- Austin Ruesink
5 Thing to Consider When Choosing a Personal Trainer
Credentials: A good trainer should be able to show you their credentials. A few popular certifications are: ACSM, NASM, ACE, NCSF. Having a certification show that the trainer went through the proper steps to become a certified trainer and is knowledgable enough to provide you with the proper plan for your individual needs and goals.
Experience: It's common sense that a trainer who has been practicing for 10 years will have more life experience and client testimonials than a trainer that's only been working for 6 months. That being said, just because a trainer is new doesn't mean that they don't have what it takes. And just because a trainer has been around a while doesn't necessarily mean that they are super credible. All this means is that you should use that trainer's experience as a consideration, not the ONLY reason why you choose them.
Specialties and philosophy: Some trainers specialize in one aspect of fitness. Others don't really have a niche, which is also fine. You need to consider your own goals and search for a trainer that is compatible. A bodybuilding coach may not be the best person for a high school athlete. And a power lifting coach may not be the best option for women's physique competitor. If your primary goal is weight loss then search out a trainer who has had success with weight loss in past clients. Philosophy meaning their overall attitude towards what they are doing. My opinion that a trainer’s philosophy should focus on long term results and building relationships, although being efficient. No “quick fixes” or crash diets!
Cost: Look at your budget and decide what is best for you. Hiring a trainer can be a big, but rewarding, investment. If hourly rates are too high for you, most trainers offer partial sessions as well as online coaching for a cheaper price. Remember you’re not just paying for the “hour”. You pay for the trainer’s expertise in their field as well as a line of open communication. Most trainers and gym have the ability to work with you and your budget to determine the best plan of success for you.
Location: Location plays a big factor in choosing where you see your trainer. What fits your schedule the best? Do you need a 5min drive/ 30min drive/ walking distance? Before/ after work? You should think about your daily schedule and decide if you will even have time to go to the gym. If you can't seem to find the time, maybe in home training is the best option for you (such as Big Time Results in home training program). Generally, whichever option is the most convenient for you, that is what you should do. Because not going to the gym out of lack of convenience should never be an excuse.
Ultimately hiring a personal trainer should be a fun and rewarding experience. Often times, you will build long lasting relationships as well. A trainer can be a person who you spend a significant amount of time with, so you should spend a little time researching for the best fit for you and your goals.