Finding a good personal trainer can be tricky. There is no official qualification required to become a personal trainer. You will find trainers who are ex-athletes, trainers who have studied sports or nutrition to degree level or beyond and trainers who have taken dedicated personal trainer courses.
All have their benefits and their own skill sets but how do you spot a really great trainer?
Here are four things to look out for:
A good personal trainer should be a great listener. They may have all the tips and the guidance but first they have to listen to your story and where you want to go. If they don’t know what your goals and aims are then how can they help you?
A good personal trainer will listen and take time to understand your needs and expectations and work with you to achieve them.
There are many trainers out there who have their ‘ideal’ in mind when working with their clients and this is the worst attitude to have. It doesn’t matter what a trainer thinks is perfect, it’s about the client. Their focus should always be your needs and your goals.
A good personal trainer won’t get carried away by spouting ‘expert’ advice and simply deliver a programme based on their own training because ‘they know it works’. A good trainer will tailor a programme to your needs.
If you visit a personal trainer and they seem to be putting you through exactly the same work out every time, then something isn’t right here. One, they should be pushing you to your limits each time. Two, where’s the fun and enjoyment factor of the workout you’re paying for if it’s just the same thing on repeat? Personal trainers aren’t cheap so it is on them to provide you with a fulfilling and challenging workout every time.
A top personal trainer will be flexible and change things up so you’re never bored and never left thinking you could have pushed harder.
Lots of personal trainers talk nonstop about how to do an exercise, how it’ll burn tons of calories and how you’ll be transformed within a few short weeks.
Only the very best give you the ‘why’. Knowing why certain exercises develop certain muscles and why other exercises are a core part of your routine is key to building your own personal knowledge about your body and the regime you’re working on.
No personal trainer should suggest you do something because they say so or because ‘it’s good for you’. They should be keen to teach you how to work out effectively so you can easily carry out the same exercises alone, not just take you through the same paces every session.
There are hundreds of fantastic personal trainers working in the UK and plenty of not so good ones too so it is worth keeping these points in mind if you’re considering finding a trainer.
I like to think I am a bit like this anyway, and my friends say they find me motivating. maybe I'm in the wrong job!
I would agree with one who you simply get on with. My partner had one who was highly recommended, lots of credentials, but she simply found him too intense and hard-core. Sure, he got results, but she ended up stopping seeing him cos ended up dreading the sessions.
I'd add someone that is like you, or empathises with you. A 20 year old training a 40 year old needs to understand the differences and what is possible.
Also one you actually get on with. Motivation is hard to keep up if you don't have some sort of good chat with the trainer.