The first thing that comes to most everyone’s mind when searching for a personal trainer is someone built like Hercules. If you are anything like us, when you were growing up your parents taught you never to judge a book by its cover. The same thing holds true with trainers. It isn’t about what their body looks like. It’s about the knowledge they have stored through years of training others successfully. To help you navigate the search for a good personal trainer let’s look at six things to look for in a fitness guru.
Free First Session
A personal trainer is someone you are going to be spending a lot of time with. There is a good chance the first person you try may not be a good fit. Sometime people even run into great trainers but the personalities just don’t mesh well. Skip anyone that does not offer a free first session. Getting into shape is a commitment that won’t happen overnight. If you had to run around London paying for first sessions, you’d be throwing some money away. A good trainer is confident enough in his/her abilities to offer a first session free.
The only dumb questions are the ones that are never asked. Don’t assume just because someone has their name in a directory for trainers that they are properly certified. Ask about their credentials and what they are qualified to do for you. Especially when you are first getting into shape, if you are not brought along at the proper pace by someone who has complete mastery of training people, you could be risking injury to yourself. Ask the trainer to show you if you are unsure.
A friend of ours named Kevin once signed up for a membership at a major gym franchise. He was offered a free personal training session that he was extremely excited about. He had never spent time working out outside of playing baseball when he was young. The trainer noticed he didn’t have much muscle in his chest and told Kevin they needed to “shock” his chest muscles. The trainer worked Kevin out so hard that he literally could not bend his arms enough to lift a fork or glass of water to his mouth for several days. As you can imagine, Kevin gave up working out immediately as he didn’t want to be in that kind of pain every day. This should never happen. A good trainer knows that it takes time and patience to reinvent yourself. He/she will bring you along slowly so that what you are doing at any given time is not too difficult. Training should be fun, not extremely painful. If it isn’t fun you are more likely not to stay with the program.
As we stated above, it isn’t about how a trainer looks. It is about what a trainer knows. Part of this knowledge involves some of the things we’ve already discussed. The personal trainer should be properly certified, meaning that they have had hands on instruction about how to get people in shape. They should know things like how to bring you along slowly so that you enjoy what you are doing without burning out. They should know about nutrition. Building muscles and losing fat starts in your kitchen and no amount if training will do you any good without eating right. The trainer should be able to offer you a detailed specific diet plan tailored to help you meet your fitness goals.
If your car breaks down you certainly wouldn’t take it to someone who has never fixed a car before. With training as we have mentioned, people see someone who is extremely fit and assume that makes them a good trainer. What a trainer does personally doesn’t matter. What does matter is what they have been able to do for others. If you have heard from friends that they have gotten into good shape by way of a certain personal trainer, that is a great indication that this person has succeeded in training others. Some of the best coaches in sports are not in shape themselves. But they have brilliant minds for what they do and personal training works on this same principal.
Unfortunately in our professional lives, most of us don’t get to choose our coworkers. If you’ve ever had someone at work that drives you crazy you understand what we mean. Working with a personal trainer is different however. You are going to be making an investment of both time and money in this experience so you have the power of choice. You might find someone who is great at training but you just don’t feel comfortable with them. It doesn’t make them a bad trainer or person. Some people’s personalities just don’t go together. Training is a partnership and you must find someone who is pleasant and makes you feel at ease.
Getting into shape, like any other good thing in life isn’t easy. But by using the factors we’ve discussed you can make the training experience fun, which means you are much more likely to stay with the program and find yourself in great shape.