Many people are nervous about working with a personal trainer, but there are a few things you can think about before getting in touch and starting a conversation. Use this guide to help make sure you get what you need.
- Qualifications - There are plenty of fitness qualifications out there, but it’s worth asking a would-be trainer about how their qualifications impact on their training style or the way they work with trainees. After all, it’s all very well having a qualification in fitness, but if they can’t show you how it might deliver results, it might not be worth the paper it’s written on.
- Costs — Always a major consideration for most trainees. The main thing is to ensure that your trainer’s costs are clearly explained to you before you get started. Nobody likes surprises, so it’s worth getting them written down. Are there discounts available for booking multiple sessions in advance? Can you work with the trainer on a one-to-one basis once a week, and perhaps book a group session too?
- What’s on offer? — What exactly are you getting for your money? Some trainers offer training plans, that you can use after your sessions with them are complete. Others want to work with you towards a given goal. Will they include nutritional advice in the work?
- Specialty — Some trainers adopt a general approach to fitness while others focus on a particular discipline or philosophy. For example, a trainer with a boxing background might suggest you incorporate boxing training into your weights and cardio regimen.
- Location, location, location! — Will they come to you? Where are they based? Can they train you over Skype if you’re working abroad?
- Training Venue — Where is your training likely to take place? Some trainers prefer to work in your home, or in your local area, or in a gym.
- Experience – Are you happy to go with someone who is newly qualified, or would you like the price you are paying to reflect the level of experience of your trainer? If you’re going to be paying more, what does the trainer feel that their experience has given them that is worth the extra money? Don’t be afraid to ask these kinds of questions. You might end up having a healthy negotiation.
- Support — Is the trainer happy to provide ongoing support in between training sessions over the phone, via text message or email? Will they call you in the early mornings from the gym and tell you to get out of bed, if that’s something you have particular trouble with?
- Testimonials — Not every trainer will have glowing testimonials from their past clients, but it can be helpful to ask for before-and-after images of their previous clients.
- Personality — The right fit with a trainer can be more about chemistry than something you can put your finger on. But all sorts of different types of people become personal trainers, from those who want to wear neon Lycra and scream at you to do an extra push-up, to those who are quiet and serious and spend a month telling you to “paint the fence” before moving on to trying out a few karate moves. It might be worth booking a trial session with a few different trainers if personality fit is important to you. After all, this person is going to be a major figure in your life.
There are other things you may want to consider, such as: registration with professional bodies; insurance, first aid etc. The list may seem long but don’t be put off taking that first step. Finding the right Personal Trainer will make it all worthwhile in the end.