There’s more than one way to stay fit and active. And while a lot of people prefer to do their own thing and sort of create a personalized workout plan on their own time, other people prefer the structure that comes from working with a personal home trainer. If you choose to go the latter route, you need to make sure you’re working with the right trainer.
Why Hire a Trainer?
Most people think a personal trainer is only for certain types of people. If you’re someone who doesn’t have a whole lot of experience in the gym, you might think personal trainers are for Hollywood celebrities and bodybuilders. But the truth is that personal trainers are for everyone — regardless of your budget, skill level, or body type.
In fact, everyone should hire a personal trainer at least once in their life. Here are three reasons:
- They educate. The problem most people have is that they don’t know what they don’t know. In other words, you might think you’re maximizing your time at the gym, but you could be using a piece of equipment in a totally inefficient way. A trainer teaches you valuable concepts, perfects form, and gives you a framework you can use even after you’re no longer working together.
- They personalize. No two people are the same. So why are we all trying to follow similar workout routines? A personal trainer will tailor a customized workout plan to your body type, goals, strengths, and experiences.
- They motivate. When you have a personal trainer, you have a coach, cheerleader, therapist, and accountability partner bundled into one. This makes it more likely that you’ll roll out of bed in the morning and go to the gym.
How to Pick the Right Personal Trainer
There are good personal trainers and then there are great personal trainers. Here are some things to consider when searching for the best possible trainer for your needs:
This might seem like a strange factor to consider, but it’s definitely something to take into account. Because if you’re going to work with a trainer, convenience is a must.
One option is to look at the gyms near your home and try to find the best trainers at each of these establishments. (However, this could significantly limit your choices.) Another option is to hire a home personal trainer who comes to you. Not only is this more convenient, but it could also give you a better lineup of trainers to choose from.
Experience isn’t the be-all-end-all for a personal trainer, but it’s certainly reassuring to know that you’re working with someone who has been in the industry for a few years and understands how to get the most out of their clients.
Having said this, you should avoid working with old school trainers who are still using the same techniques they used 20 years ago. A lot has changed in the fitness industry over the last couple of decades and newer techniques and routines are rooted in a more advanced understanding of the human body.
Anyone can call themselves a personal trainer, but what does that mean? Are you getting an Instagram influencer with a six pack who thinks they can train people, or a bona fide trainer with a degree?
It’s helpful to ask for credentials when considering a trainer. Some good certifications include:
- National Academy of Sports Medicine
- National Strength and Conditioning Association
- American College of Sports Medicine
- American Council on Exercise
Any sort of four-year college degree in an area like exercise science, health and nutrition, or physical therapy would also be a good sign that this person knows what they’re talking about.
You’ll be spending a lot of time with your personal trainer over the next few months — so you might as well like them as a person! Your trainer doesn’t have to be your best friend, but they should be someone you can have a conversation with between sets, before and after workouts, etc.
For 99.9 percent of us, cost is going to be a determining factor. Most trainers charge by the hour/session. Look for someone who fits into your budget, but don’t be afraid to spend a little more than you thought you would. Quality trainers typically charge a premium because they’re in high demand.
Set Yourself Up for Success
A personal trainer can’t snap their fingers and make you fit. They can, however, help you implement a solid framework that will dramatically increase your chances of accomplishing your fitness goals and health objectives. Take your time and search for the trainer who is right for you!