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What to Look For In A Personal Trainer? An Easy Guide
Fitness

What to Look For In A Personal Trainer? An Easy Guide

August 2, 2021

Blog

The time has finally come to search for a personal trainer.

You’re quite sick of not being able to lose weight on your own, you can’t stay motivated to keep up with your exercise routine without help, and you’re not making progress toward your fitness goals.

You search online and find all kinds of tips you could follow, strategies you could try, gyms you could sign up for, ways to adjust your mindset attempt to stay motivated to stick to your workout program.

But none of these tips are practical.

Ultimately, success in life and success in reaching your fitness goals have an important factor in common.

Almost no one can do it alone.

There’s only so much time in each day. If you want to stop spending hour after hour getting nowhere and get back to living your life, you need to look for someone who will help you get everything straight.

You need a professional, certified personal trainer. There’s just one problem.

How to search for high quality personal training

What do you even search for in a fitness training person?

Perhaps more importantly, where do you go to look for them?

You can’t exactly just go from gym to gym and ask around for the best workout trainers and realistically expect to get the best tips from random gym goers.

There are, however, some factors that you can look for in a potential trainer to help you determine which trainer would be the best fit to help you achieve your goals.

Things to look for in personal trainers

The list of things that you’ll want to consider in a trainer, whether online or in person, is shorter than you might think.

The most important factors are as follows:

  • How well educated they are in the field of proper personal training.
  • How much they actually know about being a trainer.
  • How professional they are on the job as a trainer.
  • How well they communicate with you as your trainer.
  • How compatible their personality is with your own.
  • How often they’ll be available to work with you.

And how much it costs to pay for their services.

Let’s go over each of these factors in exhaustive detail, one at a time, so you’ll know exactly how to choose the best trainer for you.

Education

The education your personal trainer has in the field of personal training is important to get established up front.

Ideally, your personal trainer should have a degree in exercise science.

There are a number of places to get such a degree, including but not limited to the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the American Council on Exercise.

The National Academy of Sports Medicine is headquartered in Arizona, and the American Council on Exercise is located in California.

Each of these places can offer a personal trainer lessons to become a certified personal training coach, and once they finish their training sessions these institutions can also issue the appropriate certifications. Gold’s gym personal trainers typically are certified.

Make sure to verify their certification

Ask your personal trainer to show you their certification credentials.

If they can’t produce any certifications for you, there’s a good chance they don’t have the appropriate schooling to be coaching you as your personal trainer.

If this is the case, becoming a client of theirs ought to be a very hard sell.

Knowledge

There is an important difference between schooling and knowledge.

A personal trainer might be able to produce the appropriate certifications, but a certification isn’t necessarily sufficient evidence on its own that the person has the necessary expertise to be an effective fitness training coach.

Certifications are important of course, and you would be very hard pressed to come up with a good reason to become a client to a personal trainer without a certification, but even if they’ve got the credentials you will still want to make sure they know what they’re doing.

How to verify knowledge

This part is pretty tough. Unlike schooling credentials, you can’t necessarily just ask your personal trainer to show you a piece of paper that says they know what they need to know about being a fitness training coach.

You can ask them questions about their fitness training style, try to determine whether their understanding of exercise and nutrition and their effects on your body sound about on point.

But since you’re not a fitness trainer yourself, you’ll be lacking a frame of reference to know for sure whether their answers are accurate or helpful.

You might consider having a fitness training session with a variety of different trainers, and as you went along you would intuitively get a feel for which ones knew what they were doing and which ones were full of hot air.

But the whole reason you’re here is to avoid going to a bunch of different trainers and wasting tons of time.

You want to find a trainer that works for you, and not spend forever doing it.

One possible way to go about this would be to ask the prospective exercise trainer to put you in contact with some of their clients.

After all, if a trainer is doing their fitness training job right, their clients will be able to tell you as much – whether verbally or otherwise.

If you do get a chance to speak with a client to the potential workout trainer, you’ll be able to tell at a glance whether the fitness training style of the trainer is working for them by their body weight and body form.

Any number of workout trainers can tell you all they want about the style of their workouts and the effectiveness of various exercises, but without a good frame of reference you won’t know the truth from the lies.

Trainers that can produce a fellow that they have worked with as a team who has reached their goals and a good physical form, though, that much is an entirely different story.

Such trainers should reasonably be expected to know enough to think of exercises that will genuinely help you reach your own goals.

Professionalism

This factor can be a little bit of a challenge to quantify, because what you need out of your trainer will depend on what sort of person you are.

That said, one viable definition for professionalism is, well, being businesslike.

How seriously does the trainer take their job?

How important is it to them that you show up for training, follow through, and meet your goals?

How committed are they to ensuring that you become the best that you can be?

Important notes on pro personal trainers

This is a factor that sets online trainers apart from offline ones.

While any proper personal trainer will make an effort to stay businesslike, a trainer you meet at a local gym always carries the risk of some distant social connection that might lead to friction in the relationship.

A virtual at-home personal trainer that uses a software platform like System2 to connect with you through the net, on the other hand, carries next to none of that risk.

A trainer you meet on the internet will have no connection to you at all outside their work, leaving no possibility of a conflict of interest or of drama sprouting from mutual social connections.

