How to Choose a Personal Trainer or Fitness Coach

How to Choose a Personal Trainer or Fitness Coach • personal trainer how to choose

Hiring a personal trainer or fitness coach can be a great way to help you take your fitness and strength to the next level. Whether you want to enter a fitness event, train for a sport, or simply get fitter and stronger, a personal trainer can help you in a number of ways. They can:

  • Help you sift through the ‘noise’ that is on the internet and create a program and plan that is personalized for you
  • Provide motivation, inspiration, encouragement, and support when you need it most
  • Ensure that you’re exercising in the safest and most effective way
  • Help you with strategies to avoid things like overtraining and plateaus
  • Provide advice and tools to help you plan, prepare, stay on track, and get back on track if you fall off the wagon

Qualities to consider in a personal trainer or fitness coach

Meet with your trainer in advance and decide whether you feel like you ‘click’ well with them and will be a good fit for each other. Some people will be suited to a trainer with a military style and others will prefer a softer approach. Neither is right or wrong; you just need to decide what will suit your personality.

Irrespective of style, a good personal trainer should have the following qualities:

  • The ability to ask lots of open-ended questions to find out the information they need to train you effectively. They should ask about your goals, medical and injury history, exercise preferences, and barriers to success
  • A good listening ear. Your trainer should take on board and act upon the information you provide them with.
  • Non-judgemental. There’s a difference between giving you a reminder of your goals and what you want to achieve as opposed to telling you off and making you feel bad. You should feel as if they understand your personal situation and are empowering, not belittling you.

Questions to ask a potential trainer

Before employing your trainer, find out the following:

  • Logistics such as charging for missed sessions, and expectations for session payments in advance. Also, ask them what will happen if THEY miss the session for any reason.
  • Qualifications and experience. Your trainer should have completed some sort of training with a recognized fitness body. Ask them what they do for ongoing professional development, how long they’ve worked in the industry, and how many clients they have helped. 
  • Ask for testimonials from previous clients that show or describe the results they have gained as a result of their training.
  • Find out what type of clients they train and what their specialty area is. Do they train bodybuilders or weight loss clients? Do they specialize in sports specific training or rehab? Don’t believe someone who says they train everyone! In their explanation, you should find some evidence that they train people who have similar goals to you.

Discovering the answers to the questions above should give you a good indication of whether you want to train with someone. Choose the trainer that fits well with your personality and who you think you’d enjoy training with. Check out our group directory to find a personal trainer near you.

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