The right personal trainer can help you reach your health and fitness goals safely and quickly. But how do you find the right coach and trainer? Don’t be fooled by slick salesmanship, ask the right questions:
- Are you certified? What certifications do you hold? A good trainer should be able to show you one or more fitness certifications from a nationally accredited organization like NASM, ISSA, NPTI, ACE, AFAA, ACSM, or hold a 4-year degree in physiology or kinesiology. Ideally, your trainer should also have certification in CPR, AED, and First Aid.
- Do you have experience with clients like me? Many trainers work every client the same way, despite their individual goals. Inflexible (or inexperienced) trainers encourage ALL of their clients to practice spinning, Crossfit or whatever discipline or exercise they are most comfortable with. But a knowledgeable and experienced personal trainer will work toward YOUR goals.
- Why did you become a trainer? Look for a trainer who wants to help others achieve their fitness goals. A trainer who’s training because it’s their passion will help you achieve better results.
- Do you specialize? A trainer who specializes in swimming, may not be the best choice if you are training for a 5K or weight loss. Ask what kind of clients he/she usually trains.
- How much does it cost? For many, the price tag will narrow our choices and determine which trainer we choose. Working with a personal trainer can range from $50 per hour up to $500. A good trainer is worth every penny, a bad trainer is a waste of your time and money.
- Can I contact your former clients? Talk to former clients and read their testimonials. Talk to your trainer’s clients to learn what it’s like to work out with him or her before you hire that trainer. What did they like and dislike about the trainer, and how quickly did they start seeing results?
- How soon will I see results and how should I measure my progress? As an example, if weight loss is your fitness goal, then decide with your trainer if you will be tracking and measuring body fat or following the readings on the scale. Regardless of your goals, strength, fitness or weight loss, get baseline measurements and re-test at predetermined intervals once you’re into your training program.
Finally, ask yourself if you like the trainer. Hire a trainer you click with instantly, and the person who seems to practice what they preach. Reaching your fitness goals can be hard but that does not mean it shouldn’t be fun!