Hiring a personal trainer is a big step to taking fitness or weight loss serious. No longer are you casually exercising at the gym, the use of a trainer means that it's time for a directed and professionally managed approach. However, like all services, there is a clear discrepancy in quality and specialty that will change the results you see from personal training sessions. To ensure you're getting exactly what you pay for, the following are 5 criteria that personal trainers should be judged upon; no more, no less.
1. Experience / Education – Firstly, a personal trainer must carry specific certifications to be allowed to practice at weight loss centers and gyms. Look into the school that trained your prospective trainer, and make sure that they hold to your expected standards. Also, it may be a good idea to find a professional that specializes in a field you wish to excel in, eg muscle building, cardio, toning, weight loss. Though all trainers will have insight, some will be more prepared than others for specialized program goals.
2. Personality – As stated above, personal trainers are really a service industry at heart. You're paying for expertise and personal interaction from someone who will guide your fitness plan. If you simply do not mesh with the personality of the person you've hired, do not be afraid to switch to a different trainer by consulting with the manager of the weight loss center or gym. There will be no awkwardness or drama. Sometimes personalities don't fit, and they will need to fit to ensure the best results possible.
3. Attention / Focus – The attention of the personal trainer will be evident quickly. Their job and service is to make sure that you are working out safely and effective. While you're performing the exercises, they should be watching for things like form and the energy you're expending; and they should be adjusting your program accordingly. Checking their phone, hands in pockets while you're lifting, or allowing your program to stagnate over the weeks are the red flags you're looking for.
4. Adaptability – If your fitness goals change, it's never too late to change programs. Being afraid to put forth the work to achieve a goal, that's one thing; but if a trainer is resistant to changing a program when your goals themselves change, the trainer isn't fulfilling their end of the service. Personal trainers should be knowledgeable and dynamic in the programs they design, not rigid and pedantic.
5. Results – Finally, are you seeing a change? Is your body transforming, becoming stronger? Are you seeing the rewards from gym and weight loss center visits that you outlined to your personal trainer? If you find yourself unable to answer this positively, it may be time to switch. If you've found that personality and attention fit, give them a chance. At the end of the day, trust your instinct if you feel you can be gaining more from the service of a different trainer.
A personal trainer is a guide that will take your exercise program into a new direction and reach a higher level of fitness than you could without. Finding the right trainer is imperative. Be mindful and critical, and you'll find the trainer that can produce results for making the best You possible.