How to find the right personal trainer for you

If you’re serious about your health and fitness goals and your budget allows for you to set aside some money to achieve them, it’s a good idea to team up with a professional and find a personal trainer.

There’s a reason they’re called ‘personal’ trainers – there are many different exercise and nutrition philosophies out there, so it’s important that you find a PT who suits you. Here are some things to consider when seeking out your new exercise professional:

They should be interested in you

A trainer who talks about themselves all the time, doesn’t listen, and shows little interest in you and your goals will not be the best trainer for you.

They should do a screening questionnaire before you start training so they can pick up on what you want to do, what kind of training you’ll respond to, what kind of assistance you need when it comes to nutrition, and whether you have any injuries or health conditions that may affect your ability to exercise.

When they train you, all their focus should be on you; not on their phone or at the other people around you. Personality is also important as you will be working closely with them, so make sure you feel comfortable talking to them and asking questions.

Education and experience

Your trainer doesn’t need to have attended university to be a great personal trainer, however, they should have an up to date first aid certification, a recognised qualification in personal training or fitness, and experience/knowledge in relation to the goals you want to achieve.

If they are a good trainer, they will continually strive to learn new effective ways of training and keep up to date with what’s going on in the fitness industry.

They should monitor your progress

To ensure you don’t hit a plateau and that you are continually challenged, your personal trainer should track your progress in some kind of way – whether it’s at each session or monitored through fitness testing.

Be prepared to make a proper commitment though! If you continually ignore your trainer’s advice on fitness and nutrition, they may advise you to find another trainer. Same goes if you continually cancel or reschedule on them – remember that PTs are often self-employed so skipping a session with only 30 mins notice means they’ll have a gap in their timetable they can’t fill with someone else!

Choose how you want to train

Most trainers will offer a range of services which could include single sessions of various time lengths, package deals, small group training and programme updates. If you’re still not sure whether the PT you’ve found is right for you, request a few one-off sessions before committing to anything long term.

Photo / Flickr – lululemon athletica

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