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How to Pick a Personal Trainer: Find a Fitness Expert Who’s Right For You!

The right personal trainer makes all the difference. The right personal trainer makes all the difference.


You want to join the gym, but you are intimidated because you have never worked out before. It seems like a good idea to find someone to get you started and on the right track. Or maybe you have been training for years but need a motivational coach who can put you through the paces, dust off the cobwebs of your routine and give you new insights into working out.

You want a personal trainer. But personal trainers can be very expensive, anywhere between $60 and $90 per hour. Make sure you know what you are looking for in a trainer before you make that kind of investment.

What should you look for in a personal trainer? Well, it certainly helps if they are a good physical specimen whose body you would not mind owning. Having a degree in kinesiology or any fitness diplomas does not hurt either, but given the choice be-tween someone with book knowledge who is not a very fine specimen and someone who looks the part, my money goes on the latter.

A good trainer will engage in small talk but will get you back in the game if you start to ramble and socialize too much. Their goal is to get you into shape.

What is just as important is their power of articulation, their ability to express concepts and techniques that may not be readily apparent to the layperson.

Sometimes these ideas come intuitively to athletes with great physiques built through exer-cise and resistance training, but those ideas can be difficult for some people to communicate clearly. This level of expression from a trainer takes creativity, great insight into human physiology and the mechanics of exercise, and a command of language.

Here is how to interview a potential trainer:

Do they appear above average in their fitness and carry themselves well?

Are they articulate and involved in their pitch to you about being your trainer?

Do they provide insights in their pitch – things that had not occurred to you about fitness that make you feel they know their stuff?

Do they have good energy and a positive, upbeat attitude that is not ego-driven but built on self-confidence?

Are they a good listener who pays attention when you express your goals and needs?

Are they punctual?

Beyond these questions, there are still a few other strategies to picking a good trainer.

Ask your potential trainer if you can pay for a session before you commit to a package, and ask if you can do a full-body circuit to test their knowledge of exercise and their coaching style. If they merely give you instructions, then stand and watch you perform the movements, they are probably not a good trainer. A good trainer motivates and encourages you with pep talks as you train.

A good trainer will also correct you between sets. If they tend to schmooze between sets, they are likely not engaged enough. A good trainer will engage in small talk but will get you back in the game if you start to ramble and socialize too much. Their goal is to get you into shape.

Good trainers are motivators and people we want to emulate. Interview them like anyone you would hire. Also remember that a good personal trainer will not rope you in and make you dependent on their services. Part of their job is to help you get self-motivated and self-sufficient. Good luck finding your personal trainer!

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Last modified on Friday, 12 July 2013 18:29

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