How to find a great Personal Trainer

You are ready to get started on your new fitness goals and you want to hire a pro to help you get there. Congrats, you are on your way to feeling and looking amazing. Here, I am sharing with you what I’ve seen work for my clients and people who’ve I helped find a trainer for their goal.

First, decide what would work best for you. For example, do you work better with male or female trainers? Do you prefer somebody in amazing shape to look up to or just somebody who doesn’t intimidate you? Also, do you want to work out with him/her at your home, your gym, their studio or the park? You may not have the answer right away but it’s worth putting some thought into what would be your ideal situation in the long run before you get started on the search.

If you are already a member of a gym, it’s worth talking to the Fitness Manager about the options you have there. Remember, not ALL trainers are created equal!!! 99% of them are in it from good intentions to help people, however sometimes big box gyms hire very inexperienced trainers just to keep the “headcount high”. Ask who is their best trainer on staff, how long they’ve worked there and what qualifications they have. Don’t hesitate to ask for success stories and to chat with the trainer. When I was a fitness manager I did that plenty of times for members and it’s not an unusual practice, so don’t be shy. A reputable facility would offer you a free session or an orientation to meet with the trainer. Most trainers are terrible and horrified from sales so don’t be scared you’d be pushed into something you don’t want. Just pay attention to how attentive they are to your needs and what plan of action are they are suggesting for you in your specific situation. Are you aligned with their philosophy of fitness? For example, are they suggesting you buy 5 different supplement and you hate supplements or do they have a natural and holistic approach that is exactly what you were hoping for?  If they are thorough, professional and they pay attention to detail; if they come with experience and education- boom, hire them on the spot. If you have a feeling they are overpromising, generalizing or they just put you through a random workout without assessing you and explaining everything they are doing- thank them for their time and go home. A good trainer is passionate about movement and should be very comfortable talking about the science behind what they are showing you. If they are not walking you through their process, they probably don’t know their stuff.

If you don’t have a membership or your gym doesn’t cut it with their trainers, I suggest you look for a trainer close by your house or your work. Convenience is a huge factor. You want to minimize any possible excuses you are going to come up when it gets though. You know, you are going to try to sabotage the process so just make it as easy and convenient as it could be so you don’t. If there is a gym in your home or building, hire somebody to come there. If you live somewhere sunny and you love the outdoors, find somebody who trains their clients in the park or on the beach. At the same time, be open minded in exploring new scenarios like training before or after work as opposed to what you’ve done in the past. I suggest you always try to workout first thing in the morning, but I know that’s not visible for everybody. My second suggestion would be to train immediately after work. It’s just so hard to get home, change and leave the house again. So to conclude, try to make it easy and convenient but be open minded to try something new.

If you are going to look for a great trainer near you, regardless of their type of facility, I suggest you search based on their reviews. My clients have gone out of their way to leave me positive reviews all over the internet to let the world know how amazing I am so a good trainer who is an independent contractor (is not an employee of a big gym ) but trains from a studio or private gym usually have reviews somewhere on their professional profiles or on their website. Be skeptical of before/after pictures of quick transformations. Also, read a couple of the actual stories. Just 5-star reviews are not enough. You want to hear from other people how they go above and beyond to help their clients, how dedicated and caring they are. You want a rock star trainer, don’t you? For the purpose, you’ll need  to look for somebody who’s made personal training their career and training isn’t just a job for them. Trainers who take their career seriously look on point, have a degree in Kinesiology or/and multiple personal training and nutrition certifications. They are also just as excited or more than you are about your goals, and you achieving them. They listen well to what you say and they educate you.

If you are already experienced in the gym and you’ve worked with a coach or a trainer to ensure that you move well in all major lifts (Squats, Deadlifts, Pushing, Pulling and Rotating moves), you could consider hiring an Online Personal Trainer. It’s an affordable and convenient option to keep your workouts fresh, to keep progress going to have accountability and extra motivation. I’ve helped a few past clients who’ve moved away or clients with crazy schedules to see amazing results by training them online. That means that your trainer is delivering your program, workouts and nutrition guidance via their website, Skype, email or a combination of these.

Lastly, remember, that you will get what you pay for. So if your trainer is on Craig’s list and charges $30 per session you will get to work with a fitness enthusiast, not a Personal Trainer. Personal Trainers, who have gone to school and made Personal Training a career wouldn’t consider charging less than $65 per session and the top notch trainers often charge $100 per hour or more. Before you freak out, think of the total investment you will pay and the length of the program. Let’s say you pay $1500 for 2 or 3 month program. Think about all the changes and success you can accomplish for that time and then think about the price tag. I really encourage you to look into what are you getting for the full length of the program. First off, are you getting a program or just individual workouts? Your trainer should design a detailed, progressive plan for you that includes, but not limited to core stability, mobility, strength, endurance, metabolic conditioning, flexibility, and some form of nutrition guidance. If they don’t mention this stuff and just talk about fun workouts, then there is a chance they are not worth the money. Before I start working with a new client, I make sure their goal is worth my fees. If you want to transform your health, your body, your confidence, your eating habits, then expect to pay to get the help you need. Your body and your health are not GroupOn material. Find the right person to help you and invest with excitement. Trainer fees are always lower than hearth attacks, double bypass surgery, cancer, joint replacements and diabetes; just to put in perspective.  

I hope the information above was informational and you’ll go talk to some trainers with more confidence and comfort. Remember, trainers are the least intimidating people in the world- after all, they picked working out with people for their profession. Yeah, they sure look good and are very geeky when it come to gym stuff but they just got to be fun, enthusiastic, easy going and energetic if they wear sweat pants and T-shirt all day. Go meet one, let him/her guide you and enjoy all the benefits!

Beast Mode: ON

Kalina