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How to choose the right personal trainer for you

You have come to the conclusion that hiring a Personal Trainer is the next step for you. Now comes the tricky bit, who should you hire?

There are thousands of personal trainers out there in the uk market with a variety of abilities and qualifications. Choosing the right trainer for you can be the difference between you having a good training experience and a bad training experience, you could be put off training for life or be inspired to make huge change. In this article I’ll guide you through how to find the right one to suit you and what you should expect from a good Personal Trainer.

Before you begin to look for trainers, there are a few things that you need to consider beforehand to make the process a little easier.

Goals

The most important factor before beginning your search is knowing your goals. What do you want to achieve from investing your time and money into a trainer? Be specific about what you want and start to think about how long it might take to achieve this? If you are really unsure about exactly what it is you’re after or how long it should take, a good trainer will help you find the answer by asking the right questions.

Once you have an idea of what your goals are you should start looking for a someone that has experience in getting the results you desire. Many personal trainers have specialist areas or attract a certain demographic of client. Do your goals fit with the trainers you’re considering, ask them directly or look for clues on their website or in their marketing materials. Browsing testimonials can often give you a great insight into their particular client demographic.

Coaching Style

What sort of coaching style do you respond to? Are you more driven by a carrot style coach who offers incentives, gives positive feedback and encouragement or are you more driven by a stick style coach who gives forfeits, criticisers and shouts at you to get the best out of you? It’s important to recognise what style coach you respond to because this will clearly help you choose the style of trainer that will motivate you to the fullest.

Budget

Do you know how much Personal Training costs? Have you thought about your budget? The best trainers out there are in demand and as a result tend to have a higher price point. As with many other products you get what you pay for and Personal Training is no exception. Cheap training sessions often reflect inexperienced trainers and big discounts / offers can be a sign that business is slow. Trainers that are busy and are priced well tend to be experienced and more impactful on your results. This means you will likely have a better experience, get better results and find more value for money. In the midlands area you can expect to pay anything between £30 and £60 per session. As a rule, Personal Training sessions tend to run on a weekly basis but this can often be adapted based on your budget and motivation levels. All trainers should have a variety of options to suit different budgets and this should be discussed with them directly before you make any decisions.

Once you have considered the above you can begin your search. Ask around but don’t dive in on your first recommendation, look online and on social media as this is where many Personal Trainers advertise. Aim to identify 3 trainers that interest you, look for professional looking brands, good levels of experience and good testimonials. Once you have your short list consider the following:

Experience

Personal Training is a popular career choice these days particularly for those looking for a change of career. Unfortunately the vast majority that attempt careers as a Personal Trainer fail and leave the industry within one year. As a result of this experienced trainers are harder to come by and have stood the test of time for a reason, they’re great at what they do. Look for trainers with experience of 5 years or more to increase your chances of finding someone knowledgeable and impactful. Ask yourself how does the level of experience on your Personal Trainer short list compare and what do you think they specialise in? This will help you begin to draw comparisons.

Exercise Style

The type of exercises that trainers prescribe will have a big impact on your exercise experience. At current I see three exercise styles across the industry and I would call them ‘traditional, hybrid and movement based’ exercise styles. You can pick up clues on the exercise style of a trainer by looking at what type of equipment they use in photographs and videos as well as the terminology they use.

Trainers that prescribe traditional style exercises tend to use weight machines, barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells. They will use terminology such as bench, squat, curl, crunch, form and technique. Trainers with a more movement based style might use ViPR’s, TRX, bands, ropes, body weight and use terminology like movement, sequence, shift, pattern and flow. Hybrid style trainers then are of course somewhere between the above two styles, they may use more cables, medicine balls and bands and mix the above terminology.

At this point you maybe confused about which exercise style you prefer and you need to try the different styles for yourself to know for sure. Video is certainly a great way to get an idea of what you like the look of, view web videos and You Tube channels for an idea.

Personality

Once you have short listed a few trainers you should arrange to meet them in person. This is an absolute must in making the right choice. You may be invited for a consultation or for a trial training session. Once you have met the trainers on your short list you will usually know instantly who you’d like to hire. Pick the one that you feel you gel with the most, who excites and inspires you and who seems confident in getting you the results you want. If you’re going to work well with your Personal Trainer you need to get along, when the right matches are made long term friendships are often formed.

Value Service

A good trainer will be attentive to your needs and professional in the delivery of each workout. You should expect them to structure you a training plan and justify how it will influence your training goals. Clear instruction should be given on what to do when exercising alone and if the trainer is qualified to do so, a healthy eating plan should be offered. Your progress should be monitored and reviewed regularly and above all it should be an enjoyable process.

Once you have chosen a trainer that you are comfortable with and confident in make the most of your investment by following the advice they give. Connect yourself to your original goals and the reasons you wanted to start Personal Training in the first place and keep that in the forefront of your mind as your training progresses. If you do decide to hire a Personal Trainer I sincerely hope that this article helps with the process and that the right choice leads on to a positive life long change to your health.

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