You’ve made the decision to hire a personal trainer. Good for you! It can be intimidating to ask someone to help you revamp your workouts, but think of it this way—you’re hiring a professional in order to keep yourself safe, accountable and pushing yourself enough without going overboard. Working with a personal trainer at least once is a great idea, no matter who you are or what level of fitness you consider yourself in. Here are a few things you should consider before hiring any personal trainer:
1. Set goals
You should have a solid understanding of what you want to achieve before you talk to a trainer. This will ensure he or she can be of best help to you. Trainers like specific goals—especially ones that are more than just weight-loss related! My favorites: pushup goals, running speed or distance goals, and flexibility/range of motion goals.
2. Consider Gender
Would you feel more comfortable with a man or woman training you? If you want a trainer of the opposite gender, it’s a good idea to ask your gym’s manager if that trainer has experience working with the opposite gender.
3. Observe your gym’s trainers
Who are they training? What kinds of exercises do you see them doing? Is the trainer into it or does he or she seem bored? Does the client look like he or she is working hard and having fun? Is the trainer alert? Do you notice the same exercises being taught to different clients every time? What’s the trainer’s tone of voice and body language like? Are the workouts fun? Knowing answers to these questions will help make your decision easier.
4. Ask for a consultation
Many personal trainers will offer a free consultation to talk about goals, answer questions, and potentially give a 30-minute free session.* During this time it’s best to come prepared with a list of questions. You’ll also get a feel for how personable he or she is!
- What is his or her background in fitness is and his or her philosophy on fitness?
- What are your costs? Do you have specific packages or plans?
- What is the frequency of sessions? How long do they last?
- What hours are you available for training?
- What would a long-term plan look like for me?
- How do you stay up-to-date with the latest information and studies in the health/fitness world?
- What does he or she do to stay healthy and fit?
It’s not a bad idea to talk to your gym’s manager about what other clients have said about certain personal trainers or to even casually ask a trainer’s client what he or she thinks about their trainer. However, if you do approach a client, make sure you do it when he or she is not working with the trainer.
If you’re serious about achieving your health and fitness goals, than choosing a personal trainer requires a little bit of research and patience on your part. It will work out better for you and the trainer in the long run!
*The 30-minute free-session varies from location-to-location and from trainer-to-trainer. Don’t expect them to offer this, but it’s always okay to ask.