Unfortunately, there can be a large discrepancy in the quality of service you receive from different professionals in the fitness industry. The criteria for becoming a personal trainer is neither very regulated nor stringent, leaving a wide gap in the capabilities of those supplying these types of services. Finding a good trainer can mean the difference between achieving your goals or having another bad experience with fitness. Below I’ve created some tips to help you when choosing a personal trainer:
- Your personalities don’t clash. You should enjoy your sessions together. Your trainer should be able to motivate and encourage you, and be able to make you feel comfortable during your sessions together. Every trainer’s training style and personality is going to be different. Some will possess the more militant, boot-camp style of training, while others will create a more calm, understanding, and soft-spoken environment. Neither is necessarily better than the other, and each client will have a preference for what works best for them.
- Your safety should be their top priority. It is your trainer’s job to push you out of your comfort zone, and quite frankly this can be uncomfortable. But if you have serious concerns about pain, or have been diagnosed with an injury, your trainer should be able to adjust accordingly.
- Your program should be individualized to your goals and fitness level. If you haven’t stepped foot in a gym in over a decade, your trainer shouldn’t start you off with a 1-rep max squat. Additionally, you shouldn’t be doing the exact same workout as your trainer’s other client… who happens to be a college athlete. Your workouts should be challenging, but suitable for your fitness level.
- Your trainer should be constantly learning. Having credentials is important, and it shows they take their job seriously (and you can’t get liability insurance without it). However, there are plenty of trainers with the best credentials who can’t effectively apply the concepts they have learned. Regardless if they have the best credentials on paper, they should constantly be striving to get better and improve their services. You deserve it.
This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but these are (in my opinion) the most important qualities that a good trainer should possess.