Choosing a personal trainer that's right for you can be hard. Not every trainer has the same experiences, and you may have different needs than others do. Today, I’d like to go over some things you should keep in mind when choosing a trainer that fits your desired goals.
To start, a trainer should be able to make your goal attainable. Losing 50lbs in 4 weeks isn’t attainable or sustainable. Aiming to lose 1-2lbs a week is. Don’t fall for a trainer trying to sell you on quick results. It takes time. Even if they could get you the results in a short time frame, the hardest part is being able to keep up with those goals the 6 months that follow.
Make sure during your consultation that you and your trainer are going over what it is you want to accomplish, and ask him/her to let you know how they plan to get you there.
Check out my article What is the First Thing a Personal Trainer Should Do With Their Client?
Now that they’ve established how they plan to get you there, the next step is making sure they are tracking. No matter what your goal is, there should be a way that week to week, your trainer is keeping track of your progress so that you can see if what he/she is doing for you is working. Nothing would be worse than spending 3 months paying a trainer to get you stronger only to find out they never tracked anything and you only went up 5lbs in strength. If that happens, something went wrong.
What gets measured gets improved. It also holds all parties accountable. Take weekly pictures, and make sure your trainer is recording your workouts to see if you are getting stronger.
It is inevitable that life will happen. Things will get in the way. You may go on a trip, or get hurt. Does your trainer have a plan for that? What if you’ve missed the last couple sessions? Your trainer should be able to adjust your workouts in case incidences like these happen. An inexperienced trainer will just keep giving you the same program regardless of what you say or how you feel and that isn’t a good sign. They should be able to adapt to what is going on in your life.
What is his/her experience helping clients achieve the same goals you have? Have they even gotten anyone else the results you seek? If you see them working with their clients, maybe try and talk to that client after to see how they are liking their sessions. It always helps if your trainer has lots of experience getting people to goals similar to yours. Having that proven track record shows competence on their end, but more importantly shows they had clients who stuck with them throughout the process to hit their goals.
I feel like this isn’t always acknowledged. You don’t have to become best friends with your trainer, but you shouldn’t mind showing up to your session and talking to them. If you plan to see them 2-3 times a week that’s 8-12 hours a month you will be spending time with them. If neither of you are enjoying the other's company, that not only makes the experience dreadful, but it may make you apathetic to the workout, and the trainer unmotivated to help you. On the flip side, if you find a trainer who you get along with, you may find you actually ENJOY working out because they made it fun and engaging. A good trainer will understand your personality, and thus, be able to make a workout that fits your personality and caters to the things you may be more inclined to do.
Check out my article Do I Need a Personal Trainer If I Want to Gain Muscle?