Finding a personal trainer can be difficult when you are beginning your fitness journey. Each personal trainer specializes in different things and approaches their relationships with their clients differently. You have to find someone that you can trust and feel comfortable with, but how do you do that with confidence? Here is how to find a personal trainer and make sure they are the right fitness coach for you.
Consider Your Goals
Everyone begins working out with a different goal in mind. Are you trying to train for a big race or to tone your muscles? If so, why do you want to tone up or train for a big race?
Your goals can help you find the right personal trainer. Ideally, the right trainer has experience with helping people with similar goals or has a relevant specialization.
Specializations are professional certificates in areas of interest. Most trainers get their certificate and move on to specializations to further their education.
Some specializations range from 1 month to complete to almost a year. Regardless of how long it takes, specializations help trainers become experts in focus areas.
Certified Personal Trainers
When you do find the right personal trainer, they will need to be certified.
A common misconception is that personal trainers are simply people who want to workout. Trust me when I say personal trainers are not “just people who want to workout”.
Personal trainers are industry professionals. They have been put through the wringer and know how to get results.
However, depending on where you are going to find your trainer could mean you need to do some extra due diligence.
If you are looking for in-person training sessions and you turn to your local gym, the chances are the trainers that work there are required to be certified.
However, if you search for trainers online and find a trainer through their own website, make sure to ask about their education.
Being certified means they will approach training you from a results-driven, scientific perspective.
Approach Personal Training with an Open mind.
One thing you don’t realize is how many fitness and health myths there are out there.
More often than not, there are a lot of “facts” out there that a personal trainer will debunk for you on the spot.
What this means is, let go of any preconceptions of fitness you might have before going to trainer.
Additionally, personal training is called PERSONAL training to begin with. They are going to ask questions to get to know you, some more personal than others.
Personal trainer-client relationships oftentimes evolve into a hybrid business and personal relationship. More times than not, they might even evolve into a friendship.
With that being said, be willing to open up.
Compare Each Personal Trainer’s Rate
From trainer to trainer, their rates will vary. Oftentimes this is due to varying degrees of expertise, location, the session length duration, and sometimes where you live.
Depending on your ideal training situation, this may mean different things for your trainer and different rates for you.
If you want to train in your home, then that means the trainer will have to bring equipment and they will have to travel to your home. Consequently, this may mean higher rates.
However, training in a gym where the trainer works could mean lower prices as you are the one traveling and the equipment is already at the gym.
Where To Find Personal Trainers
You can find personal trainers pretty much at every gym and through online services.
If you already have a gym membership, then you can start by asking your gym if they offer training services.
If they don’t, then you might have to go searching online for trainers who are willing to come to your gym or train you elsewhere.
Some gyms don’t offer training and it isn’t always easy for you to leave your gym membership. In that case, your trainer might need to come to your gym to train you which might mean they might need to rent space to train at your gym.
If you need to search online, try searching through Find.Train.Gain (FTG).
With FTG, you can search based on location and the type of training you want.
This way you can find multiple different trainers and compare them all at once from the comfort of your home.
Selecting the Right Personal Trainer
Now that you know how to find a personal trainer, it’s time to see if you have found the RIGHT personal trainer. Here are a few things to consider.
Does the Trainer Have Liability Insurance?
If you are working with trainers from large commercial gyms, then most of the time the gym covers their liability insurance.
However, you still want to make sure you ask because there are also a lot of trainers who train as independent trainers and rent space from the gym.
Most reputable trainers have insurance in place. While it’s rare that accidents happen, it’s still a nice plus.
Getting Agreement In Writing
If you are starting to talk about money with your trainer, ask them if they have a trainer-client contract.
Not that you should be worried about being scammed, but more so about protecting your rights.
Client-trainer contracts typically just outline the terms of service for the trainer and payment terms for the client. In addition, contracts typically outline things like cancellation policies and refund policies.
Remember, trainers are business owners. They want to protect themselves too. So, if a trainer you are talking to doesn’t have one in place, express that you’d feel more comfortable with one in place. I can imagine you shouldn’t feel too much pushback on this one.
Did the Initial Consultation Feel Natural?
When finding the right personal trainer, you want to make sure you are a good personality match for the trainer and vice versa.
While the initial consultation is a little early to tell whether or not you are a good match, it can be a good indicator. If the initial meeting feels like a conversation rather than an interview, then that’s a good thing.
Additionally, if the first meeting felt conversational rather than an interview, then that means that trainer was more likely truly trying to get to know you.
This is great because that typically means the trainer is invested in trying to get to know you and your needs rather than trying to sell another package.
If it feels like a good fit, here are some tips to make the most out of your sessions with your trainer.