First off – let’s get the disclaimer out of the way. This is being written by a Personal Trainer, which might immediately give the vibe of me criticising others – understand that this article is being written not to garner any new business, but to provide thought for those who might be looking into getting themselves a trainer. That said, your opinion is your own and you may feel how you like. Let’s get started.
Choose a Trainer that Does What You Want:
A lot of personal trainers do general fitness training, weight loss, some strength and some cardio. If that’s what you’re after – cool. However, if you are
looking more for a COACH for a specific outcome, then that’s what you need to be keeping in mind. If you are looking to specifically lose a lot of weight, then find a trainer who is really good at it. Maybe you want to improve aspects of your sporting performance? Get a trainer that specialises in that area. Want to put on muscle? You get the idea.
There’s more to training than the physical side. Like everybody else, a particular trainer will have a better mental disposition to certain areas over others. A good weight loss trainer in particular, has a very positive outlook, will be supportive but honest, and will understand the challenges presented by what they’re asking of you. A sports performance trainer will have an entirely different outlook, which makes sense, as the athlete being trained will need to overcome different mental obstacles. Consider not just the age and sex of your trainer – but also their disposition. See if you can find a bio on what the trainer is like as a person, it can really help to highlight their personality traits.
Does Your Trainer Walk Their Talk?
Step one in considering any trainer – are they qualified and educated in what they do? This is an easy one to tick off usually. If they’re working out of a facility then you can be 95% sure they’re qualified to be doing what they’re doing (though you should ALWAYS check). If you’re training externally, make sure the “trainer” is up to date on their qualifications, registration and insurances – for your own safety. Also – know what your trainer can and cannot do. For example – tailored meal plans written for an individual is something that only a qualified, registered Dietitian can provide. Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist, and may have done courses in nutrition to help their own understanding – but a nutritionist (or trainer) can only legally provide dietary ADVICE in accordance and in reference to the Australian Dietary Guidelines.
Step two – Does your trainer, or have they previously, undertaken the type of training that you are wanting to be better in? Experience goes a long way – and that’s exactly why you want someone who understands exactly what they’re asking of you in your training sessions, who understands what your ultimate desire is and what it takes to get that goal. Look, education is definitely important, and i’m not saying you can’t achieve amazing results with someone who hasn’t done your discipline, but you can
certainly stack the odds in your favour by going with someone who has. Let’s put a personal spin on it – I DO NOT train people who want to bulk up with pure mass or who want to do heavy Olympic style lifting. My specialty is cardiovascular and body-weight strength element training – particularly in combination with each other for events like Obstacle Course Racing and Triathlon. I do Crossfit style weights – which can certainly get heavy – but for those who want to put on pure muscle mass, I always refer to a colleague of mine, purely because he’s so much better at that than myself. In this manner, you build industry trust and respect.
Are Your Sessions Satisfying?
That’s an odd choice of words for a sub-heading hey? “Satisfying” is a word I use as it encompasses a few different aspects. What you’re looking to tick off here are some, if not all of the following:
Are your sessions:
- Actually getting you the results you’re paying for
In a perfect world – you’re getting all of these things in every session. Now “fun” is a subjective word, grin, so maybe that one can be a shade of gray. Basically you are paying for a service, regardless of how well you get on with, how friendly you are, with your trainer – if you’re paying for an outcome, you need to be heading towards that outcome. Understand that their time is required for that outcome, and make sure you AND your trainer have a clear understanding of these time-frames at the commencement of training.
A Personal Trainer is not for everyone – but they can certainly help take your sporting performance to the next level if that’s something you’re interested in.
Cheers and have a wicked Wednesday gang – Pete.