We all know the stress that comes with not looking or feeling our best, and what a blessing it would be to have someone that has all the answers. Well look no further, that’s what personal trainers are for! But sometimes it’s not that easy. There are so many personal trainers in the industry now, so what makes one better than the other? I am here to tell you 5 things to look for when finding a successful personal trainer. Yes, there may be even MORE stress added to the mess, but once your search is complete you will be on your way to a happy and healthier life!
1. Degree or Certifications
When looking for a personal trainer it is important to know all you can about them. Not only their past employment or experience, but also schooling or certifications. In today’s society, there are SEVERAL personal training certifications you can get through different sources or companies, but not all are accredited. This is important because it separates companies that use courses/tests/case studies from those that just ask a few questions and send you a certificate. Some certifications can only be obtained with a college degree, these are the best sources as it ensures the individual has the proper schooling to be teaching others about health and fitness. Personal Trainers who hold certifications from accredited sources or have a degree in an exercise related field are the individuals you want to put your health and fitness goals in the hands of.
I have listed some of the top accredited personal training certifications below:
1. American Council on Exercise (ACE)
2. National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
3. International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)
4. American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
5. National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
2.Personal Goals or Lifestyle
Who wants to take advice from someone who can’t follow a workout routine themselves, or doesn’t have any goals of creating a healthier lifestyle? It is important that your trainer practices what they preach. When it comes to setting goals and crushing them, your trainer needs to know what it feels like when you’re at the start line, and when you are crossing the finish line, to be able to encourage and motivate you to do the same. It is very hard to take training or nutrition advice from someone who is unhealthy and overweight, so don’t put yourself in that situation. We are PERSONAL trainers, so ask questions and make sure you like the answers you are getting in return. If they have fitness goals they want to reach, then they know the struggle you are feeling while you bust your butt to reach your own!
Trainers and clients spend a lot of time together and share a lot of personal information. Having a great relationship and matching personality traits can make it easy to share goals, habits, concerns or even problems with your trainer. We tend to be like therapists, hair dressers, doctors, and masseuse’s; everyone gossips, spills information and vents to people they feel comfortable with and can let their guard down to have a good conversation. Most personal trainers like to listen, give advice, teach or even share their own stories. Personal training is a very intimate endeavor, for most people, a private personal trainer is the way to go. If you are going to be spending the time and money on a personal trainer, you want to make sure you can trust them. So do your research, ask questions and meet them in person before you jump all in and start trusting someone you know so little about.
Put it this way; would you go see a massage therapist that had reviews of being awkward to inappropriate, or a dentist that was drill happy? It all comes down to reputation or reviews. We trust what others tell us, if 10 out of 12 people had a bad experience, it’s probably going to be a bad experience for you as well. The same goes for a personal trainer. If previous clients never saw results after 6 months, or their trainer cancelled consistently, do you think things will be different for you? Ask around, look online for testimonials or reviews, this could MAKE or BREAK your experience. No one wants to walk away from something with a bad taste in their mouth and a hole in their wallet, still unhappy about their weight or body image. Consistency is key, and if a trainer or client cancels frequently, it’s going to be a bad outcome for everyone; the client isn’t going to see results and the trainer is going to end up with a bad review. So find a trainer who has a good reputation, someone who has been referred to you or has testimonials they can show you about previous clients. It is going to make ALL the difference.
5. Philosophy and Style
Weightlifting or Cardio? Intervals or steady state? There are so many different ways to get a workout in, but HOW you do it is important to make it fun and enjoyable for you! Every trainer is going to be a little different in how they approach a workout for their client. Some take things from the internet and follow it word for word, some create long term programs and fill in as they go, and some with fly by the seat of their pants and create each workout as they go. It is important you know how your trainer plans to structure your workouts. If you like to do circuits and intervals but your trainer only does squats and deadlifts, you aren’t going to enjoy your experience. Fitness should be FUN and EXCITING. All clients should get to try new things and if their paying for the session, they should be doing what they like to do! So make sure you ask exactly what kind of trainer they are, and how they plan to program for you. And if they don’t ask your opinion on what you like to do, I would be a bit skeptical. After all, you are paying for their time!
Well folks, there you have it, 5 things to consider when you are on the hunt for a personal trainer! Don’t be hesitant; ask questions, do your research and make sure you connect with them! A bad experience leaves you with a hole in your wallet and the same health and fitness frustration you walked in with, so spend your time and money on a trainer who is ready to invest in you and your fitness goals! If you are looking for a personal trainer in Evanston, please check us out! Or follow this link for a list of our small group fitness classes .