Is a Personal Trainer Right for You?
Personal trainers can be a terrific resource that can help you reach your goals faster, provide a fun and dynamic workout that doesn't get boring, provide accountability and help you build workout consistency, stay healthy and injury free and actually enjoy exercise! They can also be a colossal waste of money and the source of stress and heart ache if you choose the wrong trainer.
Where to Find a Personal Trainer
Looking for a quality personal training can be a daunting task. Where do you even start the process of finding a trainer, let alone the trainer who is the right fit for you and is going to help you reach your goals? Well, you have a few options:
Your local gym: Just about all bog box gyms, fitness centers, health clubs, small studios and boutique gyms and even your local rec centers employ a number of personal trainers and fitness coaches. You can visit the place that suits your needs and style and set up and appointment with one of the trainers there.
The Internet: With the power of the internet and search engines like Google, most people do plenty of research on products and services before they pick up the phone or head to make a purchase. This method can work well if you have an idea of what you're looking for, but the plethora of search results can also be a little overwhelming. Be specific in your search to narrow your results to personal trainers who may be a better fit for you. For example, instead of just searching for "Personal Trainers", try being specific to your location and goals, "Fat Loss Personal Trainer Calgary SW".
Talk to people you know: If anyone your know (and trust) uses a personal trainer, talk to them see how they feel about their trainer. Most trainers will allow you to join a friend or family member's session to get a feel for the trainer's style and personality.
What to Look for in a Personal Trainer
Personal Training is a relatively new field that is highly unregulated. When you start your search for a trainer, you will surely find a wide range of cost options as well as a range in quality and if you're going to spend your money on hiring someone, you'll want to be sure they are worth the price. To help you sift through the endless results you will most likely get, here are some qualities to look for an questions to ask in your search:
What are their credentials?
As mentioned above, the fitness industry is highly unregulated. That means that just about anyone can call themselves a Personal Trainer and there's nothing holding them back from training clients. It is your responsibility to inquire about their qualifications and make sure they fit your standard, but with the countless certifications available, it can be tough to make that call. I recommend finding a trainer with a degree or at least a diploma in exercise science. We also recommend finding a trainer who has obtained a reputable certification in personal training or fitness coaching. The gold standard for fitness professionals is the NSCA who offer certifications in personal fitness training as well as strength and conditioning coaching. Some other reputable organizations who offer fitness certifications are: American Council on Exercise (ACE) and the Canadian Society on Exercise Physiology (CSEP).
Do they have experience with getting the results you're looking for?
There are many quality trainers who have specific specialties. If you are looking for a trainer to help you lose fat, make sure they have a history of helping clients lose fat. Ask them for references or client testimonials. If they have a history of success, they will be excited to share that with you.
What is Their Motivational Style and Personality Like?
Whoever you end up choosing as your Personal Trainer, you will be working with that professional in a 1 on 1 or small group setting, so it's important that you enjoy their company, or at very least, you don't dread going to see them. In addition to having a personality you can stomach, you should make sure that their motivational style fits your needs. If you need someone to motivate you in a relaxed and positive manner, you probably don't want to show up to your first session to find out the personal trainer you hired is a drill sergeant. Conversely, if you need someone to yell at you and get you hyped up to get you best workout, you'll want to make sure your trainer can give that to you.
The right Personal Trainer can be hugely effective in helping you reach your goals, making your workout more enjoyable and helping you stay healthy, but make sure you do your homework and find the one who is right for you.