Find A Good Personal Trainer With These Five Questions

A personal trainer is a great way to get a custom workout you'll enjoy, but you need to find someone you actually like working with. Health blog Greatist suggests that you ask yourself a few important questions to ensure you'll develop a healthy relationship with your trainer.

Photo by USACE Europe District

A personal trainer is going to work very closely with you. They'll push you toward goals, create a health plan with you, and you'll spend a lot of time with them. Subsequently, you need to treat finding the trainer with the same sort of care you use when you're developing any other kind of personal relationship. Greatist suggests you ask yourself a few key questions:

  1. Does your trainer make each session about you, or is s/he busy talking about her/himself?
  2. Do you and your trainer collaboratively work on your goal setting, or does the trainer tell you what your goals should be?
  3. Do you feel validated, heard, listened to and understood?
  4. Does your trainer show up in a timely way?
  5. Do you feel comfortable with the gender of your trainer and the professional boundaries that are set? Trainers touch, work closely, and get to see you in what are, quite frankly, awkward poses and movements. For some, having a trainer of the opposite sex may lead to discomfort.

When you're paying someone to help you develop a solid workout, you're likely already on edge a bit trying to find someone who can meet your needs. The above questions should help make that process a bit easier.

Why and How to Trust Your Personal Trainer [Greatist]


Comments

    The first 2 questions to ask are:
    1. How many energy systems in the Human body.
    2. How many ways to train them.
    If the personal trainer has the knowledge of the basics and can answer these 2, then you can kick off with some other questions, but if they cannot answer these, look elsewhere.
    Now that will get a few people swatting up

    Last edited 23/05/13 8:35 pm

      So what are the answers? Without knowing those the trainer could just make up bullshit anyway.

    Those are decent questions, but I think there's way more to it. Like @swimwiz suggested, knowledge is super important. I was a personal trainer before moving into software development, and part of the reason I left was that the fitness industry is becoming glutted with clueless trainers with cereal-box qualifications, which was ruining things for the rest of us. Some of them didn't even know the most basic things like the agonist, antagonist, and synergist muscles in any given exercise. One trainer I know had a client pass out cold while they had dumbbells above their head in a military press. The client had high blood pressure, and any good trainer will tell you that high-risk clients with hypertension shouldn't be doing overhead exercises at all, let alone with a heavy weight. He's lucky the guy wasn't killed. Ugh, I could go on about it all day it frustrates me so much.

    But anyway, I think other than asking questions, there's a lot to be learned from watching trainers in action with other clients.

    Are they correcting their client's form, and having them stop the exercise when they can't maintain good form?
    Do they listen and adapt the exercise when the client says something hurts, and not just tell them to push through it?
    Does the client look like they're exercising at an appropriate level? (i.e. not looking like they're about to pass out, nor like they're taking a walk in the park)
    Is their attention focused solely on their client and not wandering around their surroundings?

    Stay away from any trainer that gets a 'no' answer to any of those questions.

    Observing what a personal trainer does during a session is high up in the order but you do need a bit of knowledge prior to this and what talicca has written is a good start.
    In reply to question 1 in my first post the answer is 3 but of course there is always someone who wants to differ.
    Now in reply to question 2 most would reply 4 but if you talk to some of the highly acclaimed sport Coaches who work with elite, high performance athletes they will tell you of some more. They will also be able to tell you the percentage of time that you should spend in each area and that is super important if you want to achieve maximum results for time spent.
    You could always add a question in like "What is progressive overload?"

    Last edited 24/05/13 11:29 pm

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