If we pay 50 to 100 dollars an hour for a fitness professional’s time, we expect to get premium service and top-notch advice from a knowledgeable personal trainer. Unfortunately, it can be hard to figure out which trainers know their stuff and the consequences of picking a bad one could hurt more than your pocket book! I want to give you some insider’s ammunition to decoding the quality of your would-be trainer. If you take the time to ask a few probing questions, you will be set up for nearly guaranteed success.
1. Ask for a track record
Any personal trainer who has been good at what she does for any length of time will be able to give you success stories. If she stumbles, ask for at least three client sexes, ages, results, road blocks and what they did to get their client to the goal. Trainers without success are still trying to figure out what works.
2. Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition
I can not stress enough how vital nutrition is to achieving your goals. Trainers are not nutritionists but he should have a major emphasis on nutrition. In my opinion, the recommendation to cut out all fats means you have a novice on your hands. Studies repeatedly show that a diet high in good fats yield healthier people. He should ask for a three day food log and put you on a path to healthy habits.
3. Talk about goals before finances
Does your trainer make recommendations based on your goals or your bank account? A potential client once asked me how much training he should buy and jokingly followed up with, “as much as I can afford, right?” I responded with, “not necessarily, let me sit down with you and do some assessments so I can make a better recommendation”. A trainer shouldn’t be expected to give away the knowledge he uses to make a living but look for one who has your best interest in mind.
4. Form check!
All of us have issues with our exercise form. He should be teaching you ow to activate your back, chest, butt, abs, arms, etc. If he doesn’t correct your form, does he comment about it by saying, “Good form!” If not, move on.
5. Is he fit?
This one is based on your mentality. If you are highly motivated, you may not need to pay much attention here. I know a handful of trainers who are great, though terribly out of shape. More than half of anyone’s fitness battle is mental and having a fit trainer can help give you a positive healthy image to strive for. It may not matter much to you now but four months from now if you’re hitting a plateau and dragging yourself in to the gym, you may need that extra push.
6. Are your sessions always different?
Our bodies need time to adapt to exercise. That’s how we get stronger and use more fat. Of you train at least two times a week and every session has completely different exercises, your progress will be slow.
7. Trainer basher
Though we heartily disagree on certain topics, a trainer who constantly tears down other health professionals will limit themselves and you. They will drag you down mentally and limit their knowledge to what they already know. Get an open-minded trainer who respectfully disagrees with people.
8. Ask for their most difficult client’s story
Find out how your trainer deals with challenging situations. It’s better to have an established relationship with a trainer who knows how to figure out a solution that to need to switch trainers later on.
What’s your trainer experience?