Unfortunately, most people don’t know how to evaluate the qualifications of a good personal trainer. Most people use price as a comparative measure, and are mainly motivated by trying to get a “good deal”. In selecting a trainer solely on price, you’ll probably end up wasting your money because odds are you won’t get the results you are looking for and might even end up with an injury (or many). Finding a quality trainer should be like finding a financial advisor. Would you entrust someone “cheap” with your hard earned money? Why would your decision making process be any different for your body? Make sure that what you pay is worth your investment, especially when it comes to YOUR BODY. Your body is one of the few things you will own your whole life, it’s pretty important to treat it right.!
Here are my top 5 qualities to look for when selecting a personal trainer:
- Customer-focused mindset
In any service business, I think passion is one of the most important elements. If you combine a “customer -focused” mindset to passion, the trainer is going to go above and beyond your expectations time and time again. One of my favourite quotes by Stephen Covey is “show how much you care, before showing how much you know”. Some trainers will spin a web around you and try to impress you how much knowledge they have. All they do is talk and talk and talk. However, customer-focused trainers are ask good questions and are great listeners. They are focused on understanding what matters to you, what your goals are, and what your current lifestyle is like. As humans, it is important to feel like what we care about, matters. Make sure you feel this way with your personal trainer.
- Attitude and inner motivation
What is the content of what your potential or current trainer talks about? Is s/he whining about his life problems during your appointment? How’s his attitude and motivation? Is he looking at his cell phone or texting in between sets? A good gauge is someone who uses positive & uplifting language; go for someone who in their presence, are able to raise your energy level and mood.
- Competency and continuing education
Competency matters. Does your personal trainer personally invest in continuing education on a yearly basis? It doesn’t matter if they have a University degree in Kinesiology, or whether they have been training for 15 years. If they don’t further their education, they will plateau after a year or two. This is a big flaw amongst personal trainers. Most trainers think they can be up to date by investing 400$/year in continuing education. The top personal trainers in the industry will invest more than 5000$/year to maintain their cutting edge expertise. They willingly make the investment knowing it is going to allow them to help more clients get results (without injury).
Many personal trainers use the same recipe with every single client. I recommend that you find a personal trainer that is able to adapt your program to fit your lifestyle & your goals. If your trainer tells you that the only way to get results is to train 6+ hours/week (and doesn’t talk to you about nutrition), my opinion is that he probably isn’t a good trainer. For most people (along with proper nutrition), to maintain a healthy weight requires about 2-3/h of intense physical activity a week. If shedding fat off your body is the objective, we recommend between 3-5h/week maximum. At Axellite, our customers obtain results with an average of 2h/ week of intense physical training.
- Whole Health
Training your body is only one part of the equation, it accounts for about 15-20%. What will drive results in the long run is the proper combination of high-yield lifestyle habits that will help your body to recover and stay in balance. You personal trainer must know at least the basics of nutrition, understands the importance of managing stress and integrates a proper recovery practice that will put your body regenerate. Quality personal trainers read about those subjects and surround themselves with a virtual team of experts and practitioners that s/he will refer you to in order to help you achieve your goals.
To summarize, finding the right fit for you is not about comparing prices. Who are his/her clients? What results are they getting? Is s/he committed to continuing education? Do you feel good in their presence? Are they asking you good questions and listening to you? I suggest that before you make a commitment, ask for some recommendations, verify their reviews, videos testimonials, facebook page and meet with them to see if the fit is right for you. Hiring a personal trainer is an important investment. Take the time needed to ensure the best return on investment.