Serial Trainer

{July 29, 2008}   how to choose the right trainer

This post will hopefully take some of the guesswork out of choosing your own personal trainer. If your health club provides them in-house, you may want to make sure they allow you to hire out of club (independent) trainers first. If they do not allow you to do that, this may end up being better for you.

You first want to attend the club regularly and try to catch the trainers at work. They should be attentive to their client and not looking around at everyone else. The best trainers are usually the ones that are so focused on their client and the exercise they are performing, they may not even respond to anyone speaking to them as they walk by.

A good personal trainer will not have his phone in use. In addition, their phone should be off or set to vibrate. The reason I say that is because they may have a client that is canceling their appointment and they will need to know as soon as possible so that they can fill that place and hopefully make some money instead of losing it. Most trainers get paid by the hour but it’s not as much as if they are there and actually training someone.

Once you’ve found a trainer you think you might like, schedule an appointment to have a fitness assessment if it’s free. If it’s not, get the trainer’s name and ask if there is a time you can call them and ask them questions. Explain that you want to find out more about them as a trainer because you’re thinking of hiring him/her.

Important questions to ask are:
— How many years have you been a trainer?
— What certifications do you have?
— Are you CPR certified?
— Are you available during the hours I need you?
— Do you have a policy for answering/talking outside of training hours?
— What is your policy on canceling appointments?

If you have any other health problems such as diabetes, lupus, heart problems, etc, your trainer will need to have a doctor’s release form. This is for your safety and theirs alike. You will get much more out of your sessions if your doctor and your trainer work together. Someone with health issues cannot have the same program as someone who does not. As a matter of fact, it can hinder your results, so please do not skip this important step.

It’s imperative that you’re completely honest with your trainer even if you have issues with feeling you’ve let them down. Trainers are more let down if they think they are doing everything they can for you and their clients are still not getting results.

If you’re honest about your eating habits away from the gym that week and how many times you’ve worked out without them, they can better serve you. If they’ve given you a menu or diet plan to stick by and you had cravings and “cheating” sessions it’s important for us to know because it could be a sign of too little calories, too little carbs, not enough protein, etc.

Maybe you are more active in the morning than the evening and you need more calories at breakfast than at dinner. How would you know that if you didn’t tell your trainer? It helps when the client doesn’t sabotage themselves when trying to accomplish goals.

It’s also crucial that you get to know your chose trainer’s personality. Nothing is worse than having a trainer that screams in your face if you’re a timid person. I’ve seen trainers that talk over their clients and I’ve seen very timid trainers that let the client tell them what they will do that day.

You need to make your expectations as clear as they make theirs. Be sure that they will charge you and take your money. This is a business, all things aside. As a client, though, you have some say in what you expect from your trainer.

You have a right to say you’re in pain and stop. Pain and fatigue are two different things. If you’re light headed, say so. If you’re feeling pain, say so.

You have a right to have your trainer available to you during reasonable hours for questions and concerns you may have forgotten or are unsure of. Even an email address is reasonable to ask for if you need a quick answer to something.

You have a right to a trainer that shows up for a scheduled appointment. If your trainer is constantly late or rescheduling, find a new trainer.

I hope that this helps you. If you have any questions, feel free to email them to me!


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