primary considerations and guidelines to consider when selecting a personal trainer.
Do they have strong qualifications, credentials and referrals?
So this is pretty obvious! First and foremost, you want a trainer who has been certified by a leading certification body or a leading University. However, don’t stop there! Just because a trainer has a solid theoretical education doesn’t automatically qualify them to be a strong trainer.
An elite personal trainer will have personally participated in athletics and sports to some degree and most likely live that as a lifestyle. They will also have several years of practical personal training experience under their belt, while continuing to expand their knowledge base and educational pursuits. Exercise science is constantly changing and becoming more specific. Trainers need to constantly be studying the new science to remain current just like a doctor or an accountant are continually discovering new medical techniques or tax rules because they change all the time.
In order to for a personal trainer to take a client from point A (out of shape) to point Z (maintenance phase), that trainer needs to have had many years of experience in doing so expediently, effectively and efficiently. Additionally, they have to be cognizant of the fitness level they are training a client at all times for safety reasons. It is paramount a trainer be present during every training session. In my humble opinion, and based upon 25 years of experience and observation, at least 75% of working personal trainers do not have the educational background, practical experience and desire to be an elite personal trainer and to direct a client to achieve maintenance phase or what I refer to as Lifestyle Transformation.
Do they walk the walk and talk the talk and practice what they preach? Are they passionate about health?
You want a personal trainer who practices what they preach and is passionate about health in general! If a trainer doesn’t look like they exercise consistently or speak about their exercise regime, nutrition habits, or living a healthy lifestyle most likely they are not applying these principles in their own life. You do not want a trainer who just shows up for a pay check! This is not an industry that allows you to just phone it in. You want a personal trainer who takes pride in his vocation, and who has a vested interest in your overall well being and in your attaining all of your desired fitness goals.
On the flip side just because a trainer has big muscles or is “shredded” doesn’t make them a great trainer of others either! You need to interview a trainer and ask them plenty of questions prior to hiring them. You are looking for a trainer who lives a healthy lifestyle, but you are also looking for a trainer who you trust will help you to attain a more balanced lifestyle in mind, body and spirit. Yes, you want physical results, but balance in life is the true key to happiness and peace of mind. Both aspects are ultimate reasons for hiring a personal trainer!
How much experience do they have in personal training?
Experience is everything! Heaven forbid, but if you needed brain surgery who would you choose as your surgeon? Would you be more inclined to go with the young brain surgeon who happens to be a recent Harvard grad, who graduated “Sum ma Cum Laud”, however you will be one of their first patients? Or would you prefer to go to the Chief Neurosurgeon of a well-known hospital who has been performing successful brain surgeries for over 25 years? I don’t know about you, but I would go with the Chief Neurosurgeon who has the most experience, simply because he has a track record of success!
You refer accountants, lawyers and mechanics to your friends because either you or someone you know was extremely satisfied with their service. This same principle applies when choosing a personal trainer. You may pay a little more for the expert, as you would with a top Neurosurgeon, accountant or attorney, but in the long run you will save even more money because you will attain your goals much faster and gain a solid education in the process.
I hope I provided you with a little guidance when choosing your personal trainer. Lastly, don’t just choose a trainer because of “who” they trained! I have personally trained well over 30 A-level Celebrities, numerous CEO’s, Princesses, singers and models in my 25 plus years as a personal trainer, but that is not why you should hire a trainer like myself! You should hire a trainer with my degree of experience because of their numerous and diversified credentials. Because they are passionate about living a healthy lifestyle, and dedicated their life to helping others transform their lives. They have a track record of success , numerous and positive referrals and they practice what they preach 24/7!
You hire a highly qualified personal trainer, as I described, because they care about your health and will coach you to transform your life expediently, effectively and efficiently!