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How To Choose The Right Trainer

Posted on: Feb 20, 2015 2:56 PM

Featured story February 20, 2015


How to Choose the Right Personal Trainer

Written by Jeff Behar, MS, MBA   

Choosing the Right Personal Trainer is Important for Many Reasons.

  • Personal training can be expensive.

  • It is important to learn how to train correctly.

  • You want a personal trainer that can motivate you.

  • You want a personal trainer that you get along with and understands your strengths, weaknesses, and limitations and understands how to work with these things to bring out the very best in you.

  • You need to be comfortable with the trainer and able to understand his or her directions.

Things to Consider when Choosing the Right Personal Trainer

  • What are the trainer's professional credentials? Is he or she certified by ACSM, ACE, or NSCA?

  • What is the trainers experience level?
  • Does the trainer keep up with the latest ideas, research, and equipment?
  • Has the trainer worked with other clients with your same starting fitness level and age? 
  • If you are training for a specific sport goal, such as walking a marathon, has the trainer worked with others who have that goal?

  • What hours does the trainer have available, and what flexibility will there be in scheduling your workouts?

  • Is a trial session available for free or a low fee? If you like the trainer, book just a couple of sessions as a trial before you buy a package of sessions.

  • What are the fees the trainer charges?  You will want to research fees of other trainers in your area to see what the going rate is.

  • What is the penalty for having to cancel a workout?

  • Does the trainer offer package discounts? If so, do package agreements have an expiration date? Are they transferable to other trainers at the same facility?

  • Is the trainer part of a company? If so, can you choose other trainers in the company if so desired?

  • Does the trainer carry insurance?
  • Do they have their own training facility or will you need to purchase an addiitonal gym membership?
  • Does the trainer offer in home training?
  • Is the trainer also experienced in nutrition, custom diets and custom training programs?
  • Does the trainer have experienced with injury rehab? Stretching?  

After the Interview/Workout Session

I recommend going through a workout with the trainer before making your decision - how he or she communicates with you throughout the workout is what really counts. After you've done this, ask the following:

  • Did I understand how the trainer was directing me to do the exercises?

  • Was the trainer focusing on me? providing clear direction? Providing encouragement? providing a safe spot when needed?
  • Did the trainer encourage me to give feedback, or did I feel intimidated and clam up?

  • Did the trainer listen to and understand what I was saying and adjust the session so I could do the exercises correctly?

  • Did the trainer understand my goals and seem to be gearing the workout in that direction?

  • Is this somebody I will feel comfortable working out with?

  • Did he or she motivate me to perform better?

  • Will I look forward to coming to workout with this trainer, or am I likely to find excuses to miss workouts?




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