If you find yourself at the beginning of a fitness journey, or stuck in between boring routines and exercises, hiring a personal trainer might be the solution to your problem, but how easy is it exactly to choose who’s the right fitness coach for you?
We’ve detailed areas that you should be thinking about before hiring a trainer.
Points to Watch Out For
Your Fitness Goals
Before even attempting to look for a personal trainer, ask yourself first:
“What do I want to achieve at the gym in the next year or so?”
This is a crucial point to seriously consider, as it will greatly affect who you will eventually choose at the end of the day.
Make a list of any fitness goals you want (or need) to accomplish. You’ll soon see that you’ll be needing the assistance of just one kind of trainer. By outlining anything you need from a fitness coach, you get to have a clearer picture of how you want things to pan out.
Credentials and Experience
Fitness coaches/personal trainers are supposed to be knowledgeable about, well, all things fitness-related. There is no degree in fitness training, but there are courses and seminars out there that help individuals become fitness coaches.
In Australia, personal trainers must have a Certificate IV in Fitness (SIS40215) or have at least finished their Diploma in Fitness. Individuals who have graduated with a degree in exercise science or human movement are also qualified to call themselves personal trainers. You can check out how Australia certifies personal trainers here.
Any certified fitness coach wouldn’t hesitate to show you any certifications they’ve acquired over the years. They also won’t be skimping out on information when you’re in a fitness slump. They can effectively explain anything you ask – especially when they claim that it’s their specialty.
Go for trainers that have also been referred to you by people you personally know. They can vouch for the PT’s (personal trainer’s) method and overall personality. They might also have amazing fitness results which is the best indicator you can see.
Also ask about the coach’s previous work experience and how long they’ve been doing this. If you prefer someone who is also experienced, then make it a priority to let them talk to you about how they’ve helped previous clients in the past.
This is kind of tricky, but important nonetheless.
You’re about to undergo major physical changes whether you wanted to or not and when you’re in a period of transition such as this, you want to be with someone who will mesh well with your personality.
Would you want a coach that’s very vocal, someone who gives pep talks before, during, and after a workout? Or are you after someone who is more of the observant type, someone who will silently assist you as you do deadlifts, making sure your form is correct?
You can more or less gauge a person’s personality once you get to know them, so be conscious as you begin initial talks with potential fitness coaches. You want to be around someone who will motivate you to continue and do better next time, so if your gut tells you that this person is someone you can jive with, then by all means go with that
Another tricky factor to consider, given that almost everything nowadays is based on internet presence.
Don’t be fooled by the number of followers a trainer has, or if they are connected to a celebrity. It may look glamorous, and it’s pretty tempting to claim to be the client of so and so, but remember that they may just be another pretty face, may have a nice set of pecs and abs.
A good trainer has a reputation that precedes them — they have clients who can confidently show off results through the trainer’s tried and tested methods. Nothing will convince you more than a “before and after” body transformation in the flesh.
Location and Budget
These are no brainer, but factors that should be discussed too.
If you are enrolled at a local gym, or have plans of enrolling at one, its location is a big consideration. Beginning a fitness program takes a lot of consistent effort and time, both of which you should be willing to expend in the next few months (at least) if you want to see results.
Getting a personal trainer at your gym would be the wisest and most practical choice, and it will encourage you to stick to your plan better.
As for budget, take into account that fitness coaches are over and above your weekly or monthly gym dues. If you have the extra money to invest in a good personal trainer, take the plunge and go right ahead. Fitness coaches charge anywhere between $25 – $300 per hour so if you have any set amount of money that you’re willing to shell out every session, it’s best to throw that thought out the window. Fitness coaches charge based on their level of expertise and experience. Some charge much more if you want to take the workout to your home or to the local park.
Regardless of how much money you spend though, more doesn’t necessarily mean better.
A personal trainer can charge you an arm and a leg per session but if your gut tells you that this person is worth every single cent (and second) spent, it’s time to make bookings and schedule your first session.
Area of Expertise
This is another reason why it’s important you know what your fitness goals are — you should be teaming up with a trainer that will get you to where you want to be.
During your initial meeting, ask about their area of expertise. One trainer might be equipped at training you better for that 5K marathon, while another’s specialty is muscle mass and bulking up.
While as a whole fitness coaches are similar in many ways, if you work with a trainer whose area of expertise is in line with your fitness goals, then you get a more in depth workout or program.
Other Points To Think About
So let’s say you’ve decided to hire a trainer and you’re ready to begin a new fitness program.
Do remember though:
A fitness coach is not a magician or a magic genie who can magically transform your body the way you want it to.
It is tempting to think of a fitness coach as your fairy godparent who can grant your every wish.
Let go of the mentality, “I hired a trainer. I should be seeing results in no time!” This is one of the most common reasons why people end up quitting — they don’t see results fast enough or their body isn’t adjusting the way they hoped it would.
Remember that in any fitness program, the exercises themselves is just roughly 20% of it. The bulk of it falls on your food intake and how committed you are to the workout.
You should also mention any physical conditions that might affect your fitness program. Be forthcoming about any physical ailments or special needs. This will help your trainer come up with a program that will address such conditions.
That being said, if you’ve stayed on the right track and follow the program to the T, but you haven’t been progressing, then it’s time to rethink about your partnership with your trainer.
Be wary of fitness coaches who aren’t about the end result. He or she should have a systematic method of tracking your progress as well. Not only is this a way for you to see how far you’ve come, but it’s also a way for you to gauge if the trainer is doing their job properly.
You are not paying the trainer for their time; you are paying them for their expertise, experience, and their commitment to your goals.
Do watch out also for trainers who push you to buy this supplement or that bottle of pills; no product should take the place of real, nutritious food. Another aspect of fitness training that your coach should be knowledgeable about is establishing healthy food and eating habits.
Another point to consider is how fit or buff a fitness coach is.
Upon your first meeting, you’ve probably made unconscious judgement based on how the trainer looked like. This is human nature, and exactly why we have the saying. “First impressions last.”
This may sound silly or shallow but if a trainer is physically fit, they are definitely walking the talk. Word of caution though: this wouldn’t be the wisest way to choose a trainer. Instead, use it as a gauge at how committed THEY are about their own physical health.
A Worthwhile Investment
Having the right fitness coach by your side means you’re investing in your health. Rec Xpress proudly has a team of fitness experts at our 6 locations, all of whom are ready to guide you through your fitness journey from step 1 and beyond.