What DO You Ask a Personal Trainer When you Hire Them?
With the ability to become a personal trainer after taking a few weekend courses, I have been inspired to write this post to get people thinking about what they are paying their personal trainer for.
1) What education do they have?
o You may realize it is important that this trainer has a fundamental understanding of anatomy and physiology from a Kinesiology degree, or you may not think this is important!
2) What do they do on a regular basis to continue their education?
o Is your trainer providing you with the same fitness program and exercises over and over? Do they walk you around the gym and count reps on a machine with you? This is often a sign that they aren’t adapting with new and constantly evolving fitness information.
3) What role does fitness and health play in their life?
o Personally, if my trainer didn’t exercise weekly like they expected me to, I wouldn’t train with them. If they didn’t strive to do their best to eat a healthy diet in moderation, I wouldn’t listen to them. It’s a bit of a pet peeve when I hear of trainers that don’t even make time for their own activity, and come home at night to a regular dinner of pizza and beers, yet they manage to still look the part! Would you invest in a broke financial planner?
o This doesn’t mean the trainer needs to be a ripped body builder (unless you want to be a ripped body builder), but someone who practices what they preach for you to practice and take their health seriously.
4) What fitness and health struggles have they overcame, or have helped their clients to overcome?
o Empathy is huge in training. If I was looking for injury rehab, I would want to know what personal or client experience my trainer has in this area. If I were looking for weight loss, I feel like a trainer with a weight loss story would make an ideal fit for me.
5) What do they believe in when it comes to fitness and nutrition?
o It is important to realize that if you are a person who doesn’t believe in lifting weights, you probably won’t fit well with a strength and conditioning coach. Not to say that they can’t adapt to help you, but I think down the line the conflicting philosophies will cause some issues. Same thing with food. It is not imperative that if you are a vegan your trainer is a vegan, or if you enjoy following Paleo principles, that your trainer does as well, but, if you recognize the fact that a diet consisting of diet coke, chicken wings, and cake is not a good dinner, please don’t train with a trainer who eats this!
6) How well can you trainer break down the fundamentals of an exercise, properly correct your form, and explain why the exercise is relevant to your goals and life?
7) What kind of effort does your trainer put into your programming when you aren’t training?
o Trainers will often throw together a program on the spot, or the morning of. Do they have a long-term progressive plan for you? Is it individual to you, or repeated for all their clients?
o Does your trainer put together a detailed orientation package, progress reports, and coaching sessions (ok…that one is a bit of a plug for my business!).
8) Do they get to know you, how you tick, how you like to be motivated, and cultivate a friendship? This can be a relationship that lasts years!
All trainers can count, all trainers can motivate and encourage, and all trainers can put together a bunch of wickedly hard exercises. What how does your potential trainer answer these six questions?
Test me, Ask me, Ask other trainers, Find out for yourself.