If you’re going to spend the money to hire a personal trainer, you might as well hire a good one, right?
Does the specific certification define the quality of the personal trainer? No. Does the physical condition of the personal trainer determine if they are good at their job? No. Is the personal trainer that yells and screams the most the best personal trainer? Not really.
So how can someone say that he or she is a good personal trainer?
“Good” is VERY Relative
In my opinion, there is about an even split between good personal trainers and bad personal trainers in most areas, and it’s impossible to tell just by looking at them which is which. In truth, you can’t know for certain if a personal trainer is right for you until you start working with him or her, but there are a few things you can look for to help you pick the right trainer for your needs.
Talk to Current Clients–Do you know some of your potential personal trainer’s clients? Ask them what they think of their personal trainer. Find out how the personal trainer works, what their personality is like, and what the current client thinks the personal trainer’s strengths and weaknesses are.
Observe the Personal Trainer at Work–If you are thinking about hiring a personal trainer in the gym you go to, watch the personal trainer you are thinking about hiring as he or she is working with other clients. This way you can see how the client/personal trainer relationship works in action, and you can determine if you think that relationship would work well for your personality.
Hit the Internet–These days, most personal trainers will have a website, blog, twitter, facebook page, or something similar for them to promote their services. Check them out! (You’re on my blog/website, and you can connect with me via Twitter and Facebook with one click in the sidebar!) I would also encourage you to interact with them a little bit on the internet, perhaps via social media, and see how they respond. Do they seem overly aggressive? Are they laying on a heavy sales pitch? Do they just ignore you? How they respond online can give you a bit of an idea how they’ll treat you once you go from a “potential” to a “regular” client.
Sit Down for a Meeting–Ask the personal trainer you are thinking about hiring to meet with you for a little bit to allow you to answer some questions and give you both a chance to get to know each other a little bit before you start working together. I’d encourage you to arrange for the meeting to be anywhere BUT the gym, so there will be fewer distractions for the personal trainer to deal with. If the trainer is hesitant to meet you on his or her own time, that should send off warning bells as well.
It’s NOT All About the Benjamins
The one thing that I would encourage you to not do, is determine who you think a good personal trainer is/would be solely because of the price.
Prices are fickle, and just because one personal trainer charges more doesn’t mean he or she is better, and just because one is cheaper doesn’t mean that will be a better fit for you because you’re saving a few dollars each session.
Too many people just go with the cheapest personal trainer, and if the trainer isn’t the right fit for that client, the person won’t get the results they are looking for. But, if you take the time to research your potential personal trainer BEFORE you hire one, you might figure out that spending an extra $5 per session will be well worth it.
The Only Person That Needs to Think Their Personal Trainer is Good is the Client
After a couple of workouts with your new personal trainer, you should be getting a strong feeling about whether or not the trainer you hired is good for you. If the trainer is creating the workouts specifically for you, asking/listening to your feedback after each session, and encouraging you appropriately then you probably have a good personal trainer.
But if that’s not the case, go find someone else.
There is a good personal trainer for you out there. You just have to find one.