Personal training

5 Characteristics of a Quality Personal Trainer

By Joe Talarico on Sep 7, 2021 8:30:00 AM
4 Minutes Reading Time

 

If you are in need of a quality trainer, but aren’t sure about how to go picking one, this is the article for you. It can be hard especially at a big box gym to know if the trainers they have even know what they are doing. The sad truth is, it is not hard at all to become a trainer. Literally anyone can become one if they just dedicate some time to one of the certifications. Just because a trainer has a certification, does NOT mean they are a good trainer.

There are some key characteristics I think you should look for that can help in your journey towards choosing the right type of trainer. On the flip side, there are signs of a bad trainer to keep in mind as well.

Have an Open Line of Communication

Your trainer should be willing to help you beyond more than just the hour you pay to be with them. Some allow video calls, emails, text messages, you name it. A great trainer doesn’t want your money. They want to see you make long lasting changes. Losing weight or hitting your goals is as much a mindset shift as it is anything else. Your trainer should be willing and aiming to help target your weak areas and incorporate behavior based goals to get you there. 

Having a Process to Get You There

Ask them what their plan is to get you there. That is a huge red flag if they don’t have a roadmap laid out to at least give a general outline towards achieving your goal. A great trainer will take the time to individualize your program so that it is catered to your goals. Let’s be real. The needs of a 20 year old aren’t going to be the same as a 65 year old. Yet a lot of times you’ll see trainers all providing the same workout of box jumps, and bench pressing.

Ability to Apply Their Knowledge

A trainer can talk about all the extra certification and learning they do in their off time. How are they applying it towards your goals and obstacles? Are they able to make changes and work within the confines that you set? What is their plan when you fall off course or have to go on vacation? Your trainer should know how to adjust on the fly and still keep you headed towards your goals. Ask tons of questions! If your trainer hands you a plan and hasn’t even bothered to assess you for your injuries, past lifting history, etc. then how can they possibly have YOUR plan?

Client Retention Over Amount of Clients

How much is the trainer focused on working with you and getting you to your goals versus trying to gain new clients. Are they always asking you for referrals? Do they have constant bootcamps, and challenges that make you sweat but never really address your needs? A great trainer will get more out of spending time getting his or her current clients where they need to be and letting the results speak for themselves.

Over Deliver On Service

A trainer dedicated to their craft will make themselves available to their clients as often as possible. I always gave my clients my phone number and email and told them to never be afraid to text me with ANY questions they had. It could be about food, what to do on vacation, their workout, etc. If I knew they were going to be away, I’d go ahead and make a program they can take with them wherever they go. If my client was injured, I’d have rehab programs I’d send them to do at home, along with videos of me demonstrating any exercises they couldn’t do. A trainer’s goal should be to cross the finish line with you, not sit back and watch you do it all on your own.

This is by no means a full list of what makes a great trainer, but should help clear up any concerns you might have about how to choose, and make finding a trainer just a little easier.

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Joe Talarico

Joe is a certified Precision Nutrition and strength & conditioning coach. He assisted the UCLA Women’s Tennis team in winning their 2014 NCAA Championship Title, as well as study under the great strength coaches at Pepperdine University. He was a collegiate rower at the University of Rhode Island (where he got his Kinesiology degree) as well as an amateur physique competitor. He is currently the master trainer at Upgrade Labs in Santa Monica where he is combining his years of training clients in the gym with newer technology to optimize their performance and recovery. He also cohosts The RelationSH*T Show Podcast with his fiancée where they discuss all relationship topics unfiltered from who pays on dates, to open relationships.

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