I consider myself lucky because I’ve found not only the right gym for me but also the best personal trainer a.k.a. RubySlippers! (She might also be half ninja, but I can’t prove it just yet). My personal trainer scouting methodology might not work for you but you can always read about it in my previous post Finding RubySlippers a.k.a. Kickass Personal Trainer. However, since I have a great trainer, I know what is and isn’t cool. So here are a few things that you should consider while you scout for yours:
1) Talk to the fitness consultants at your gym about cost of training, the types of packages they offer and the average results obtained from each package. Make sure you pick the right one for yourself.
2) Stay within your means. Each gym has different levels of trainers, some cost more than others but that doesn’t necessarily make them better. If you’re a beginner you probably don’t need the really expensive “elite trainer”. Getting fit is important, but you don’t necessarily need to break the bank to get there.
3) A good gym will also have bios and testimonials for their trainers. Read through them, it will give you an idea as to your trainer’s certifications and years of experience or other relevant information.
4) Ask if you have the option to change trainers if things don’t work out. Granted, it’s not like you’re marrying your trainer, but you’ll be spending a lot of time together, and if you don’t like them it may be tough to stick it out.
5) On your first visit, expect your trainer to ask you questions. Be honest and forthcoming about any health related issues that might require training modifications. If you have a previous injury, use an inhaler, take some form of medication or have some form of allergy they’ll want to know just in case.
6) Your trainer should be someone who practices what they preach, in other words they should be fit. Fitness comes in different shapes and sizes but you’ll know it when you see it. This is important because if they know how to train themselves then it’s more likely that they can help you too. Also, it will give you something to aspire to. Visual motivation can go a long way!
7) Make sure you feel comfortable with your trainer, it’s really important. You should feel comfortable enough to ask questions about your workout and talk to them freely even if it’s about the latest Walking Dead episode or protein pancakes. Seriously, if they can humor you and or your personalities mesh well together, it will make the whole experience much more enjoyable. You may even find yourself looking forward to your weekly sessions.
8) Respect is a given. Remember it’s a two-way street, so just because you’re paying your trainer doesn’t mean they’re your punching bag either.
9) Your trainer should be paying attention to you throughout your entire workout and making sure you’re doing things right. Proper form is important to avoid injuries and to get the best results from your workout. So if your trainer is telling you to fix your feet, keep your chin up, use your legs and so forth, it’s not nagging it’s them actually doing a good job and looking out for you.
10) The right personal trainer will make each session challenging, diverse, and believe it or not, fun! Best of all if you’re committed to following their advice and putting in the work trust me the results will speak for themselves!
Remember if at any time you don’t feel comfortable with your trainer, then it may be time for a change. Especially if their behavior is unprofessional or simply annoys you so much that you can’t focus on your training. The following are some of the things your trainer should not do:
1) Be Late – Unless it’s a one-time thing and for a good reason. If you can make it on time so can they.
2) Be condescending – Your trainer might know more than you do when it comes to fitness, but that doesn’t mean they can talk down to you, it all comes down to respect.
3) Mirror Addict – Your trainer probably has a body worth looking at, but when they’re training you they should be paying attention to what you’re doing with your body and not looking at themselves in the mirror every five seconds
4) Cell Phone Fiend – Your trainer might have a booming personal life and feel the need to check texts, calls, and Facebook statuses but NOT on your time!
5) Clock Watching – Unless it’s to time your reps or make sure you’re getting as much done before they have to move on to their next client, then it’s not cool.
6) B.O. – I understand that certain areas of the gym may have a peculiar smell, but that doesn’t mean your trainer should. Personal hygiene is an everyday thing, so even if your gym is “scent free”, it’s still ok to wear deodorant so please do. My trainer trains herself beast mode between clients at times, and she’s never showed up smelling like the lower floor weight room so neither should yours. On the flip side, make sure you’re not guilty of B.O. either, be kind think of it as a public service.
7) Bench Warmers – If you’re moving, jumping, lifting, crunching or whatever other crazy move your trainer has got you doing, the last thing you want is for them to be counting your reps or shouting instructions while sitting on a bench or exercise ball. Like RubySlippers says: “There’s no sitting in personal training!”…unless it’s sitting on the sled I’m pulling but that’s another story!