HOW TO SPOT A GOOD PERSONAL TRAINER
By Noelle Walker at New Fitness Personal Training
In a previous post I wrote about how to spot a bad personal trainer. You can read that one here. In this post I will write how to spot a good personal trainer. Unfortunately there are way more bad personal trainers than good but after reading this post and the other post on bad personal trainers you should be able to tell whether you have a good personal trainer or a bad one.
10 Good Personal Trainer Traits
- They always meet with you first to assess your current fitness level and past exercise history. Not only that, they should do an in depth goal assessment using the SMART principle. Don’t hire a personal trainer who does not do this. This is a very important step in order to start devising your personal workout program.
2. They take some time in devising your workout program. If after your first meeting, they have your workout program all ready to go within a day or two, know that you are not getting a personalized workout program. What you’re getting is a cookie cutter program that all their clients get. This is fine if that’s the expectation but if you signed up for one on one personal training, watch out.
3. They monitor, watch and correct your form. They should be watching you the entire time and making sure you’re set up correctly for the exercise in the first place. Then during the movement they should be making sure you keep that form and correcting you if required. Many injuries can occur if your form is not right. This is super important.
4. They educate you while administering your training protocol. While in your training session, not only should they be monitoring your form, they should also be educating you about fitness. They should be explaining the muscles you are working and what the difference is between good “pain” and bad “pain”. They should also explain to you why you are feeling the painful tightness in your muscle. They should also be able to answer your fitness questions. If the questions are complex then they might not know. If they don’t know, they should always tell you that and that they will research for you or find an answer for you.
5. They encourage you to be independent. In the beginning you will be quite dependent on a personal trainer for almost everything including motivation, knowledge and expertise. But a good personal trainer will try to get you knowledgeable and get you into a habit of good health by exercising regularly and eating healthy. They will encourage you to do some of this on your own. Eventually you should be able to be independent from your trainer because you are armed with all the knowledge that the personal trainer has provided you.
6. They show interest in your life and activities. This is to help you to either re-frame your mindset and or to help you live a healthier life. A good personal trainer will be invested in your health. They want you to be happy and healthy!
7. They know how to manage your weaknesses and injuries. A good personal trainer will know how to address these issues. They will know how to prevent the injury from happening again by giving you exercises to strengthen as well as stretch. Both are important when it comes to prevention. An example of a weakness is a back weakness. It’s not an injury but you feel pain in your lower or upper back. A personal trainer should not only acknowledge your pain but know how to address it through exercise administration.
8. They know your limitations. They should know after a short period of time when to push and when to pull back. In the beginning a personal trainer may not know your limitations at first so they should help you ease into your workout program while introducing you to new and different ways of working out so that you get the results you want. After a time though, as in a few sessions they should know what your limitations are so that they can push you to your max limit without sacrificing form and without injury or excessive soreness.
9. They are happy and enthusiastic to help you and train you. Nobody likes a debbie downer and your personal trainer should be no exception. They should always meet you with enthusiasm and happiness. They should always ask how your day was and be genuinely interested in you and how you are doing. make sure you get a sense of this from the get go. If they are not that excited in your first meeting, this should be a clue of how they are going to be in your regular personal training sessions.
10. They will set and guide you to realistic expectations and goals. A good personal trainer will tell you it takes time and consistency to see results. They will not tell you you can lose 10 pounds in 10 days. Stay clear of “fitness experts” that say this. All they want is quick money from you and they don’t care about you or your health. If a good personal trainer senses that your expectations are unrealistic, they will tell you so and also educate you on what a realistic goal and expectation is.
I hope some of these 10 good personal trainer traits helped you. There are other good traits as well but this will give you a good idea of what to look for when searching for a personal trainer.
Have you had a really good personal trainer? What were your experiences? Comment below if you can think of some other good personal trainer traits.