First, of all CONGRATULATIONS! If you are reading this article you have made the decision to get healthy, a trainer is a great way to get you started on the right path. Hiring a trainer can make up an hefty expense, but a priceless one to get you the body of your dreams. In this article, I will guide you find the best trainer for your needs and be aware of red flags. First, I am going to discuss what you should expect from a trainer , what a trainer shouldn’t do and then I am going to tell you how to find the right, and qualified trainer.
I used to be a shitty trainer. My first job was at a 24 hour fitness, I was fresh out of college in 2006. I walked into that gym thinking I knew it all. Just like Jon snow on game of thrones…I knew nothing. My degree was in exercise science, I had all the knowledge in the world but didn’t know how to be a trainer. I wouldn’t hire me back then.
I left that gym soon after because it was a joke for getting paid. I kept learning and networking with other trainers, learning from them. 10 years of learning and I still do not know everything there is to know, this is a pretty scientific field. As a trainer, and any profession for that matter, you have to keep learning.
An old client reached out to me who lives across the country, she inspired me to write this article. She started with a new trainer and started noticing some red flags. First of all listen to your instinct, the fact she reached out to me probably means something is up. He was giving her more reps than other people in her class and compared one of her cheat meals to smoking crack!?! Yeah, this is a big red flag.
Let’s discuss what a Personal trainers job is for you.
- Having and maintaining a working knowledge of human anatomy and the concepts of functional exercise, basic nutrition and fundamental principles of exercise science
- An ability to design and execute individual and small group exercise fitness programs, tailored to the needs and attainable goals of the individual, apparently healthy client, in a safe and effective way
- Understand the need and importance of screening and client assessment; proficiency in conducting these evaluations initially and progressively
- Help clients reach their health and fitness goals through appropriate cardiovascular, flexibility and resistance exercise
- An ability to motivate others in an encouraging and uplifting way towards improving their overall fitness and health
- A dedication to maintaining personal integrity, client confidentiality and professional standards for best practice
- A dedication to self-improvement, self-awareness, continuous learning, personal growth and development with regard to personal health, fitness and mental capacity
What should a trainer NOT do:
- Trainers DO NOT give medical advice, physical therapy advice or attempt to make a medical diagnosis.
- Trainers DO NOT provide body massage to clients, or any similar service that can be construed as inappropriate touch.
- Trainers DO NOT serve as a psychological counselor to clients or become intimately involved in personal client relationships.
- Trainers DO NOT have a romantic or inter-personal relationship with a client.
- Trainers DO NOT Push their own preferences for fitness goals on clients who do not seek out those same goals.
- Trainers DO NOT Allow your credentials, liability insurance and other trainer business standards/practices to lapse.
Now that you know what you should expect from a personal trainer. How do you find a good one?
When I am working out at the gym, I am constantly looking at the trainers and grading them in my head. You would be SHOCKED how many terrible trainers there are out there. And I feel bad because people are actually paying them for their terrible knowledge and service.
Most of the time when I look at a trainer, I can see what they are doing and understand why. Sometimes, I can tell that they are just bullshitting their client. It pisses me off to see bad trainers, I do not like seeing people getting taken advantage of so here I am from an expert trainer on how to find a GREAT trainer for you.
Let’s look at this scenario, you just joined a gym and the membership counselor is trying to get you signed up for training sessions. When you sign up for a massive training package, they have no idea who to pair you with. They are simply there to sell you a big package. They could care less who your trainer is they just want the commission.
- DO NOT let a salesman or membership counselor assign your trainer. This is your personal journey, and an important one. Don’t let someone who just cares about their bottom line.
- Take the time to workout at the gym for a few weeks and observe the trainers – These are all behaviors you should watch out for in a personal trainer
- Do they pay attention to their clients?
- Are they on their phone a lot?
- Do they weight and measure when they come in?
- Do they talk to other trainers and bullshit around while they are training their clients?
- Watch how they treat their clients, with respect or yell at them the whole time.
- Do they flirt a lot with clients or other trainers?
- Ask your friends for a recommendation – Word of mouth is the best way for a trainer to build their business. If they do a great job, people will find out about it. Your friends will give you a great recommendation so ask around.
- Interview your potential trainer – Most of the time you can get a free session or a consultation to see if you will be a good fit. Here are some questions you should be asking your future trainer
- What education, certifications, or qualifications doyou have?
- How do you seek continued education?
- What kind of clients have you worked with in the past, with what results?
- Do you have experience and confidence to address my special needs and health conditions?
- Do you have liability insurance?
- Do you offer a free consultation that includes a fitness assessment?
- What are your rates, session lengths, and cancellation policies?
- What are my options for payment?
- What’s your schedule? Is it adaptable?
- Ask for evidence – A good trainer will be able to provide some before and after photos of clients weight loss
- Don’t hire an overweight trainer. I am not talking about a little extra body fat but a lot of extra, very noticeable body fat. Not all trainers have six packs I am one of them. I am fit but not lean. Seeing a trainer that is really overweight is just not right. How can someone motivate, or teach you the right way to lose weight if they can not do it them selves. You may feel more comfortable around someone who is heavier but I would not recommend it. The only exception is if they have a thyroid disorder that would cause them to gain weight, ask them first.
- Where to find a trainer? These days reviews are EVERYWHERE a simple google search will help you get an insight to any business
- Club gym
- Private training studio
- Office building
- Clients home
- Sports arena
I have taught you what a personal trainers job should and shouldn’t be for you , and explained how to find a good one. Just make sure the person you find has the utmost knowledge to help you on this very personal and awesome journey. You want to make sure you are kept accountable for your weight loss and stay on track for long term results. I love getting new clients, It really pumps me up and gets me excited for the changes they are about to make. I hope you find someone as excited as I am for you already!