Top Five Things To Look For When Hiring A Personal Trainer
As a working professional, you may be putting in long hours to standout from the crowd and keep your clients happy. This often leaves no room for your personal needs, like exercising or staying fit. This lack of physical activity can lead to weakness and ultimately increase the risk of chronic diseases. One way to regain good health is through regular physical activity. However, while exercising, you need to pick out the right routine to achieve maximum results and benefits. With the help of a personal trainer, you can put together a plan to challenge yourself and achieve your fitness goals.
As experts in their field, personal trainers have the necessary knowledge of how the body functions. They will assess your physical abilities and focus on your needs and limitations to create a fitness plan that will work for you. However, with many personal trainers out there, picking the right expert for you can be tricky. For the perfect coach, capable of helping you on your fitness journey, you should look for certain qualities. To enable you to identify these qualities, here is a list of top five things to look for when hiring a personal trainer.
1. Education and certification
When looking for a personal trainer, make sure they have the education and skills to support the workouts they are going to lead you through. After you find a personal trainer that you’re interested in working with, inquire about their certifications and the organization they are certified. There are numerous certifying organizations for personal trainers, and the challenge is knowing the standards that each organization upholds. Certifications can take anywhere from three days to complete, up to four years of post-secondary education. Personal trainers certified through a credible organization will have a method to their workout programs and provide a level of safety for you as the client.
What you need from your trainer may dictate the level of education they must have. For example, if you have health issues, injuries, or specific challenges, ask if the trainer’s knowledge and experience will allow them to safely and confidently work with your conditions. If they say no, they should refer you on to someone who they think can help you. Your personal trainer should also have their CPR-AED certification as this is important for your safety during your sessions with them, and is typically required by their certifying organization.
Communication is essential when working with a personal trainer as you need to follow their instructions and gestures and inform them if you are experiencing difficulties while exercising. The best way to determine if communication with them is accessible is through a consultation with them. The consultation is meant to be spent talking and getting to know each other, so you can determine if working together is the right fit for both of you. Your personal trainer should be upfront about their scope of practice, the services they provide, the services they do not offer, the type of equipment available for use, and how they typically run exercise sessions. They should also talk about their expectations of you as their client and ask what your expectations are. They may offer names of some existing clients (with express permission from those clients) for you to contact regarding what to expect from the client-side of the relationship. Knowing these things before you come to your first workout will help alleviate any nervousness you might be feeling.
Similarly, in your workout sessions, your personal trainer should take the time to thoroughly explain and demonstrate each exercise that you are being asked to do, and should be able to explain why they are chosen for you. Taking it one step further, they should also be able to tell the rep and set scheme, as well as the amount of rest and the order of the exercises that you’ll be doing.
Every person has their way of speaking, and your personal trainer is no different. Ask them how they talk to their clients during sessions. Check if they are stereotypical drill sergeants, or if they give out just a little bit of tough love. Some may use humor and puns, while others may prefer being very positive and encouraging. Whatever their communication style is, it should fit you and your expectations.
Finally, if you are not doing all of your workout sessions with your personal trainer, then you should be provided with a copy of your workout so that you know what to do and how to do it when you’re working out on your own. Ensure that you receive this from your personal trainer so that you don’t miss out on a day of your ongoing training.
3. Dedication to progress
Your personal trainer should track your progress based on what your goals are. Tracking could include regularly scheduled fitness tests, taking body measurements, or checking in with you on how you are feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally. Monitoring your progress could also consist of recording the weights you are lifting because this is a good indication of increasing strength, endurance, and power.
Besides progress, your personal trainer should make a note of things that may be hindering your progress, such as injuries. Keeping tabs on an injury that has been bugging you is crucial as you and your personal trainer need to know if it is improving, holding steady, or getting worse. This will help your personal trainer determine which exercises you should avoid and guide the intensity of future workouts. Similarly, it will let your personal trainer know if they should refer you to a healthcare practitioner, such as a physiotherapist, for assessment and treatment.
4. Well connected
Your personal trainer should have a professional network that they can refer you to so you can be served better by the ideal professional in the industry. For example, a personal trainer who coaches Olympic lifters may refer a potential client to someone in their network for weight loss. Or a personal trainer who specializes in endurance training for long-distance runners may refer a potential client to someone in their network for bodybuilding prep and competition. Sometimes it’s merely a geographic referral to a personal trainer who works closer to you, the potential client.
All personal trainers should operate within their scope of practice and refer to other professionals in their network when their client needs or is asking for something that doesn’t fall within that scope of practice. For example, a personal trainer who doesn’t have an education or certification in nutrition should refer their client to someone who does. If you sustain an injury, you should be referred to a physiotherapist, or if you complain of some sore muscles, you should be referred to a massage therapist.
5. Preferable traits
Finally, whoever you choose as a personal trainer should have that “it factor” that draws you to them. It can be something that you relate to, resonate with, or click with. It can be any number of factors, such as a personality trait, a laid back style or a very professional style, their specific way of communicating, their skill set, their gender or age, whether or not they have a dog, their ability to meet your specific needs, their professional experience, or their life experience and their willingness to share that with you.
Whatever it is that you prefer, it can be the deciding factor of why you choose that person over all others. If you had the choice of five equally educated and qualified personal trainers who communicate well with you, track your progress, and have an extensive network of other professionals, it will be the “it factor” that will be the deciding factor for you.
If you’re looking for a personal trainer and running coach in St. Albert, AB, reach out to Summit Coaching & Training. We are a fitness company run by an adventurous and passionate coach who will encourage you and will keep your best interest in mind. She will focus on your personal goals and make you feel comfortable throughout your training process. Her personal fitness training is available to clients across St. Albert, Morinville, Namao, Villeneuve, Edmonton, and Sherwood Park, AB.
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