If you're keen to step up your fitness regime, a Personal Trainer (PT) can really help you to achieve the results you're after. However, with no official governing body for the Personal Training industry, and with so many types of PT out there, it can be a bit overwhelming when deciding who to choose.
To help make a decision easier for you, I've put together eight things to look for to make sure you are picking the right trainer for the job!
1. Check their qualifications
Good trainers have certifications from reputable organisations such as the UKSCA, ASCM or NSCA and/or degrees in a related field. I always advise choosing a PT with a degree such as a Bachelor of Science (Bsc) with a speciality in exercise science, sports medicine, nutrition or exercise physiology. Before you even contact the trainer check the qualifications they hold. It doesn't matter how friendly or cheap they are if they are not qualified - your health is way too important!
2. Be wary of trends
Crossfit, TRX training, Bosu ball experts, the list goes on and on. Although these methods of training can be helpful additions to a trainer's repertoire they should be treated with caution. Most training qualifications for new fitness movements can be obtained in a couple of weeks or even days. So if this is the only qualification a trainer has, they may not have a complete understanding of other training styles and how to achieve the results you're after. Put it this way, would you want to visit a GP that had qualified in two weeks?!
3. Ask for some evidence
Ask trainers to provide evidence of the transformations they have achieved with previous clients. You should look for a number (at least a dozen) of very clear before and after photos from a variety of clients. Specifically, those that have achieved a goal similar to yours. There are plenty of cheaper trainers that are just starting out but by choosing an experienced PT, you are more likely to achieve a significant result within a certain timeframe. A common mistake from new trainers is trying to give you want they think you need, rather than what you want.
4. Make sure you like them!
Before signing up for anything, make sure you meet your trainer and visit their gym. You are likely to spend more time with this person than you do your friends. If you don't look forward to your sessions, you will probably ditch them at the first offer of a glass of wine with your mates. Every reputable trainer will be willing to offer a free initial consultation to make sure that the chemistry is right for the both of you.
5. Explain any special requirements
There are very few asymptomatic clients these days; nearly everyone has a history of illness or injury. Make sure you tell your trainer EVERYTHING about your physical and mental health. A good trainer will refer you to someone else if they have too little experience in your specific rehabilitation or recovery from illness.
6. The proof is in the pudding
Nutrition is far and above the most important aspect in achieving any significant change to your body. Ask your trainer for an example of the nutritional advice they offer to their clients. They should have a selection of nutrition plans, recipes, shopping lists etc. to support their training programmes.
If you have a history of struggling with nutrition, your trainer may suggest seeing a qualified dietician before embarking on a full exercise programme.
7. Make sure they have time to train you
One of the quickest routes to failure is not being able to fit training into your diary. Decide on at least two hourly slots every week where you know you will be available. Make sure they can commit to these times before booking in, otherwise you are likely to spend a long time rearranging sessions and not actually exercising.
8. Don't rush
Finding the right trainer can literally be life changing. Shop around, do your research and get recommendations from friends and family and make a short list of the trainers in your area that are possible candidates. Nearly every trainer will offer a trial session or initial consultation so take advantage of this and run through this checklist with each one that you meet.
If you keep these points in mind, you will find a great personal trainer and enjoy your fitness routine. Happy training!
For more information about the Better Body Group, please visit the website www.betterbodygroup.co.uk