A trainer you meet offline may well do the job just fine, but be sure to be aware of the risks involved in such a relationship.

Communication

Keeping in contact with your trainer, and by extension your trainer keeping on contact with you, is of vital importance.

If you’re not communicating clearly with your trainer and they likewise with you, the chances that you’ll get to where you plan to be going in your fitness journey are next to nil.

Important notes on communicating with your personal trainer

This is a factor that an online trainer will have as an advantage over traditional personal trainers.

A trainer that does their work over the internet will be using an app of one kind or another as their primary means of keeping in contact with you, and that means most of your communications will be done via a medium that keeps a chat log.

The result of this, of course, is that anything one of you says to the other at any time is recorded to be easily checked back to later on.

Scrolling back up through a chat log is infinitely easier than trying to remember something that one of you said to the other some indeterminate time in the past.

Another advantage this gives is that your trainer won’t have to painstakingly take their own notes about your character and associated needs, because anything they would need for notes is in the chat log.

Now, it is true that a trainer that speaks with you via text chat won’t have the benefit of body language or vocal inflection to work with.

Thankfully, the best online personal trainers use platforms like System2 that also integrate video chat sessions in order to alleviate that weakness of the medium. It’s the perfect alternative to gym workouts.

Offline personal trainers simply don’t have the tools to compete in this particular factor.

Compatibility

If you’re going to hire a personal trainer, you’re going to want to find a trainer that’s a good fit for you.

No amount of expertise or any set of other qualities will be enough if the personality of your trainer clashes with your own personality.

If you can’t work together as a team, lots of bad things will happen.

You won’t be excited to train each day.

You might even be dreading it, even if your workout sessions are only an hour long.

You won’t reach your fitness goals.

Your health will suffer.

How to determine compatibility

To find the right personal trainer for you, you’re going to want to get to know them as a person.

Once you’ve determined that the personal trainer you’re considering has the other qualities you’re looking for, see if you can get the trainer to tell you a little about themselves.

What are their own goals?

What sort of workouts do they do for themselves?

What does a gym session look like for them?

Can they name other quality trainers?

What do they have to say about the other trainers they know?

Questions like these will help you get to know the trainer better, adjust your expectations of them, determine whether they will genuinely help you reach your goals, and most importantly determine whether they are the sort of trainer you will actually want to do workouts with.

Availability

If you’re going to get a personal trainer to coach you in your fitness training sessions, you’re going to want to make sure that they can fit you into their schedule and vice versa.

If the potential personal trainers have many clients or they’re tied to the location of certain gyms, you might find that it’s harder than you would like to schedule times to train with them on hand to coach you.

Make sure to ask your personal trainer what days and times they expect to be available.

If it seems to be appropriate, you might also ask how many other clients they have.

Making progress toward reaching your goals requires one thing more than anything else, and that is sticking to a routine.

If your schedule doesn’t line up with the schedule of your personal trainer, you won’t be able to establish and stick to that necessary routine.

Important notes on availability

This is one of those factors that an online trainer will almost always have as an advantage over a traditional gym trainer.

An online trainer can talk to you about your goals, and contact you regularly to make sure you get in a session when it is time for one.

The best online trainers use systems like System2 that allow them to conduct a session remotely and provide feedback to fulfill your needs in their own time, ensuring that it doesn’t matter nearly as much what times you and your trainer are available.

In this regard a traditional gym trainer can’t even begin to compare to an online trainer.

Gym-bound trainers can only conduct a session with you when you are able to show up, and then of course only of the trainer is present and available as well.

Cost

Even if you have a close working relationship with your personal trainer, the unfortunate truth is that you’ll still be paying them money to keep coaching you and driving you to accomplish your exercise goals.

This is a job to them, and you’re a client first.

Your personal trainer needs their clients to keep paying the cost of doing business, or else they’ll lose money that they would otherwise be making elsewhere.

Don’t expect personal trainers to lower their cost on your account.

Ask them what their services cost when it seems an appropriate and organic time to ask, and accept that the price is the price.

What to do about the price

If you truly can’t afford it, you’ll have to find a different person to be your personal trainer.

Trying to haggle will only waste valuable time for both of you.

All of that said, price should be the very last thing on your mind when trying to find the right personal trainer.

It costs much more to go to many of the wrong personal trainers and never achieve your goals than it does to go to one good personal trainer and achieve those goals in good time.

Conclusion

By now you’ve been sufficiently educated on all the most important factors to consider when choosing a personal trainer.

If you’re still struggling to choose a trainer, or simply don’t have the time to take all those factors into consideration and find the perfect trainer for you, then it’s time to get System2.

System2 will use a simple questionnaire and sophisticated AI software to pick out the perfect online personal trainer for you, and give you all the tools required to get in contact and work with them to get to where you’re going.

All of System2’s personal trainers are certified, knowledgeable, businesslike, communicative, available whenever you need them, and they’re all open to you for the same low monthly subscription fee.

Most importantly, if you work with a trainer through System2 and discover that you’re simply not compatible with them, you can change to another one at any time.

It’s truly a win-win system, and the power is entirely in your hands.

Written by: Nathan Dresser

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