Personal trainers can make all the difference between you achieving or falling short of your personal fitness goals and needs. Personal trainers understand motivation and how to teach self-efficacy, program design, and program adherence. They are well-trained in the proper forms of exercises and can truly help prevent injury and make you feel better about your own efforts in the gym and ability to work out safely and effectively. They are very good at goal setting and clarifying the necessary work to achieve those goals. You can bounce ideas and concerns off a personal trainer and receive feedback.
All the above statements are true… for most personal trainers. Not every one meets the above criteria. These are the first traits to look for in a personal trainer based on your personal needs. It’s possible to stumble upon personal trainers who are bad motivators and don’t want to hear your concerns or give you feedback. If this happens, simply move on. You are on a journey to better yourself and nothing should stand in your way. Chances are you won’t find a personal trainer with the negative aspects described above, as most are in their chosen profession for a reason, but in case you do, know you have the freedom to part ways.
The next thing to look for in a personal trainer is one who matches your personality. This doesn’t mean that the personal trainer has to be quiet if you are quiet or outgoing if you are outgoing. Maybe you’re shy and need a talkative personal trainer to open you up a little and teach you the confidence to exercise at the gym alone. Maybe you like to dominate a conversation and want a personal trainer to check your form and stand by as you workout and talk about your kid’s latest accomplishments.
The same holds true based on your fitness goals. If you want to gain muscle or get lift weights for aesthetics, the local water aerobics instructor may not be what you’re looking for. Your local gym will have personal trainers from every walk of life. Look for a trainer who specializes in what you most desire in your workouts. Your experience will be much more positive and your chances of sticking with workouts will be so much greater!
Don’t be scared to ask. It’s your fitness on the line! Personal trainers generally love to discuss goals and past exercise history prior to starting a training sessions. Both parties can agree or disagree if the potential match of trainer and exerciser is a good or bad fit.
Overall, just look for what matches your style and personality. Don’t seek out the drill instructor who doesn’t seem to want to give you the time of day. Your personal needs need to match those of the personal trainer, and 99% of trainers are going to do what’s necessary to help you reach your goals, even if they have to adapt slightly.