So you’ve decided to ramp it up a bit and get a Personal Trainer. While it might seem a bit “Hollywood”, it’s a great way to get on the right track. Personal Trainers come in lots of different types, and it’s important to make sure you get one that will help you get the results you want.
They should be qualified
Personal Trainers will list their qualifications. It doesn’t matter what their own athletic achievements are, you can have a world class athlete as a personal trainer, it won’t automatically make them awesome.
Ideally, you’ll want someone who has qualifications in personal training, nutrition and coaching, but you can expect these to cost more than PTs who only have personal training qualifications. It would be great if you can get someone who knows what multivitamins
are good for you and can help advise you with meal management. Remember that you often get what you pay for.
They should pay attention to you
Personal Trainers can vary in price, depending on the qualifications and location. PTs in a gym usually have to pay a fee to that gym, which is reflected in their price, but you get to use their equipment and facilities. The common factor though, is that you’re paying them for their time and expertise. If your PT is spending most of their time chatting to other people around them while you’re struggling through an exercise, you’re probably not getting value for money. You hired them to push you, not to wander off while you’re doing leg presses.
They should push you
Your body can probably do more than you think it can. Being pushed isn’t comfortable. That’s the point of it. It’s always easy to give up at anything and people do it every day, especially when things get hard. A good PT will push you beyond those comfort levels and get you to put in more effort than you would have on your own.
They should match your needs
Some people prefer a kind, gentle approach. Others like a Drill Instructor yelling at them with profanity laced orders. Work out what style is best for you, not necessarily which one you find most pleasant. For example, if your PT cares for and encourages you, but lets you give up as soon as it gets tough, you won’t get the results you want. Liking their methods are optional. No one really likes having orders barked at them, but if that’s what gets the best out of you, then that’s what you need.
They should hold you accountable
No PT, no matter how skilled, can do it for you. You’ll need to follow their advice, and expect disappointment if you don’t. Oh, they can tell if you’re fibbing about following the diet plan they set. They’ve seen the improvement many other people have made following similar programs, and if you’re not matching it, they know why. Deceiving them is really just deceiving yourself if you think you’ll get the results you want.
They should keep you interested
Anyone can download a program off the internet. A good PT will tailor it to your needs and make changes on the fly if necessary. Giving you a variety of exercises where possible keeps your mind engaged and motivated. You should never feel like what you’re doing is routine. You should be challenged every session.
They should consider your overall health
Working out without considering your lifestyle is going to make it hard to improve your general health
. A bad diet or lack of good sleep can undo much of what a good PT session does. Talk to your trainer about your diet (be honest) and follow their advice as closely as possible.
They should be trustworthy
Above all, you need to know your trainer is looking out for you. Trust can take a while to earn, but when you’re in such close proximity with someone and they see you at your worst, it tends to speed up the process. If they do something that makes you feel uncomfortable, let them know. It is a hands-on job, but they should always consider your personal boundaries.
Finding a Personal Trainer can be as simple as going to your local gym. Where possible, try to speak with someone who has trained with them before, so you can gauge their style (and results) and see if it works for you. Have a talk with the trainer, get an idea of their style and see if you think they can help you get healthier.
Keep in mind, you don’t have to like them. Sometimes it’s even better if you don’t, but you should expect them to help you get the results you want. Just don’t expect them to do it for you.