Ten Point Checklist for Choosing a Trainer
People hire personal trainers for a number of reasons. Some need motivation, exercise advice and instruction, help with weight loss, or just someone to hold them accountable.
Unfortunately, the quality of your training and ultimately, the results you achieve are directly realated to the quality of your trainer. It may be difficult to find and choose a knowledgeable trainer who you’re willing to work with.
Below are ten items to help you determine whether a particular trainer is right for you.
Your personal trainer should:
- Listen first. In order to give personalized fitness advice, the trainer should first listen to what you have to say, not immediately determine what you need to do.
- Be someone you get along with. If personality clashes prevent you from meeting with your trainer, then what’s the point?
- Conduct a screening. The screening will identify known health issues, show the safety of exercise, and determine whether referral to a doctor is appropriate.
- Conduct a thorough assessment and continue with periodic assessments throughout your training. The assessment provides quantitative data that can be used throughout your program to track progress.
- Help you set tangible short and long-term goals. So often trainers and clients embark upon a fitness journey with no stated goals. Not only do goals give you something to work toward, they should also help determine the level and types of exercises you perform.
- Create your fitness plan and explain your path to success. The fitness plan is your roadmap to your stated objectives. It should show where you’re starting, where you want to go (goals), and explain how your trainer will help get you there.
- Be knowledgable. As with any profession, not all trainers are created equal. Your trainer should be able to answer most fitness questions you have or be able to find the answer for you.
- Always be able to explain why you’re doing a particular exercise. Hold your trainer accountable. Ask “why” from time to time.
- Educate you. People often forget the trainer side of personal training. Having someone there when you’re working out doesn’t make them a trainer. Find someone who teaches and instructs while you’re with them.
- Address nutrition. Proper fitness and nutrition are both important to achieving results. Your trainer should be able to give general nutrition advice in the context of fitness goals and refer you to a nutrition specialist when appropriate.
People you know may be able to provide feedback on their training experiences. You could also talk to those working with trainers at your local gym. Always ask about credentials such as education, years of experience, and the trainer’s certifyng agency. Be aware that some trainers also specialize in specific population groups such as pre/post natal, youth or elderly individuals.