The decision to get a personal trainer is a major one, and can frankly make or break your fitness journey, your wallet and self confidence. There are many considerations to account for when deciding whether and which personal trainer to work with, including your goals, preferences and budget.
Personal trainers can be a good option when you are a beginner or have fitness goals that require more attention as they can create customized workout plans and one-on-one attention which is harder in group classes. In addition, a personal trainer can keep you accountable and motivate you throughout the journey, especially when it gets very challenging. Working with a personal trainer can be a valuable learning experience. They can teach you the right posture/techniques, exercise principles, nutrition, and overall health, empowering you to make informed choices even when you’re not with them. Finally, getting a personal trainer can be useful when you reach a fitness plateau where you are not seeing results as quickly as you want and need guidance on how to switch up your routine.
That being said, personal trainers should be temporary. Even if you can afford personal trainers forever, you must build the capability to design your own workouts and tailor them to your needs. This will enable you to call out bad personal trainers (we all know there are many charlatans out there) and help your personal trainer deliver a better service by giving them feedback on what is working or not working – the only way to being able to do that is by being educated and knowing how your body responds to different approaches.
It is critical to choose your personal trainer carefully if you decide to work with one. Collecting feedback from other people that worked with a trainer you are considering around ways of working is a good way to do your due diligence.
Training style: Ensure that your personal trainer is suited to your goals – it is not guaranteed that you will achieve the same stellar results with a personal trainer that your friend got amazing results with. Seek to understand their work out style against your goals. Each personal trainer has specific fitness principles that they follow. If you want to bulk up and build strength, prioritize a trainer that focuses on weight lifting primarily. Alternatively, if your goal is to run a marathon for example, you need to work with a trainer that will help you build endurance, and body strength for more efficient running
Lifestyle: It is counterproductive to start work with a trainer that does not somehow have the physique or strength that you are striving for – how can an overweight personal trainer help you achieve your weight loss goals (assuming that is your goal) if they cannot achieve that themselves?
Budget, offering and payment terms are extremely important when choosing a personal trainer. Does your personal trainer charge per class, per month? Do they provide other services (nutrition plan?). Assess whether whatever a trainer is offering is suited to your financial goals – you do not need to break the bank to train efficiently
Personality: a personal trainer must be a good listener in order to keep you safe, avoid any injuries and provide the right amount of challenge. In addition, your trainer needs to focus on you 100% during training (no phones or distractions). Remember you are paying for a service and must ensure that you are getting the attention you deserve