5 Things to Look for in a Personal Trainer
Just as there isn’t truly a one-size-fits-all when it comes to clothing, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to training. Five top fitness professionals share their tips for what to look for when considering a personal trainer. Heed their advice to ensure that you not only reach your goals and maximize your results, but also love the experience.
1. Your personalities click
Trainer tip: Don’t be afraid to shop around
Personality is paramount when it comes to considering working with a trainer. A trainer can have all the qualifications and experience in the world, but if you don't connect, then it will be difficult to develop a relationship that leads to commitment and success. I always encourage potential clients to interview me during our initial assessment to make sure our personalities match.
--Doug Balzarini, personal trainer, MMA strength and conditioning coach and founder of DBStrength
2. They put their clients before the program
Trainer tip: The first session will say it all
Going through a workout at the first session can be a sign of a bad trainer. It is impossible to receive personal training until the trainer knows the person behind the program they are creating. Your trainer should become familiar with your goals, history, likes and dislikes, schedule, current movement abilities, and areas of pain.
--Jonathan Ross, author of Abs Revealed and award-winning ACE-certified personal trainer
3. They’re all ears and a lot of heart
Trainer tip: Make sure you do most of the talking
A good trainer has good listening skills, a compassionate disposition, and generally feels like someone with whom you connect personally.
- Keli Roberts, celebrity trainer and world-renowned fitness educator based in Pasadena, CA
4. They never stop learning
Trainer tip: They are committed to their own ongoing education
Make sure your trainer has a NCCA-accredited personal training certification and also has committed to ongoing learning by attending workshops and conferences. The fitness industry changes at warp-speed, so it’s important for all fitness pros to stay up with the latest trends, knowledge, and practical ways to deliver results.
--Todd Durkin, owner of Fitness Quest 10 and author of The IMPACT! Body Plan
5. They know why it’s called personal training
Trainer tip: Be sure the workout is about your specific goals
When you pay top dollar for one-on-one workouts, you deserve more than a canned workout. While every trainer has some favorite moves that they may use for multiple clients, your workout should be very specific to your goals, your shortcomings, and your level. Be sure that your trainer focuses on your individualized needs--and doesn’t just give you the same workout she gives every client.
--Nicole Nichols, ACE-certified personal trainer and fitness expert for SparkPeople.com, named America's top personal trainer to watch in 2011
Considering taking the next step on your fitness journey? Find out what to expect when working with a personal trainer.
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