If you’re looking for a personal trainer, make sure you put in the effort to get to know them and learn how they can benefit you. Not all personal trainers are the same, some have different qualifications, some have different training styles and not every trainer is going to be able to meet the schedule of training you’re looking for. Here are 10 important questions to ask when looking for the perfect personal trainer for you.
1) What qualifications do you have?
The truth is, not every personal trainer may have professional training or knowledge. Depending on where you’re looking, you may end up finding a trainer who thinks that these qualifications aren’t important. Qualifications can also be very specific. Some trainers may have a vast knowledge in physical therapy, while some trainers may specialize in using exercise to get over psychological differences such as depression or anxiety. When looking for your best personal trainer, make sure your trainer has qualifications in the areas that are important to you. If they don’t have paper qualifications, then ask if they have any testimonials that you can see or read and then make your decision based on that.
2) How do you assess new clients?
Everybody’s body is different and therefore needs to be treated differently. One nutrition plan isn’t going to work for everyone and one workout move isn’t going to produce the same result for everyone. All personal trainers should give you an assessment. This isn’t just because of goals, but it’s also important that personal trainers are aware of any difference your body may require. Some people need more water than others, some people have asthma, if you have arthritis it’s important to share this with your personal trainer so that they can cater your workout to your body’s needs.
3) What goals can I achieve?
It’s important to understand what goals you’re capable of achieving in order to stay away from any disappointment. This is also a good question for learning the true intention of your trainer. If they give you a goal that you know is impossible, they’re probably just in it for the money and they don’t really care about it.
4) What kind of training will we be doing?
Every personal trainer will be different as far as the types of training they put you through. Make sure it’s something you’re comfortable with, and if you don’t know what something is, then ask. Most personal trainers will work with you and won’t push you into doing something you’re against. It is common for trainers to work towards getting you comfortable with a certain type of training, but their help with be a gradual process.
5) What would our schedule look like?
Your schedule will be determined based on the goals you’re looking for. If you want a lot of change in a shorter period of time, you’re probably going to have a busier schedule than someone who just wants to lose 20 lbs over the entire year. It’s also necessary to make sure that their schedule fits with your schedule. Remember that personal trainers also have other clients and it’s possible that they may not have time in their schedule that matches with what you’re looking for. Talk to your personal trainer and see if you can figure something out. If there’s nothing that can be done, ask them for a recommendation of another trainer who might have the amount of time you’re asking for.
6) How do we monitor my progress?
Monitoring your progress is a big motivating factor when going to the gym! Not only does this tell you what you still need to work on or how your training should continue, but it also can take feelings of “this isn’t working…” to “oh, I didn’t realize I’ve improved that much, let’s keep going!” If you have something you’d like to focus on as far as your progress, make sure you let your personal trainer know, and they will work with you to make sure your needs are met.
7) Will you work with me or for me?
While the question might seem confusing at first, it’s important to know. Some personal trainers are set on helping you achieve your goal no matter what they have to put you through. They’re focused on end-results and not necessarily you. This type of training works for some people, but not for others. You need to be clear upfront what you would like from your personal trainer. If you prefer a harsh trainer that will push you through your workout by making you feel weak, then express that. If you prefer a personal trainer that is a little more personal and willing to be a little more lenient, let them know ahead of time. If you don’t express what you’re looking for, then you and your personal trainer will end up not meshing and eventually you won’t want to continue your training if you’re miserable with your trainer.
8) Any idea on time frame for goals?
When aiming for a goal, it’s necessary to know when it will be possible to reach. If you go into training expecting to lose 50 pounds in a month and have muscles as big as “The Rock,” you’re going to be in for a surprise a month later when you haven’t seen as many changes as you expected. Training takes time. When your expectations are set too high, it’s common to reach your goal time frame and then give up or get frustrated because it feels like all the work you put in was for nothing. Your personal trainer can help you set a realistic time frame based on experience and based on the information you give them.
9) Do you offer nutrition advice?
In order to reach your fitness goals, it’s also important to pay attention to nutrition and your personal trainer should be able to tell you what meal plan you should be on based on the type of workouts you’ll be performing and the goals you’re trying to reach. Every body is different and it’s important to cater to yours during this process when your body needs as much energy and self-care as possible.
10) What’s the cost?
The cost can make or break your decision, especially if you have a low budget. However, it can be beneficial to ask this question last, as your potential personal trainer may be able to work with you on cost and payment, but without getting to know you a little first they won’t be swayed to even try to bring down the cost. Show them how much it means to you to find a personal trainer. You also don’t want to leave after hearing the cost first, because while another trainer may offer a better price, they may be less qualified or have a personality that you don’t vibe with.