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3 Things You Need to Know Before Hiring a Personal Trainer.

Updated: Nov 26, 2021

Personal Training has become more popular in recent years, yet it is still considered a luxury to some. While it doesn't have to be.


On the contrary, I think, most of us (if not all) will benefit from working with a trainer. There are, however, a few things we should pay attention to before we decide to hire a fitness professional. I could definitely name more, but just to keep this post short, I will focus only on the 3 of them.


 

There are many factors that will affect our decision, like the price of coaching, availability of the trainer, and probably even his / her looks, but putting all that aside, before you make up your mind make sure you know...


What are your future trainer's credentials?

Yes, it might be confusing. There are so many schools, degrees, courses, that if you're not really familiar with Fitness Industry you might not really know what the actual certificate means. Don't fret and if there is something you don't understand or you need to clarify, simply ask your coach. Remember that a diploma or certificate doesn't necessarily guarantee quality, but it is one of the first steps to getting to know your trainer better and making sure that he/she has the necessary credentials. A degree in Fitness, Sports Science, a Personal Trainer Course, perhaps a degree in Strength and Conditioning is the most basic credentials you can come across. Some coaches will be trained in Nutrition and/or have CPR and First Aid training as well, which would be an additional advantage. Typical Fitness Certifications that you can stumble upon in many countries are:


ACE (The American Council on Exercise),

PTA Gobal (Personal Training Academy Global),

NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine),

NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association), ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), If you'd like to check any other certification, you can look up its name, and check if it's accredited by the NCCA (National Commission for Certifying Agencies), which is an independent, non-governmental agency that sets the standard for professional certification programs.


What is your trainer's niche?

If your trainer has been working in the field for more than 3-5 years, the chances are he/she will be specialized in something. It might seem like "Fitness" is all the same, but as coaches, we all try to follow a certain path. The majority of fitness professionals will have the basic coaching in their background, however, if you'd like to focus on a more specific goal, I suggest you look for a coach who is not only skilled but also really passionate about the form of training that you're looking for.



If you're not certain where to start and how to set your goals, talk to the coach first. He/she should be able to help you clarify your path and then refer to a specialized professional, if necessary. (Caution! Some coaches will never refer out, just because they're afraid of losing a client and earning less money, so be careful, and if a bodybuilder is trying to sell you a yoga package, run as fast as you can!)

What can be helpful here? Previously mentioned credentials. Looking for a Pilates Instructor? Ask for the certificate. Wanna compete in power-lifting? Ask for the certificate. Maybe you'd like to tweak your nutrition a little bit? Ask for the certificate. And if you're not certain whether the trainer is a good fit for you - run, run, run!!!


What's you trainer's personality?

Haven't thought about this one? I'm not surprised at all. Who would have thought it might make any difference... But yes, it might. A huge one.


We all have different training styles, we all have different likes and dislikes, and we all have different personalities too. If you're an introvert, being trained by a bubbly Cardi B type personality, you might simply get tired, overwhelmed... When on the contrary you're a super active person, a so-called "doer", you don't need to hear too many instructions, but just want to "get the job done", I very much doubt you'd like to be coached by someone giving you million details and explanation to every exercise, movement, foot placement, breathing pattern, and the philosophical statement of why you do what you do...



Personal Training is a relationship. If you don't understand each other, don't agree on most of the things, and simply don't like each others' company, the "unhappy relationship" will get in the way of your results. You will not enjoy your training, you will not be looking forward to the next session, and eventually, you will stop all that drama just so you can avoid the negative experience.


 

As you can see, hiring a personal trainer is much more than the monetary aspects, or the looks and sports achievements. You might find a "cheap" coach or someone who won multiple gold medals while showing off his "six-pack" and a perfect diet. None of it means that it will be a perfect match.

A good Personal Trainer should be supportive and understanding. Getting you closer to your goals, in a safe and healthy way, should be the priority, and for that the appropriate knowledge and skills are necessary. Even if the coach was recommended by a friend or a family member, make sure that the two of you will work together in harmony. And remember, you want your trainer to lead by (healthy) example, but "Hot or Not" is not the way to choose the coach.


 
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