Whether you’re embarking on a new exercise routine, or looking to continue an existing one, a personal trainer can help you achieve your fitness goals through advice and motivation. Personal trainers offer expert guidance and knowledge, correct your form, push your limits and make you go that extra mile in the gym.
If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve already begun your search, but could use some tips to delve a bit deeper and to make sure you’re considering the important aspects when picking your personal trainer.
1. Check if the personal trainer is qualified
This is usually quite easy to do as so many personal trainers have extensive online profiles and websites. If you have a contact that you’d like to research, check if they have a website or social media presence - usually any qualifications or training will be included here. To become a personal instructor in the UK, personal trainers will usually have studied a formal fitness qualification to diploma level or above, which will include modules on nutrition, health, fitness and exercise instruction.
There are also bodies that professional personal trainers can become members of, such as the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) or National Register of Personal Trainers (NRPT) which many trainers will choose to display on their websites to demonstrate their expertise.
2. Types of fitness
When you're selecting your personal trainer, a good trainer will want to know what your main goals are for your new fitness routine, as well as what experience you've got. Do you want to lose weight? Are you trying to tone up? Would you like to be stronger? Be more flexible? Run faster? Run longer? Compete in weightlifting? Have you suffered from injuries previously? All of these aspects will feed into your new fitness routine and also any dietary or nutritional requirements that will support your program.
They’ll likely ask you what fitness history you’ve had, and how active you currently are in your day-to-day lifestyle. A good personal trainer will be able to advise you on the right types of activities that will help you meet your goals and ensure you are able to maintain your schedule.
3. Make sure your new workout plan fits around your schedule
Would you like to work out in the morning in the gym? Or would you prefer to have sessions on a Sunday evening in the local park? Depending on your location and your preferences, you will need to find a personal trainer whose schedule will work with yours. It’s worth asking your potential new personal trainer plenty of questions around what times they are able to train you, and which location will be best for your sessions.
If you’re just getting started, it might take a few sessions to decide which time of day works best for you, so be prepared to be a bit flexible with this.
If you’ve managed to locate a personal trainer online, chances are that they will have received some online reviews from previous clients, either on their social media accounts or on their website. Reading other customers’ experiences can give you a good idea of what they have achieved and how satisfied they were with their trainer’s service.
You can also opt for the offline method and ask friends, family, neighbours or relatives whether they know a local PT and what they thought of their fitness program, and whether it would be suitable for you.
In line with your new fitness routine, a well-planned nutrition plan and diet will help you to achieve your goals. A good personal trainer will be able to explain to you which food groups are going to help you maintain a healthy diet and contain the correct nutrients to nourish your body. Depending on your fitness plan, they will recommend a diet that works in line with your goals, whether that’s to lose weight, gain muscle, improve your energy levels, increase intake of a particular nutrient or simply to eat more healthily.
6. Budget for your personal trainer
A personal trainer’s hourly rate can vary from trainer to trainer, so it’s worth asking how much your new trainer will charge per session. Varying factors can include how busy their schedule is, their location and experience levels. A simple cardio workout and weights session will be cheaper, whilst a more bespoke fitness package (for example if you’re a more experienced athlete) will be more costly.
Whatever you choose, employing a personal trainer to keep you motivated, inspired, injury-free and sticking to your fitness goals can be the best money you ever spend!
It might seem like a bit of work to research and select the right trainer for you, but it will be worth it for the amount of hours that you will be spending with them. These steps are suggestions and questions that you can ask while you’re researching, however, one harder to measure aspect - and probably the most important - is how well you get on with your new trainer and how they make you feel. You’ll ultimately want to find the best personality match for you so that you will feel comfortable, motivated and happy during and after your sessions.