Finding the right personal trainer

Finding the right personal trainer

How time flies. I’ve been in the fitness industry since 2007. Firstly, working the gym floor, taking group fitness classes, while writing 100s of programs. Putting in the time and experience with many commercial gyms to now becoming a personal trainer running my own business. Back then gym members would ask a ton of questions in relation to their own goals. Be it fitness, strength, stretching to what’s the best group class?  One particular question I got was, I’m having trouble finding the right personal trainer. Are you good?  or who is the best one in here?

Back then I would think, what’s the best answer. Do I say yes, or no?  While thinking are other guys are better than me? I had to sell myself, be professional and somewhat humble. Tried to answer the question the best I could, all while never saying I’m the best and continued on trying to get a new client the best I could. Clearly, I lacked the experience.

Now with a few more years under my belt it now seems like a reasonable and easy one to answer. You see people who ask the question don’t know a thing about personal training and simply want to know. So, I ask them what they are after, what are their goals and work out if we can work together. My experience tells me I have just a few minutes to make an impact. It doesn’t take me long to figure out if we work together towards your goals. Saves us both time.

People see personal trainers as fitness professionals who are going to deliver to them their goals. Finding the best trainer might help, finding the right one for you is the key.

The right trainer is the best one suitable to you.

Some places to start looking for a personal trainer include local gyms, fitness centres and studios. In my case I run my own business.  When you’re at the gym, watch other potential trainers with their clients and see how they look working together. It doesn’t take long before an observation is made on how they operate. Make a note of trainers who get along with their clients, smile and seem fully involved in their client’s workouts. It’s what you are going to get. I myself have a google reviews section for potential clients to read. Helps to do the research.

Sometimes the personal trainer that most regard as the best one “because they will smash you” might not be the answer for your particular needs. It’s all about finding the trainer who you can communicate and demonstrate the movement shown. You need to feel comfortable with your potential trainer as you will most likely be spending a bit of time with them. The personal trainer should be someone you will like. Ask yourself if you think you could get along with the trainer and whether you think the trainer is genuinely interested in helping you.

Tip – If you are in a gym. Ask one of their clients some questions.

A good communicator

A good trainer will listen closely to what you say and respond accordingly.  Make sure they understand your goals and if these changes, ensure that you’re both still on the same page. Will you feel comfortable asking questions from the very beginning. We trainers naturally have extravert personalities, and this sometimes prevents a clear two-sided form of communication due to the focus we have during sessions. Don’t be shy and speak up. A good trainer listens to client’s needs. This allows them to be aware of what you are thinking and make changes as/if required.  This can easily be established when you initially meet one for potential work. Trust your instinct on this one.

Pays attention

This is a given, if you are paying someone for their time in training you it should be clear that they will be totally focused only on you during your sessions. A good trainer will correct technique on the spot and make ongoing adjustments if you are not getting it right. I spend a lot of time holding the focus pads for clients during our boxing session. I don’t recommend losing focus here as a wayward punch can cause injury to both.  Would you pay for someone who just stands next to you on a machine while they are checking their phone? You are investing in your health and obviously place a high importance on it by hiring a trainer. So, getting the level of service you deserve should be expected.

Does the right personal trainer have a skill set suitable to you?

Over the years I’ve accumulated practical experiences, broadened my formal studies and attended over a dozen workshops in refining my professional development.  Likewise, have become well versed on many elements such as boxing, kettlebells, weightlifting and bodyweight training. In addition, the formal studies in nutrition and own literature have resulted in my development into an experienced personal trainer. To specialise in one element, training people.

Having said that, will this skill set suit you? No point in hiring a trainer if you don’t like boxing, running, kettlebells or free weights. Find the one that has the skill set you like. It makes it easier for all. Be reasonable with what you don’t like. The bottom line is getting results requires you to commit, hard work, and consistency. Do the research and make a correct and informed decision.

A professional trainer will have a process to assess and monitor your progress.  Knowing your goals at the beginning will allow any changes to your program if required. Some trainers, depending on the variables being assessed can also provide regular feedback to you on your progress. Be it strength goals or fitness. These can generally all be measurable depending on the activity.

Given the age of technology, fitness apps, Strava on smart phones and running watches. There is plenty of information out there to take in. A trainer should at least be able to break down some of the vital stats. Mostly everything to do with fitness nowadays can be measured.

Finding the right personal trainer who is qualified & Insured

Firstly, a personal trainer should have relevant qualifications and be registered with a recognised industry association. A personal trainer’s job is to work with your health professionals (if required), discuss your goals on a regular basis, assess your fitness level with relative benchmarks or design a program for you. Having a process is great in keeping you motivated.

Secondly, take your time before you make a choice. I provide a no obligation trial before we agree on working together. Before entering into an agreement ensure your trainer is registered. Insured and qualified. Something that is very important is establishing whether your personality and communication style suits the potential trainer. Can you work with them. This should be high on your list of priorities. You may be spending a lot of time with this person.

Lastly, no point in paying with time, effort and your hard-earned dollars on someone you don’t fully feel comfortable with. My private facility is not for all and only suited to individuals who want to train without other distractions, guaranteed. It’s about getting the balance right with you trainer. If done right from the beginning it ensures you will get the results that you are after without any compromises.

All the best in your search in finding the right personal trainer.

Claude Castro is a Mill Park based Personal Trainer with over 35 years of practical experience.

Click here for Experience and formalities.

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