What are your personal fitness goals?
Clarifying your goals is very important for deciding the sort of personal trainer (PT) you need. Sometimes, in the past, I’ve only needed a good programme and a bit of motivation, but at other times I’ve had very specific goals which meant I went looking for PTs with specific skills sets. Whatever your needs may be, the relationship you have with a PT must be a good fit, as this person becomes the key to unlocking your potential. Here’s what I look for:
Knowledge and experience
I have worked with PTs who have had very different backgrounds with great outcomes. One woman I worked with had a Level 3 REPs personal training qualification and was suggested to me via word of mouth. She was successful in my sport and clearly understood my training demands and how to deliver a good, periodized training programme. Before meeting her, I worried she might not take me seriously due to my age, but she was very keen on helping me to become a successful master’s athlete. She was bright and fun to be around and I left feeling really motivated for the rest of my training during the week.
After an injury, I chose to rehabilitate with someone who had a strong sports science background and who demonstrated he understood the nature of my injury. While he had not worked with people in my sport before, he consulted with people who had and read up on the training demands. He gave a very clear picture of how we’d overcome my injury with a view to injury prevention in the future, in cooperation with my osteopath. It cost me a lot but it was worth it.
Communication and compatibility
You have to work with someone who makes you feel comfortable, confident and motivated. Sometimes it simply comes down to personalities. Whenever I have a consultation with a prospective Personal Trainer, it’s important to me that it’s a person I can talk to easily and who shows a genuine interest in my goals. I don’t want to work with someone who’s just trying to make money out of me or promote a fad. I want someone who’ll champion my goals and be patient and empathetic.
Regardless of their experience and personal skills, you need to be able to find time to work with a Personal Trainer. Working with some Personal Trainers requires a gym membership whereas others are willing to meet you at your home or in local parks. Think about what fits best into your lifestyle. Do you want to workout near your workplace or near home? Do you have the motivation to follow an online programme?
Don’t make assumptions. If money is a bit tight, be open about it with your prospective PT and see what options are available. For example, a Personal Trainer might offer a small group which still allows direct individual support, they might offer a combination of one-to-one support and online support or they might offer a discount for a commitment to multiple sessions. Just talk it out so that you can find a sustainable solution that will enable long-term success.
By Leah Janss Lafond, BodyUK
The above is based on my personal views only and the experiences described above took place before I joined BodyUK in January, 2016. If you’re looking to get into the best shape of your life, please have a chat with Jem Scragg, the Founder of BodyUK, by getting in touch here.