How To Choose A Personal Trainer
These are the secrets personal trainers keep!
By TRAVIS WADE
I remember the first time I was looking to choose a personal trainer in Edmonton. At the time, I wasn’t sure who I should be looking at. What I mean is who is appropriate and who isn’t? Clearly, it’s a hard decision to make. Because I was a man without a plan, I started by talking to the cute girl at the gym first. It seemed like the best place to start.
Then I talked to the big ugly heavy lifter, and I’ll never forget what he said. He said, “If you want to get strong, you hire a strong personal trainer, because they know how to get there; they’ve been under the bar. If you want to get skinny, don’t hire an overweight fitness trainer because they clearly don’t know how to get there.”
At the time, I didn’t know how accurate his words were. I now realize we all have our specialties as personal trainers, and we all have different amounts of experience. Some trainers are excellent, and some are as useful as a fart in a spacesuit.
I Wish I Hired A Personal Trainer Sooner!
I don’t want to scare you away because choosing the right personal trainer can be the key to accomplishing your health and fitness goals. 95% of the people in the gym that are achieving their goals have a fitness trainer.
Personally, I contemplated getting a personal trainer for many years and never got one until I became one. My thinking was that I would learn it all myself. I thought I could do that by taking the course, but like anything else, you learn more on the job than you ever will out of a book.
While becoming the only holistic personal trainer in Edmonton, I hired about 9 different trainers to train me. I got the best experts I could find in every specialty I could think of to teach me everything they know. To this day, I still hire trainers with intentions of hopefully learning something new each time.
“If you want to get strong, you hire a strong personal trainer because they know how to get there; they’ve been under the bar. If you want to get skinny, don’t hire an overweight fitness trainer because they clearly do not know how to get there.” (unknown)
How To Choose A Personal Trainer
The right personal trainer can keep you motivated, provide knowledge, and structure. They will also give you a variety of exercises to keep it interesting, provide nutritional information, and break plateaus. A good trainer will provide stress relief, support and accountability for your workouts. They will also help you make the most out of your time at the gym, make it all fun, and, most importantly, help prevent injury.
I wish I knew how to choose a personal trainer many years ago when I first contemplated it. At the time, I just wasn’t sure it would be worth it. The right fitness trainer certainly is, but the wrong one can be a waste of money. That’s why I put together the following list on how to choose a personal trainer.
1. Is your personal trainer certified and insured?
This might seem like a given, but I have had many more people not certified than were certified apply for a personal training job with me! Please do not take it for granted that the fitness trainer you are looking at is certified with an accredited organization. Examples of accredited organizations are the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), or the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).
2. How much experience does your fitness trainer have?
79% of personal trainers will quit within the first year of being a trainer. There are a lot of beginners in the market, and they usually start at a big brand name club. These gyms also typically charge more than independent trainers.
3. What is your personal trainer’s specialty?
It would help if you found a fitness trainer who specializes in the particular field you are looking for. Personal trainers learn the basics in school, like how to spot someone while they are lifting. All the other good stuff was learned after.
Some personal trainers know strength, some know bodybuilding, some know weight loss, some know corrective exercise, CrossFit, Olympic lifting, endurance… you get the idea. Ask them what their specialty is.
4. How much does your personal trainer charge?
Personal trainers are not cheap. If they are cheap, then they will be a waste of your money. It’s like buying a shirt for $2 that you will never wear; you just wasted $2. We are told in personal training school not to charge any less than $50/session. If your fitness trainer costs less than this, you’re likely wasting your money.
5. What is your personal trainer’s availability?
As a personal trainer, you have to work either mornings or evenings. You can’t do both, or you will spread yourself very thin very quickly and burnout sets in.
Ask your potential personal trainer about their schedule, how many clients they currently have, and whether their hours are flexible. You will also need to know how far in advance you have to book appointments, whether you can make up missed sessions, and about their cancellation policy.
6. Where does your fitness trainer train?
When it comes to staying motivated, the location of the personal trainer can be crucial to some. The effort of having to drive across town to get to the gym can be enough to demotivate you. If your gym is within walking distance, on the other hand, you will be more likely to stay motivated and stay on track.
7. How does your personal trainer monitor progress?
It is also essential to choose a personal trainer who has an excellent method for tracking progress. This is so that you can see how far you have come and whether the work you have been doing is giving you the results you want. It will also ensure that your trainer is doing an excellent job of helping you reach your goals. This tends to be very important for motivational purposes.
8. Does your personal trainer have references?
One of the best concepts on how to choose a personal trainer who fits your needs is through referrals. A reputable fitness trainer should be proud to provide references and testimonials from their past clients. If their previous (or current) clients assure you that they have accomplished their goals, then you may have found the right personal trainer for you. Also, don’t be afraid to ask past clients about the fitness trainer’s personality.
In order from top left to bottom right: Kalyn Smith, Kyle Smith, Lori Lever, Melissa Nguyen, Jaime Sulatyski, Ansa Darwish, Andrew James, Andrea Fernandez, Dan McTaggart, Suzanne Maley, and Chris Thompson.
By keeping these questions in mind, you can narrow down your search and find a personal trainer that is the most suitable for you. You should see a personal fitness trainer who you can build a positive relationship with. Not only will the right trainer help you reach your fitness goals, but they will also make you feel comfortable at the gym. Above all, the right trainer will keep you motivated throughout your fitness journey and provide the support you need to be successful.
If you’re looking for a personal trainer in Edmonton, get in touch today! Please don’t wait for years like I did. I wish I knew back then what I know now.