- Find a personal trainer whose personality meshes well with yours.
Since you will be working one on one with your trainer, it is important that you find someone who makes you feel comfortable and welcomed.One of the many reasons that people hire a personal trainer is that they need someone who will push them to do more than what they would do on their own. The question is: How do you want to be pushed? Do you want someone to yell at you like a drill sergeant? Or do you want someone to use positive encouragement to step just beyond your comfort zone?For me personally, it is not motivating to be yelled at. It is quite the opposite. It makes me not want to do it. Yelling is not my style and not something I use with my clients. My approach is to remind you of your goals and explain how performing the exercise helps get you closer to achieving them, and use positive encouragement to take that step. To me, it is important that you believe you can do the exercise, see the value and rewards of it, and want to do it because it accomplishes something important to you.
- Find a personal trainer who pays attention to your needs and goals, not his or her own.
Contrary to the opinion of many personal trainers, not everyone wants to be a bodybuilder or powerlifter. While some of the tools and techniques that bodybuilders and powerlifters use can benefit the average person looking to get in shape and many of the same principles apply, it is very important that the personal trainer you choose understands that bodybuilding or powerlifting may not be your goal.The personal trainer you choose should tailor a program to your specific goals, needs, and fitness level. The best personal trainer for you will take into account your physical limitations such as knee, shoulder, or back injuries and develop a program to work around those issues and improve them.
- Find a personal trainer who offers a comprehensive program that includes nutrition and coaching on mindset.
You probably know that diet alone isn’t enough, and that is why you are considering using the services of a personal trainer. If you are like many of our clients, you have probably done several different types of diets and found that none of them work in the long run because you can’t stick to them. Even if you do lose weight with them, you’re still not where you want to be—toned, fit, in shape, looking good and feeling good. In most cases, “going on a diet” ultimately ends up with you gaining more weight than what you started with because you lose muscle mass, and as a result you have a slower metabolism. When your “diet” ends, you go back to doing what you were doing before, and you pack on even more pounds.Likewise, exercise alone isn’t enough. You can’t out-exercise poor nutrition habits. You can get great workouts in, but sabotage your efforts in your kitchen, restaurants, and drive-through windows. So you need someone who can help you improve your nutrition habits.Beyond both exercise and nutrition, you need a personal trainer who can help you change your mindset so that you make permanent changes in your lifestyle so that you get lasting results. You need someone who can help you replace bad habits with good ones—good habits that take you where you want to go with your life and bring the things into your life that are most important to you. And a good personal trainer can help you develop the belief in yourself that you can accomplish your goals, that you are worthy and deserving of the rewards that it will bring, and that the rewards will be worth all of the effort you put in.So, look for a personal trainer who can help you with a program that incorporates all three of the key components of lasting results: exercise, nutrition, and mindset.
- Find a personal trainer who has experience working with people like you and can provide success stories to back up their experience.
Success leaves tracks. Ask personal trainers that you are considering to show you case studies and before and after pictures of people they have worked with who had similar goals to yours and were in similar life situations. If they can show you clients who have achieved goals similar to yours, you will feel a lot more confident that the trainer can help you achieve your goals.
- Find a personal trainer who is certified by an accredited organization.
Lastly, look for a trainer who is certified by a reputable certification organization such as the American Council on Exercise (ACE), National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT), etc. There are many diploma mills that sell a “personal trainer certification” online or with one day or a weekend of training. Before you hire a trainer, make sure they are certified by a legitimate certifying organization.
The best personal trainer for you will be the one who—in addition to all of the above criteria—you really “click” with, you feel understands and cares about you, and provides outstanding personal service. Make sure you find someone who puts the “personal” in personal training.