5 Top Keys to Choosing A Personal Trainer!

Are you thinking of choosing a Personal Trainer? Not a straightforward task in this multi-billion pound unregulated industry. How do you differentiate the good from the bad, the sufficiently qualified from the inadequate to find the trainer that is right for you? Read on for our 5 Top Keys to Choosing A Personal Trainer!

The rise in the numbers of fitness coaches and personal trainers has been phenomenal over the past decade due in no small part to the increase in obesity rates, prevalence of diabetes, publicity on the effects of ageing and poor dietary habits and the general desire of many to feel fitter, faster and stronger. However, there are those who have entered this industry for financial reasons and after a six-week personal trainer course purport to be experts and specialists in the field -highly questionable.

Before parting with your hard-earned money, take care and research adequately to make the correct fit with the appropriate trainer to meet your personal needs; one who is properly qualified and experienced. Whether your need is to lose weight, increase muscle mass, attain personal health and fitness goals, look great, reduce stress or rehabilitate following injury, consider the following 5 tips when making a decision on a personal trainer:

1. Qualifications

The old saying of ‘you only get what you pay for also rings true in the health and fitness industry. The market is becoming saturated with trainers, some good, some not so good and many with only basic qualifications.

Some courses provide basic knowledge of physiology, anatomy, nutrition, psychology and exercise technique and the question that naturally follows: are all such courses accredited? Ask a prospective trainer about their qualifications and extent of continued professional development, then research the qualifications mentioned. What level are they? Many in addition to such certification will have undergraduate degrees in sport and fitness or similar and a postgraduate qualification providing a solid, broad grounding and in-depth understanding of physiology, anatomy, nutrition and psychology.

2. Training experience 

Having completed a five or six week course with a minimum of coaching and teaching experience, trainers are released onto the market to develop their brand and business. Becoming an ‘expert’ or ‘specialist’ takes time, similar to an apprentice in many industries and similarly it is beneficial to have worked with experienced and elite trainers and coaches along the way.

Locate trainers who have completed internships with experienced trainers and coaches, accumulated experience working with sports teams or within University settings and engaged in continued professional development. Many talk the talk but can they walk the walk?

3. Trainer’s background

Many good trainers have engaged in high level sport, trained for and competed at competition level in fitness or perhaps physique contests and shows and are aware of the correct techniques and methods required to develop a client’s physique or offer rehabilitation advice, or to improve diet. Delve into a potential trainer’s history to ascertain what they have achieved, how long they have been offering their services, at what standard and whether they have a proven track record of achievements and results.

4. Testimonials and client portfolio

There are many excellent trainers and coaches who have achieved much success and many often have a website or portfolio providing evidence with testimonials of satisfaction from current and past clients. However, be warned, there are many good salesmen out there, so check that the service matches the sales pitch.

Assess and be aware of your own needs, and the type of trainer or coach that you would work best with as well as what training style would provide the encouragement and motivation you need. If your need is for a specialist service rather than a generalist, research the trainer’s speciality and whether they’re suitably qualified and experienced in that field.

5. Appearance and professionalism

It is so easy to be attracted to an Adonis-like physique but that does not mean that these trainers are good at providing instruction and motivation to safely encourage you to give your best to achieve your health and fitness needs. Observing a trainer at work is recommended to assess motivation and inter-communication skills, leadership style, extent of engagement and knowledge. Of course how presentable the trainer is, whether they keep notes, focus on themselves, check their own physique in the mirror, checking Facebook messenger and WhatsApp every 5 minutes on their smartphones instead of paying attention to you, will tell you a lot!

Be encouraged, there are a lot of excellent qualified, experienced trainers around. Having a degree doesn’t always make a good trainer but neither does only holding a basic qualification or being indifferent to continuous personal development. Hopefully these tips will assist you in making a right ‘fit’ with a personal trainer to achieve the positive changes to your body and lifestyle you desire, but remember it should also be FUN!

For further information on courses and CPD (Continued Professional Development) please see the following very helpful industry websites: Exercise RegisterACSMUKSCA

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