Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to work with a personal trainer. Good for you! It can be intimidating to ask someone to help you with your workouts but think of it this way—you’re hiring a professional in order to keep you safe and accountable while motivating you to push yourself in order to reach your goals. Working with a personal trainer at least once is a great idea, no matter what level of fitness you consider yourself to be in.
Once you’ve decided to invest in a personal trainer, what comes next? Here are a few things you should consider before working with a trainer:
Set Attainable Goals
Setting goals is important, but setting attainable goals is crucial. Consider how much time you’re able to invest and how soon you want to reach your goal. Personal trainers work best with specific goals—especially ones that are more than just weight-loss related! While weight-loss is a common goal, there are plenty other milestones that are worth working towards! Think pushup goals, running speed or distance goals, and flexibility/range of motion goals.
Observe the Personal Trainer with Their Clients
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? Do you notice the same exercises being taught to different clients every time? These are all important considerations when searching for the trainer that’s right for you. Most trainers will be able to effectively train you, what matters is finding the trainer who will coach you and keep you motivated throughout your relationship.
Ask for a Consultation
Many personal trainers will offer a free consultation to talk about goals, answer questions and potentially give a 30-minute complimentary session.* During this time, it’s best to come prepared with a list of questions. Use this time to get a feel for their personality and how well you two will mesh. A few questions you may want to consider:
- What is your philosophy on fitness?
- What is your background and how did you make the decision to become a personal trainer?
- What are your costs? Do you have specific packages or plans?
- What is your desired frequency of sessions and 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 and fitness world?
- What do you do to stay healthy and fit?
You may want to talk to your gym’s manager about what other clients have said about certain personal trainers to get a better feel for the candidate. In addition to gaining a better feel for the trainer you have in mind, the manager may be able to recommend personal trainers based on what you’d like to gain from personal training.
This isn’t important for everyone, but for some—gender matters. If you’d feel more comfortable working with a co-ed personal trainer, it’s a good idea to ask your gym’s manager if the trainer you have in mind has experience working with the opposite gender.
When you’re ready to achieve your health and fitness goals, choosing a personal trainer requires a bit of research and patience. However, it’s worth the effort knowing the trainer you choose is right for you!
How did you choose your trainer?
Share your story in the comments below!
*The 30-minute free-session varies from location-to-location and trainer-to-trainer. They may not offer this, but it’s always okay to ask.