Choosing to work with a personal trainer is a big step. It signifies many things including readiness to commit to a fitness plan that helps you meet your goals; and willingness to be accountable. Congratulations, but beware. Personal trainers are not one size fits all. How will you know which one is right for you? Here are some things to consider.
Your trainer should have experience helping clients reach your identified goal
Two things are important with this advice. The first is your trainer should have experience. Ideally the trainer will have had some professional training and be certified. Extensive experience can substitute in some cases. Ask for references. Prepare a list of questions that really help you understand his or her training style, reliability, temperament, commitment and ability to get results.
Second, the trainer should have expertise in the thing you want to work on. If your goal is to compete in a weight training competition you probably don’t want to choose someone who has worked with others to nail a 5k.
Take a look at your budget before you begin the search. Understand how much you can afford, and for how long before you get started. When you interview a potential trainer be sure any goals you identify can be accomplished within your budget. Consider small group training if you really like a trainer that is outside your price range. You can share the expense with one or two others who share your fitness goals.
What is the best way to motivate you? Knowing the answer is important because you will need to find a trainer who is capable of encouraging and motivating you in a way that helps you go hard when you really want to give up. Choose a mismatch and not only won’t you go hard, you likely won’t even go to your training sessions.
Where will you meet? You need a trainer that can work with you in a location that is convenient and accessible. If you have to spend an hour in traffic just traveling to your session, you may find that you start making excuses instead of progress. Don’t make it hard to show up.
Strike while the iron is hot. In other words, choose a trainer who is ready when you are. Look for someone who can begin work with you in a timely manner. Halloween is too late if you want to train for a Thanksgiving marathon. Similarly, it probably won’t work to choose someone with so many clients that the only available slot is 3am.
Ultimately, you want to work with a trainer who has experience working with someone like you to do the thing you are determined to do. After all, if your trainer has done it before, she or he can do it again. And this time won’t it be grand when the success story stars you?